Day one evening: Friends and momentous occasions

Written at 2:12 pm Pacific time on Saturday, June 5: After a brief nap on Friday, we made our way to an informal barbecue dinner for my class. Since the rain was still coming down in sheets, we had to navigate our way to the Aquatic and Fitness Center, where we eventually found ourselves and met up with Don Webb, fellow Glee Club alum Scott Barker and his wife Susan, Lara Dalch, Steve Eslami, and a bunch of other folks. After eating and catching up on old times for a while, Don, Lisa and I drove back over to downtown where we found our way to the Court Square Tavern.

Don and I had joked for years about the tavern that we would make it our home away from home. We had passed many good nights there—with Scott Norris and John McLaughlin after their return from their post graduation trip to Europe; with John Navarrete and others watching Nav try his first hefeweisen and blurt, “It tastes like sweat socks!”; and with other Glee Club friends, including Jon Vick, who would always start the evening with a Newcastle Brown Ale.

We found a seat in the small booth on the upper level beneath the specials chalkboard (where Nav had sat). In Vick’s honor, we started with Newcastle and proceeded to some serious reminiscing. And we continued to reminisce into the wee hours of the morning.

Day one: High moderne to 18th century revival

Written at 5:54 am Pacific time on Saturday, June 5: We landed at Dulles a few minutes before 7 am yesterday morning. After pausing for a Starbucks fix in the terminal, we started looking around for the mobile lounges. —A moment here. I don’t think I appreciated the quintessential weirdness of Dulles while I was flying from it as a consultant, but man. Those mobile lounges. The big ol’ flying wing. You just know Eero Saarinen was hanging out with Austin Powers in the shagadelic sixties when he designed the place. On the plus side, riding in those lounges you get an unparalleled view of the airport’s real activity, which as Lisa put it appears to consist of very large slow moving machines trying to run into each other.

We got out of Dulles and navigated reasonably successfully back out into the suburbs. We wanted a proper breakfast and decided to head back to old haunts, so we made for McLean and got full breakfasts at La Madeleine, the local chain farmhouse-French restaurant. Then we realized we hadn’t packed for a weekend of rain, so we napped half an hour in the car to wait for Nordstrom’s to open so Lisa could go in and buy some more rain-appropriate shoes. Ah, the joys of travel.

We eventually made it to Charlottesville and checked in to the Inn at Court Square, which if anything actually excels its appearance on its website. Our room is furnished with antiques and looks out onto a park, and was gorgeous even in totally pouring rain. (Oh yes. So much for beautiful pictures of the Grounds.) We grabbed a late lunch at Michael’s Bistro and killed time until the first event, the class dinner, at which we met up with a few old friends. More on that in a moment.