Vegetables, yarn, and yarns: all of my passions all in one place.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

One Mile to E at AWP

Now that things have settled a bit from driving to Michigan for the funeral and then, two days later, driving back to Cleveland so we could carpool to DC for the Association for Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference of 2011, it's time to get back to the blog. I took my camera with me, and while site seeing was more or less a bust:

(That's the reflecting pool).

I did remember to take pictures of several of my meals just for you, faithful reader. Pre-carpool, Art and I considered taking a cooler and a rice cooker, perhaps one of those griddles, to cheap out on the food while we AWPed, but going with other people, we didn't want to occupy too much room in the trunk of the car.

The carpool, oddly, ended up being the most excitement of the conference, when, on the way home, the first service plaza on the Ohio turnpike was permanently closed, leaving us with a low-gas light and miles to go before the next gas station. We did not run out of gas, thankfully, but as my office buddy Amanda coasted to a stop beside a gas pump, the car informed us that we were 1 mile away from an empty tank.

On a side note, service plazas leave much to be desired in the food department if you are a vegetarian. I'm not sure what the poor vegans do. The place we stopped for food had cheese pizza, fries, a salad with cheese on it, and coffee.

In DC, however, there were an abundance of vegetarian and vegan options. For example, at the Cleveland State Poetry Center reading in a lovely vegan biker bar called Asylum, I gorged myself on vegan wings, pita with hummus, and vegan mac n cheez. I ate them too fast to take pictures.

While perusing the Mall and all its construction, I even found a hot dog stand that sells veggie pitas. And this was no girlie pita either. It was stacked with 25 layers of spinach, four sliced of cheese, a mound of shredded carrot, all on half of a whole wheat pita the size of my head, served with a packet of Italian dressing. The stand also had hot tea, which was much appreciated. It was a chilly day. It the Midwest, it was the middle of snowpocalypse. In DC, it was a chilly day.

Half pita pictured here with tea and Kate Spade. I don't business trip without her.

We arrived in DC, driving through snowpocalypsed Ohio and Pennsylvania, at 11 p.m. on Wednesday the second of February. Thursday, was vegan wings night. Friday afternoon was the Mall. For friday night, already overwhelmed from our first AWP, Art and I opted for an evening for just us two. We dined at a Mediterranean place across the street from the hotel AWP was anchored in. What's always a nice surprise in a restaurant is when I take a really long time to order because there are several things on the menu I can eat. In such instances, I have to actually decide what I want, rather than settling for the one thing I can eat. I indulged in my only alcoholic beverage the entire weekend, what was called a Georgia Peach Martini. Quite tasty. For my main course, I opted for my first taste of moussaka, a dish of grilled eggplant, layered with zucchini and topped with a tomato sauce. The side listed for my meal was rice, but I switched that out for a taste at the roasted red pepper whipped potatoes, which are as delicious as they sound.

By noon on Saturday, we had already hit the road for the return trip back home, noticing, as we headed through the quaint streets of Maryland, Moby Dick's House of Kabobs to the right. Maybe next time, Meville. Maybe next time.

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