Homecoming is over and I am slowly starting to get some of my life back. I’m noticing things I missed before–for example, I realized what I thought was a bunch of shrubbery by the building where I have class is actually shrubbery shaped as a turtle. It’s like a veil has been lifted and I can take time for the silly little things I enjoy to do once again.
My parents came to visit for Homecoming weekend and stayed until yesterday. I hadn’t seen them in almost three months so, needless to say, I loved having them here. I got to show them around College Park, the campus, and they got the experience of staying in a frat house. They wake up more easily than I do and woke up most nights to some noise in the house. All I gotta say is thank God I’m a hard sleeper.
We went to the game on Saturday, which was actually enjoyable in an unexpected way. Maryland held off Clemson for a long time, which was impressive, since football is not a big selling point for the university. Plus, it was just fun to be hanging out with my parents.
On Sunday, we ventured into the city for what turned out to be the most perfect Sunday. We did wonderfully “D.C.” things:
1. Eastern Market, in Southeast D.C., has a flea market and enclosed food market every weekend (in fact, I think the food market is open 7 days a week). I love
Eastern Market and take virtually everyone that visits me there. We wondered around the stalls, inspecting jewelry, art work, old books and maps, sampling fruit, and enjoying beautiful weather. We purchased some goodies at the sweets counter in the food market (peanut butter chocolate cupcake, yes please) before venturing to brunch. But before brunch we found…
2. Capitol Hill Books, an amazing used bookstore right by Eastern Market. Even though I love to read, I sometimes find used book stores to be annoying. They’re usually overloaded with romance and children’s novels and you can never find what you’re looking for. This one was a totally different story. The owner directed us to the fiction section immediately upon entering (“Non-fiction on first
floor, fiction upstairs,” all said while not moving his eyes away from what he was reading), which was packed floor to ceiling with books. To make things even better, he had labeled the bookshelves with super helpful markers to help you find the book you were looking for. It’s like he knows exactly what his customers will be thinking. In the As, you might be trying to find Atwood, no Atwood? The ever-so helpful note card taped on the bookshelf will tell you Atwood is right behind you to your left. Turn around, sure enough, there’s Margaret Atwood. We made bank while there: I found an entire Flannery O’Connor (she’s my favorite!) collected works, including book, short stories, letters and all for $15
and a signed copy of one of Howard Norman’s novels, who is one of the MFA professors at Maryland. I more so bought it because I was intrigued by the fact that it was address to his aunt. My mom came out with a book by Sue Miller she has been looking for as well.
3. Brunch at Le Pain Quotidiean, a yummy place also right near Eastern Market. I got a goat cheese-asparagus omelette there, which pretty much made my life, as goat cheese has to be the one thing I will eat above anything else. Don’t ask me to explain it. I just find it to be absolutely delicious. Our coffee was delivered to us in individual ceramic carafes, and while we were there something exciting happened…
4. HERMAN CAIN SIGHTING! That’s right, he walked right outside on the sidewalk while we were eating. Dad went outside and got some up close pictures before shaking his hand and conferring with him about how he had just been in Jackson, TN, our hometown. Even though I’m severely behind on the whole politics thing, I still found it cool to see a political candidate in the city that is devoted to politics. I saw the President’s (blanking on the word but the thing he drives around in with the excessive amount of cars and ambulance and police cars) a few weeks ago, but this time I got to see an actual person. Much more exciting.
5. After brunch, we decided to walk to the nearest green line station instead of using the orange/blue line at Eastern Market and having to transfer. Because of this, we were able to stop at the Botanical Gardens, something I’ve walked by 1,000 times before but have never seen inside. This was a fantastic way to end
the day, as flowers are pretty much the best way to remind you of the beautiful things in life. Cheesy, I know, but I’ve already said it.
If you’re in the D.C. area ever, I recommend all of these things. Even the Cain sighting. Make it happen!