Howdy ho, Junior Rangers!
(Sometimes I just need to quote Full House)
(By the way, this makes me feel ancient)
Anyway, how are you? How was your Memorial Day?
I’m back at work, sunburned, and with a new spring in my step after a week off. My friend-since-kindergarten Jessica was visiting from Minnesota, which meant lots of catching up, heckling picky couples on House Hunters, and enough Oreo shakes to buy the head of Nabisco a nice new Porsche. Plus, you know, sightseeing.
We made the usual DC rounds: Capitol Hill, National Mall museums, a Nationals Game, Eastern Market to slather our arms with samples of homemade lotions (I smelled like rotting lavender for two days), and a decadent brunch at Ted’s, featuring this little number:
My favorite parts of the week, though, were when we got out of the city. I’ve come to love the District, but when you don’t own a car, living here is like living in a bubble. It was nice to see some open space again, and to meet people who weren’t wearing blazers.
On Tuesday we rented a car and drove two and a half hours to Assateague Island, Maryland (the northern half of the island; the southern half is Chincoteague, Virginia).
While we were there I kept having, of all things, Babysitters Club flashbacks. In Babysitters Club in the USA, Mallory reads Misty of Chincoteague, and then goes to Chincoteague and has a moment with the wild horses that inhabit the island.
Our experience was not quite as romantic as Mallory’s; we hiked around hoping to spot horses in the wild, but the only wild horses we saw were in the parking lot nibbling on spilled Pirate’s Booty, and along the side of the road being subjected to selfies with folks blatantly ignoring the guidelines in the horse safety brochure (which, safety warden that I am, I had read cover to cover the night before). I rarely wish harm upon fellow humans, but I was kind of hoping a horse would take a bite out of someone’s selfie stick-wielding arm. That’ll teach ’em.
The island itself was beautiful. Assateague has a white sand Atlantic beach running up one side (Jess and I agreed: one of the best beaches we’ve ever visited), forest in the middle, and the marshy banks of Sinepuxent Bay on the western side. It felt like three national parks in one. We only stayed for the day, but I’d love to go back and camp on the beach for a weekend.
On the way home we took the scenic route up the Maryland/Delaware coast to Rehoboth Beach. We had planned to stop in Ocean City, Maryland for dinner and to explore the boardwalk, but it was so touristy that we only stayed for about twenty minutes (we’re not snobs; it was just difficult to adjust to neon t-shirts and strutting teenagers after the peacefulness of Assateague). Rehoboth, for the record, is a much more charming beach town AND more fun to pronounce.
Thursday was New York City day. We took the train into Penn Station, arriving at 10:00 a.m. We had decided upon three sightseeing priorities:
The 9/11 Memorial
It turned out to be the best possible plan for us, as we got to see some of the famous, “touristy” spots, but also had plenty of wiggle room for spontaneous stops.
We took the subway (the workings of which I still don’t fully understand) from Penn Station to the 9/11 Memorial, and then walked north from there through Tribeca, Soho, Greenwich Village, to Times Square and Central Park. We walked 12 miles total, counting wrong turns, backtracks, and running into three branches of the New York Public Library before finding the one with the famous reading room (guess whose idea that was).
Some of those spontaneous stops:
Taylor Swift’s apartment: Jess is a big fan, and I never say no to celebrity pilgrimages (see: that time I stalked F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s former homes in St. Paul), so we stopped by Taylor’s place in Tribeca. We didn’t actually see Taylor, but we did see her bodyguard parked in a GMC outside. Almost as exciting.
The Strand: We only stayed for a few minutes because I know myself, but I’m already planning a separate day trip just for book shopping.
Bryant Park: Where they have ping pong AND a reading corner well stocked with the day’s newspapers and a variety of books. Hint, hint, DC.
Street Vendors: I discovered that if you tell a hawker, “but the guy in the green hat on Broadway was selling them for $15!” and then back away slowly, you will be offered a knock-off designer purse for $15. File that one away.
Central Park 2.0: We were strolling through on our way to Strawberry Fields when we stumbled across a movie set. Finally, my IMDB obsession came to fruition: I recognized Leslie Mann right away, then Dakota Johnson, then Rebel Wilson. They were filming a movie called How to Be Single, which the bouncers kindly explained as they pushed us out of the shot.
Told you I wasn’t lying, Amy.
I’ll be back soon to talk books: It’s time to make our summer reading lists, don’t you think?