Since I last posted, I turned 31! And I had a great birthday. My sister, William, was in town for the past couple of weeks and helped Ryan sneekily purchase the most beautiful pair of earrings for me (William and I were shopping earlier in the week and I saw them at a jewelry counter and fell in love, so Ryan had her buy them for me). He also got me a cute pair of light pink crocs (which I have wanted forever) and a movie.
I told Audrey that since it was mama's bday she had to give me lots of kisses all day - and she obliged.
William, aside from flying out to visit me, also painted my bedroom (the cathedral ceilings made it more of an act of kindness than painting alone would have been). I also got a watch, and several new shirts and Ryan's parents got me the Anne of Green Gables DVDs set. Plus, lots of people called, sent cards and emails. It is surprising how much it still means to me (at this old of an age) to hear from people I know and love on my bday.
One of the best parts of the whole celebration was William and I having a bday adventure. Margaret was kind enough to volunteer to watch Audrey so Will and I could do something fun. So we were going to go get mani/pedis, see a movie and go to eat at my favorite Thai restaurant (Thai in Shirlington); but I decided (it is nice to be the sole person in charge on your bday) that we were going to drive 40 miles south to tour Airstream trailers - because I have wanted one forever and I have never even seen the inside of one. We got a little lost and made a couple of wrong turns. That was actually fun.
Warning: tangent - See, I live in what I consider to be the southernmost part of Northern Virginia. Technically, Virginia is Southern. But Northern Virginia, being a Washington, D.C., suburb isn't really "the South". But anything further south than me and you are in fact in "the South". For example my I-95 exit has Ikea, Potomac Mills, Costco etc. The next exit south has Cracker Barrel, Waffle House, etc. There are quite a few places in my general area that I may even say still have a strong Southern influence. We live off a parallel road to I-95 - route 1 or Jefferson-Davis Highway. If you head south about 8 miles, there is a huge (maybe 50-60 ft tall) crucifix (complete with larger than life Jesus attached) on the side of the road all on its own - no church or anything. Ryan and I now use that as a point of reference, e.g. head towards Jesus on Rt 1 or vise versa.
So (back to the point) driving south on I-95 for 40 miles puts you in the South. We pulled up to a gas station to ask for directions and the only spot available was between two trucks - one was a monster truck, the other was an old well-loved truck with some colorful bumper stickers including: Keep Honking, I'm reloading and Redneck. And as we were pulling out of the gas station across Rt 1 was a huge church (they are everywhere) with a mural on the street side advertising the times of services and motorcycles (I never even knew the two were related). So we certainly enjoyed the colorfulness of our detour.
Finally we got to tour Airstream trailers to our hearts content and we both agreed they were awesome and we both want to own one and go camping together. Then it was too late to fit in all of the other stuff, so we headed North into Alexandria for lunch at my favorite restaurant and then ate so much that we had to take our Maggie Moos ice cream to go.