My Trip around the country in 2001 with Halley

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Leg 12: Cincinnati to Washington DC and Trey show #6 Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD

July 26

            I awoke slowly, hoping to drag out the sad goodbyes that awaited. Hill's mom said goodbye to me and suggested I take 71N to 70E then state routes to get to Washington DC, my next stop. I had no intention of driving out of my way to take a highway. My intention was to drive on the one road that linked Cincy and DC - Route 50, a road I had been taking since St. Louis and done me right so far. She wasn't thrilled with me but I didn't care. Her daughter was my bigger concern, since I wouldn't be seeing her for some time to come. This was the effective end of our relationship, since I didn't think she would be moving to Syracuse and I would not have asked that of her.

Leg 12: 502 miles

           I had only a little time with Hill since she needed to go to work. We talked, kissed, got emotional and then drove off. I headed out on Route 50 for DC across the farmland of southern Ohio. It was quite nice actually, getting to Athens, Ohio and then heading into West Virginia. Halley and I took it very leisurely on this drive, although we should not have with our major part of the drive being through the hills of West Virginia, winding left and right. Darkness set in fast as I head east and I had no idea that for two hours I would be driving in mist, fog, and rain, plus darkness as Halley and I made it into the mountains. When we finally started to descend it was a sigh of relief. An hour later we were hitting DC and drove to my my friend Chris' place. I have known him since 7th grade and we were going to enjoy the town for a couple days, with a TAB show at Merriweather Post Pavilion mixed in.

          Upon arrival, we sat on his porch smoking and having a beer, discussing where things were in DC and what it was like living and working there. Chris loved it, as it was a break from finishing his degree at Northeastern. Halley sat on the porch on look out. A few people walked by but she was chill and didn't bark at them, which was a nice change. We called it a night around 2:30am and I headed for the couch with Halley.

July 27

When Halley got up in the morning, she and Chris went for a walk to near the Vice President’s house and then came home to wake me up. We ate breakfast, hung around the house, played with Halley to get her some much needed exercise and relaxed. We walked to get some lunch down the street but with no dogs allowed, Halley was left outside without me and barked up a fucking storm. We left, went back to Chris' and hung out for the day. I have little recollection of the course of events of this day, which is probably subconsciously intentional. That night though, I wanted to meet up with my friend Danielle who I knew from Syracuse and bartending days at Hungry Charlie's. She invited us to a party at her friend's house, which was awkward since we knew no one and I smelled Georgetown douchebags around us. We found Danielle and headed with her up to the Adams Morgan area for some drinks.

Chris and I at some bar in Adams Morgan. I still have this flannel shirt
Me, Danielle, her friend and some random Asian dude
Scott and I - went to Syracuse for Poli Sci, great dude
 I don’t remember much more of the night than Chris making out with Danielle, getting back to Chris' place and waking up with Halley on the couch and me on the floor. An interesting point of view to wake up to your dog looking down at you wagging her tail, as if to say 'Now you get what its like down there' 

July 28

We woke up at a decent hour, Halley and I, and started to get ready to head to the show. Chris got up a bit later and helped us to figure out where to get beers and what to do pre-show. Packing Halley and our gear into the car, we headed up to Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland for yet another night of Trey Anastasio Band. We pulled into a parking garage near the mall as suggested by friends Mark and Z. While we waited to catch up with them, we took Halley for a walk for a bit to stretch, pee and roll in the grass before a few hours in the cool car. Halley got to finally meet some of my friends from college who had graduated, in this case Mike Z and his good friend Mark from Long Island.  We caught up with my friend Rachel who lived in Reston, VA and graduated in 1998. I spent a few minutes setting up the car and got Halley in the car. By now she knew the routine and was good enough to go in and oblige me, something that would work in her favor pretty well that night.

Set 1: Burlap Sack and Pumps, Acting the Devil, Cayman Review, Last Tube, Drifting
Set 2: Mozambique, Moesha, Sidewalks of San Francisco > Plasma, In the Wee Wee Hours, First Tube, Nothing But a G Thing, Money Love and Change, At the Gazebo, Mr. Completely, Push On Til the Day
Encore: Ether Sunday

As shows go, this was one of the best of the summer. I hung out on the lower left lawn for most of the show with Rachel and Chris while Z and Mark were inside the pavilion. I knew the tunes by now but with Rachel there, I sort of had the nervous feeling of 'Hey, you're gonna watch me dance and I'll be embarassed regardless of how great it feels', so I focused on drinking and talking to Rachel while Chris spoke to some random dude. When Cayman Review came on, I couldn't help but get up since this was one of my favorite tunes, and to be followed up by Last Tube, I was happy as hell. (Six for Six on Last Tubes now). Drifting was bittersweet with Rachel there, as we had dated for a few months and me being an idiot, I still hadn't moved on. 

Setbreak meant $7 Yuenglings at MPP, and how tasty they were. I was getting down in my budget for travels but couldn't help drinking with friends and getting amped up for the second set. Yet again Mozambique opened up a set that picked up more with Moesha. I had fun explaining the whole band-line-solos thing to Chris and Rachel, even though it was likely in one ear and out the next. I was finally learning names of band members too, which helped a bit for a little cred. Sidewalks of SF and Plasma were dark and dopey but In the Wee Wee Hours brought us all, crowd included, to our feet for an upbeat number that Chris knew was early ska/reggae. First Tube was the loudest song of the night and most well received due to sheer popularity. I have no recollection of Nothin But a G Thing and likely took a piss. Money Love and Change was funky and a solid rocker yet again but At the Gazebo was ill-placed to slow things down. Mr. Completely destroyed all memory of At the Gazebo with hard hitting punches. At this point, I was certain the set was ending, as each tune ended in such a crescendo that the set seemed to be nearing. Finally the closer of Push on Til the day featured the typical solos from multiple band members. Bittersweet was Ether Sunday as Rachel took off to head home for work the next day. 

As soon as the show was over, I headed back, a little drunk but not too shabby and made a beeline for Halley. I went up to the parking garage's 3rd level, opened the door and she jumped out to 'shake the car’ off. We walked around outside near the street so she could poop before going into uncharted territory for Halley - a hotel! She had never been in a hotel before and was very excited and curious at the same time. She didn't rush off, stuck close to me  and kept her head low to the ground, very quiet and well behaved, since this was not a hotel for dogs. Once we got to Mark and Z's room, she sniffed every single inch of the place, leaving no spot unsniffed. Relaxing in the room for a bit, all seemed well till there was a knock at the door and Halley's instincts decided she should bark a few times. I snapped at her and kept her quiet while Z paid the pizza guy. Halley loves these guys, simply because they bring food with them and leave it.  It took longer than normal for Halley to get her share of the crusts but she was rewarded with her patience.

This whole time, Mark still hadn't made it back to the hotel and was having trouble finding it, for reasons that are easy to discern post-concert. We happened to eat Mark's pizza (sorry Mark) but tried to guide him back. He was calling the room and my cellphone to guide him back to the hotel. This was a Sisyphean struggle. He seemed to be getting closer, closer, then nothing. Not even close. He was clear on the other side of the mall and was wandering farther away. This was before cellphones were as good as they are today so it was tough to communicate or figure out how to get to the hotel with ease. No GPS, no Google Maps, nothing. Mark showed up just as we were ready to head out. Chris and I bid Z and Mark farewell before heading back to D.C. for the night.

The drive back to DC was slow and steady. Chris and I made it in one piece, focusing on the road. It was more exhilaration from the show than anything, but there were a fuckton of cops out on the road and this wasn't a time to tempt fate, again. We made it to Chris' and I headed straight for the couch and sleep. The next day I was very excited to see a girl and didn't want to miss a moment. 

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