On Valentine's Day, my sisters and I knew to expect something special on our placemats at the breakfast table. There were always chocolates - if it was a good year a mini See's box - sometimes conversation hearts, and a small present. Valentine's Day socks, heart-decorated T-shirts, beannie babies, lip gloss, a starbucks card (clearly the gifts changed as we got older). There were cards from our grandma, each of us receiving our own individually addressed envelope.
And the centerpiece: a hand-made valentine from my mama. She cut big hearts out of construction paper and decorated them with colored pencils, glitter, and sometimes rickrack or lace. And on each heart she wrote us original poems - I wish I had one to share with you - they were short lymerics and individualized to our own interests. Mine usually said something about ballet or skiing or snow, Sister1's were water/swimming themed, and Sister2's might have mentioned tennis.
Retrospectively, that was really cool, so thanks Mama!
This weekend I made some home-made valentines of my own. (Recipients, check your mail tomorrow - my love is late, but worth the wait?) One of my friends hosted a Crafternoon, supplying us with more paper and stencils and scissors and glitter and glue-sticks then we could possibly know what to do with! It was really fun and relaxing to spend a few solid hours chatting and creating (and snacking on deviled eggs and finger sandwiches and scones!).
I finished off the weekend with a very satisfying Sunday. After a little morning run (36 minutes - twice in one weekend - woohoo!), my friends and I attempted brunch at Founding Farmers. But when we heard about the 90-minute wait we abandoned that plan and went to Tonic instead (which I think is just as good). LOTR-Emily and I split the Meditteranean Eggs Benedict and Lemon Blueberry Pancakes, and 6x6 had the French Toast (which was the best French toast I've encountered in this city!).
I attempted to walked off my rather extensive brunch - through Georgetown, back to Dupont, and then all the way down Mass. Ave to the National Gallery (total day's walking mileage: 9.7!). LOTR-Emily and I reconvened at the National Gallery's Chester Dale Collection Exhibit (my all-time favorite art exhibit, basically 4 rooms of awesomeness!), and then headed upstairs to rest our legs and read in one of the atriums.
People can say what they will about this city, but I freaking love DC! Where else can you meander through some of the most beautiful paintings on earth for free, then lounge in a comfy chair and read a book looking at a lush inside garden (in February, I might add!)?
And then at 5 o'clock we were off to more free awesomeness. In the Gallery's movie theater the final night of the French Short Film Festival was about to commence. The theater was packed with our fellow francophones (and/or francophiles), and we enjoyed 4 of the best contemporary french shorts (at least according to the organizers):
- La route du Nord: Karim, mid fourties, lives in France since his early teenage years. For the first time in many years he returns to Lebanon to transfer his father remains, who died during the war, from Beirut to his home village.
- La raison de l'Autre: Caroline is a young welfare advisor. She discovers that one of the people she helps is moonlighting. Feeling betrayed, she’s going to try to know more about this man by following him one night...
- L'endroit idéal: Barbara, a film director, is investigated by the police for having given money to Michel, the man whom she loves and who is in prison. She is forbidden of seing him for one year.
- La Harde: The last day of youth of 4 young boys. A forest, a gun, and an unexpected encounter.
Our films were followed by my favorite fro-yo (Fro-Zen-Yo), finishing off a fabulous weekend!
(Again. Excessive alliteration. I can't control myself!)