My DC Holiday Pit Stop

Today is my DC Holiday Pit Stop, a relaxing one-day respite. This year we decided to do the Dreaded Double, the Equitable Split – two Christmases, one with my family, one with his. We just returned last night from Phase One: Florida, and tomorrow depart for Phase Two: Pennsylvania. I know I’m not alone in doing this kind of holiday, and I certainly am happy I’m not traveling with kids or cats or dogs (we saw at least one cat, six dogs, and countless babies in the airports – I don’t know how people do it).

So we’re spending a decadent day lolling around, sleeping the morning away (yes, I slept til a slothful 1pm!), breaking for a sushi lunch at Thai Chef, stopping in for hair products at VSL, writing on my laptop while listening to drum-n-bass, the usual ridiculous urban cliches. All necessary antidotes, and a preparation to leave again.

It’s always fascinating to leave DC for completely different environments. The return feels like a re-entry from outer space or deep sea diving. Neither of which I’ve actually ever done, so as usual I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about. But indulge me here in a few comparisons.

The difference between the airport security lines of DCA vs. RSW, for one. At DCA, people go through the security lines with a jaded resignation. Everyone looks slightly tense as they remove their shoes and coats and hand grenades, grumbling at the newbie travelers who whine to the TSA reps about why they have to take off their hoodies and flip-flops. It’s a slow shuffle, a cattle call, a death march.

At RSW (that’s Fort Myers, FL) it’s like a game. Everyone’s cheerful, from the teens joking with the laughing guards, to the TSA rep standing in front of a table of samples of what not to bring in your carry-on, smiling and gesturing like an aged Vanna White. People are practically skipping through the lines. Maybe they really do put soma in the water down there.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs
Then there’s the dark side to this Floridian cheer, like the airport shuttle driver who told us, “DC sounds like a really nice place, except for all the blacks.” That’s the kind of moment when the blood drains from your face and your stomach heaves.

We met a girl on our way back to DC, who’d moved after years in the city to out west, way out west, rural west. She was a true urbanite who just got sick of all the political bull, the inside-the-beltway mentality, the constant sizing-up at happy hours where “what do you do?” is a come-on line. I understand getting fed up with all that. Certainly after some seventeen years in DC, I’m starting to get the itch to go somewhere else. But it would have to be another city – I don’t think I could ever give up the urban lifestyle.

So, deep breath, don’t get the bends on the way up, it’s almost time to go back underwater. Phase Two, here we come. But back to the city by New Year’s Eve, please.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

As one of the founding editors of We Love DC, Jenn’s passions are theater and cocktails. After two decades in the city, she’s loved every quirky, mundane, elegant, rude minute of her DC life. A proud advocate for DC’s talented drinks scene, she’s judged the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s ARTINI contest, the DC Rickey Month contest, the Jefferson Hotel’s Quill Cocktail competition, and is a founding member of LUPEC DC. A graduate of Catholic University’s drama program, she toured the country as a member of National Players, and has been both an actor and a costume designer before jumping the aisle to theater criticism. Writing for We Love DC restored her happiness after a life-threatening illness, and she’s grateful to you, dear readers. Send your suggestions to jenn (at) welovedc (dot) com and follow her on Twitter.

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