Friday, June 19, 2009

#20 The First Meeting

Dear Reader,

The night before embarking on the trip to DC, there was a phone call in the middle of the night. Andrew rang to say that the airline had no record of his reservation. My 1st reaction was that it might be a way of his backing out, and then reality set in...I knew he'd sort it out. And that he did. Later, he called back and said that he was booked on a different flight that would arrive about the same time as planned before.

Arriving at Dulles, there was an agonizing wait to see if Andrew made it or not. The flight board said that the plane had landed, yet the minutes ticked by, and he hadn't showed up in baggage claim.

And then there was Andrew, desperately looking around. While we had been web-camming for months, I wasn't willing to risk him not recognizing me, so I slipped on the Groucho Marx glasses, nose and mustache tucked in my bag. And then he spotted me.

A quick hug, a desperate wait to see if his luggage would show up (it did), and then we were off to pick up a rental car. I'll confess: the poor, tired man suffered a 45-minute drive while I searched for the hotel that was only 10 minutes away, making several wrong attempts to locate it. Finally checking in, he went to his room and I went to mine, with a promise to call as soon as I woke up.

The next morning, we shared our first meal together before heading off to my mother's house 2 hours away. Mom hosts an annual Yard Work Weekend, where the whole family gathers to clear out the back yard's wooded paths and garden. After the introductions, we were handed a rake and a hoe, and we headed off to our designated section to clear out. It probably wasn't the most opportune time to ease him into the family, but Andrew was stoic.

For me, the best part of the weekend was when Andrew hosted a taste-testing of some classic British delicacies, that included PG Tips tea, Marmite on toast, a variety of biscuits, Cadbury chocolate bars, and the family's favorite: Coleman's mustard. It was a wonderful, relaxing morning, and the perfect way to end the weekend.

Family members headed home, while Andrew and I stayed over one more night. Mom made dinner for the 3 of us Sunday night, and Monday morning, Andrew and I headed back to DC, taking the Skyline Drive upon brother Peter's suggestion, and despite Mom's warnings of recent multiple black bear sitings.

Four days in Washington, DC, with Andrew was just too fantastic to even describe. We would arise early every day, meet for breakfast, and stroll hand in hand through a couple of museums each day. The highlights were: the shoe display at the Holocaust Museum, the Van Gogh painting at The Phillips Collection, a meal in The Museum of the American Indian, and an afternoon in the Newseum...the last probably being our favorite. One night, we met up with 2 of my high school classmates, Liz and Michael, for dinner. Thank you both for a wonderful evening.

On our last day, we stopped off at the newer Air and Space Museum near the Dulles Airport. And then, it was time to separate. After taking Andrew to the airport, I'll confess that a tear or two was shed, but I knew it wasn't then end, and that we would be together again.

Lisa Jane

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