Well, the highlight of my weekend was I got to see my niece, (my best friend's daughter) and she smiled at me, giggled at me, and seemed to be glad to see me. I'm thinking she's about a year past the "it's just gas" excuse, so I'll take it as a good sign that maybe she remembers me some.
She's a charmer.
It was a bittersweet weekend all around, for so many reasons. We went to DC and camped together at Greenbelt National Park. I enjoyed every minute of it, except the part when I dropped him off at Dulles Airport. so he could go work for 4 - 5 months.
I've said previously, to generalize, that DC people are the nicest I've ever met. I am, however, testing the theory that what I really mean is that Maryland people are the nicest I've ever met.
At the beginning of the weekend, I was just stunned at their niceness. We Ohioans, I think, keep to ourselves a little more. In DC and Maryland, most of the people go WAY out of their way. It's astonishing to me.
For example, we were late to the International Spy Museum. The girl didn't gesture to the reception desk and tell us to see the man about rescheduling our tour. Nope.
She actually WALKED us over to the reception desk, STOOD THERE and CHATTED while he looked up the information, and WALKED us back to the waiting area.
Just like, on our last trip, when the CVS did not have the camera mini-CDs, they called another store (Staples) for us, walked us OUT TO THE STREET, pointed, gave us directions multiple times, and all but walked us to the other store.
And this time, a woman got on the Metro, frazzled and confused.
"Is this going the right way?" she asked.
Now, in Ohio, someone would have probably said, "It only goes one way. You're at the end of the line." And that would have been that.
No, in Maryland, a random stranger, not a worker, STANDS UP, walks over to the map, and tells her that it only goes one way. He proceeded to ask her where she was going, and he showed her how to get there on the map. And then, after taking at least five full minutes to help a stranger, he sat back in his seat.
And (last example), in the grocery store, the guy actually put his hand up to shade the credit card swiper terminal thing, because, he said, it has a bit of a glare. And could I see it okay?
My mouth was on the floor.
I really think I'm a generally nice person, except at certain times of the month. But the stuff above just does not happen in Ohio. Maybe rarely.
All I know is that by the end of the trip, I was tipping waitresses a whole lot because I was delighted at how nice everyone was. And I was talking to everyone. It was way cool.
I want to move to Maryland. I know the above is a generalization, but ... in my experience, it's generally true.