Highlighting the Positives, Part 1.

On Sunday, Ron and I drove up to DC to accomplish a three-fold mission: Visit with the Stradone side of his family, catch the tail-end of the cherry blossoms, and enjoy some sort of a well-deserved romantic getaway.

Missions #2 and #3 were almost thwarted by a nasty piece of glass that lodged itself, quite deeply, in my left foot this very night. Had I not been one of those "make the best out of everything" kinda girls, the whole trip could have been ruined. We'll start at the beginning, and I'll share my mastery of highlighting the positives (Part 1) and how to turn any "bad" thing into a good thing (Part 2).

Around 2:30 we checked into the lovely Dupont at the Circle Bed & Breakfast, an Inn in the heart of the District with a clean and sophisticated historic vibe.

Can't get any more romantic than naked cherubs making out, now can you?

We admired Lola's Room, our home-away-from-home for the night, threw our bags down and hopped on the Red Line Metro headed for Wheaton, MD.

Forty minutes later, Ron's father picked us up in his luxury rental. On the way home the boys stopped for beer, while I took the opportunity to run into the bustling French Pastry shop next door that caught my eye. I was overwhelmed by the vast array of sweet confections and confused by the Spanish labels (Wasn't this a French bakery?). After asking the customer ahead of me for recommendations, and struggling through broken English, I settled on Palmiers (3 for $1), an Empanada de Manzana ( a puff pastry filled with an apple filling) and a fat bread roll topped with sugar whose name escapes me. (Diet be dammed; I'm on vacation!)

Three dollars and nine cents later I was happily toting my finds back to the car. The first highlight of our mini-vacay! Ron and I chomped on the goodies over the rest of our trip, and I learned that following your intuition leads to a sweet reward.

The second highlight of our trip was thanks to my newest best friend, Julia, Ron's younger cousin. At some point Ron decided to make Julia a fancy drink, with all the flash and pomp of a real, honest-to-good cocktail, minus the alcohol. I'm not sure from whence the inspiration came, but suddenly Julia was propped up at the basement bar with googly eyes fixated while he gathered, stirred and shook his concoction into being.

Julia smiled, "I've never had a man make me a real drink before!"
(Had we unwittingly created a future bartender groupie? It didn't matter; the scene was just too precious for passing up. After all, Ron and I fell in love while he was bar-tending at a hip Bistro in town. It wouldn't be that bad.)
"What are you making?," I inquired, with visions and mouth-watering expectations of Shirley Temples in my head...
Scouring the kitchen fridge and the basement stockroom for ingredients, he laughed, "I don't know, but it's gonna taste AWESOME!" Ron was limited (or better yet inspired) by what was on hand.
Reassured by Ron's enthusiasm, I asked Julia if she had ever tasted awesome before.
"No," she announced with mounting excitement, "but I can't wait to try it!"

And it was thus that "The Awesome" was born. A spritzy, sweet medley of raspberry jam, orange juice, and lemon soda topped with a dollop of whipped cream and garnished with fresh orange zest.

From how fast Julia knocked it back I could surmise it was a success. 

And this, folks, is when, coming back downstairs after having helped Ron return the ingredients to the kitchen, my foot came into contact with a stray and very sharp piece of curved glass, a broken piece of beer bottle hidden in shag. Promptly, I ordered The Awesome for myself...plus lots of gin!

Actually, that came after the excruciating pain and Ron extricating the glass, followed by a river of blood (don't worry, I was in too much pain to take pictures.). But then I got to enjoy the pleasant scene of watching Ron hustle around the house acquiring the necessary first aid implements and feeling very well taken care of and loved. Highlight #3. There is just nothing like being looked after when you are thrust into temporary illness or disablement.

Many times we women are the caretakers, and it isn't until we are unwittingly knocked down with the flu or a debilitating migraine (or chained to a chair) that we submit to being taken care of ourselves. It can be challenging to learn how to receive when we give so much, but it sure feels good when we can let go. Over the past year I've been learning how to do just this, and I am thrilled to say that my man is an excellent nurturer! He's all "let me carry that for you" and "here, drink this" and "enjoy this nice Epsom salt bath with my homemade essential oil blend." How very dreamy. No wonder Julia whispered to me later that night, "You guys make a cute couple; you should never break up."


And so ended our first day on this two-day, one-night getaway. I was a little worse for wear and unable to walk unassisted, but it was a good day nonetheless. After all, we still had a paper bag full of sweet, delicious pastries and an unopened bottle of wine waiting for us back in Dupont. Not to mention that fact that I had a new best friend in the form of a spirited seven-year-old.

Highlighting the positives, or taking stock of all the good things instead of harping over the negatives is a great way to feel good despite external circumstances. Tomorrow I'll share Day 2 and how I rose above my pain and disappointment of our thwarted plans of sight-seeing by foot.

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