Virginia – Days 11-16: Blues Dancing, Thanksgiving, Perry Family Day, and Other Adventures

Day eleven was another blog catch up day, but that night we went to D.C. to a bar called Angles. Every Wednesday at Angles a group of people get together and take over the jukebox and play blues music so people can blues dance. It was awesome! At first I thought it was going to be kind of awkward because I went with Meghan and Stanley who are dating and obviously would be dancing together at certain points in the night. I really didn’t feel like third wheeling it. Fortunately, save for a couple songs, I had a partner throughout the night! I danced with men and women and by the end of the night this one guy I danced with couldn’t believe it was my first time blues dancing, which I took as quite the compliment!

Post blues dancing we went to Amsterdam Falafel where you can refill your toppings. Mmm. Falafel. It was quite tasty, though I did accidentally drop a cup of sauce on my shoe through the open hole on the table meant for french fries. In my defense, the hole was disguised by a napkin at the time. I’d risk dropping sauce on my shoe again though, it was totally worth it.

Beautiful falafel from Amsterdam Falafel, Washington D.C..

Beautiful falafel from Amsterdam Falafel, Washington D.C..

Day twelve was Thanksgiving! Aka the best food day of the year! We went to the Perry house at around noon to help prep for the evening’s festivities. While Meghan got stuck picking up poop from the backyard, I volunteered to do dishes. Later I helped Megz make pumpkin dump cake round two and then we set the table. I had a headache so I took a little nap. I tried to get Olie to cuddle with me, but he was much too excited by all the things happening in the house to sit still for very long. I woke up when Connor’s friend came over and then Kevin’s former business partner arrived, so nap time was over. Soon Stanley’s parents were there and then Stanley’s brother Alex, and his girlfriend showed up. Then it was time to eat. Have I mentioned lately that THANKSGIVING FOOD IS MY FAVORITE?! Potatoes and stuffing (dressing) and green beans and carrots and onions and turkey and ham oh my! Not to mention the five different kinds of pie, plus Meghan’s pumpkin dump cake. If I’m ever on death row I’m totally asking for Thanksgiving dinner as my last meal!

The only photo anyone got from Thanksgiving...whomp. Springfield, VA.

The only photo anyone got from Thanksgiving…whomp. Springfield, VA.

After dinner we played a round of Catch Phrase and then a large portion of our players got distracted by a handsfree segway. I tried very valiantly to fight the impending food coma, but I was not successful in the end. I fell asleep on the couch, for I don’t know how long, but woke up when everyone was leaving, so I was able to say a sleepy goodbye. Eventually I roused myself from the couch and started to help clean up.

On Friday, day thirteen, was Perry Family Fun Day. The original plan was to go to the National Zoo, but when we got there the parking lot was full. It was a beautiful day, and most people had probably taken the day off…so we decided to go to the nearby Rock Creek Park instead. We wandered through the woods for a while and I learned that all Perrys like to wander off the path and onto anything they can climb. It was a lot of fun.

Perrys in a tree, Rock Creek Park, Washington D.C..

Perrys in a tree, Rock Creek Park, Washington D.C..

Then we went to St. Paul’s Rock Creek Cemetery and wandered around there for a bit looking at all the cool graves. The sun was setting beyond the graveyard and the sky was absolutely amazing.

St. Paul's Rock Creek Cemetery, Rock Creek Park, Washington D.C..

St. Paul’s Rock Creek Cemetery, Rock Creek Park, Washington D.C..

Day fourteen was a hardcore blog catch up day. I worked pretty much non-stop from 8:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. with maybe a half hour break in there for breakfast and a few minute break to talk to Stanley at some point. It was a busy, but super productive day, which is exactly what I needed. I managed to edit and post three entries and write drafts of two more catching all the way up to the current day. Huzzah.

That night Meghan, Stanley, Erin, and I drove to Artomatic in Maryland and met up with our friend Jimmy, another fellow former teacher from Arkansas. I meant to go to Artomatic when I was in Maryland, but thankfully it wasn’t too far from where Megahn lives so we got to go as a group instead. Artomatic is so cool! It’s a whole building of art on display from hundreds of artists and they have bars and live music and when we went there was a fire show happening outside. It was incredible! Oh, and it was free! I had so much fun! There was so much interesting art and getting to talk about art with other people is definitely something I’ve been missing lately, so that was an added bonus.

There was a lot of really amazing art at Artomatic. Some of the pieces that really spoke to me were: Women Say Sorry, an interactive exhibit about why women say sorry when they haven’t done anything to warrant it, One Word, a piece asking black men to define themselves in one word and then choose one word they think society would choose for them, there were also a couple travel related pieces I really appreciated and an artist who makes dress shapes out of glass. I was most excited to see the work of Martin Cervantez an artist Meghan and I had met earlier when we visited the Workhouse Arts Center galleries.

Hey, we know this guy, or at least, we met him once, Martin Cervantez, Artomatic, Hyattsville, MD.

Hey, we know this guy, or at least, we met him once, Martin Cervantez, Artomatic, Hyattsville, MD.

After a few hours at Artomatic, Jimmy took his leave of us, and we went to Chipotle for a late dinner. Then we took the Metro into D.C. and sought out a place to go dancing. The first place we went, Nellie’s Sports Bar, had ok music on the second floor but it was packed and no one was really dancing. We then walked down the street and walked into a super dark bar that had music but again very little dancing. We went out to the back of that bar, which had a nice outdoor space, even if you could get a secondhand high from all the marijuana being smoked back there. We were trying to avoid anywhere with a cover charge in case it was lame so we ended up at The Brixton where we waited in line for probably ten minutes to get in. The second level was packed, but people were at least dancing. We danced for a while and then went up to the rooftop bar to get some air. We went back to dancing but the lack of attractive men and the insistence of some to grind up on me was not what I was in the mood for, so we left a little after one in the morning. At that point I was tired and my feet hurt, so we decided to call it a night.

View from the rooftop bar of The Brixton, Washington D.C..

View from the rooftop bar of The Brixton, Washington D.C..

I spent most of day fifteen preparing to leave the D.C. area of Virginia and head out on my next leg of my journey. I gathered all my stuff, did some laundry, and made sure I knew where I was going and who I was staying with for at least the next week. Then Meghan, Stanley, and I went to dinner at True Food Kitchen, the restaurant where Meghan’s brother Connor works. Oh my gosh. Such. Good. Food. The restaurant was created based around the anti-inflammatory diet so the food is less processed and has more fresh fruits and vegetables. My favorite! I had the butternut squash pizza with walnut, smoked mozzarella, sweet onion, and arugula. It was amazing and half of it filled me up so I got to take the other half home for leftovers. In the end I got two meals for $12 which is a really good deal for the food quality. Also, since we knew Connor he hooked us up with a free appetizer and free dessert. Little brothers for the win!

Day sixteen I drove from Arlington to Charlottesville, which was a cute town but it was raining pretty hard and I just wasn’t in the mood for rainy explorations in a small town. Instead, I parked at a Walmart and took a nap. It was still raining when I woke up, so I took a driving tour around town and then continued on my way back to Blacksburg. When I’d been in Blacksburg earlier my friends were out of town, so I decided to come back so I could see them. We had an awesomely chill evening consisting of take out tacos from Wicked Tacos, which were quite tasty, a board game called Carcassonne, which was really fun, and checked out that new show Superstore, which was surprisingly funny. We also watched a couple episodes of Season 4 of The Great Food Truck Race, which I am slightly ashamed to admit I got a little too into. Ok, not really, it was totally awesome! I really hope Tikka Tikka Taco has a food truck somewhere, because I will find them and eat their Naanchos. I couldn’t resist; I Googled them. Alas, they do not exist anymore. Lame. :(. I’m stoked I found the recipe for Nannchos though!

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