Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Great Trek West, Part 1

The move to Seattle started with--what else?--a trip to Virginia. I needed to pick up my cats and say goodbye to my family and friends there.

The last few days at work were intense. I worked straight through the week, double on Sunday, New Year's Eve, then a double on New Year's Day. My feet still hurt. I made excellent money on New Year's, but still, by the time Tuesday night rolled around, I was done. I was exhausted, sore, and ready to be out of there.

Even so, it was a little bittersweet. I'm going to miss everyone there. I got a fine sendoff, complete with a chilled shot of vodka and a PBR. I even remembered to turn in my aprons and take my shoes with me.

The next day, I drove to DC (after ceremoniously stabbing the air mattress to death. I hope to never have to spend more than one night at time on an air mattress ever again). I spent the night in a hotel in Alexandria, so that I could have dinner with two dear friends. I got to talk a little shop (food, wine), drink a little Averna, and daydream about opening a restaurant with my friend Dave. And I got to sleep on a real bed for the first time in five weeks.

By the time I got to my parents' house on Thursday, I was ready for a couple of days of sleep. Which is essentially what happened--the first night, I slept for 12 hours. The second night, I slept for 10. I ate a lot of salad and drank a lot of water. The cats were deliriously happy to see me; they were on top of me and underfoot continuously. I was glad for it: I've missed having warm feline bodies to weight me down in the night.

Yesterday I drove to Roanoke to say goodbye to my two best friends there. We had dinner at The River and Rail, which was hands-down the best meal I've ever had in Roanoke. We ate lamb shortribs, quail, beef tongue, dark chocolate bread pudding, brown butter cake, house-made pickles, and the most wonderful deviled eggs with carrot chow-chow. We killed a bottle of sparkling Malbec (yum) and a bottle of Foradori Granato. Everything was amazing, and I'll definitely be having dinner there every time I'm in Roanoke again.

And now, I'm down to the last 40 hours or so in Virginia. I'm debating whether to detour to Great Smoky Mountains National Park on my way to Missouri, or if I'd rather spend the night in Louisville, KY and see friends there. I'm also debating whether to try for Mesa Verde National Park in southwest Colorado, or to keep to I-70 and see all the stuff in Utah. Thoughts?

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