Friday night and Saturday were a nice but all-too-brief respite from my to-do-list lifestyle. I have returned to the grind of work, school, church, etc. and a life that progresses from thing 1 to thing 2.
Friday and Saturday were very different though, and it was great. Becky and I left Annapolis to celebrate our sixth anniversary and headed to beautiful, relaxed Frederick, MD. We checked into our hotel, then shrugged on our jackets to walk the streets of town before dinner at a local Ethiopian restaurant called Tajitu. They get four thumbs (mine and Becky’s) up for food and service. We had Yemisir Sambusa, Yesiga Sambusa appetizers, and both of us preferred the vegetarian option (Yemisir). That was followed by a main course of Kitfo, which was raw tenderloin seasoned with an herb reduction and a fine chili powder, and Yebeg Wot, which was a marinated lamb dish. Both were incredible. Eating the Kitfo, there was a moment of “Oh my god, I’m about to eat raw beef” that was quickly followed by “Oh my god, I can’t stop eating this raw beef.” We accompanied dinner with Ethiopian Beer. Becky had Harar Beer and I had Hakim Stout. Yum!
After dinner, we went for a long stroll through Frederick before settling on Brewers Alley for dessert. I had their O My Gourd! Pumpkin Ale and a slice of homemade pumpkin pie and Becky had a brightly colored cocktail with angel food cake and a scoop of homemade cinnamon and apple sherbert.
After dessert we returned to the hotel.
The next day, we woke up around 7:30 and went to the hotel gym to work out for half an hour before showering and getting breakfast at the hotel. We then went to Frederick again and strolled through shops, most of which appealed to Becky, but all of which were fun for me, since it was the first time we’ve had extended “us time” in quite a while. We left Frederick and had lunch at Nilgiris Indian Sizzler, which was, frankly, disappointing. I didn’t expect to be wowed, but I expected the food in their lunch buffet to be hot. Instead it was barely warm. The Diet Coke I had was flat. The decor was nice, but all else was left wanting. It wasn’t awful, just not quite up to par.
We left lunch and headed to Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyards Winery for a tasting. I was hoping to find a good wine and sit down for some wine and cheese with Becky, but the tasting alone was astronomically expensive ($10/person for 7 wines). The most I’ve ever paid in the past was $5 and that included more wines, including some hefty-priced reserves. The host rushed us through the experience, and none of the wines really sung, so in the end, we decided to blow that joint and head down to Northern Virginia. I wouldn’t recommend that winery to anyone, at all, for anything. My favorite winery to have a tasting at so far in my life is Barboursville.
Becky and I got to NoVA and went to Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, which is not as well-kept as other botanical gardens I’ve been to (particularly Norfolk Botanical Gardens, which are stunning). Nonetheless, it was beautiful and serene and awesome to walk through with my beautiful bride. Eventually we met up with some college friends at On The Border in Reston for dinner and conversation.
Overall, Friday and Saturday were refreshing and renewing. I sometimes struggle to carry that feeling into the week, but I’m determined to hold on and not let the to-do lists bring me down.