Friday, June 15, 2012

Partying in DC and Biking the Boonies

The weekend was a busy social event. Starting out with running plenty of errands and then beetling down to DC to Emily's house where the fun was to begin.
Even this guy's severe expression wasn't going to dampen my high spirits and as I stared at him it seemed that if he wasn't carved of stone, he'd be shaking a reprimanding finger at me.
I got to Emily's and we immediately embarked on a bottle of red wine. We weren't driving, which was such a change for me, and I felt a euphoric sense of freedom as we glugged our drinks. The venue for tonight was Marjie's house and we weren't going to know many people apart from our Urbexia group, but it was going to fun, that was a given. Before we knew it, we'd polished off an exceptional bottle of wine, I took a photo of the label for future reference, and we opened another. We were a little more conservative with this one, and shortly afterwards took our armfuls of beer and wine then started the trek to Marjie's.
The party was in full swing when we arrived. Marjie's house is an eclectic mix of decor with vibrant colors in the rooms and walls covered in prints, paintings and pretty much anything that could be hung on a wall. It made for a superb party atmosphere. I didn't bring my camera so all photos this weekend were done on my phone, hence the low light images not being of the best quality but they get the message across.
It seemed Marjie was particularly fond of taxidermy and wherever I stood I was aware of a pair of eyes glassily staring at me while a few looked as though they were about to take flight if their limbs weren't so stiff. But there were no stuffed household pets so Marjie was forgiven and the party was a blast. Everyone was super friendly and interesting. The front room was being used as the dance room which I veered towards every so often for some enthusiastic boogieing and bopping up and down. So much so that even though I'm sure I consumed quite a few glasses of red, I think I danced off the effects and not once did I totter all evening.
The little courtyard was very appealing but I never made it that far apart from looking down, it seemed I was always involved in either conversations or gyrations throughout the entire evening. It seemed no time had passed at all before I realized the people were slowly departing and so Emily, Jason and I also took our leave and walked back, with me noticing that walking away from Marjie's house seemed to be at least 15 times further than earlier in the evening when we walked towards it...
I was very relieved to wake up the next morning and realize that I'd not been sleepwalking like last time I was in this bedroom, but I did feel that the room was at an odd angle. My head cracked when I raised it too so I quickly lowered it. It was some time before I weaved my way down the stairs and found Jason cheerfully putting together a quiche. He was trying to coax a small amount of pastry to cover the base of a rather large dish and his valiant efforts caused me to chuckle which immediately reminded me that my head preferred a more subdued mood. But after some meds and a cup of tea I was right as rain. Once Emily came down it was nearly time to make our way to our next social function. We picked up beers and a salad and resolutely set off for Richard's abode.
A nicely loaded grill and photos of our urbexing group: Lewis, Huggy, Emily and Bill, (starting a new trend by wearing swimming goggles as an acessory). 
Leo, Richard's cat, doing an amazing impression of a feline vampire. The photo I took immediately afterwards was him saying, 'You can't believe that was me, can you?'
Leo hanging out with Dad.
Jason crashed at the table and I couldn't resist taking a photo of him sleeping and then texting it to him, the ping of it arriving on his phone waking him up, and we all giggled as he checked his phone for the message. Once again, the party whizzed to a close with just us explorers finishing it off. I dropped off Emily and Jason and then took Bill to the metro station. We saw an amazing bike on the freeway lit up like Tron, yellow, green and blue lights lighting it from inside and underneath. Bill didn't manage to get a good shot with his phone as I raced to catch up but we were so excited at having seen it. A fun way to finish the day.
I slept like a log when I finally got back to Meadow House but was up after 8am. I had the day off and was determined to keep to my plan of a bike ride around the lanes here. I was cycling down the hill within an hour, determined to get some miles covered before the heat got too intense.
OK, so you expect to see posters of lost cats and dogs on trees, but you know you're in the country when you see a lost cow notice. 
I got onto the country lanes immediately and was soon cycling up hills and down dales. I walked the hills that were too steep which were quite a few but it was superb exercise. Throughout the whole ride I was going up and down between 400ft and 1000ft and only broke a 35mph speed limit once. On the last leg I was heading up a hill trying to get back to the house and avoiding the road at the bottom of my hill as the locals whip along there at around 60mph. I had asked a guy mowing his lawn who insisted that the road I was on was a dead end even though the map showed otherwise so I was pleased to spot the mail van and wheeled over to ask her. She looked at me and after listening to my question declared, 'Why, you're Debby Taylor, aren't you?' I never did ask her how she knew this without me divulging my address but I was very impressed. Another plus of living in the boondocks. We chatted for a while and then she tried very hard to persuade me to turn about and take a different route since she 'wouldn't send a car that way let alone a bicycle.' But I persisted in continuing and soon found myself trudging up an incredibly steep gravel incline, huffing and puffing, and finding the bike heavy for the first time ever. I eventually got to the top and then had to slowly negotiate a muddy track which was covered with huge ruts, rocks and areas of sand. After half a mile of this I reached tarmac again but had to dismount because this time the downward hill was too steep to stay in the saddle and trust the brakes. I had to lean backwards on the bike to stop it running away. I was actually a little sad to finally get home, I'd enjoyed my ride (and hike) so much, but the sun was high in the sky and beating down. After just over 20 miles and burning off over 1500 calories I think I deserved to spend the rest of my day off relaxing in theshade.

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