Day 1: Christmas Eve
I arrived at Union Station around 10:30am. Dug out my SmartTrip card and headed to Olney. My Mom was off for the day, so once I showered and rested for a couple of hours, we headed to run errands in the local shopping center. I bought Now® brand pure peppermint oil at the GNC. It’ll be used, along with some other oils, as a hot oil treatment for my hair. I also may drip a couple of drops into my tea every now and then if my stomach needs soothing.
Then we went to the TJ Maxx, where I bought a couple of baby gifts for a baby that I would be meeting tomorrow. We then ate at a local Chinese restaurant, which made me realize just how uninterested I am in Chinese food nowadays. I only ate about 1/3rd of it, and I didn’t get a doggy bag. Afterwards, a trip to Shopper’s, where my Mom had to get the ingredients for the dishes that she was making (Beef roast and potato salad), and I got a couple of things to eat a home when we weren’t going to be eating out.
The WMATA has a mobile website, so once we were finished I looked up when the next bus was coming and discovered that we had just missed one…so it’d be about 25 minutes. Did I mention that it’s cold in Maryland right now? And I don’t mean New Orleans “it’s 50° in the shade” cold, I mean “it’s 30° in the sun” cold. And now it was dark. I told my Mother, as I shivered violently, that from now on she was going to have to come down to NOLA to visit me for Christmas. I guess after 3 years in New Orleans, my body has finally forgotten the tolerance to cold that I built up during my four years in Ithaca. Later at home, I finished the 2nd book, The Girl Who Fell From the Sky, which I started the previous day on the train. More on that later.
Day 2: Christmas Day
“Dinner”, which actually is scheduled for 3pm, will occur, as usual, at my Mom’s best friend’s house in Cheverly, so we head out on the Y9 bus around 1:30 and make it to the Fort Totten station around 2:30. I meet a pretty baby who is now my…play 2nd cousin? Food is eaten. I don’t overindulge. Gifts are exchanged. The baby immediately starts clinging to the super fluffy blanket that I got her. Success! I got some much-needed socks, some pretty jewelry, some tights, and a scarf. The Town, directed by and starring Ben Affleck, is watched for the 2nd time by me, the first time for everyone else. I’m not as awed by it as I was the first time that I watched it, but I still think it’s a great movie, and that Affleck has really come into his own as an actor and budding director. A slice of the most sinful cake ever is devoured, and my Mom had the nerve to pack some up and bring it home. We get home around 9:30 or 10. I think I fell asleep on the couch, then woke up at 3am and went to bed.
Day 3: Sunday Shopping
The plan was to go to Eastern Market, which I’ve never been to before, then Pentagon City Mall to see if there are any after Christmas deals going on. It’s snowing, though, and when we get to Eastern Market, both the indoor and outdoor market areas are closed. Boo. We stopped at a little café near the Eastern Market Metro Station called Le Pain Quotidien (The Daily Bread) which serves organic French(ish) dishes. I got what was basically an open-faced ham and cheese sandwich with apples, sage, and cranberries on it. It was yummy.
We headed to the mall, which was busy, but not as packed as I thought it would be. I realized as we were looking around that my new eating and shopping habits might actually be a benefit to my wallet in the long run. Healthy food and handmade accessories might cost more, but they’re so hard to find in places like a mall that I don’t spend nearly as much money as I used to. I got: new reeds and diffuser oil for the glass diffuser in my bedroom at the Yankee Candle store; linen spray and a small thing of body butter for my hands at The Body Shop; and … my Mom bought me a tea set from Teavana! I’m so excited, I can’t wait to use it. I have about 100 tea bags of various flavors right now, but once I use those up, I can’t wait to start buying tealeaves.
After shopping, we braved the snow to walk over to the next block and eat at the California Pizza Kitchen, where I got the Fish Tacos made with fried Mahi Mahi. I was shocked at how good that dish was, I’ll definitely have to eat it again the next time I go to CPK.
Day 4: Monday
Monday was more of a low-key day, the day before my Mom went back to work. We went to Silver Spring, deposited what was left of my Christmas money, and ate at Red Lobster. I usually get the Cajun Chicken Alfredo Pasta, but decided to go with the Seafood Stuffing in between two filets of what I think was tilapia. It didn’t knock my socks off like the fish tacos, but it was good enough for me to take the leftovers home. Then we stopped at the Whole Foods so I could get some food for my days at home, and headed home.
Day 5: Tuesday
Laid around the house for most of the day, watching old Top Model reruns. Why is it that every six months when I get access to cable, all of the repeats that are on are the same ones that I’ve seen before? I’ve missed two or three “cycles” of Top Model, but of course the one that was on was the last one that I watched.
Day 6: “Black Swan” Wednesday
I finally got a chance to go to the nearby Starbucks to use the internet. I had to clear out some stuff in my email, and do a little stuff for work as well. Afterwards, I caught the bus to Silver Spring to meet a friend and catch Black Swan, which I saw at the New Orleans Film Festival in October, but had no problem shelling out money to see it again. I’ll need to wait for it to come out on DVD before I can really examine that movie in detail, but I luvs it.
Day 7: “Goin’ to New Orleans”
Woke up early so I could go up to Home Goods and see if they had a set of plates that would match my dark yellow and Caribbean blue themed kitchen. The plates that I’m currently using, I’ve had since my 3rd month in New Orleans back in 2007. I found them for free on Freecycle, and was quick enough with my BlackBerry to get them left on a porch for me somewhere in Mid-City just below Carrollton Ave. I like them, but they don’t match what I’m trying to do with that kitchen at all, and since Home Goods is so delightfully cheap, I think it’s time for a change. I found a nice set, gave my mom a check for it, and she’s going to buy them and ship them to me.
My stomach is always upset on my last day in Maryland. I’m sure that my therapist would have something to say about that. Through that, I had to pack and head out to Union Station to meet my Mom for an early dinner at UNO’s while I waited for my train. The train was supposed to leave at 6:30pm. It left at 8pm. Boo. I was given an aisle seat. Double boo. Next to a lady who appears to be in a constant state of moaning, groaning, and complaining, when she’s not passed out snoring next to me. Triple boo. I escape to the lounge around 10pm, hoping that a rum and coke will make sleep come a little easier ; ). It does, though it’s a fitful sleep, since I’m pretty uncomfortable.
On New Year’s Eve, we arrive at Union Passenger Terminal around 9:30, about two hours later then scheduled. It has the nerve to be warm and actually kind of muggy in New Orleans. I’m glad to be home.