Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Gadding about on the East Coast

We have never aspired to be real-time bloggers but I notice that the dateline on our last post is March. March! Now in late July we have some catching up to do: In this post, our whirlwind tour up the east coast, Easter in DC, Nationals' Opening Day, and Tom's moving out party in Norfolk. Picking up where we left off (in March!) we traveled north from our cozy B&B in New Orleans. (If you have any reason to go to the Big Easy consider Sue Repasky's place at 133 N. Hennessey Street. Her email is and she is an outstanding host with beautiful accommodations.)

Our Amtrak trip to DC took about 24 hours. We had no sleeper compartment but are well-accustomed to sleeping where we sit. We moved in to my mom's place on E Street NE and got down to the job search. Marguerite Kelly, the unimpeachably practical, introduced Mike to a contact at a bilingual elementary school where (after jumping through the District's flaming hoops) he will be teaching second grade this fall. I have a job on the kidney transplant floor at Georgetown University Hospital to start in August.

We pruned Mom's thorny pyracantha and tried to make ourselves useful. We celebrated Aunt Steph's birthday. Mike went to New York to meet Christopher Walken. While in New York he ran into our friends Sean (aka Swordfish) and his fiancée Sasha. Here I find a moment to explain that 'Swordfish' was the nom de espionage of Sir Roderick Glossop, P.G. Wodehouse's eminent brain specialist. Sir Roderick assumed the name while impersonating a butler in an attempt to assess the sanity of one Wilbur Cream. Sean became Swordfish at Kevin & Julie's wedding, probably in the capacity of bearer of Kev-tinis.

From Washington we took the train to Baltimore to help my Aunt Jen with her move from Bolton Hill, then the bus to New York to stay the night with the Tamarkins and their adorable son Jay. Jake & Lis gave us wonderful things to eat and drink.

The next day we took the train to New Haven for lunch with Jeff and Dave, both of the New Haven Police Department. We joined them, their wives Steph and Liz (who are both parole officers), and their kids for a couple of pies at Modern Apizza, still Mike's preferred pizza excepting his mother's. Mike's dad joined us and then drove us to home to Connecticut.



We had a woodsy walk in Mansfield with David and then drove with Pam to Duxbury, MA to visit Mike's grandmother. Eleanor had broken her arm recently but she is gamely getting around with the use of a walker adapted to her reconfigured wrist. She is also under the watchful supervision of caretakers, most notably the stalwart Francine. We also visited Mike's grandfather's grave in Duxbury.

While Pam took Eleanor to a doctor's appointment in Plymouth Mike and I visited Plymouth Rock in the rain. Plymouth Rock is overhung by a neo-classical granite gazebo, reminding me that Lincoln's log cabin in Springfield is contained in a Parthenon-like structure. There is something touching in the tricking out of simple and purely American artifacts in Doric columns and dentils, elevating the humble Plymouth Rock to the status of an altar to the gods.

(The last two photos are from the Wikipedia entry on Plymouth Rock.)

From Duxbury we enjoyed a couple nights at the Benson pied-à-terre in Allston and then rented a U-Haul to drive some of my stepfather's things down to DC from his house in Cambridge. Bill's lecture to his Harvard class that evening was on religious conspiracies.

We also visited Michael Kelly's grave at Mt. Auburn Cemetery. Max and the Young Walruses designed the remarkable and recently installed gravestone.

Our last night in Boston we visited Mike and Betsy Pacinda in Auburndale and got to see their boys, Thomas and Will.

Back in DC we celebrated Easter at the Deutsches', including Zoë on leave from Brooklyn, Claire on leave from Afghanistan, and Josh on leave from a very fulfilling black box. We also had Zoë's friend Daniela who was working in DC; and our friend Ria, freshly returned to DC from long travels in the Middle East. (You can see Ria's old blog posts here: DC springtime was in full bloom for the occasion.

On April 5 my brother had set up tickets for the Nationals' Home Opener against Philly. The stadium was packed with Phillies fans and it goes without saying that the Nats lost. But we did get the President throwing out the opening pitch, complete with Nationals' jacket and White Sox cap.

For our final East Coast jamboree my cousin Chris, Mike, and I drove down to visit Tom in Norfolk. My brother is off to study French for 6 months in Monterey, CA prior to moving to France to attend le Collège Interarmées de Défense. Mais oui, bien sûr! Tom made a delicious dinner for us and his friends Katherine, Dave, and Patrick. And then the four of us danced around his apartment for hours. We had a really good time.

Here is our final hurrah with packs on.

At the end of April we rolled out of DC in a big yellow Penske truck, joining Tom on his cross-country move to Monterrey. To be discussed in October...