For most if it, I was basically whisked right back into the world of college life. In preparation, I fueled up with a nutritious meal of veggies before hitting the road.
Let me try to paint this gorgeous picture for you: My first morning in College Park, I ran out for coffee and a few toiletries that I'd forgotten at home. I brought home a dozen bagels with which my friends and their roommates made bagel sandwiches using a neighbor's frying pan. I ate mine, a toasted whole-wheat bagel topped with an egg, spinach, and cheese, in front of the television. Please note that there were no napkins to be found and the coffee table on which my paper plate rested had just recently been purchased from Ikea.
We hung out, relaxed, and the rest of the afternoon continued as follows: a University of Maryland campus tour (beautiful!), beer, movie, shower, salad, beer, pizza, house party, bars. My sole picture of all that? The UMD chapter of Alpha Chi Omega. If only it were possible re-enroll in different universities
around the U.S. around the world each time I had to go ahead and graduate… when somebody does figure out how to make that work, please let me know :).
In the mean time, I did take some pictures during Niko (a visitor from Strasbourg) and I's day trip into D.C. The metro runs right into one of my new favorite college towns and it was quick >30 minute ride into the city. First thing's first, we set out to find lunch. Who knew it would be so difficult?
There were a ton of office-friendly food-to-go places and a couple of super nice restaurants but almost nothing of what we were looking for until the Corner Bakery. Seated in the cool A.C. environment, I wanted refreshment and settled upon a salad trio of mixed greens, Greek vegetables, and Asian medley.
Afterwards, we explored. The last and only time I was in Washington, D.C. was for a leadership conference in high school. Most of my days were spent inside, with other students from all 50 states, preparing for mock government actions. A few times, however, we set out on tourist excursions to make sure we saw most, if not all, of the memorials, monuments, and major museums. This time, I was disappointed to find that besides those sights, the city had a rather sterile feel.
By the time we got to the GW neighborhood though, the streets began to seem a bit more "cultured and green" and I became happier with what I was seeing. I thought the German church above, for instance, was absolutely beautiful.
And then of course, we moved onto the must-see sites to surround ourselves with the beauty and international audience that the capitol of the United States attracts.
Niko and I actually weren't really good friends in Strasbourg (although he was close with Liz) so it was nice to bond with him. He totally understood my subtle sarcasm in our conversations and dished it right on back to me, 'twas awesome :).
Despite our good spirits, however, the extreme 98-degree weather couldn't keep us outside forever, (we were so tempted to jump into every memorial fountain we passed) so we wrapped up our afternoon in the Corcoran Museum of Art.
It was quaint and unique and perfect for the amount of time we had to look around. Both him and I were very pleased we'd ventured inside. A.C. and amazing exhibits... what more could we need?
The next time I saw him was in Baltimore with Antoine (Niko's friend), Liz, and her friends from home. We reunited at Artscape, America's largest free arts and cultural festival, complete with Sweet Tea Lemonade Vodkas and snacks galore.
Then, we continued the musical antics later that night at the 8 x 10 with a farewell concert by a local band, good beer, and a ridiculously hysterical dance party. As a result, The Rez will forever rock on as far as my memory is concerned.
And finally, we sat on Federal Hill, overlooking the B'more Harbor, and soaking up the final ounces of fun that could be had on my last night in town.
None of us woke up before noon the next morning, giving Liz's mom just enough time to return from farmer's market with fresh bread and cheese. All we had to do was scrounge through their cabinet for the raspberry preserves Liz had purchased before leaving France and we were set for a sweet and savory breakfast. Unfortunately, not even a feast that great could take the sting away from my departure. I can't even tell you how much I didn't want to leave! If I didn't have to get home and come to work this morning, I would have stayed all week, and then some. But alas some good things must come to an end, and with that, I've got to get back to the grind. Ciao for now!