Weekend: Coffee and the River

I spent a good deal of the weekend drinking coffee with girlfriends.  Saturday was in Old Town, Alexandria and Sunday was in Georgetown.  There's something to be said for sipping a strong cup of coffee with a good friend and just catching up on life.  There are few greater gifts than love and friendship and I was thrilled to spend time with each of them and enjoyed each sip and word of conversation.

Saturday was a beautiful day to sit outside and do some window shopping.  After sipping coffee -- I stuck with the plain Jane latte, which came with two shots. But my friend Elaine ordered the "flat liner" which held 4 strong shots of espresso. I was impressed! The sign above the menu read: "There is no X in espresso" which made me smile.  For the longest time, I would call it an "expresso."

On Sunday, a friend and I grabbed a quick coffee and pastry before heading a few miles outside the city for our first slalom kayak race. I knew that white water rafting, kayaking and canoeing all existed, but beyond that, my knowledge was limited.  Kids and adults of all ages came out to ride the rapids.  One by one, the participants started at the top of the rapids and paddled their way down, maneuvering their boat through color-coded gates.  Gold medal Olympian (1992) and CEO of USA Canoe/Kayak Joe Jacobi explained how the course was run and the meaning of each of the gates.  For the green gates, the athletes had to clear them while heading downstream and for the red, they had to maneuver their boats upstream to pass through the gates before turning their boats, once again, downstream and head to the next gate.  Some were on the right side of the river and some were on the left, making the course quite challenging.  If the contender touched the gate, they would see 2 seconds added to their final time.  Completely by-passing the gate altogether, meant an additional 50 seconds (per missed gate) was added to their final time.  Each competitor went through the course twice and took their fastest of the two runs as their final time.  We clapped for everyone, but cheered loudly when Seu, Joe's daughter, raced the rapids. As a 13-year old, she is as versatile in the sport, racing both slalom and sprint, as she is kind and polite.  It was a real treat to spend the morning on the water with them. 

Later that afternoon, we celebrated Danny's Second birthday, where his mother made these adorable Mickey Mouse Oreo cookies for the party.  By using two of the little Oreos for ears and one Oreo for the body, she created the classic Mickey Mouse by way of cookies, complete with his red pants and white buttons, his classic look from 1928.

While the pollen makes it a bit challenging at times to really enjoy the outdoors fully, I embraced the weather, allergies and all this weekend.  Simple pleasures like sun, coffee and laughter were the theme of this past weekend.  And I couldn't have been happier.