When our friends K & N dropped us a line on their engagement, we were thrilled, but when we heard they’d be tying the knot in West Virginia and the festivities would kick-off with a pig roast at the family’s old mountain home, we were really beside ourselves. Both K & N are professional chefs, so we figured that the food would be sublime.
We are madly in love with our pals, but West Virginia’s not the easiest place to get to from Seattle. We hemmed. We hawed. We white-boarded.
I’ve always wanted to go to West Virginia. If we were to go at any other time would we be given the opportunity to drive up back-country gravel roads to the side of an ancestral home to eat a whole roast pig with family? Would we have the opportunity to whitewater on the New River with the sister of the groom, an experienced guide? Nope. None of that. And then there’s the wedding! A lovely affair with lovely people, some new to us, and a few we don’t get to see enough.
For a trip I’ve always wanted to make, I’ve got surprisingly few pictures. A couple blurry night shots of Front Royal where we spent the night after landing in Dulles, a hazy set of snaps overlooking the Shenandoah Valley on the drive down, and only a few shots from the BBQ and none of the bride and groom. Our water-proof camera was dead for day of rafting and we let others take pictures of the wedding, the patio reception, and the great afternoon of dancing. Thus our trip to West Virginia: pleasant memories, but no photos to jog them or to share.
We spent a few days after the wedding in Washington D.C. I spent most of the time being a tourist and sweating. A surprisingly fine time to be there for the major museums as the kids were all back in school and it’s too soon for field trips. There wasn’t a line for anything. In some cases, that’s clearly the difference between pleasure and horror (Hello, amazing National Archives, I’m talking to you!).
I’m trying to figure out how to put my job skills to better use for the common good and was totally inspired by Design for the Other 90% at the National Geographic. If you love thinking about the preservation and storage of art, the Luce Foundation Center for American Art in the Portrait Galley is lots of fun and worth the trip, though you’ll want to head up there first as the Portrait Gallery itself is easy to get drawn into. While I was amused by Yves Klein’s heart attack and blue at the Hirshhorn, it was the trio of sea shots by Hiroshi Sugimoto and the video, Nummer Negen (#9) The Day I Didn’t Turn with the World, by Guido van der Werve that really got my art on.
We appreciated our time spent with old friends at Birch and Barley, and felt underwhelmed by the Donovan House. More importantly, for our pals we didn’t get a chance to see, I can honestly say that after only my second trip to DC, I wouldn’t mind going back for a three or four week stay; no interest in actually living there, mind you —but it would be interesting to have more time to savor the treasures, history and culture of the area, so maybe you’ll see us soon!
Here’s the deal with the photos of DC. There’s not a single one. I left the camera in the hotel and only toted a small notebook around…very early 90’s for me! Why mess with security and bag checks all day long for a couple snap shots that unless I was super lucky, aren’t going to be any better than what you’ve seen one hundred times on some political drama on TV or here?
K & N: Thank you for inviting us out to share such a special day with you! We wish much happiness and love!