The meeting was on Thursday, so I was on my own for the day. We were staying at the Hilton near the airport in Linthicum, so I drove into the city to spend some time with my friend Cheryl, whom I hadn’t seen in over fifteen years. It was as though she had never left. We fell right into a comfortable companionship and time just flew. We met at the inner harbor, a highly developed recreational area with much to see and do—and we really didn’t “do” any of it except have lunch at one of the myriad restaurants. The rest of the time we just walked and talked and had a wonderful time. The weather was perfect.
I arrived back at the hotel just in time to pick up my partner for dinner with the Northrop folks at a local brew house. One of the guys took it upon himself to order appetizers for the group. You know the guy--orders the boring cheese plate (come on—I’m from Wisconsin!) and cold cuts (do they taste better when they’re billed as “charcuterie?”). I had come for seafood, so I ordered a nice appetizer of mussels with garlic, chiles, and orange peel. Guess who was the most willing to share those with me? Actually, he was a really nice guy, just misguided in his appetizer selection. I was tempted to get another order as my entrée, but then I would have missed the perfection of what Americans call the “Cuban sandwich.” This one was made with Black Forest ham, Gruyere, and a luscious mango salsa. I highly recommend Victoria Gastro Pub in Columbia, should you ever be out in that area.
I was driving back to the hotel, and as we approached a road sign pointing the way to D.C, I said, “Hey, want to go to D.C.?” To my nearly overwhelming astonishment, I thought I heard, “Sure, what the heck?” Was I hearing things? This is a person who usually doesn’t want to divert even a block out of the way to go to a Walgreens on the way home. D.C.? And, we were planning to go to D.C. the next day, anyway. Well, I took the exit and we drove down, saw some city lights, got the lay of the land (as much as you can get in an hour in the dark) and then headed back to the hotel.