At our last pre-wedding meeting, A charged us to go on a date.
YBW and I side-eyed each other.
Pfft! We know how to go on a date.
Needless to say, she noticed our conceit and challenged us further. Instead of one date, we each had to come up with a date for the other with the strict stipulation that we couldn’t discuss wedding stuff.
One more smug look was a silent “we got this” and we were on our way.
The date I planned took us downtown for a picnic at the National Arboretum and a side trip to Oak Hill Cemetery. I broke the rule straight away in the car. YBW reminded me and I sat on my hands as long as I could stand it. But then I had a stroke of genus! Traveling to the date wasn’t actually being on the date. I immediately amended the rule to include wedding talk in the car but only until we arrived at our destination. (I know it sounds ridiculous, but it’s Robynbird logic…just roll with it.)
Of course this time of year there isn’t much in bloom at the Arboretum, but that was actually beneficial because it meant less people.
The first thing we did on our date was split up. (I know…) But YBW wanted to see all the bonsai and I wanted to visit the herb garden.
I was fortunate to catch a few things still in bloom while successfully avoiding the bees gleaning the last little bit yummies before there were no more blossoms to be had.
The light was harsh, but I enjoyed my time behind the lens.
It may seem odd that the first thing YBW and I did on our date was walk in opposite directions, but neither of us wanted to follow the other around like a puppy so we did what we wanted to do knowing we’d end up in the same place. And as it turned out, just as I was finishing up in the herb garden, the most adorable man walked up and kissed me. Then we walked together up the hill to see the Capital columns.
Kinda pretty, don’tcha think?
We picnicked on fruit, veggies, potato salad, and cold fried chicken trying to figure out what was actually going on at the Grove of State Trees. We drove all around the arboretum, even out the non-existent road that was the original entrance.
Then it took forty minutes to drive about six miles. As we passed embassies I used the long lens of my camera to read the plaques over the doors and YBW teased that the red light cameras saw and we would be branded spies. I just laughed.
We got to Oak Hill Cemetery just in time to capitalize on the most glorious afternoon light.
Once again, we split up. Me meandering along looking for good shots on the way to Kay Graham’s gravesite. YBW playing Ingress…turns our cemeteries are ripe with portals for the hacking.
Allow me to quote Minerva from Midnight in the Garden, “To understand the living, you got to commune with the dead.” I’m a firm believer in this concept.
I love cemeteries. I love everything about them. The gravestones seem so natural in the environment, on the hillsides and under trees. I love the peaceful quiet. There was construction on R Street, and I mean jackhammer construction, but the further I walked into the cemetery the more quiet it became.
There was one place in the cemetery that wasn’t still. It was quiet, but there was work going on. I can’t believe it took me passing it twice before I realized what I was seeing.
Construction on the mausoleum of Ben Bradlee, one of my most beloved folk heroes! Qu’il repose en paix.
It’s a bit modern for my taste and for it’s location, but I wasn’t consulted…what are you gonna do?
YBW and I ended our day at a cafe table on the patio of a small restaurant in Old Town sipping cocktails of vodka laced iced tea.
Never once talking about the wedding.