Flew out of dc from Ronald Regan international airport. It’s easy to get to by metro from the city centre. On the way to the airport the train passed by Arlington cemetery. I forgot to go there however I don’t think I would have had enough time. I could have skipped the White House as that was really anti climatic. It’s much smaller in reality and really ain’t much to look at.
Verna picked me up at the airport in a big white mini van taxi looking vehicle. Haha
We stopped at BJs on the way home. Verna kept saying that we are in the heart of suburbia. To me it looked like a very beautiful suburbia. Surrounded by woods and lakes, lots of green and beautiful spaces. I enjoyed being there.
Verna cooked a South African style lamb curry which was divine.
In the afternoon / late evening I went with Verna’s boys, 10 yr old Ethan and 13 yr old Andre for a bicycle ride around the area. So peaceful and beautiful. We passed by some big mansion type houses with a lake and forest in their back yards almost.
The boys stopped at the grocery store for cake flour (for the curry buns) and soda from Kangaroo. 25c to refill their Roo cups. Great excitement. Keegan joined us for dinner. My first time meeting him since he was only a few months old. He is 21 now. I asked Verna if we could go out for ice cream or milk shakes. We chose Sunni Skies after reading excellent reviews on trip advisor. Awesome shake – dark chocolate with almonds. I’m still trying to get used to the portion sizes. The small shake was the size of a South African large! We sampled a lot of flavors from cookie dough to coconut.
The next morning the boys were in school. Verna and I started on the buns. I made the dough and put the dough in the car to rise for the next couple hrs. The buns took a couple of hours to finish with the fillings and baking. But totally worth the effort!
In the afternoon Ethan and I went to an indoor climbing gym called Triangle Rock. Not as large or impressive as Hadley’s central rock. But still very good. They weren’t fussy about being belay certified as they had a lot of auto belays. I tried teaching Ethan some climbing techniques but he was so hyper excited he just wanted to climb up everything all at once if it were possible. I challenged myself and tried more of the bouldering routes.
The next morning we headed out to Top Sail island which is about a 2.5 hr drive. Verna’s friend has a beach cottage on the island, just a few hundred meters from the beach. It was great! Everyone was so welcoming. We spent the afternoon on the beach listening to music, playing corn hole, snacking and watching the children play. The weather was beautiful, blue skies and warm.
In the evening we had a BBQ and I took a lot of photos. I was lucky and privileged to have walked out with the kids to the beach where we saw the rise of the red moon coming up the horizon. It was stunning! I was glad for the time spent hanging out with the kids who were mostly boys which totally took me back to my childhood with my cousins, playing made up games, bickering, competing, telling stories, experimenting with light and condensation. A good bunch of kids!
We left back for Cary in the late evening.
Verna and Sergio indulged me when I asked if we could go climbing before they took me to the airport for my flight back to NYC. The climbing gym was nearby the airport thankfully. I just had to try a couple more climbing routes before leaving. Andre joined in this time. He was very good! Children and young people are natural climbers, they have little to no fear.
The journey into Manhattan from JFK airport, takes about 1 hour. Half hour to leave the plane and collect luggage for local flights.
Back to Arti’s apartment for dinner and finally met Eric, Arti’s fiancé, after hearing so much about him – he is great guy!
Arti and I cooked an awesome lamb curry. After dinner we went to a comedy club show in Hell’s Kitchen. It was a small venue. The comedians were average to not funny. A lot of places like bars and clubs, have a small to no cover charge, but you have to buy a minimum of 2 or 3 drinks.