Thanks to Justin and Vanessa I was able to get to Washington DC. I spend my day there visiting the red pandas at the National Zoo, stopping by my favorite Thomas Cole paintings and checking out the amazing Newseum, where I saw such cool stuff as an original front page from a paper written the week after the London fire of 1666.
Tuesday I took the bus up to NYC and was so excited to just sit in an empty apartment by myself. I went for a run in Prospect Park, and even bought groceries so I could cook for myself for the first time in two weeks. It was heavenly. Wednesday I met up with Johanna for lunch at Rice, one of my favorite places near my old job. Thursday I met Jonathan for lunch (same place – woo) and ended up spending some time with old co-workers, as I stumbled upon Take Your Kids to Work day and an outdoor display of a fire house. That night I met Eric (who is heading to L.A. in a month – break a leg!) for dinner at Sotto Vocce, a great Italian place near where I used to live.
Friday Bonnie and I met up to run a couple of loops in Prospect Park, and ended with a stretch underneath the gorgeous blooms of the cherry trees in the Botanic Gardens. We even saw a couple get engaged. I met up with John for some Mexican food, and then a few friends at a great new beer garden: Mission Dolores. It reminds me of Vol de Nuit – indoor-outdoor-indoor, low-key, relaxing. Nice for a warm Friday night. Then more Italian food – La Villa, another fantastic restaurant, one that people likely walk by because it is decidedly dorky in an un-hip way. But the decor doesn’t matter when the baked ziti is that good.
Saturday I spent time with Allegra, and met up with a friend from college who I had not seen in probably seven years. Excellent.
After a bus ride back to DC Sunday, I caught a flight out to London Monday, and have been enjoying being home all week. Grocery shopping, cooking, and sleeping in my own bed have been wonderful. Plus, I’ve turned in ten pages of my thesis and am making good headway on my exam preparation. Next week: visit from Jonathan! Off to Wales and Hampton Court. Should be an adventure.