I visited my brother and his family in Richmond, VA for a few days in August. They are so wonderful. My sister-in-law is a stay-at-home mom who won a repeated battle with breast cancer. She spends her time making sure she teaches my 12 yo niece about life, love and responsibility. My niece is a rather amazing kid herself. She is kind, funny and caring, as well as charming and beautiful. She is a model an actress and it was a little annoying that while I was there she received checks that added up to about twice my monthly salary. We went to the Richmond museum of art (worth the time, Faberge exhibit) as well as Petersburg, a battlefield town just south of Richmond. Had a nice lunch and spent 2 hours in a vintage clothing store playing dress-up. It was nice getting to spend that kind of time. We then went to D.C. for the weekend. I was soooo excited, as I had never been. My bro wanted to go to the Newseum, which was amazing. They had one of the towers form Checkpoint Charlie, the Magna Carta and M&N were able to make their own newscast. N was funny as she wouldn't let M get a word in. Showboater:). We went to see both Roosevelts' memorials. That night, we went hungry, exhausted and stressed to find dinner in Alexandria. We found this amazing tapas restaurant where we had some lovely tasty items. And wine. Thank god for wine. My niece and I shared a hotel room and it may have been my favorite part of my visit. She is such a great young person and not spastic like some kids. And she doesn't snore. Next day, we went to the castle at the Smithsonian. What a great story about how it was started. Then we went to the National Gallery. I loved seeing the originals of so many things I've seen in movies and tv. Plus, I love museum gift shops and theirs was the BEST EVER. Next, we went to lunch at the native American museum. I took home a Tanka bar made of buffalo and cranberries. I just ate it yesterday and it was really good. If they weren't $4 a pop, I'd buy more. We also went to the Lincoln memorial and Korean War memorial. Basically, I learned that I need to go back to see all the stuff I didn't know I wanted to see. On the way back, I saw something that I thought was mythical. Those of you who are fans of Stephanie Plum will know what I'm talking about:
And then things got difficult. Our door became difficult to close. Then it was closed or open, but could not do both. Father brought over hit tools and chiseled the doorframe so it was again operational. I am so relieved nobody came and knocked on the door. How embarrassing. Then there was the crack in the drywall. Called the Basement Doctor. He diagnosed acute droopiness, sorta like foundational Bell's palsy. He quoted either $3800, $12800 or $15800. That is like saying you either have hiccups, diabetes or heart failure. He recommended a structural engineer. The structural engineer said our shrubbery was causing bowing, water draining to nowhere causing drooping and our neighbor's tree causing more bowing. Grrr. So, now we need to have our house jacked up and a new door installed. Custom size of course. Then Mr S's truck started bucking like a bronco on crack. At least we are healthy. Then I had 2 terrifying nosebleeds in 2 days. I do not get nosebleeds. Now, one of the disadvantages of having a medical background is you know all the scary things that can cause a symptom. Fortunately, it is now the weekend, we have the current batch-o-crap under control, so I think I should have my stress under wraps. Unless my Buckeyes lose to Penn State.
The Wexner Center on the OSU campus managed a biggie by landing the Warhol Exhibit. A and I met there for Thursday happy hour and culture. Normally, it is $8, but Thursdays are free. They also had a free guided tour, but I often find those are TMI. We puttered around the first room that had 3 movie screens set up showing his screen tests of various people cooler than I. Also, lots of Mick Jagger and Truman Capote. There were cubbies all along one wall that you could sit in and listen to interviews. The looong hallway up to the rest of the exhibit was lined with tv screens playing more interviews from during the Factory days. The next room had memorabilia and a couple pop icons like the Marilyn photo and soup cans. The most amazing feature of this room was they had about 15 movie screens set up with sound craftily projected into the immediate area with foam and speakers. No walls. It was amazing. Next was a room with 40+ tvs suspended back-to-back from the ceiling displaying loops of his series 15 minutes. I could spend days in there, I particularly liked the interview with John Waters. Finally, there was an installation called...uh...Silver Clouds or something. It was a room defined by hanging metallic rope. Within the room were a couple dozen metallic helium balloons and fans. You could walk in and move the balloons around. Not sure how to describe it, but it was like time was different. Movement was slow and smooth and exaggerated. I will probably go back before it closes. Also, Cameron Mitchell has a small cafe there where we had a glass of wine and a really good turkey panini.
Mr S's pathologist in charge is fabulous. She gave us tickets to the Louisville/UConn football game in Louisville, complete with awesome parking! Perfect excuse to go to my favorite breakfast place in the world, Lynn's Paradise Cafe, and my favorite boutique, Regalo. I also have been on a quest to find the perfect throw pillows for my new sofa. I reallllllly like Marimekko, so was hoping to see some pillows in person. We stopped in Hyde Park in Cinci at a store that was listed as having them, but they only had one pillow. Rats! I did buy an awesome shirt, though. On to L-Ville. We stayed at the Galt House, Louisville's largest, oldest, oddest hotels. Since we Pricelined and got the room for $75, we were put in the weird room 2 doors down from the restaurant. It was clean and the ac like a rocket, so it was just fine, if quite dated. The tower portion of the hotel was a bizarre flashback to the 70's. Lotsa wood paneling. It was great for $75 though. Last time we were in town, we paid $65 for a crappy motel off the interstate. \So onto the game. 2 hours before the game and tailgating was just starting. Coming from OSU land, we start drinking the day before. On the subject of drinking, we were at the bar of the freakishly-popular Spaghetti Factory and there were a bunch of girls starting the night of a bachelorette party. They were having none of that namby-pamby Mich Ultra, appletini stuff. They ordered Beam and coke, Maker's Mark on the rocks and other hairy chest drinks. Noticed that everywhere we went. Serious drinking is alive and well. Lynn's was awesome. I had the wild mushroom scramble with cheese grits and biscuits with sorghum butter. Oh man, sounds so good.
Ok. Fine. Not a Canadian Hurricane! Our friend Ike had a strong showing here in Central Ohio. Trees down everywhere (we lost one of the previously-matching pair in front of our house) and huge percentage of Ohioans out of power. Got to see a lot of my neighbors. Tales of life without power were the topic of the day for many days. One of my co-workers had an electric-powered water pump from their well, so they also had no water. My biggest worry was I was on call. Kinda hard to be tech support when you are in the stone age. At least I still had a phone so I could call the vendor and had co-workers who still had power. So the power went off Sunday afternoon, food destroyed by Monday. I was doing coiffeur at work. Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. I was in bed Thursday, reading by flashlight, when I heard what I thought was a generator. I though "great, now I won't even be able to sleep with the windows open". Then I heard shouting, which was really cheering. Then saw the bathroom light was on!!! I added to the cheering. I was truly impressed by how much help was offered by those with power. Nice to see folks helping out like that.