Today was a day made for running errands on folding bikes: sunny, clear, and in the high 70's. Which was great, because that's just how we spent our day.
We started off at the (Historic) Lake Anne Center, which has become one-stop shopping for us in recent days. We only lately realized that there's an awesome old-timey pharmacy/lunch counter/post office there, and so today I transferred a prescription there, we mailed a book we'd sold on Amazon, and of course succumbed to our terrible weakness for breakfast sandwiches.
Apparently Larry the pharmacist has run the Lakeside Pharmacy since approximately the 1960's, and the Washington Post ran a story in 1999 about how beloved he is to the community. He's also mentioned frequently anywhere you find people reminiscing about Reston (books, websites, magazines). We enjoyed chatting it up with him and appreciated the fact that he filled my prescription with no questions asked--despite the fact that I had obtained in in December of 2007, my name had changed, it was written for a drug that's been discontinued, and it was originally written for a mail-order program. He simply substituted the appropriate drug (and my appropriate name), and had it ready to go in 10 minutes. This compares exceptionally favorably with my experiences at frazzled CVS and Rite Aid counters, who act like they're letting you get away with something they really shouldn't any time they fill your prescriptions. Not to mention the waiting. And the standing in line.
The Lakeside Cafe, where we ate delicious sausage, egg, and bagel/English muffin sandwiches while we waited, has an adorable setup inside with swivel stools and an old-fashioned lunch counter. However, this morning it was empty, as nobody could resist sitting outside on such a beautiful morning. For a couple of sandwiches and some orange juice, we walked away for about $7--possibly less than you'd pay for fast food, and considerably better--which was good, because we'd limited our eating-out budget to what we could scrounge up in change.
We're especially interested in their Central American offerings, and are planning to head back sometime soon for lunch.
There's also a farmer's market at Lake Anne which has been voted the best in Northern Virginia (and it has some pretty stiff competition). Here's the bounty of just one of the stalls:
Our menu for this week:
Baked potatoes and steamed carrots
Tamales with sour cream and salsa
Sweet corn and black beans
Pasta with grilled onions, peppers, and mushrooms
Cauliflower soup and steamed carrots
Tomato soup and grilled cheese
Baked potato pizza
At the farmer's market, we bought potatoes, sweet corn, tomatoes, and delicious Ginger Gold apples which we've been anticipating since last year. We still needed to make a trip to Trader Joe's for a can of beans, some cilantro, a bag of carrots, some bananas, cheese, and cauliflower, which was just as well because we were also running low on cat litter. We also biked to Whole Foods to buy six pounds of bulgur in bulk, and managed to enjoy some excellent snacks (ie samples) while we were there.
Lake Anne is also where our favorite bookstore is, and we picked up several books thanks to the store credit we earned the last time we traded some in. I'll let Matt tell you about his himself, but I got The Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year and Your Fertility Signals: Using Them to Achieve or Avoid Pregnancy Naturally. Nothing to get excited about yet: they're just books I think will be a great addition to my midwifery library. (But--does anybody have any experience with Fertility Awareness Methods of birth control? I am curious.) Here they are on the back of Matt's bike, while mine is strapped with a half-dozen fresh eggs:
Incidentally, as I was loading the eggs on the back of my bike, it flashed into my mind what an unfortunate thing it would be if I fell with them on there. Well, in my third fall of moderate seriousness (all of which took place on the street we live on; I guess the old statistic of being most likely to get in a car wreck a mile from home is doubly true for bike accidents), I tumbled off my bike while on a steep uphill and landed partway down a small ravine with my bike on top of me. Matt helped me get untangled and up and dusted off, and except for a few scrapes and a pedal-shaped imprint in the middle of my right thigh, I'm almost as good as new. And the eggs? Not a crack!
And lastly, for the first time we checked out the Reston Historical Society and Museum, also in the same plaza. They have some awesome historical information about the town, as well as some supremely groovy Reston T-shirts you're sure to see us sporting sometime soon. Also at Lake Anne, but not partaken of today: canoe/boat rental, as well as our (well, MY) barber. I can't think of anywhere we've ever had such centrality of location! In short, it's full of the kind of real people and local establishments which were so difficult to find in this documentary, and which are becoming harder and harder to find all across the country. It's a theme I was first introduced to when I was quite young by my parents, who fought the arrival of a WalMart to the small suburb we lived in and ran a one-man furniture repair/refinishing shop for 25 years, and continue to run a bed and breakfast in a hotel age. And it's one which has come to mean a lot to me.
Anyway, here are our bikes loaded after Trader Joe's (the rest goes in backpacks):
And on the way home, we happened across a doe and twin spotted fawns, not six feet from where we stood/rode. Excuse the blurriness. How sweet!
I remember at my interview for the hospital, the human resources woman (by way of telling me I was hired), enthused in a singsong voice, "You are going to LOVE living and working in Reston!"
That doesn't even begin to cover it.