One week after Easter, two of our sons and their wives came from Lynchburg, VA, and Nanjemoy, MD, so we could all venture into Washington, DC and enjoy the Cherry Blossoms together in full bloom–something our eldest son and his wife did on their own this time last year. (Yes, I know last year’s picture reeks of lilac, but it was misty and raining and they failed to get any pictures beneath cherry blossom trees!)
And, unfortunately, we failed to see a single cherry blossom in bloom during our visit. The weather was great though and the company fantastic. It actually had been years since we spent time with both our boys and their wives just enjoying each other’s company.
In fact, we went on a hunt for the Bohemian Cafe & Restaurant that our eldest remembered he had passed on earlier visits and it was the second item on his bucket list for the day. We walked up and down streets between 7th and 13th and Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues–SW and NW for about two hours. Along the way, we would ask people if they knew of the cafe and they would acknowledge that they had heard of it, but couldn’t pinpoint its place. In despair, I pulled up my maps on Google Places apps on my iPhone, but to no avail.
With two disappointments under our belts and the afternoon in full swing, our younger son wanted to find a tobacconist shop so he and his brother could enjoy Cohibas together as they had done when they were younger. Again, I pulled out my iPhone and asked Siri where to find a good cigar. Siri insisted there were 10 tobacco shops nearby. You guessed it, we navigated to where these shops were supposed to be and we didn’t find a one!
By now, it was time to get serious about finding a place to eat and at least some decent restrooms. Being near to the Willard InterContinental Hotel at 14th and Pennsylvania Avenues, we thought what better place for a pit stop. Finally–we were right, and we sat well, some of us sat), down a few moments so we could better plan the rest of our visit that so far was falling short on the sites we wanted to see. But, our walking and searching proved to be a great time for catching up and reflecting on events from our past times together.
Now, third on my eldest son’s bucket list was to have dinner at Cactus Cantina on Wisconsin Avenue at the Washington, DC/Chevy Chase borderline. Oops–the last time we traveled there a street person accosted him, so we chose not to relive those special moments.
Believe it or not, our younger son and his wife had never been to a P.F. Chang’s Bistro Restaurant. So, for the last time, I pulled out my iPhone and used my Google Places app. Low and behold we were just a 20-minute metro ride away from Friendship Heights and Wisconsin Place. Having expertly navigated the red line we entered a very pleasant environment and had a fantastic server. We all enjoyed our meal and our eldest children loved the food, especially the spring roll appetizers.
It was now time to head back home and go our separate ways until we can meet up again. And guess what? I googled the Bohemian Cafe and found it–IN MANHATTAN! (Living just outside New York City has been a dream of our eldest son’s and the planets haven’t yet aligned for him to make that happen.)
And you know the tobacconist shop? Well, right around the corner from the Willard Hotel on a street we had traveled several times that day stood a wooden Indian statue. And, inside was a cigar lounge. We found the cigars, but not Cohibas, and the prices were exorbitant–the moment had passed–and I was glad because I really didn’t want to see the boys light up anyway. But doesn’t it look like that Indian statue saw us passing him by and was wondering to himself why we couldn’t see him when he could clearly see us?
And there is one sight of the day that is now permanently impaled in my mind. And, for those of you who have ever ridden the subway, you know that there are all kinds of sights and sounds to be had–things you just can’t avoid even when you try. Well, in my face and in my space on this crowded train was a young woman. She was dressed casually in her cherry blossom pink top and tights. I was praying that the “impression” that she had made on me and many others on the train wasn’t showing in my eyes or on my face. It’s not that I lack a sense of compassion, but this woman is just one of many that we see on a daily basis (just not so up front and personal as this one). I wish I could have paid for her to take lessons on how to dress to fit your size and to keep your bumps, humps, chunks, and rumps undercover.
While this story isn’t intriguing, doesn’t have much comedy, drama, or even a plot, it was a day well spent because once again if only for a few hours we were enjoying life and times as a family and creating new memories together to share with our children.