Friday, April 16, 2010

On the Road, Again

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Having spent just two full days at home after Passover, we again packed our bags on Friday morning and headed off to Baltimore and DC to take Sami home, help Ari pack, continue to check out real estate in the triangle of DC neighborhood where Ari would ideally like to live (Petworth, Columbia Heights), and retrieve all the stuff we had left behind that didn’t fit into the car. Again, Ari was informed that the bank had decided to sell the shell of a house on which he had vastly overbid to a cash buyer. He also was rebuffed by the seller on his offer for the renovated one which was overpriced by at least $100,000.00. Needless to say, he is greatly discouraged as he must move out of his condo by April 28. Luckily, his company came through and is allowing him to use a corporate-owned apartment temporarily while he searches for new digs.

On our way to Baltimore, we took leisurely Route 1 and stopped at Bahama Breeze in King of Prussia for lunch with Sami and to use a $10 coupon they had sent. After lunch, we crossed the parking lot and browsed a bit at Nordstrum Rack. By the time we arrived in Baltimore, everything was ready for Shabbat dinner. Alex had made miso soup, and tons of beautiful sushi, so much, that try as we might, we couldn’t eat it all, and some of the fish ones had to be thrown away. Dessert was assorted homemade cookies that had continued to linger in my freezer. Ari was able to leave work in time to join us, and we were also joined by Abby, Alex’s friend and assistant from work. Whenever Abby comes to dinner, we laugh until our sides hurt. This time was no exception. I guess it is a combination of the chemistry, the wine and beer, her personality, and the fact that we have not known each other long enough to have heard all of each other’s funny stories. We had a great time!

We spent the weekend in Ari’s neighborhood, checking out every house for sale that could be a possibility. In between, we packed up most of his stuff to go into a storage unit down the street from his condo, in case the search takes a while. On Saturday night, Jess met us for dinner at a Thai restaurant called “Little Spice” that we chose from the Internet, near the Arundel Mills Outlet Mall. We were very pleased with our choice, finding many tasty vegetarian dishes, and plan to visit there again. Afterward, we caught a late movie, Date Night, at the Egyptian Theater in the mall. We all liked this lightweight movie which had quite a few laughs, and was reminiscent of True Lies,” but then we are all Tina Fey fans. We were also pleased to find that our favorite dim sum restaurant, Hollywood East CafĂ©, has finally reopened after a year in its new space inside Wheaton Mall. By coincidence, we had dim sum there the very first day that they were serving dim sum and it was just as good as last year.

When we returned home, I had almost missed seeing my dormant amaryllis open up. I had almost thrown the apparently empty pot away, thinking that the bulb had shriveled, but kept watering periodically anyway. My faith was rewarded this week as I made it home just in time to catch the tail end of the spectacular bloom. This week was relatively quiet for me, although Saul is constantly on the computer checking up on his students’ work and grading papers. Meetings after school have kept him late a few days a week, but he is enjoying his classes immensely. Monday evening, we arranged to meet Ken and Randi, who had just returned home from Kauai, at Bonefish Grill to hear some more of their vacation stories. Wednesday, Adele, Roxy and I met for lunch at Wegman’s and spent a few hours chatting.

On Thursday, I attended Faith’s class where we read, and summarized for each other, excerpts from a book about the history and circumstances surrounding the Jewish community in Europe during the time of the crusades. Spending an hour that way is extremely disheartening and makes one wonder about the perverted susceptibility of the human race to the teachings of hate, especially with Holocaust Memorial Day right around the corner, and the resurrection of the horrors of Timothy McVeigh in the news because of the anniversary of the bombing and the chilling tapes of his testimony that have just been released. To lift my spirits, Saul did manage to leave directly after class and we had lunch together at an Indian buffet, Sultan, in a shopping center nearby. Our favorite Indian place, in the same shopping center, Greater India, is now under new ownership and no longer belongs to our friend, Gale. Sultan had a much larger variety of offerings, and the food was good, but it was not presented as beautifully, and the place was nowhere near as clean and neat as Greater India had been.

On Friday, Saul was facilitating a U.N.-sponsored, all-day program at Chestnut Hill College, attended by students from at least a dozen local colleges. When he returned home, about 4:00 p.m. he helped me finish preparing our Shabbat dinner attended by Beth and Larry. We had homemade challah, avocado and cod salad with nachos, homemade smoked turkey split pea soup, which had been hanging around in my freezer since last Pesach, fresh ginger marinated cucumber salad, chicken cutlets with satay sauce, rice with lentils, and kasha knishes that Larry had brought from a local bakery. For dessert, we had leftover cookies again, and I am finally making some progress on emptying the freezer of miscellaneous holdovers. “The iceman cometh” this week to repair my broken ice-maker and the loud buzzing in my Sub-Zero freezer.

Next weekend, we are off to Baltimore/DC again to help Ari with the final packing in preparation for his move on Monday—his stuff to a storage unit, and himself to a corporate apartment until he finds that house out there that was meant for him.

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