Fairfax Virginia with visits to the District of Columbia
Fairfax Travel Blog› entry 4 of 8 › view all entries
After grocery shopping Monday I e-mailed my friend Getty to set the plan that Iâ€™d come down for a visit on Wednesday morning, but the next day he sent directions and suggested I leave instead at 6:00 on Tuesday night to avoid traffic. Concurring with his advice I started packing and left home at 6:37pm. By a quarter after eight I was on I-95 through the Bronx where traffic was moving at a crawl. At 9:40pm I stopped for gas, a rest, and a toilet break.
I-495 was so confusing! I got on the interstate heading west, but soon the signs began to indicate I was in the eastbound lane, and then north. It made no sense. I was looking for exit 9, but the exit numbers skipped from 15 to 7 to 5. Somehow I found my way out of that annoying trap and finally arrived in Virginia around 2:00am.
While stopped at a light the passenger in the car next to me, noticing my look of confusion, called out, â€śHeyâ€ť so I took the opportunity to ask for assistance. The two girls pulled over to help me figure out way to Gettyâ€™s place. I exchanged numbers with the passenger, Bethany, and we set a tentative plan to get together on Saturday. I finally got to the house at 2:45am with the trip-odometer reading 419 miles.
I woke up Wednesday after a slightly painful sleep on the foldout couch, took a shower, and got ready for my day. Gettyâ€™s uncle Kevin dropped off Getty, his aunt Sandy, neighbor Courtney, and me at the metro station for where we caught a train into DC for our tour of the city. We visited the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, participated in Immersion Cinema, and watched an I-Max film that was simply wild! Back home, we had grilled chicken for dinner then went out to Castaway and browsed Tower Records.
Getty and I hit the pool for a while on Thursday, then went to Phoâ€™ 90 for dinner, where I tried Vietnamese food for the first time. After that we met some of his friends out at Clarendon Grill in Arlington. It was a hip bar with a live band and an out door patio, but the best thing about the night was talking to his friends about Virginia Tech. I was sure I wanted to go there for a masterâ€™s degree after having spoken with some alumni about the school.
Friday we went hiking and Sandy grilled some delicious salmon for dinner. Getty and I stopped at Oâ€™Tooleâ€™s for a beer and to say â€śHiâ€ť to Bethany (the girl I had met coming into town). We then picked up Gettyâ€™s friend Sully and the three of us had a fun night at Sequoias and a couple of other bars in DC.
Saturday I took a run on the paved path that circles through the wooded areas around the neighborhood. Later Kevin, Sandy, Getty, and I went to Thai Luang where I tried my first Thai dishes. Dinner was impressively spicy; it kept me warm inside all night. Getty and I went to Bethanyâ€™s place that evening and she drove us into DC on the way to Adams Morgan. Frustrated with trying to navigate the busy streets, however, we parked the car and took a cab the rest of the way to Madamâ€™s Organ Blues Bar, a cool, unique pub that Iâ€™d seen featured on E!â€™s Wild On (a TV show about fun travel destinations and nightlife). We spent the rest of the evening at Madamâ€™s, and then went to visit Amy, a girl whom Getty had recently begum pursuing romantically. On the ride, however, Bethany and Getty started to get under each otherâ€™s skin, so when we got to Amyâ€™s house we decided to drop Getty off there and Bethany and I went back to her place.
I woke up hung over on Sunday and Bethany drove me back to Gettyâ€™s house around 4:00pm on her way to work. Getty and I had grilled chicken with couscous for dinner, rented Me Myself and Irene, and then checked out Tower again.
Monday I slept until noon, ran, showered, packed, finished my leftover Thai food, and met up with Bethany at 10:00pm after her shift. We each had a beer at Oâ€™Tooleâ€™s before returning to her place for me to move my stuff in for the next two days.
We woke up poorly rested on Tuesday to get an early start at Paramountâ€™s Kings Dominion. We got to the park around 11 am, had a blast going on every ride and spending a couple of hours in the water park. We werenâ€™t done until twenty past nine that night when Bethany brought us to Sheetz gas station and deli in Manassas Park to pick up subs for dinner. I had a turkey sub with all the veggies, two kinds of hot peppers, and red pepper relish. Quite good, but I may have overdone it with the hot stuff all week. After we ate, I packed most of my stuff (luggage and cooler) in the car in preparation for an early departure.
Bethany had to work early on Wednesday so we said our goodbyes and parted ways at 8:45am. I made two stops off I-95 N that killed about an hour. The first was at a rest stop because the hot peppers from that sub were ready to burn their way out in a ring of fire. The second stop was for a new windshield wiper, oil, and coolant water.
Back in Bristol, I stopped for gas and milk and was home by 4:30pm with 815 miles on my trip-odometer. Wiped out from the long ride and lack of sleep, I checked my messages and e-mail, opened my mail, and took a nap for an hour or so. At 11:00pm, I woke up to finish unpacking and went back to bed for the night around 4:00am.