The end of October

Covering the past few weeks, even though that’s the last thing I want to do right now.

Friday the 15th we headed into DC for dinner at Westend Bistro for a good meal before heading over to see the folks from MST3K riff on cast will riff on War of the Insects at Lisner. Very funny, would do that again.

Cinematic Titanic

Sunday the 17th we were back in DC, this time further north. We parked at the 9:30 and walked south to Little Ethiopia. It was our first time, so we went pretty basic, lamb for me and beef for Jill. Very good, just weirded out by the texture of the injera. We skipped the opening band for ice cream (carrot cake, yum) at U Scream and wine cocktails at Dickson’s, great stuff. Of course we were there right on time for the indie-pop perfection of The New Pornographers. Happy that Neko was with them, I’ve got it hard for Crash Years right now.

New Pornographers

The next Friday was my 40th birthday. We stayed in, Jill even tried to make me cook dinner (but brought home carrot cake cheesecake). But that was ok, as the next morning we took a trip where I didn’t know the destination. First stop was Wayside Takeout in Charlottesville for fast fried chicken that was hot, juicy, crispy and perfectly seasoned. What KFC wishes it could be.

Next up we went to Starr Hill Brewery for a beer tasting and purchase of a growler of The Gift, their fabulous new winter lager. Finally we checked into the cabin at the Middleton Inn in Little Washington, and relaxed on the porch before an epic meal at the Inn at Little Washington. A fabulous meal with awesome cocktails – the Carpaccio of Herb Crusted Baby Lamb with Caesar Salad Ice Cream was superbly inventive.


The final stop of the weekend: Mom had us and Dad over for dinner, roast beef, Yorkshire Pudding and homemade carrot cake. Plus some very nice gifts – Rush Blu-Rays!

I worked some long hours to get Friday the 29th off, and we made the most of it. We flew to Madison, WI from National in the morning (only direct flight), rented a car, and stopped for a nice lunch at Smoky Jon’s #1 BBQ. We drove out to Spring Green, checked in at the House On The Rock Resort and relaxed for a bit.

Dinner was at the The Bank, where we had a really tasty meal. A lot of great cheeses, including a mac and cheese that could hold its own against the Inn at Little Washington’s. Then it was out to the House On The Rock where we entered a big tent for the Neil Gaiman reading, where he read the passage from American Gods where the characters visit the house. Here’s a good account of the reason for the weekend – I was a little bummed to miss the Stewart/Colbert rally, but you can’t beat 2nd row at a reading.


The next morning we had breakfast at the resort buffet. It was a little odd to see Neil sitting at the table next to us. We went off and toured The House On The Rock. It was a lot more fun than I was expecting, but I’m not sure if I need to go to any more attractions ever (it was like attending all of them at once). We had lunch at the only restaurant designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitors Center (food was ok) then hot tubbed.


We went back to the House for the costume contest and party. I was The Second Coming (used during a eulogy) and Jill was one of seven Easters (that I saw). But she looked good, enough to make the semifinals.


After the contest, we went back in the house where they had food and music (both meh). But we visited tarot readers and had fun wandering around at night (apparently the first time they’d ever had such an event). The weekend was capped off by a signing by Neil Sunday morning, and he told us a story about buying a copy of his first book (since I’d brought one to sign). An easy flight back, and that was it – until our next epic trip…