July 27–29, 2012

As a surprise for my friend John Lincoski’s 40th birthday, his wife Laura organized an elaborate group get-together in the Washington, D.C. area, and Joan and I were honored to be invited.

On Friday afternoon, Joan picked me up from work in Center City, and we drove directly to the initial surprise party at John and Laura’s house in Alexandria, Va. John was certainly surprised to find a few dozen friends and a catered dinner at his house upon his arrival! After a few hours, Joan and I left to check into our room at the Westin Alexandria, the same terrific, comfortable hotel where we had previously stayed on our first trip together in early 2010.

It was already unbearably hot on Saturday morning when we met up with the group at a nearby Metro station. Joan and the other female guests and their kids left for a tour of Mount Vernon, while the guys and I boarded a shuttle bus to Copper Fox Distillery, where we took a tour of the independent whiskey company. John happens to be a whiskey aficionado and thoroughly enjoyed the visit, and we were really impressed by such a successful, independent business in the middle of nowhere.

I returned to the hotel much later than Joan, who got a chance to rest after her Mount Vermon visit. We showered and dressed, then caught a cab into the District for an amazing surf-and-turf dinner at the Palm along with John and Laura, our friends Tony and Mandy, Joe and Katherine, and many others. I even had the chance to show off the new seersucker jacket I’d recently bought.

Joan and I shared a relaxing breakfast at the hotel on Sunday, then made the return trip home, thankful to be part of such a festive, well-organized celebration!

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