Of all the holidays we have in the US, Labor Day weekend is the one that pretty much only exists to give us a 3 day weekend, much needed during the long dry spell between Independence Day and Thanksgiving. It doesn't even really represent the unofficial end of summer anymore: the kids go back to school before Labor Day most years, and traffic to the beaches is higher on the weekends after Labor Day, with all kinds of Sunfests and the like - thanks, global warming!
We started off the weekend by going to Annapolis with the Darmodys and Makowkis, and Mike's friend Rod Stiffington, to have dinner at the Luna Blu restaurant on West Street. Good Italian food, not knock your socks off - but they were very nice and let us save our desserts for when we came back later in the evening.
After dinner we walked across the street to see yet another ukulele/cello duet play at the 49 West coffeehouse. Victoria Vox and Katie Chambers played acoustic music, which I'm a big fan of, in the back room of the coffeehouse. Vox is doing some unique things, like writing one song per week sponsored by folks like Kathy and Mike, to deal with the post-mp3 reality of how musicians can't rely on people actually paying for their albums CDs for revenue.
Great music, though I thought their version of In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida (especially the 7 minute long mouth trumpet riff) ran on a bit long. Carole got a nice nap out of it, though. Afterwards, we went back to Luna Blu for our desserts and some wine, closing the restaurant at the ungodly (for us) hour of 11:30! The twenty somethings at Stan and Joe's across the street were just getting going and and at midnight:30 Carole proudly texted Lauren so there would be evidence how late she stayed up.
Despite the wild partying Friday night, Saturday morning I did my variation of the Howard Hills bike loop, a hilly 45 mile ride starting from our house and looping northwest through Howard County to Larilland Farms. I usually stop every 15 miles or so but this time decided to just take a break at the halfway mark in Etchison where there is a grocery store. That meant not stopping in Dayton near the large wooden rabiit statue. The weather was overcast but pretty much 100% humidity as Tropical Storm Isaac-driven irriguous air displaced the normal muggy Maryland mess. I hit the grocery store stop at mile 27 - and they were closed for the "holiday" weekend. I emptied my water bottles and slogged the remaining 18 miles home in the increasing heat.
That night we and the Darmody's tried out the new Mike's Crabhouse North in Pasadena on Rock Creek. Same good food as at the old Mike's on the South River, but great views across towards Sparrow's Point at the entrance to the Inner Harbor at the mouth of the Patapsco where it hits the Chesapeake Bay. Jacquie and I split a dozen crabs - they were already out of larges, so we had mediums which were mostly decent sized. Afterwards we went out for drinks at the tiki bar on the deck and watched enormous strikes of lightning hit all around and many of the boats scurrying to get to sheltered water. There was a Jimmy Buffet wanna-be playing, and some attractive local flora and fauna drunkenly swaying to his tunes.
Carl let a few green blobs on the weather radar scare him away from hiking the next morning, so I went out to the boat and spent two hours fixing the convertible passenger seat - leaving many layers of knuckle skin behind to act as Loctite on the screws I replaced.
Monday am Carole and I did not let those green blobs scare us away from biking on the Baltimore Annapolis Rail trail to downtown Annapolis - and of course, we got soaked in a downpour just as we went past the Naval Academy into the city. We turned down one of the cobblestone streets (great idea to ride on cobblestones in a deluge...) and huddled under the awning in front of a closed shoppe. Carole contemplated why when it rains, it pours and other mystical truths. After a 15 minute rain delay, we turned around and headed back on the now rain slicked rains and paths for a 21 mile roundtrip ride. A stop at Einstein's Bagels for a poppy seed bagel and double salmon schmear revived Carole's outlook on life.
After that I felt the need to do some sort of labor on Labor Day, so I mowed the lawn and took a laborious nap - and another Labor Day weekend was in the books.