14 January 2009

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

The world is your snowball just for a song,
get out and roll it along.
~ It's a Marshmallow World

My life is a sitcom. Have I ever mentioned that to you, dear reader? Well it is. The antics and theatrics my household sisters and I get up to would have you in stitches. I am sure of this because it happens to us frequently. I thought it was just a local phenomenon. Apparently such hilarity and comedy of errors can follow one around.

My trip up went quite well. No missed trains. My friend Melders and I had a grand time of it around the large fireplace in the living room (seriously, you could have roasted a whole steer in there in the old days!) when I arrived and made our plans for the morrow over a most delectable roasted chicken dinner that her uber wonderful husband prepared for us.

The plan was simple. Our friend ET would come over, we would have a leisurely brunch cooked by yours truly and then we would all sally forth to Niantic to skulk around the infamous Book Barn, which it is reported, has at least six buildings full of books. They have cool names like Ellis Island (where all the "new" books are brought in preparation for sorting) and The Haunted Bookshop, where all the mysteries and thrillers are kept.

First, we ran a little late. Which was fine, because then HubbyD came back from the dry cleaners with Melders' fur coats, one for each of us. ET opted to keep her downy coat and Melders and I threw on the other two with great drama. Then ET could not remember the turn for the main Book Barn, so we decided to go to the downtown branch first and then to the main barn. It was glorious, dear reader. You would die of excitement to see it. Lucky for me, the overflow of culinary books and mysteries were located there. I tried my best to be good. I really did. And it was not so bad: I spent around $30-some and brought home several culinary books, a couple of Albert Campion mysteries and one very special treasure: Michael Jackson's Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch: A Connoisseur's Guide to the Single Malt Whiskies of Scotland. And no, not that MJ.

Have I ever mentioned I love most things Scottish? Especially a nice whisky. Bliss.

Anyway, back to the comedy of errors. Everything was still going according to plan. We were on schedule to head to the main barn and then grab lunch and make it back to Andover ahead of an incoming snow storm. I was pleased about the snow ~ we have had sixty-degree weather here in Virginia. Sick for January if you ask me. Once we emerged from the Book Barn Downtown, we went to the car, deposited our bags, wherein I sniffed and said: "Oh, I hope that gas smell is not us!" I always say things like that. Usually only to myself when driving the U-mobile. And usually when I say it, it turns out to be someone else.

This time it was us. Sad to say, we turned on the car and pulled out in order to check. I can just hear my male readers groaning and see them clutching their heads. Ah yes. Well, there it was, a pool of something in our parking spot! I wanted to make sure it was gas and not just some harmless washer fluid or anti-freeze. I got out, took off the fabulous fur coat and Doctor Who-like, bent down, touched the liquid and smelled it. Unlike the good Doctor, I did not taste it. I did not need to ~ and would not have anyway ~ ewww! It was most certainly gasoline. Somehow, we had sprung a leak.

The Book Barn Downtown is right next to a Dunkin Donuts (those things are like Starbucks in D.C. ~ everywhere!) which is itself right next to a pub, The Black Sheep. We first retired to DD to get a cup of chai and some munchkins while we waited for AAA to come rescue us. ET also called her man Jed, since we realized that a tow truck only has room for three, not four. After an hour and a half of waiting, the tow driver informed us that he only towed locally in a snowstorm (oh yes, it has begun by this time) and that his company did not tow cars with gas leaks. Fair enough, but we were quite put out that we had not been informed of this earlier.

There was nothing to do but wait for Jed to come in his Ford steed to carry us all back to Andover. So drowned our sorrows at The Black Sheep, where I had some uncommonly good french fries and a magnificent Angus burger that they actually cooked medium rare. This is very ~ ahem, apologies ~ rare in today's restaurant world. Everyone is afraid of being sued by diners i their rare beef gives them a touch of bacteria. I was glad to find a sensible cook who understood the delicate nature of red meat.

In the end there was nothing to do but leave the car there overnight (hence the title of this post: we were not going to do much driving!) and have someone else tow it after the storm. This was fine, except that this, on top of the snowstorm, threw a wrench in our Sunday plans as well. We were to head to New York for a concert and dinner with friends of mine. But even if we had had a reliable car, the roads were not fit for driving until much, much later.

Despite or perhaps because of these adventures, I had a frightfully good time, including an incredible prime rib dinner, complete with Sexy Potatoes (not sure why they are called that, but they are wonderful!) and an Apple Crisp for dessert, made once again by HubbyD.

Traveling is good for the soul, but it is good to be back in Dixie again.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela
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