Visiting D.C. Jan 2014

Bill and I have been traveling again. 

Once a year, there’s a conference in Washington, D.C. that he always attends. We have friends in the area, particularly up in Baltimore, MD and so I usually accompany him. Typically, we land at BWI and he heads down to the con hotel and I head straight up to Baltimore for four days or so of putzing around with our friends up there before he joins me for about a week.

For all your "bottle-opening in the dark after fighting off a mouse" needs.

This year, it’s been different. A friend of mine has just moved to D.C. with her family. I have made numorous friends on Twitter, mostly (but not entirely) fellow beer bloggers. All of them wanted a chance to meet me, and I them. And staying in D.C., I had the chance to have a breakfast or dinner or two with Bill in those four days.

So, I stayed. And what a blast it has been.

Amusingly, perhaps, most of the friends I thought were “in D.C.” were actually in Annapolis, M.D. A friend I thought lived in Baltimore actually lives in D.C. A friend from Baltimore came down to D.C. to have breakfast with Bill and I. So did another friend, but I was headed to Annapolis that day, so she and Bill had breakfast without me. Amusing, but I know they had fun and I had a blast with Ms. Naptown Pint. And three beers with her.

Both my second beer ordered & my second favorite of the visit.

So. Much. Fun.

In no particular order, some with photos, some without, let me give you a little rundown of the things we I have done this trip.

I have sat with a friend and allowed her adorable baby to play with (chew on) my iPad, a beer list I kept from a restaurant, my wireless keyboard and started teaching her, in an age-appropriate way about good beer.

Hey, there's always SOME way to teach about good beer!

I was reminded of internet advice on how to be a childless person who keeps their friends who have kids. And I felt lucky that I’ve been able to do so with several of my friends.

I have had laughter and giggles with Bill in the moments between our business and going separate ways. I also had more than two meals with him, which is lovely.

I went, as I do, and got in the car of a near-complete stranger and checked out three fabulous places in a town I’d never otherwise hit (Annapolis). In so doing, I found her and her husband to be utterly delightful people and tried some beers I am unlikely to see in Chicago. (In case you’ve lost track this is Mrs. and Mr. Naptown Pint.) I can’t wait to go back, especially now that I know how many folks I know there. WHO ALL LIKE BEER. Winning.

It was hard to resist an old favorite, but it was worth it for the regional delight I had.

I discovered how fun it can be to surprise a complete stranger with beer they’ve never even heard of, and try a beer I’d not heard of until said stranger made sure I would be able to do so. This was in a restaurant with communal tables, and so I ended up chatting with a fabulous and fun couple, Al and Angela, about books, beer, wine, Broadway shows (I’ve never seen one), football, basketball, friends and places where you can “drink at retail.” Sometimes, at least for an introverted-extrovert like me, these one-off connections can be truly uplifting.

I have had some amazing food, including a breakfast mushroom quiche that I wish I knew how to make. Along with some coffee that was so fabulous I drank almost all of it without sharing with Bill. And I made obscene jokes with my friend Corrine, who dined with us, because we dined at a place called Tryst. And I will be headed back there tonight if I make no other dinner plans. Also under “amazing food”? I was brave and learned from my chef friend Chrissy Camba that maybe bleu cheese can be delicious with sweet things, and so ate some bleu cheese smeared on bread with fruit jam. OF MY OWN VOLITION. And it was good.1

I really like quiche. And red grapes.

I was able to clear the air with a new friend and connect with her over dinner and beer and hope to see her again.

Bill and I were able to get an awesome shirt for an internet-only friend, which I’m sure he’s going to love.


I saw my first roller derby bout. It was fun, awesome, and I learned a lot. I’d always thought of it as relatively violent, actually, given the number of times I’ve heard about busted bones and black eyes and “I get to hit people!” In fact, it looked cathartic and fun and like a bonding experience. I suddenly understood, even without understanding the game to its fullest, why so many of my friends love it and want to be involved in it. I could see myself potentially risking broken bones and black eyes, because it looked fun. But probably not, because I’m a wuss. Also, those shorts look REALLY short and I’m typically not comfortable unless my shorts are all the way to my knees.

We were in the nosebleeds. It was awesome. The pink is the Cherry Blossom Bombshells.

And, perhaps best of all, I suddenly plopped into a group of friends. Brand new friends. The kind of group that, even though you’re a stranger to most of them, just opens up and pulls you in and enjoys you. I started Saturday with meeting a couple of Twitter-only friends that I was mildly close to. I ended Saturday with a group of people, many more than two, who could come to my house any time. Stay there if they needed/wanted to be in Chicago for some time. It was fabulous and a very lucky day. And I have Twitter to thank for these friends and to keep me connected to them over our 1200+ mile distance.

Oh, and with that group I had some damn fabulous beer, wine and duck proscuitto. So, really, Saturday was for the win.

fn1. If you catch him when he reads this sentence, you’ll probably be able to knock Bill over with a feather. Same with my mother, if she ever reads it. My father, on the other hand, will just shake his head and be sad that his eldest has, again, decided some smelly cheese is okay.

2 thoughts on “Visiting D.C. Jan 2014

Comments are closed.