Monday, December 08, 2008

Wolf Trap, And a Note To Myself

Yesterday was the annual Wolf Trap Holiday Sing-a-Long. I have gone for the past 4 years, and it is a holiday tradition I have come to love and enjoy. Because you are sitting outside, it is important to bundle up, as it is cold here in December, and one doesn't want to freeze one's heiny off.

We drove up yesterday, making a quick swing through Quantico to find out where the HR office is, and then picked Melissa up at our favorite pizza place in Woodbridge, where she was leaving her car. As I was driving north, I noticed the car was kind of rocking and swerving a little bit, so I was thinking I needed some air in the tires or something, despite the fact that they are brand spankin' new.

I flipped on the local news station to get a traffic and weather report so we could plan how we were going to drive to Vienna. And there was a high wind advisory. The wind was blowing 45-50MPH, which is why the car was rocking. It was also approximately 35 degrees outside, before the wind chill set in.

But we are brave, intrepid, loyal citizens of this event. Last year, it was in the 40's and pouring, and we were damn cold. So we felt we could brave the wind and the cold this year. Heck, it wasn't damp too!

No matter where he goes, the honeys follow

Aren't we cute?

Well, about halfway through the sing-a-long, I turned to The General and Melissa and said, "Let's blow this popsicle stand." It was freakin' cold. People were leaving by the dozens. Even on stage, you could tell that they were cutting the program short. As we turned to walk back up the hill to our car, the seats and lawn were empty, which is particularly unusual. It was just that cold. My nose was running, my eyes were watering, my hands hurt through my thinsulate gloves, and my toes were numb despite the fact that I actually wore real socks and real shoes. I had on three layers of clothing on top, and Melissa came loaded for bear with about 6 layers on and she was still cold. The only thing keeping us remotely warm was The General (who we strategically sat between us), and even he confessed that he was getting cold.

Don't they look cold?

I was a bit sad that we weren't able to stick it out--I love the candlelight processional, but frankly, for strolling around in the dark with a candle and singing Christmas carols, I can do that at home. (Might get funny looks from the neighbors, but who cares about them anyway?)

So we went and ate Thomas's pizza. Let's get our priorities straight here--there's freezing our butts off and then there's food. If you are ever in New York, and you want real New York style pizza, go to Thomas's. They have, bar none, the best pizza I've eaten outside the city. They are 1972 Daniel Stuart Square. I'm a New Yorker and inclined to be snotty about pizza, which is my God given right, and this place just knocks my socks off.

And somehow, the General and I found the strength to come home and do our full workouts as well, which REALLY helped us get warmed up. I had to, I ate 3 pieces of pizza. He didn't have to, but he did anyway, like a good sport.

So sadly, we left early for the first time, breaking new ground in an old tradition. I'll be back up there next December for the sing-along, and I hope to heck that I won't have to leave early then. I've crafted a note to myself about how to prepare:

Dear Self:

If you are dumb enough to go to Wolf Trap again in the midst of a howling maelstrom of wind and cold, and I think you and I both know that you are, here is a rudimentary list of things to bring with you so that you can survive the entire show:

* Many, many more layers of clothing--remember, as you lose weight, you are no longer as well insulated as you used to be. Save some of your big clothes and layer them on top of your smaller clothes. You will thank me for this later.

* Blankets. 2 per person. One for putting on the chairs before you each sit and one for huddling under. You might want to upgrade to 3 so that you can wrap one around your legs. Or consider the down comforter so you can snuggle up with your honey under there and conspire. Just remember, it's a family show ;-)

* Get yourself a good thermos, a great big one, and fill it with hot cocoa. I can't believe you were such a dumbass this year and spent $9.00 on three little cups of tepid water that were billed as cocoa. Invest in a decent thermos, cook up some awesome cocoa, and bring it. You and your guests will thank me.

* Turn your little cooler into a warmer and stock it with warm appetizers. Nothing major, maybe a warm dip like artichoke dip, and some pigs in blankets or stuffed mushroms. Make it warm, whatever it is, and just enough to keep you going until you hit next year's dinner spot.

* You will need to invest in ear muffs or one of those headband thingies. You should also purchase heat packs for your gloves and feet.

Ok, if you follow these simple suggestions, you should be smarter than you were in 2008 and a lot more comfortable.

Your Sensible Self

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