Saturday, May 31, 2008

Night in a Really Old House

9:55 P.M. 5/30/08

What an interesting day we’ve had. It turns out you need to get tickets ahead of time to see the Holocaust Museum, and showing up at 12 PM is way too late to get one, so we ended up wandering around the Air and Space Museum instead. While we were in the planet exhibit, I heard someone call my name, and it was the David family! They are friends of mine from back home who moved to Oklahoma the summer after I graduated from high school. Their daughter, Ashika, is one of my best friends, but I rarely get to see her, since, for her, going home for the holidays does not mean going to South Bend anymore. I had no idea she was even going to be in D.C., and somehow managed to find myself in the same exhibit at the same time as her family. Amazing!

Anyway, after that, we hoofed it back to Crystal City to pick up the car, which ended up taking a little longer than we anticipated. We were under way around 3:20, got a little confused about which way we should start out, but ended up figuring it out. I was navigating from some directions Mallory had pulled up on a computer program, but I couldn’t keep the computer up and running the entire time for fear of running the battery down. I had quickly jotted down the directions, but without much detail, so there was some confusion several times during the trip, and an hour-and-fifteen minute trip turned into a 2.5 hour frustration fest. We finally arrived at our host’s house at about 5:45 pm, 45 minutes before the pre-race dinner, and much too late to hope to get in the water before it. Then, the dinner, which had been predicted by the race organizer to last about an hour and fifteen minutes, ended up running for over two hours, and by the time we got back to the house, it was well past sunset. We drove down to the shore to take a dip, but when we realized how rough the water was, how rocky the shore was, and just exactly how dark it had become, we decided maybe it wouldn’t be so safe after all. After a short adventure involving the keys falling out of Mallory’s pile of stuff, we were on our way back to the house to sleep.

The house itself is quite nice. It, or perhaps the property around it (I’m a little unclear), is called Mulberry fields, and it dates to the 1700s. Mallory, the self-described city-girl, and Nicole, the bona-fide LA chick, are a little creeped out by our rural situation, but I think the house is quite charming. It’s been in Erik Jansson’s (our host) family for a few generations now, originally purchased in 1906 I think? Anyway, fascinating history.

So the weather reports are calling for thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon. The good part of the bad weather reports is that, if the race goes on as planned, it will probably be nice and rough, and thus better preparation for the Channel. The bad news is that there is the possibility that the race will be cancelled. If that happens, we may do some 3.5-mile swim in some lake somewhere, but it really won’t be nearly the same. So here’s hoping the weather is good, but not too good. ;-)

Anyway, it’s now 10:10, and as I’m waking up at 4:30 in the AM to get to the boat launch at 6, it’s probably about time I thought about going to sleep. The easily creeped-out (i.e. Mal and Nicole) are sharing a room in the attic, so I’ve got a nice four-poster with a canopy all to myself. The mattress is one that the mama bear from the Goldilocks story would really enjoy: very soft and squishy. Time to sleep now.

10:13 PM

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