My wife’s aunt was celebrating her 75th birthday party, and the family intended to celebrate with a dinner out. We hadn’t been able to visit all of her Virginia relatives in a long time, so this was a good opportunity to see family, to be with family, and a quick opportunity for a weekend away for our own family. We looked at staying with a few different relatives, but ultimately opted for staying on our own at a hotel in Reston, VA. Staying at a hotel gave us a lot of flexibility and privacy. We packed the night before, went to work (and school) on Friday as usual, but we hoped to leave at a decent hour without hitting too much traffic on the road to VA. With plans never quite working out as smoothly as originally planned, we left at 7pm from our house. The drive is only 4 hours, but the variables could be a killer. Traffic in Delaware, Maryland, or Virginia? The huge storm that was threatened for the week?
We lucked out — the traffic was non-existent, which I think was due to the impending storm forecast, which also didn’t pan out. We had smooth sailing all the way to the Waffle House in North East, MD (our usual stop), then more smooth sailing all the way to Reston. Wow, what a nice drive. We arrived around 11pm at the hotel, and the Westin was really nice. We went to bed around midnight, as I think everyone was pretty tired.
In the morning, I went to grab a quick breakfast for everyone at a nearby Einstein Bros. bagel shop, then we hit the road to Annandale, to have a Korean-style BBQ lunch at Honey Pig with Nums’ friend Patrick who lives down in DC. We last saw Patrick in April 2012 in Washington while we were visiting at the Smithsonian. This was no museum food court, so this was already a higher quality lunch. In the late afternoon, my niece Sofia (and my sister-in-law Anju) came over to the hotel to swim with us in the hotel pool. After that, we all got ready for the birthday dinner.
Dinner itself was at the Thai Luang Restauant in Herndon, VA. As Joshua is allergic to peanuts, and we never take him to Thai restaurants, this would be a nervous first. We sat him next to us, and we selectively picked out stuff for him to eat. No issues, and we all had a good (and safe) dinner. After dinner, we drove over to one of the relative’s houses for birthday cake / dessert (and after party?) Much better — kids had more room to run around, and the adults could rotate around and talk to everyone.
Sunday morning after another quick breakfast, we were on the road again for NJ. Thankfully, no traffic, we made it home in record time.