Ale and I ended up biking in the pouring rain for 80 miles to get into DC on Sunday night to see Bailey before she left. The path we took for a good portion of the ride was beautiful and right by the water. Unfortunately the path was also extremely bumpy (like break the screws in my rack bumpy) and very slippery. There were many wooden bridges we rode across with our back wheels fishtailing at 10mph. Needless to say we were a bit stressed by the end of the ride, not to mention freezing and wet.
However, it was all worth it once we got into the hotel and were able to shower and get warm. Showering is seriously a completely different experience for me now. It is just the best thing in the world. It was also so so so nice for Bailey to put us up in a hotel (nicest one thus far) and take care of everything for us. I was really grateful for that, because neither Ale nor I were in any state of mind to find a hotel and figure out food. Anyways, we put on our nice outfits (wool long underwear pants and fuzzy jackets) and got a cab to meet Bailey for dinner.
We met Bailey at a pizza place and she had our food waiting for us. It was so amazing to see and hang out with Bailey again. She is just a very bright and wonderful person to be in the presence of, so the combination of her and a pizza topped with veges I had forgotten existed, was just incredible. Ale and I traded off telling stories and hovering over our pizzas as we inhaled it. Melanie, Jeff (more Los Gatos friends) and Bailey were all interested and asked questions and congratulated us on our journey. It was very fun and I was so happy to be hanging out with familiar faces.
That night Bailey, Ale and I called Xanthe (other best friend still in Palo Alto) and had a long conversation about our trip and then life, and laughed and talked for hours. It felt like we were in college again and I can’t even describe how good it felt to be reunited. It made me very excited about going back home and reconnecting with friends. I am so lucky to have made such wonderful friends at school that continue to amaze me.
The next morning, we got up and bused to Georgetown with Melanie and Jeff to have a fancy brunch. It was definitely one of the nicest places we had been to on the trip. Ale and I laughed at the fact that every other person in the restaurant had on a trendy outfit and we were still rockin our long underwear and socks and sandal look. haha woops. Anyways, throughout brunch Ale and I had a hard time adjusting to the fancy things and had many awkward moments. One of these moments included Ale finishing the buttering process and then proceeding to stick her knife in my face as she began to stuff hers with toast. I just looked at her and then waited for her to register that we did not need to share the utensil and that she had literally almost buttered my face. We laughed secretly about this for a while and now use it as a reference on how its going to be hard to adjust to “normal” life after this trip.
At the end of the meal, we got up and walked around Georgetown a bit before heading back to the hotel to pack. When we had a brief moment together Ale whispered, “wait, we are going to eat second breakfast right?” I told her that the fancy breakfast was child’s play and I would probably need some more calories within an hour. She looked like a giant weight had been lifted off her head. “Oh thank goodness!”
When we got back to the hotel we packed everything up, said our goodbyes, and then I dropped my bike off at a shop while Ale shipped our camping equipment home. We met up at Bean (aka Madeline Rose)’s house. Bean is one of my best friends from home and is truly one of the most awesome people in my life. I could not talk to her for weeks, or months and still when we see each other it is like we never stopped hanging out. She had a sign made congratulating Ale and me on our arrival and lots of carbs ready and waiting. It was perfect!
We first went out onto her roof and sipped tea while we talked about our trip and new updates in her life. It was so so so nice to be able to just relax and enjoy each others company while staring at the colored leaves and confused people walking by below us. We then got hungry (surprise), so Bean led us down the street to a cute bar sort of restaurant with great food. We talked and laughed for hours there. I think that was one of my favorite moments of the visit. It is just so easy to talk and listen to Bean. She is the type of person that livens up any conversation or situation.
After our appetizers that turned into dinner (we ordered way way more than planned), we met up with one of Ale’s Stanford friends and had dessert at a delicious vegan place down the street. The drastic difference of food quality from the middle of the country to the coasts still baffles me. I could not believe how amazing every meal I had eaten that day had tasted. I was so so so grateful to not only be with old friends, but to also to be eating such good food with them. Conditions were perfect.
Later that night we all went back to Bean’s place and played a scrabble like game called “Banana” or “Peal” or something like that. We were joined by Ray (another good friend from home also living with Bean), and two more roommates. As most people know (or anyone that reads this blog), spelling and grammar are not my strong points, so I was awful at the game. I repeatedly asked Ray, who was sitting next to me, if this or that was a word. Ale, Bean and I struggled to keep our composure as we all lost every game. We laughed hysterically at the fact that we all didn’t like the game, because we could not win. By the end we were attempting to trade letters so that at least one of us could be successful. Soon we gave up and turned to funny youtubes before we went to bed.
I was so sad to leave Bean, which seems to be the pattern every time I hang out with her. It was such a good visit and I am so grateful we were able to stay with her and her wonderful roommates. She sent us off with a goodie bag full of healthy snacks and biking directions (from her roommate) on how to get out of the city, which were literally the best gifts she could have given. So THANK YOU BEAN!