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A Little East Coast Adventure

June 11, 2011

Midwestern Exposure has been on a brief hiatus while I’ve been traveling for a couple of weeks.  First, I spent several stimulating days in Philadelphia, at the Annual Meeting for the American Institute of Conservation (AIC).  This conference is always a blast – part grad-school reunion, part continuing education, part tool & equipment shopping. With chagrin, I’ll admit I failed to get my hands on a Philly cheese steak, but I did manage to visit the historic Reading Terminal Market.  I also sampled some interesting beverages on the Philadelphia leg of my travels, including an old-school black cherry soda, a refreshing beer called “Monkey Knife Fight” (yes, I picked it purely for its name), and a tart and tangy pomegranate lassi.

Leaving Philadelphia, I took the train to Washington DC to rendezvous with the Gentleman Runner. The next day, he competed in his first ultra marathon (that’s 50k, or 31.07 miles) at the North Face Endurance Challenge. I sprawled out under a shady tree near the finish line and joined the other supporters cheering on the runners as they brought it on home.

Only after crossing the finish line, getting his medal, snapping some victory photos, and eating some M&Ms, did the Gentleman Runner mention that he had split his head open on a low-hanging tree branch around mile 5 of the race. He hadn’t stopped at a medical tent along the route because he’d feared being told he couldn’t finish the race, and I hadn’t spotted the gash because it was hidden by his hair. The medics at the finish line said he was the third person that day to finish the race needing stitches. So, we took a trip to the ER, where the Gentleman Runner got three staples in his head – very Frankensteinish, but in spite of my scolding, he just kept grinning about having finished the race anyway.

The day after the ultra marathon, we hopped a train to the Baltimore area, for an idyllic few days of foodie indulgence and cozy recuperation at the home of my cousin Spencer and his boyfriend Adam.  In addition to their day jobs, the guys are caretakers of an historic property, and live in the late-19th century house pictured above.  Adam’s culinary exploits deserve their own post, so check back on Wednesday for some serious Maryland-style home cooking.

We wrapped up our trip with a few days back in Washington DC with my visiting mom and sister, where we ate a lot of good food and tried to keep cool in the 100-degree heat wave.  I’m looking forward to getting home to the Heartland, unpacking the many moving boxes currently stacked in our new kitchen, and testing out the Amana Radarange Plus.  It’s nice to be back home at Midwestern Exposure.


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