Erin and Mira came to visit. It had been almost two years since we'd seen them. I've blogged about Erin many times before, but she was my roommate at Maryville College (freshman and senior years). We graduated in '96, and of the past nineteen years, we've spent only a year or so living in the same state; yet, honestly, she's my most "everyday" friend. She's one of less than a handful of people to whom I talk on the phone (How did I turn into my dad the phone hater?), and when we get together, we're already caught up.
I tried to be faithful with my camera while Erin and Mira were here, but believe it or not, there are whole adventures missing (most notably our day at Holliday Lake with friends, the morning the kids spent splashing in water at Red Lane Baptist, and our afternoon in downtown Ellicott City).
The day the kids and I picked Erin and Mira up from the airport, we decided to spend some time in Richmond before coming back to the house. We ate at Bottoms Up Pizza and hit the Canal Walk from there. I've spent less time in Richmond, these past fourteen years, than one might guess and had Browns Island and Belle Isle mixed up in my head; thus, we didn't make it to the latter, but the walk was (mostly) great. Lots to see.
I loved that Cade was with us. He's growing up, can stay home alone (obviously), and has his own ideas about what he does and doesn't want to do. Sometimes, when he turns down my adventures, I feel like he's taken a pin to my bubble, like the air's seeping out, a bit.
We spent another day in Richmond while Erin and Mira were here, too, but I didn't take many photos because, well...four very small children in very fancy museums. The photos I did take are mostly terrible because, again...four very small children in very fancy museums. What in the h-e-double matchsticks were we thinking (haha)?!?! I did get this photo of Cade in front of an Art Door. The story behind these doors is pretty cool.
Chiles Peach Orchard and the culminating pie. A friend from grad school (Where are you, Sarah? I miss you!) gave me the crust recipe a million years ago, and while the crust isn't as sweet as I prefer, it really is "no fail."
Breton Pie Crust
Mix 1/2 c. boiling water and 1 c. Crisco til creamy mess. Add 1 egg, 1.5 Tbsp. vinegar, 2 Tbsp. to 1/4 c. sugar, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. baking powder. Whisk together and add 3 c. flour. Mix to form a ball. Refrigerate for an hour. Makes 4 crusts.
Glen Echo Park in Maryland: such a beautiful place and worthy of more exploration in the future, for sure. Its Dentzel Carousel was installed in 1921.
Clemyjontri Park in McLean, Virginia. The carousel isn't at all comparable to the one at Glen Echo, but the playground is two acres of fun. The sun was directly overhead while we were there, and there's very little shade; we didn't linger on the playground long. The girls talked us into walking this poot of a trail before we left, though, and I'm so glad; some of my very favorite photos came from then/there.
The National Harbor. So swanky (everything=totally overpriced). Beautiful, though.
Clark's Eliok Farm (Enchanted Forest). This is one of my favorite places on earth. Poor Erin Quigley (my other college roommate...sophomore and junior years): this was her third year to accompany us, and at this point, she's onto me. She knows it's more about me than the kids. But Mira needed to experience it! And Chip really connected what he saw to the stories, this time!
In and around Erin Quigley's Neighborhood. This first photo is so precious to me. I wish I were in it. This was the first time both Erins and I had been together since I was pregnant with Cade. He's 15.5. I'd seen each of them many times (and they'd seen one another, once, without me), but we hadn't, the three of us, been together for 15.5 years. It was so good.
If you put women and girls together (same house, same vehicle) 24/7 for days (and especially for better than a week), those women and girls are going to start getting on one another's nerves. That's just the way things are. Erin and Mira were definitely ready to fly home to Florida by the time I drove them to BWI, and Erin Quigley was almost certainly ready for peace and quiet in her house in Annapolis. I was ready to go home and veg on my couch for a minute.
At the moment of goodbye, I bawled like a baby. I've cried every time I've tried to talk about it, since, too. Who knows when we'll be together again?
But maybe if we lived near one another, we wouldn't value it the way we do. Maybe we would take it for granted. Maybe we wouldn't try so hard to make every moment count. So I'm thankful for it, just the way it is.