The Mad Poller What Polls at Midnight (maeincarnate) wrote,
The Mad Poller What Polls at Midnight

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Hotel Monaco

Friday night, I was invited to go on a company-sponsored dinner cruise with the infrequently posting veejay around the Potomac. Free food, free booze, and a chance to catch up with VJ, who I haven't seen in months? It was a no brainer.

I walked from my office to his hotel, and it struck me, as it normally does when I find myself in that area, of just how different D.C. can look from neighborhood to neighborhood. The D.C. I see every day is a bland, personality-free wasteland of the same mid-rise office building with the same Korean-owned deli on the ground floor, with the same bums camped out in each nook and cranny. There are no businesses that have any discerning features from the other: if there are stores, they're all chains, if there are restaurants, they're basically the same as the one next door. But a mere ten blocks from my office, it's a whole nother story. The buildings have character. Some of them still have the same fronts they have had for the past 200 years. There are restaurants. And shops. Real restaurants and shops that have some sort of individuality and character. It stuns me every time: yes, there actually *are* parts of Washington, D.C. that look like a real city. Whodathunkit.

The cruise itself is not really much to talk about. VJ and I spent the entire time sitting on the deck sucking down free wine and catching up. After the boat docked, we got a cab with one of his co workers and headed back to the hotel bar. The hotel they were staying at may be one of the top five most beautiful hotels I have ever seen. It is in a former post office that was built sometime in the 1800's. Beautiful vaulted ceilings. The rooms had all been offices at one time, and while small, were impressive to look at. The wide hallways were detailed with gorgeous mouldings and columns, with curtains that could be pulled down to partition off parts of the hall. Everything was black, white and red, full-on art deco. The hotel bar was decorated all in green seaglass, chrome and light oak wood. We hit the bar for a few more drinks, and much to my surprise, that red wine/martini combo I got from the last call on the boat really did me in. We chatted there until they made last call at midnight, which for all I knew it could have been 4am.

VJ and I went up to his room to pick up something I had left in there during the cruise and he showed me the complimentary his and hers bathrobes that were in the wardrobe. Thick, heavy terry cloth, with a nice Hotel Monaco crest on the breast, and best of all, leopard print. We tried them on and hemmed and hawed a bit over whether or not taking it was a good idea. What if they notice? What if they charge the company and the company notices? We looked at ourselves in those bathrobes one more time and VJ burst, "Take it. If the company ever notices I get charged for this, consider it a gift."

I couldn't say no. I stuffed it in one of the dirty laundry bags they provided and sneakily stumbled my way downstairs, out a side door and straight into a waiting cab. Success.

In case you didn't know, it's Zeke Week at my apartment while Gamer and Jenn are off cavorting at the beach. After politely rebuffing the cab driver's attempts at flirtation on the ride home, I locked myself into my apartment, stripped down and passed out on the couch in front of the Food Channel until about 5am when I got up and went to bed. Promptly at 8:45, I was awoken to a crash, went in the living room to investigate, and found that Zeke the Cat had managed to find the entire stash of yarn (my fault for not making him little yarn balls to play with the moment he came over), and had wound the yarn around each of the dining room chairs, one of the futons, around the computer desk chair and somehow situated it so that when he pulled it again, knocked the phone and some other assorted clutter off one of the end tables.

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