What makes a perfect weekend? Start with decent weather, which for a Maryland summer means hot but not too hot and definitely not too humid. Combine that good weather with good company (both friends and family), a couple of fun activities (both away from home and at home), and one or two chores (to keep daily life under control) and you have all the ingredients you need.
This weekend we took our first family bike ride down the nearby hiker-biker trail using Paul's "grown up" bike. After a year or so on a basic bike, Paul was ready to move up to one with hand brakes and real gears, which, of course, means he can go farther and faster. Ben took him out on the trail the other day, but I couldn't go with them until this weekend. It was quite a pleasure to pedal off together as a family. I especially enjoyed Paul's thrill at swooping down the hill which marks the end of the ride. Nothing like the wind on your face as you fly down a hill!
On Saturday night I went to dinner and a concert in Baltimore with my friend Sara. She had won tickets to see singer and actress Kristen Chenoweth at the Hippodrome Theater and had kindly invited me to go along with her. What a show! Kristen is known for creating the role of Glinda (the "good witch") in the Broadway show Wicked, and for her roles in several Broadway and TV productions, including Annabeth Schott on the West Wing, which is how I knew of her. She is a captivating performer, the kind of singer who can set the mood for a song in the first measure, pull you into it, and hold you there until the last note subsides. I loved her show and enjoyed the evening with Sara.
Meanwhile, back home my great-niece, Katy, and her father, Michael, had arrived to spend a few days with us while Katy attended the National History Day conference. We are enjoying seeing them and being a small part of Katy's experience as a NHD state winner.
Last night Ben and Paul and I had dinner by the pond. I don't know which was more wonderful, the food (grilled salmon with coconut mango marinade along with grilled asparagus AND grilled corn) or the wonderfully relaxed ambiance created by the beautiful summer night, the glowing pond, and the colorful Koi. As Ben said, "It doesn't get much better."