Given the fact that I've been home for 4 days, I'm a bit behind in posting about the weekend but so be it. It was a very welcome getaway, to Philly with 3 of my favorite people W, BB, and KHF. We got a hotel near U of Penn, which I accidentally toured on foot at midnight, hauling a cooler and a backpack and sweatshirt, thinking I could cut thru campus to get back to the hotel I'd driven past, but no such luck. One very sweaty tank top and 15 minutes and a crampy arm later I was the first to arrive. A delight to sink into posh bedding, mounds of pillows, and good conversation almost immediately. Kudos to BB for getting the hotel (a Hilton) for 70-something a night on Priceline as it's a 200+ a night hotel. I went easy on the wine/cheese/olives/chocolate tradition as I planned to run a long one before the other 2 were up the next morning.
I dragged myself out of bed at a respectable 7:30, and took myself off to the waterfront park based on a map I'd looked up the night before on mapmyrun.com, a great site for finding routes in strange cities! I did my 9 and a bit miles, and wished I could go further ... shady, beautiful, along a river full of sculling crews and old trees and cool stone. I came back to a dark room and 2 sleeping girls, and knew I'd be dying for a nap while they'd be raring to go later in the afternoon. I was right ... though the flea market we'd found WAS hard to tear ourselves away from. I came home with a beaded belt which I love.
Then off to dinner at a local cafe W'd read about which was great food, and we were joined by KHF who had to tear herself away from a panicking husband and 2 small girls. We took off for the MANN center, and our seats for the Raising Sand tour featuring Robert Plant, Allison Krauss, and T-bone Burnett. A most delightful show, despite the yahoos in front of us who must have been in and out 42 times, and a lot of amusing drama as to who came with/left with who, seat hopping, etc.
They did a lot of their album, which I loved, and many things more specific to each of them also. Having a crowd of bluegrass (Alison) fans mixed with a crowd of Led Zeppelin (Plant) fans was very weird and quite amusing. Some obviously only cared for one or the other, while we and many others enjoyed both to the hilt. Fascinating to see Plant sing backup to Krauss' powerful "Down to the River to Pray" and then hear her belt out a solid Zeppelin tune and keep Plant on his toes. They both did an amazing job of truly getting into the other's music style, and contributing something meaningful. I'd go again in a heartbeat.
Sunday we had trouble getting moving as sleeping in is such a luxury at this point for all of us, and then BB missed her bus (thanks in part to our foot-dragging) so we got mexican food downtown, and the most amazing gelato I've had outside of Rome, and possibly topping even that. Thai coconut milk and Mojito were my two choices, both unbelievably intense flavors.
I had a long drive home and didn't leave till 4, as I had to 'swing by' Brooklyn to pick up my computer, which Dell refused to ship to MA (long story) and I did so to find that our block was having the Afro Punk party that afternoon, with the stage set up RIGHT outside our front door, and it was also the subletters birthday and she had friends over. I had to elbow my way thru crowds to get in/out, kick people off my stoop each time I came in/out, and try to get the things I needed as quickly as possible (camping gear which didn't fit the first time, a few tapes, etc). while answering questions about windows and locks and keys.
I escaped and got home before midnight, and couldn't believe how badly I wanted to get back out of Brooklyn and to the relative peace of MA. I'm sure the party chaos helped, but it's incredibly nice to be among the hills and trees and have a much slower pace of things. The desire to continue to pare down things and obligations and responsibilities continues to be a big one.