On Friday I drove up to Alexandria, Va to meet my Grandmother for a girls-only weekend in Old Towne.
Her niece had driven her down to the Washington Suites where we stayed Friday night. We started the night off at the bar (her idea) and a glass of wine later (her, not me) we headed out to dinner at a place called Clydes. Our hotel concierge suggested this restaurant (actually, he kind of forced it on us…but what the hey) and it turned out to be a lovely dinner. We talked for hours over our meal and irish cream coffee (she had irish cream…I had plain old coffee). It was great catching up. Before we knew it…we were the only two patrons left in the restaurant. We left a nice tip (we probably should’ve paid rent) and headed back to the hotel.
Once we got back, we explored the room, changed into our p.j.’s and continued “talking story”. We stayed up until 1 a.m. talking! It was hilarious!
Saturday morning we got up, grabbed some free continental breakfast from the lobby and headed out toward Old Towne Alexandria.
I’ve driven through the place a few times and never had the opportunity to stop and explore, so I was pretty excited.
Old towne is beautiful. The buildings, the atmosphere…it was very nice.
After some walking, shopping and of course more talking we stopped for lunch at a cosy little place called Cosi. We ordered some food and Grandma got hit on by the manager of the eatery. It was quite funny. She was holding a tray with her lunch and needed another hand to grab a drink but couldn’t let go of her cane…so the manager shows up just as she turns around to ask if I can grab her tray….
“What do you need dear?” he asks as he steps very close to her.
Grandma backs away. “Well…I need another hand.”
“What do you want, I get it for you.” He says in a heavy foreign accent.
Grandma smiles. “I want some tea.”
I stood there and laughed as I watched him grab her tray and usher her to a table. He sat her down, placed her tray in front of her, grabbed utensils for her and then returned with hot herbal tea. Meanwhile, I was waiting for what seemed like an eternity just for a piece of flatbread to be toasted with some mozzarella cheese.
Once I got my flatbread I found my way to Grandmas table. The manager rushed over with utensils for me and said, “don’t worry, you no have to pay, your mother already paid.” I smirk as I realize Grandma is incredibly tickled by the fact that he just referred to her as my mother.
Lunch was a trip. Time and time again the manager returned with something, a napkin, a bread sample or found a way to bump into Grandmas chair to say sorry. It was the funniest thing ever.
As we finished up I took my tray back to the counter where the manager grabbed it from me and asked how everything was. “Very good,” I say. He winks, “how is your mother? I think she likes me.” I giggle and walk away.
As we walked out of the restaurant I noticed Grandma had left a single napkin on our table.
I couldn’t help but wonder if she had written her phone number on it. =)
We continued around Old Towne taking pictures when the sky suddenly turned grey.
We decided to head back to the car and wouldn’t you know it? As soon as we got to the car and drove out of the garage the skies opened up and we thought we’d entered the eye of a hurricane! It was unreal! Heavy rain, hail, winds, lightening, thunder, flooding…it all happened at once and we were stuck on the road.
Luckily we made it to the nearest mall where the rain let up just long enough to run inside.
We were waiting for Grandma’s niece to come back down to pick her up so we decided a mall would be the best place to wait out the storm.
We sat down at a table when the power suddenly went out. The generators kicked in a few seconds later and at that point we realized we probably didn’t want to be on the top floor of the mall.
We slowly but surely made our way down the escalator that was no longer working (power outage stops those apparently) and found a café on the bottom floor that was still serving food. We hijacked a table, got some hot coffee/tea and dessert and hung out watching the world float by outside….literally. The place looked like it was flooding! =)
Grandma’s ride arrived shortly after 4 p.m. and it was time to say goodbye and head back home.
It was a great visit. =)