Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Going to the Mall . . .

Walking is important exercise.  Get out and walk.  Often.  That is my seldom-followed advice at least (smile).  But, if you can combine walking with shopping . . . you should TOTALLY go.  Enter the mall.  The great, American, urban-sprawl Nirvana of, for you who can partake, Orange Julius and Auntie Anne's and Foot Locker.  And JC Penney.  

Imagine the THRILL in my heart when, as a 12 year old boy, I made my first family trip to DC and we were told that we would spend an entire day on (not "at" - should have been my first clue that I was being set up) The Mall (Big "T" and "M" used to show respect).  The only "shopping" I saw was oversized pretzels, stewed hot dogs and shrink-ready T-shirts.  Luckily there was some amazing historic stuff to buffer my sadness.  

Fast forward 10 years and I called DC "home" and that same mall became my favorite place to go walking.  Shopping be damned (I was an unpaid intern who put every dime I had to beer and food so I enjoyed the free attractions of DC).  

Fast forward 10 more years and my DC days seem long ago, far away and somehow "foreign" to me.  Maybe it is my own changes, maybe it is the stresses that I happily left behind when I got married and moved to Baltimore and then to DC.  Maybe it is just the fact that, at 500 pounds I saw that same mall as my ENEMY by the time I left town (it sucks playing "host" when you are too tired to walk from the bathroom to the kitchen - much less to the beautiful memorials and monuments erected (giggle) to America's history).

Yet - at the same time - I miss that life - specifically the people that I shared that life with.  My friends and family that I loved and left behind.  We have wrestled long and hard with when to get back East and where to go and I'm thrilled to say that Wifey surprised me today with amazing news.

One of Joy's very best friends from her DC days is getting hitched on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend and we are GOING TO THE WEDDING.  And we're going to make a weekend of it (flying in on Friday, out on Sunday) and we are going to go on our first ever true "couples getaway" since we became parents (we have spent four nights away from Ava in three years including one night where she was one hotel room away and two others where she was 10 minutes away at Grandma and Grandpa Terry's house).  

Color me a bad parent (smile) but I am sooooo excited that I get some away time with just Joy and that we are going back to the place where we met.  Where we started our life together.  Where the people we were then first talked about becoming the people we are today.  And to hopefully "reintroduce" ourselves to our friends who knew us "then" is the most exciting part.

We're not going to over schedule ourselves (a classic mistake I make every time I try to go anywhere or do anything) but we are positive that - no matter what - it will be nice to get back and to share some time with people we miss and love.