Monday, February 19, 2007

visiting the colombian... and julie

So, I went to Virginia over the weekend to visit Nathalia.

all in all, it was a fun trip. Expensive, but fun.

Friday, I got up at the ass-crack of dawn and had Vince take me to the airport. As payment, I bought him Mi Madre's. I

Chicago was f-ing cold.

Upon arriving at Dulles, I waited for Nathalia, since my flight was ~30 minutes early. Then, when she arrived, we went to go pick up my rental car. When I rented the car, I almost couldn't believe the price. $30 for 2 days. Not too shabby, I thought... However, I forgot about insurance. That raised the price to ~$100 + gas. Oh well... it was nice to have a car.

As southwest is not famous for their extravagant in-flight meals, I was famished. She navigated me to "Tyson's Corner", a ginormous mall. Seriously... this was an industrial size/strength mall. I grabbed a burrito in the food court, and we made small talk.

After lunch, we went bowling. I don't see how she bowled with her long nails, but she did very well.

After bowling, we went back to her host-family's house. Oh my... they have a monstrosity of a castle. There's 3 stories. Each floor is comprable in square footage to the size of the house I grew up in. AND they're adding on. A new "wing", if you will. They have a walk-in wine cellar. It looked a bit like the potion room in Shrek 2.

After lounging around the house for a little bit, we got ready and went salsa dancing. Some business professionals association was sponsoring salsa lessons, so there was a $15 cover, which was a bit steep, I thought. I did learn a bit of salsa though :-)

My knee, while healed enough for hard-core mountain biking, is still a little tender when it comes to salsa dancing. It was fun though. She's a pretty good salsa dancer, and she humored me. After the lesson, there was a live salsa band. They were pretty good. The lead singer could speak spanish faster than even Nathalia could understand it.

We dipped out of Cecilia's (the salsa joint) around 1:30 and headed home. Driving with someone whose first language is not yours can be interesting... Apparently, in Spanish, derrecho means "go straight", while derrecha means "turn right". A single vowel separates two fundamentally different directions. Kinda like the well-known exchange in english:

"so I turn left here?"
"What? Right left or right right?"


Saturday, we went to visit Julie in Fairfax. We ate lunch at a Thai restraunt which was, suprise, expensive! Julie paid for it, so she's awesome. Then we went to go see Pan's Labyrinth. Probably not the greatest choice for a movie, but hey, it was in spanish.

In the evening, we rode into DC with Julie and her roommate on the metro. We ended up at Club Citron, where we spent the rest of the evening.

I can do clubbing in small amounts. Especially when they are not overcrowded. However, when people are packed so close around you it would make a nazi train mashall start to wonder if they'd overloaded the trains, I start to get a little claustrophobic. I really hate it when someone (usually drunk) thinks it is perfectly alright, nay encouraged, to throw his/her shoulder/hip/purse into me with all their weight repeatedly. I can deal with the occasional bump and unintentional grind, but people, there's something called personal space!

Other than that, it was fun. I got to meet one of Nathalia's friend, Flor. She's from Peru, so they spent a lot of time gabbing in spanish, and I tried my best to keep up, but they speak so damned fast, I could only catch every fifth/sixth word.

Overall, it was a good trip. It's amazing what can happen from a chance encounter on an airplane... It's a shame we don't live closer to each other.

On the flight back, I actually got a fair amount of work done. I wrote an SED plotting program, which I think will turn out to be very useful.

Some observations...

Virginia is EXPENSIVE!!! 2 glasses of red wine + 2 beers + tax + tip = $30!!!! 2 beers + 1 crappy tom collins + 1 mojito = $27!!!


Twentysomething said...

That sounds so fun!! I'm glad it was a success!! Come to Dallas and we'll go to Gloria's and Monica's. They're....expensive, but probably not as much as where you went. Yay :)

Vince said...

That's actually a pretty good price for drinks. Live it up man, we're gonna die anyways.

marci said...

Ah, yes. Expensive liquor, food, cover charge. I don't miss it. But I agree with Vince, those aren't bad prices for that part of the country.