After my first year of teaching I embarked on my first solo trip. 23, I put myself up in a B & B for my first night in D.C., in the neighborhood of Adams Morgan since the hostel I booked for the rest of the week had no openings. Used to backpacking, I trekked about a mile from the closest metro stop. Not sure about what to do once I got to my room, I got on the payphone and called a college friend that grew up in Arlington and moved back home. Everyone didn't have a cell phone then...it makes me wonder why I turn the car around if I realize I left the house without it.
Immediately my friend, Rick, jumped and picked me up. I remember catching up at a local IHOP, so glad to connect with someone I knew. The rest of the week we hung out everyday, Rick tagging along as I visited the various Smithsonian museums and art galleries around town. He expanded my sights, and took me to Great Falls and other Virginia haunts. It was an adventurous week, and I felt so good to go across country on my own.
At the end of the week I met up with an organized program for high school students that lasted another week. I had a great time, but I couldn't get my friend out of my mind. It was a really amazing week, and I really connected with my friend. From then on, I couldn't get Rick off my mind as a potential man in my life, but he had a girlfriend.
I made sure to head to DC every summer after that, and so for four years Rick and I hung out and toured around as friends, but the fourth time he was unattached. He grabbed my hand for the first time, and hasn't stopped since.