Friday, September 25, 2009

On the Road Again

After a mandatory stop at IHOP for breakfast we will take to the road again. The first leg of our trip is going to be shorter than the second as we will stop in Arlington, VA over night. A long-time friend of mine lives there and on our way down to South Carolina I realized that we passed Arlington, VA by only about 30 minutes. Naturally, I got on the phone and told her about this, so we planned that we would stop there on the way back and stay overnight. Why stay at some random hotel when a friend I've known since I was 15 is 30 minutes away? Last time we saw them was in June of 2008 when Jen and I went down there for four days, so this would be a perfect time to catch up. If your friend lives 10 hours away and you just happen to be in the neighborhood, it would be a crime not to stop. I think she would have been disappointed if I had told her, later on, that I was so close and didn't stop for a visit.

For those of you who don't know this, Arlington, VA is immediately across the Potomac River from Washington DC. My friend lives minutes away from the White House, the Lincoln Memorial and the Smithsonian. In fact, I can see these from the building she lives in. Now I'm thinking I should go to the Smithsonian tomorrow, last time I was there I failed to visit Julia Child's kitchen housed in the American History Museum.

Although I am looking forward to being home, I will miss these warm warm temperatures and, of course, the beach. Last night as I was headed to dinner around 7 pm, the temperature in Myrtle Beach was 31C! Of course I'll also miss dining out every day, it was a nice treat. I must see if they sell grits in Canada to try and make some. I liked it. The crunchiness and the texture, as well as the look of it, reminded me of polenta, undercooked polenta. I found a place last night that serves dishes with grits for breakfast, but I really want to stop at IHOP as well, Jen's never been and I have not been in probably 8 years or so. I wonder if they still have that RootyTooty Fresh and Fruity on their menu. In fact, let me see... let's check their menu. Oh my, they do still have it! It's a signature favorite!

Ok, just think about this. My last time at IHOP was seven years ago and I had Rooty Tooty Fresh 'n Fruity. The first time I had the dish was in fact over 10 years ago when I was still living in Ohio and taking road trips like this one. The fact that I remember this (how can you forget such a name for a dish though?), and the fact that they still serve it, so many years later, really is remarkable. It is, in fact, just as remarkable as me remembering precisely where I parked the car in Charleston during my last visit (also more than a decade ago, in 1997) and the waterfront walkway, as well as how to get there. I got there by feel, by memory, with no map. A map would have been useless as I did not remember the name of the street, or the name of the park where we had to be. If you think it's unreal, go on, ask Jen!

Oh, such bragging has made me hungry. Time to wake Jen up so we can pack up the last of our things and go. Till next time...

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