Dispatches From My Phone: Hey, Virginia


Yes, I have been raving about Spanish food for the past week, and all of it was worth the effort to seek out down back alleyways and cooking classes. But this afternoon found me at Dulles Airport outside of Washington, DC; I have a 36 hour layover on my way home to Toronto. Given that rooms in Washington were over $300 a night, and that I might have missed my connection in Geneva this morning (I almost did), I chose to stay at an airport Aloft hotel in Ashburn, Virginia. At less than half the price and the ability to cancel with a few hours notice, I decided to go with it.
The Aloft is in the middle of nowhere, but has large, new rooms, a pool and a modern workout area. Apparently, I could have also taken a free shuttle from the airport, but the $25 ride was worth the few minutes of solitude and the info I got from the cabbie. It looks like my plan is to take the shuttle back to the airport tomorrow and then grab the downtown shuttle from the airport with my bags. I still have to figure out what I might do in a few hours. My expectations are pretty low for what I can accomplish with all of my stuff along for the ride.


Being in what is essentially a roadside hotel, I was brought back to my childhood family vacations to Bangor, Maine. We always went to a grocery store and bought american-only chocolate bars, pop, and junk food for snacks in the hotel with the A/C cranked (Islanders never had home A/C). Tonight, I ran across the street to the gas station, bought two bars, JackLinks beef jerky, a bag of honey roasted peanuts and two tall boys of light American beer. Consider it to be the absolute antithesis to the European tapas, but strangely similar. The beef jerky is hot and sweet versus the dry, salty flavor of the Iberian ham I have been eating for the past week. The beer is like water, but that is what Michelob was known for when my father drank it 22 years ago. Many times the best feasts are the silly ones you build from necessity.


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