Once I knew I was going to be speaking at An Event Apart DC, I got in touch with my dear friends Dan and Sue in Baltimore to see if we could figure out a way to meet up while I was relatively nearby. I went to art college with Dan over two decades ago. I haven’t kept in touch with many (any?) people from back then, but Dan and I have remained firm friends, sadly separated by an ocean.
Dan told me his plan for today was for him and Sue to take the kids down to his Dad and stepmother’s place in Calvert county, and he asked if Jessica and I wanted to join them. “Absolutely!”, I said, without knowing anything about Calvert county or what a trip there might involve.
As it turns out, this particular place in Maryland was a little piece of paradise: a beautiful pastoral setting where the green landscape and blue sky is interrupted only by the flitting by of the occasional gorgeous-looking butterfly. Also, it has a pool.
This setting was already perfect, but we made it the quintessential Maryland experience by feasting on crabs for lunch. Sure, you’ve got to work to get at the flesh, but oh, what tasty flesh it is, redolent with Old Bay seasoning.
It was a perfect afternoon: eating crabs, swimming in the pool, and most of all, catching up with old friends.
I was still basking in the glow of it all when we got back to Alexandria in time for the traditional pre-conference speaker’s dinner for An Event Apart. I never even had the chance to freshen up before heading out for the meal: as soon as we got back to the hotel, we spotted Ethan, Kristina, and Karen in the hotel bar and that was it. We joined them, then Jason joined us, then one-by-one everyone else showed up. The whole thing coalesced into the gang of speakers and off we went for a meal in old town. Once again, it was all about the company.