Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Munching on Mollusks in DC

On Saturday Bill came over and we started driving down to DC to attend Tim's annual Oyster Fest. We stopped at the battlegrounds in Manassas to snap a few photos, the light on the wooden fences was spectacular, heightening the texture and patterns of the cedar.
But the traffic was heavy coming through on Rte 29 and with the vehicles speeding past us so closely we soon lost our enthusiasm. We picked up a bagful of hickory nuts for my squirrel, who I really need to give a name to, and then continued on down to the city.
A beautiful ginkgo stood tall down by the waterfront, its leaves gleaming like a cape of gold, almost dazzling us as it shone in the sun.
I'm always lucky when it comes to finding parking in DC and today was no exception. I drove along by the marina not seeing a single space until suddenly a car's red lights lit up ahead and he pulled out, vacating a space that was free with no meter.
The new Wharf is being built slowly by the marina and the yellow theme worked well on this sunny day. Usually I freeze at Tim's oyster events as they're always in winter time and always on a cold, dull, blustery day, but with this beautiful sunshine and blue skies we found ourselves shedding our jackets as soon as we got to the party platform.
My first oyster, looking so pretty, with its pristine white shell that I almost didn't want to eat it.
But down the hatch it had to go, washed down with a bottle of beer.

Deborah Pratt, a world champion oyster shucker was here with her sister again, making short work of opening the shells for us, and really making our experience so much more enjoyable. I'm hopeless at trying to prise these crustaceans apart and would surely have missed out on this delectable treat if I'd been responsible for shucking my own oysters.
Gene introduced me to the Oyster Shooter, a glass with 2 oysters, a good shot of vodka and a shake of hot sauce. All mixed together and thrown back after the count of 3. Very yummy! I'm told this works well with tequila also. We ate oysters with beer over them and then champagne.
The Rockefeller Oysters had made a triumphant return from last year and today had an additional ingredient, bacon. Bloody marvelous! These were gobbled up fast!
I liked this lady's necklace, a whale tail made from bone, and I also liked her mug.
We had a wonderful crowd here, and when chatting with one of Tim's friends, I learned of his favorite aspects of these casual events at the marina. He lives in the suburbs with his wife and hates corporate functions or most functions held in DC since he found they were mainly used by people as networking opportunities. He was always asked what his job was and yet here, he observed very happily, that nobody had inquired at all, only asking his name and if he lived locally. He was right, I hadn't been asked what my job was today either by any new faces. Everyone was getting on splendidly, we were having a lot of fun.
Little Lola taking a break from food scrounging to catch a few warm rays.
Tim and Isobella.
Roger was here again too and I was pleased to hear that the book he'd been writing for the past few years was hopefully being published very soon. But I'm not sure how soon...
The Shucking Sisters, still reigning supreme. In their words, "We're not here just to shuck oysters, it's because we're the best of the best!" They had certainly made the event so much better with their skills, I remember the early oyster fests with people desperately trying to get into the shells or patiently forming a line to wait while some heroic volunteers hacked away and handed out the contents. These ladies had ensured nobody had needed to wait at all, bless them.
As the sun started setting, the temperature started dipping and so we trotted off to see Tony and Melissa's new boat. We had a tour around Gene's and theirs, both were very roomy, and once again I thought about how nice it would be to live on a floating residence. But with Gangplank Marina in turmoil with the new constructions above them, it really had to be unsettling for the boat owners. So Bill and I left after lots of hugs and promises to return soon, and that night as I though of all the cranes hanging above the boats we'd left behind I was happy to snuggle with the cats in a soft bed on firm ground, without a single sound to disturb me.

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