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Trip Report Reunited, the trip of a lifetime

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Who we were: My brother and I

Where we stayed: The Lorien Hotel, part of the Kimpton Group. This is a very modern, attractive hotel at 1600 King St. The lobby area is comfortable and many different newspapers were available for guests. Free coffee and tea are served in the morning and water and fruit juice are offered in the evening. Front desk service is polished and friendly. The beds are comfortable and have high quality linens. The room was good sized and came with a computer already set up to allow free internet access and several information sites. It also had a large flat screen television. The bath amenities were Le Occitane, very nice. It is close to the Metro and the Masonic monument. We had intended to use the free bikes to ride part of the Potomac trail but the weather was not good. Fortunately Old Town is a great place for walking, the perfect exercise after the special hell that is holiday traffic on I-95.

I used the spa for a facial treatment. I arrived about twenty minutes before the appointment time. I was shown the changing area and lockers and left to change. When the attendant returned she apologized that she could not open the doors to the spa lounge and treatment areas. She asked me to wait in the bathroom until Maintenance arrived. This took about thirty or so minutes. After the maintenance staff fixed the door, I was shown into the relaxation area. It is very nicely decorated in blues and greens with bamboo. The esthetician very quickly suggested that I get a different treatment without mentioning that there was a cost differential of over $50. I told her that I preferred to stick with the treatment booked. The treatment was nice and the esthetician, Judy, had a very light touch. I went to shower after the treatment. There was hair all over the shower walls, so I passed on that. I would not give the spa good marks for cleanliness or service.

Where we ate: Not long after we started our walk we realized we were starving. We stopped in at Jackson 20 in the Hotel Monaco 480 King St. Wow, what a great dinner. The food was very well presented and tasted wonderful. I highly recommend the scallop appetizer, which was simply fantastic. The service was professional and prompt.
For brunch the next day we got a little rushed and went to Le Pain Quotidien at 701 King St. It was perfect. We had tartines which were very tasty and light. I would have loved to have the prosecco, but it was a little too early in the day. Next trip.

Thanks to the helpful posters who suggested restaurants for me.

Why we went: We took our mother’s ashes to be interred with Dad in Arlington National Cemetery.

A little bit of the story:

My mom entered nursing training in 1932. She was 18. One night she and her roommate were mourning the absence of prospects for husbands. Her roommate suggested they say a novena asking for special guidance when the right man came along. They went to the chapel to say their novena to St. Theresa (at least that was the saint's name Mom recalled ).

My dad enlisted in the Army in 1942. He was 19 years old . Very soon after his enlistment he was sent to Camp Gordon, GA. On routine maneuvers he got a horrible case of poison ivy and was hospitalized.

My mom, by then 27, was his Army nurse. He was instantly smitten, she was not. He pleaded with her for a date. She refused until he just wore her down. They went to dinner and he dropped her off at her barracks. He claimed he overheard her tell her friends “That man is the cutest fellow I have ever dated, but he never stops talking.” He begged her for another chance, promising not to talk so much. She finally agreed and he overslept, missing the date. Again he found himself begging. Again she agreed to go to dinner with him. Over dinner he proposed. She declined “I hardly know you. How can we get married?” She told me that as she said that she felt the presence of St. Theresa who told her this was the man she sent and Mom needed to say yes. So, she took the ultimate leap of faith. They married in July 1942. They were often separated by his combat tours and special duty. She was the center of his life and he, the center of hers. Only days before his death in 1964 he wrote her a love letter telling her how much life with her had meant to him.

After he died she spent several years finding her new direction in life. She became a traveler. She spent every spare dollar she had on trips. Even after she had a stroke fourteen years ago she continued to travel with my husband, brother and me as long as she could. For her ninetieth birthday she asked to go to Epcot since she loved the China exhibit so and she knew she wouldn’t make it all the way to China.

She died this past June. My brother and I selected their sixty seventh wedding anniversary for the interment of her ashes with Dad in Arlington National Cemetery. The Army chaplain who handled the service met with us and spent a considerable amount of time learning about my parents and their lives. We were led to the grave site where we met the military personnel escorting her ashes. The service was touching and very intimate. I was so affected by how the chaplain had woven the details of their lives into his eulogy. At the conclusion of the service he thanked us for the privilege of being a part of honoring them. It was a solemn and respectful tribute to two very quiet lives. It is deeply gratifying to know that their sacrifices and sense of duty and purpose served the greater good and they rest in a place of honor.

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