Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

Trying to stay on top of it all, I decided to prepare Mother's Day a little early this year. You see, this year we (well...I) had been tasked with scheduling my dream vacation. As you may recall, I had made a work-related trip to Washington D.C in February. Three glorious days in the Nations Capitol huddled in an airless, windowless
(and dare I say,souless) hotel conference room forced to eat bad hotel food and probably sipping the water of the Potomac out of those depressing sweating table pitchers.

Being the resilient Texans we (well..they) were, we struck out as soon as the last Power Point slide faded from the screen and sortied out to the glistening city across the river. We were able to park our rental SUV (nope, not the economy model, because one of us had to bring enough outfits for ALL eventualities) and strike out to see the sites in the withering light. In freezing cold weather with only my vintage "Members Only" jacket (which it turns out, has absolutely no insulating qualities whatsoever) and my iPhone camera. Undeterred, my comrades and I braved the bitter cold, drove through the crush of the evening rush hour traffic to walk the National Mall in the pre-Daylight Savings Time darkness to soak up the history and to bask in the glory of that great seat of power.

But I digress. The point is, in my eagerness to get back to DC, I massaged our schedules to intersect at a moment in time that might get our best bang for the buck. I had been told one of the best times to go to DC is in May for the blossoming of the Japanese Cherry trees lining the Potomac around the National Mall. It wouldn't be too hot (major wife requirement) and the kids would still be in school so it wouldn't be all that crowded with tourists. I was able to narrow the field to the week of May 13th. Damn! Mother's Day.

In my defense, DC is like at the top of my "Bucket List" and I didn't check the holiday calendar until after I had cradled the phone to the travel agent and my glazed-over eyes were able to focus again. Although I toyed with the idea of a little practical joke ala  "Punk'd"  involving slipping a container of liquid exceeding the 3.4 oz maximum into her carryon and getting her stripped searched by the TSA at DFW, I quickly trashed that idea and decided to work in something the week before we left.

The workshop
The Oven of Death
In a prior posting, we had attended a Valentines Day event at Vetro Glass in Grapevine, Texas  where we each made a little glass heart for each other. Dianna is a die-hard arts and crafts person and really enjoyed herself so I decided to take up Vetro for their Mother's Day event. Moms can come in to make either a flower or bowl of their choice. Dianna was in "Scrapbooking" heaven (yeah..another cult hobby she's involved with involving candle worship, those cute little happy stickers and lots of glue) at the possibility of flexing her creative muscle on a big 'ol blob of molten glass.

Thus we found ourselves on a bright sunny Saturday for our appointed time in the workshop. Dianna braved the serious increase in temperature to meet her glass blower Mitch. Although our glass blower Kenneth was there from Valentine's Day, our new friend Mitch cut a more dashing (and apparently sexier) figure due to his big arms, dreadlocked coiffure, strategically placed piercings and hauntingly dark eyes. And there was that well played comment he made about checking out Dianna's cool tatoos. Yeah...well I bet that'll all change when he gets older and all that long hair falls out and he gains about 50 pounds and has a massive mortgage to shoulder and ......wait a minute, that's me. Crap.

A work of Art

After picking out her colors, Mitch grabbed a bunch of molten glass from the gas-fed "Oven o' Death" and gave it to Dianna to work into a nice glowing symmetrical orb. Mitch then took it and forced air into the pipe to open it up to form the bowl Dianna had eyes on. Clearly Mitch had done this on many prior occasions before because the blob was magically transformed, by a flip of the pole and a bit of paddle work on the glass, into this very cool "Handkerchief Bowl". Dianna said this time was especially cool because Mitch got her more involved and she got to do more in creating the bowl than she did the heart. Mission accomplished!

Of course, we (..I) had to eat so we made our way down South Main Street to Napoli's Italian Cafe. Apparently glass blowing can take a lot out of you and we (well...I) was starving. We started with a side salad and like the best Pasta Fagoli soup I've had since I was a kid, Olive Garden, eat your heart out. Dianna had the Tuscan Goat Cheese and Pepperoni pizza and I had a bowl of the chicken and sun-dried tomato in olive-oil whole wheat pasta. We washed it down with their Tiramasu. Napoli's has it's own bakery and confectionary shop right next door(how convenient is that!). I was so busy downing the awesome Tiramasu, I almost forgot to get a photo of it.

Now completely satiated and her creative juices finally ebbing, we made our way back to the homestead in anticipation of the most coolest vacation ever! DC!

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