Monday, June 11, 2012

Havin' Fun, Hon

Christina and I met when I lived in Northern Virginia and DC a little over ten years ago. I'm so appreciative for our lasting friendship, and the opportunities I get to visit and reconnect with her. 

I arrived at the Christina and Rob’s home Thursday and with enough vespers of daylight left for Christina and I to take Chapman for a walk through the neighborhood. That evening I checked a couple books out of the Swanwick lending library, including Musicophilia that explores how music interacts with our brains.

Friday morning while they took care of a few household matters and work meetings, I took a run on the C&O Canal. I chatted up a neighbor on the return portion of my run because we were both out enjoying the beautiful day. By mid-day Rob and I escaped the vortex of the city traffic and high-tailed it to Annapolis in my zippy little 5-speed. Christina still had work to finish up before she could join us. 

Once we got to the dock, Rob still had more work to do. Luckily, I’m an easy-to-entertain guest. I lounged on the boat's deck reading Musicophilia and dozing off between pages as my body grew accustomed to the gentle rocking of life on a boat.

Once Christina and Chapman arrived, we gathered up and discussed anchoring out for the night. Rob described this to me as a camping experience; as an avid backpacker, I’m all for something akin to camping. In this case, we have all the perks their Hunter 356 including a kitchen, head (that's a toilet), cushions, beds, and gorgeous Chesapeake Bay scenery – all of which are far more than I generally get camping.

Before long we were ready to set out for a sail around the bay. I had one task as we pushed off from the dock. I was to hold the dock rope, then toss it back onto the dock when I was told. Giddy with my role, I sat on the edge of the boat, and awaited the sign. As we pulled away there was a skidding sound of plastic across the fiberglass of the deck and a plop in the water. Momentarily, I realized it was my camera sinking low and sending up farewell bubbles to me. It had slipped out of my opened pocket as I leaned and tossed the rope. I held my composure and gave an “all things must pass” Zen “oh, well” to its disappearance feeling thankful that I had at least retrieved my most recent photos from hiking the Foothills Trail.

Sailing the bay with Rob and Christina
We sailed the Bay. I learned about crab traps and buoys, and I watched Christina and Rob function as a familiar team to orient us through the obstacles. The weather seemed perfect for our cruise.  We turned back a bit, then pointed course up the Severn River, ducked under two bridges, then tacked ourselves into a deceptively deep creek to tie up to Carl & Audry’s twin boat already on a mooring ball.

We enjoyed great conversation, drank a splash of wine, and watched Rob’s Olympic rowing in the dingy to diligently collect a record number of cans floating from up the creek, from what we presume was a last-day of school party for high schoolers since it was all Miller Light. 

The collective sum of his litter pick-up efforts.
Like camping, the sun rose in our little creek cove, and we scrambled up to the deck to take in the day. Over breakfast and coffee Audry, Carl, Rob and Christina strategized a trip to Baltimore (I learned hometown locals call it “Bawlmer”) to the HonFest – a celebration of all things Hairspray-inspired: beehives, 60s fashion – from sweet dresses to spandex and bright blue eye-shadow. 
Me, Aubry, Rob and Carl just arriving at the festival.
“Hon” is a term of endearment. Short for “honey.” I found that you can’t help but get in the spirit of starting or ending all your exclamations with it, especially after you witness the spectacle of the festival. I felt at home in Hampden, the neighborhood that hosted the party. It felt like an Asheville street festival full of personality, wigs, costumes, and flamboyance. 

We wandered and sauntered.  I felt a bit under dressed for the occasion given all the spirit, but later Carl, Rob, Audry and I made up for plain clothes by trying out our mash potato skills in front of the main stage. Christina did her best to pretend she wasn’t with us. 
Carl and I warming up our Mash Potato skills in the restaurant.
Later, we applied our dancing skills at the stage!

When we got back to Annapolis, I got a personalized drive through town from Carl who said it’s the only state capital with a wood dome. Rob, Christina and I walked back into town, stopping at the Fleet Reserve Club for a few quick rounds of shuffleboard (I think I gave them more competition than they expected) before eating an amazing sushi dinner and returning to the marina.

Sunday morning Christina and I woke early and took a run through Annapolis then returned to the marina for a triathlon-like feat of endurance (ok, at least for me) by swimming laps in the pool. Christina was practicing her newly acquired skills for improving her swim-breath, and I was goofing off as much as possible as I thought of breakfast and cups of coffee in my future.

I had to bid adieu to my awesome hosts and new friends in Carl and Audry by mid-morning Sunday so I could make the long drive back to Asheville. The drive was easy, the radio entertaining, and my mind occupied with rerunning all weekend’s events with good friends. Until we Swan Around again, take care, Hon!

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