Enough with the lengthy prologue, let’s get this story started!

Act 1; Scene 1 –

Monday, April 9th began like so many countless mornings – the Maven up first, Kim making the bed & drying her hair while M shaved, both aiming to get out the door by 7:30am to face the traffic and the hustle of another day in the land of the beltway.

But, the “normal” ended there. We’d awoken in the warm & welcoming home of our dear friends the Meinharts who had been kindly housing the Maven since the Magpie headed north with the kitties on March 19th.  While the Maven was on his way to work.. he knew he’d only be there a few hours, then off to HQ to sign some forms, then…  The Magpie felt a little like she was on vacay – meeting a dear friend, Len, at the Silver Diner in Tysons then into MAVA for a wrapup conversation and hopefully an errand, aiming to be done by lunchtime.

The details of our respective final hours at work are better left to another time (or maybe never), but suffice it to say that we both somehow sort of suddenly found ourselves back at Casa Meinhart about 1pm.  With a little bit more of a whimper than a bang, there was no denying that suddenly, we were both DONE.  Just. Like. That.  Weird doesn’t do it justice… but it’s a good starting point.  BTW – my new motto is “Embrace the weirdness” (because I don’t think the alternative is an option).

Here’s what I’ve learned. When you finally actually reach the end of a journey you’ve been planning for months and years… there are no balloons, no big cosmic shift in perspective, but there’s just suddenly time & quiet and the profoundly weird/wonderful opportunity to say “OK, now what?”.

We went to lunch.

Intermission –

We didn’t explore, we didn’t exploit, we just went to the mall to use up the dregs of a gift card at Seasons 52 (thank you Auntie Sue) – but heck, when’s the last time the two of us went to lunch in Tysons together on a Monday?  (HINT: Never)  We had a nice lunch, we had a lovely chat with the saleswoman at Arhaus as we looked at some furniture, then we drifted back to Casa Meinhart to just sort of loiter about – Maven took a nap, I frittered about on email, and we just let time pass.  It was sort of like a longer than necessary layover in a sort of boring airport – after the adrenaline rush of the mad dash to get that first connection to get out of town and start a big journey, then landing in no-where land to wait for the connecting flight to the “real” destination.. a bit anticlimactic.  Not bad, just… weird.

Happily we had fun plans for dinner with the Meinharts… so we didn’t linger here in limbo for too long.  It was probably just want we needed to start to process the milestones we’d passed in the AM (although I daresay my processing is probably going to take longer than the Maven’s).

We had a fabulous, fun, feast at Succotash at National Harbor – dirty chicken, friend green tomatoes, pimento cheese poppers and hummingbird cake (Alas, foiled again in my pursuit of Kentucky Winter – my bourbon slushie!)  – and a great final photo! (see below)

Act 1; Scene 2 –

While it looked alot like the day before, waking in Casa Meinhart, we opened our eyes to a day unlike any other. The day we loaded up the car and drove –  out of town, up the road, and into our new life.   It was a sunny AM, we grabbed a coffee, joined the mayhem on the beltway (for one last hurrah), and enjoyed a one-way roadtrip to the town where we’ve spent our happiest moments over the past 20 years.  #Saratogaherewecome

Departed VA about 9am. Arrived Saratoga about 4pm.

And so it begins!

Dirty Chicken at Succotash – so yummy!
Humingbird Cake – so good & so big! (and yes, we ate it all!)
The Fab Four – Ellen & Ray + Kim & Bobby. Such fun!
Farewell Casa Meinhart – we’ll be back! (9am departure)
Home Sweet Home – 4pm!
Celebrating our arrival – happy hour!
Raising a glass – our first dinner as locals. (Kraverie = Korean + Crepes)

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