Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Philly/Willy Trip: Day Two


Ok. So now it's Friday. We have survived our first night in Wilmington and awake to sunny skies and remarkably mild weather.

The Cap'n wants to go back to Longwood Gardens (pictured on the left), a place I introduced him to the first time he visited me at the beginning of our relationship. So we hop into our rented Aveo and embark on our journey.

As we drive through the beautiful Brandywine Valley, I am bombarded by memories: a glimpse of my old townhouse (in which one of my former partners now resides); the auditorium where I took the Bar exam; the softball field (I never played in any of the games against other law firms, but I did show up to cheer ... and drink beer); the park I walked to with my sweet Beagle, Ranger... and at this point, I take a wrong turn down memory lane .... I see the lab I went to every week for a year for post-pulmonary embolism blood tests; then the physical therapy place where I learned to hate giant rubber balls; and the dreaded mammography clinic where, after the first screening, they made me wait in that stupid paper dress in the hallway for an hour and then called me back in because they "needed to have another look"! Yep - those words will put the fear of GAWD in you. (Thankfully, it was just a cyst) ....

"Dude! Are they throwing away that Mercedes Benz?!"

The Cap'n, bless his heart, interrupts my ill-advised reverie, by pointing at a car parked on the swale at the end of someone's driveway. There's a small "For Sale" sign on the front dash. At least I think it's a "For Sale" sign. The truth is, as we have now entered Greenville (highest per capita income zip code in the entire U.S.), the sign on the Benz just might read: "Free to a Good Home".

We giggle at that for a while and I forget all the earlier flashback foolishness. The rest of the drive is punctuated with our "oohs" and "ahs" as we take in the splendid surrounding scenery. It's a gorgeous spring day in Delaware.

We arrive at the Gardens just as my body realizes it's a quart low on vodka. The Cap'n takes beautiful pictures of the lovely landscape [Ed. Note: Keep an eye on the right sidebar in upcoming weeks] and then we move on to Buckley's Tavern for a late lunch (and a couple of vodka cocktails).
ASIDE: The last time I ate at Buckley's was in 2003, when I told everyone I was moving to Fort Lauderdale to live with The Cap'n. One friend's husband asked me if I thought that was a "wise" decision seeing as how I'd only met The Cap'n 5 weeks earlier. I responded then, as I would now, "Yipper! It's the third wisest decision I've ever made!" (Loyal readers know that my first two wisest decisions involved divorces...) Ok, enough with the "aside"; back to the story.
"You seemed a little off while we were at Longwood," The Cap'n observes between mouthfuls of delicious "tobacco onions" (think "blooming onion" but better).

"Yeah. I have to admit I'm kinda surprised about how I'm reacting to being back here," I reply between mouthfuls of delicious vodka cocktail.

And then, as we sit outdoors on the Tavern's front porch, we talk about it. About my memories. We talk about the good ones. But mostly, we talk about the bad ones....

"I still can't believe I wasted TEN FRIGGIN' YEARS with that guy!"

At this point, the waiter notices my increasing agitation and brings me another vodka cocktail sua sponte. Well, ok, maybe it wasn't sua sponte; maybe The Cap'n secretly signaled him over. (By the way, if you go to Buckley's Tavern and a handsome black guy with a beautiful smile is your waiter, tell him Sassy called him "The Best Damn Waiter. Period." He was awesome! And handsome. Did I mention handsome?).

Anyway, The Cap'n (with a critical assist from the vodka) soothes my soul-searching spasms and an adorable little dog stops to take a shit in the front garden.

"Johnny! No! Not there! These nice people are trying to eat their lunch!" the owner of the adorable little dog hisses between clenched teeth.

She glances at us with a nervous smile. We laugh. Johnny finishes shitting and they move on. Thank goodness Johnny was a little dog.

Lala calls. I reassure her that we are nowhere near to being ready for dinner so no, she isn't running late. She says, "Phew". I finish my liquid lunch; The Cap'n finishes his solid one. We head back to the hotel ... excuse me ... we head back to the cleanest hotel in Delaware and spend the rest of the afternoon in bed. (Think what you want, you filthy-minded reader(s)).

Dinner with Lala is at Mikimotos. Sushi and sake. Always a crowd pleaser. Now I am nervous about running into people I know because it's Friday night and Mikimotos is hopping as usual. Much to my delight (or despair) I see no familiar faces, except for Miss Lala's and she is laughing at something The Cap'n said. She reminds me that this is the first place she and I ate dinner together. I say, "You had me at 'raw clams'." She laughs some more. We finish up and head back to the cleanest hotel, where we spend the rest of the night giggling like girls. (Yes - sometimes even The Cap'n giggles like a girl).

Here's a summary of Day Two:
  • Number of dogs seen shitting during lunch: 1
  • Number of times I thought about my ex-husband, "Norman": 4 [Damn. I would've rather seen more shitting dogs.]
  • Number of Halle Berry references: 0 [Hmm .... Maybe it's over now that she has long hair?]
  • Number of times we got lost driving back to the hotel: 1 [Hey, what do you expect? It was dark and we were drunk.]
  • Number of times Lala told us to start watching "Little Britain": 14 [She was absolutely right; it's friggin' hilarious!]
  • Number of times I wondered how I got so lucky to have a friend like Lala: 3 [In fact, I don't know how I got so lucky to have any of the friends I have!]
  • Funniest comment heard: The Cap'n, referring to the voicemail we got from Housekeeping at our hotel, "Hey, maybe they're worried that we're gonna ruin their cleanliness record." [They called to remind us that they can't clean the room if we insist on leaving the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door all day. We didn't remove the sign ... for the rest of the week.]
  • Highlight of the day: The Cap'n telling me that those ten years with "Norman" weren't wasted; without the passage of that time, I wouldn't have become the wonderful woman and considerate partner (actually, I think he said "kickass girlfriend") I am today. [Thanks, honey. I love you too.]
And there's Day Two for you. Stay tuned for the next installment, which involves miniature marsupials that fly. For real!


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