Five days into the new quarter, Linda and I flew to Washington for Easter with Robin, Dylan, and Carson. We landed at Dulles at six, and the welcoming committee included Henry their dog, fresh from the groomer. It was a tight squeeze, me wedged between two kids’ seats in back, Henry jumping up and down and licking my face. A nice welcome. We got the kids in bed, and I took Henry for a long walk – the lovely spring weather lasted the entire weekend.
I needed to do some work on Friday, so I headed to a nearby Starbucks until one, then back to the apartment for lunch. Unpacked the Dahon folding bike that we now keep on Robin’s balcony, and zoomed north to the Washington & Old Dominion trail, on a former right of way of the railroad of the same name. I’m getting to know it well, and headed west, from milepost 19.5 to 29.5, then back, a good workout. Dylan wanted a cheeseburger, so we headed to dinner at the nearby Reston Town Center. Then bath time; I was out of practice, and had forgotten that the tub is like recreation – getting clean seems to be merely a byproduct!
We needed a good outing on Saturday, so set off relatively early for the fabulous National Zoo (part of the Smithsonian). High points were the famous pandas, the lions, and a variety of cute little critters in the Small Mammal House. We zipped over to the Glover Park neighborhood for a burrito lunch, then down to the very crowded National Mall (a park in the center, not a place to shop!) and the National Botanical Garden, just down the hill from the U.S. Capitol. I had never been there – small but interesting. Then home.
There was just enough time for a quick bike ride before dinner, so I took the Dahon east on the W&OD Trail, then to Home Depot to buy Robin a Vise-grip (a very useful tool, familiar from stand-building in Hamburg two weeks earlier), then to Vapiano, an Italian eatery in Reston Town Center that has become a fave. Rode home, gave the girls a bath (even more splashing and ruckus), took Henry out for a good walk, and clocked out.
Up at 5:40 on Easter Sunday, everyone fresh and well dressed in an hour, and into Washington for 8 a.m. worship at the National Cathedral. The kids were exceedingly well behaved during the nearly 90 minutes of hymn and reflection. Dylan spoke two gems: during the sermon, she asked Robin, “Buried, and now he’s still alive?” (she was obviously paying attention to Bishop Marianne, a terrific preacher); and after receiving a Communion wafer she declared, “I’m still hungry.” We’re grateful that Robin is introducing her daughters to Christianity.
We celebrated with a caloric brunch at Chef Geoff’s in far northwest Washington, then motored back to Herndon. Took Henry for a walk, played with the girls, and we headed to the airport. It was a nice visit, but a bit short. So Mother Nature found a way to lengthen it: storms in Texas forced cancellation of our Sunday-afternoon flight, so Robin and the girls picked us up, took us home, and we had another evening and morning to have fun. And Henry got two more walks.