My grandson, Francis, wandered into the Washington DC adventure because our destinations might coincide, and he could use a favor. As you recall, he invited me to lunch to quiz me and assess the opportunity. I heard nothing more, and dismissed the possibility of seeing him, until the package intelligence surfaced.
A week and a half ago he asked if I could bring a package for him. Sure, what’s the plan? He hadn’t thought about that, and since he is a spontaneous kind of a guy, he’d just ship it.
I forgot about it again until his mother called, and explained what he was planning to do, which was to bike the tow path trails from Pittsburgh to DC, ship home the bike and other stray belongings, grab the package, containing among other things, his laptop and his photo ID passport, Uber to the airport and visit his South Carolina cousins on Tuesday. He would find us on the mall via his sister’s GPS.
Sounded like a plan to me; I signed off and forgot about it again.
I followed France several days on the trail via his morning and evening Facebook posts. I was impressed at his determination. He was in it and would see it through. The snow, the frozen trail, camping several nights in primitive conditions, and then that eleven hour day, slogging uphill in mud, walking the bike. Poor guy came out several miles short of a town with decent food (France likes his decent food), and settled for outback poutine; French fries and gravy, served up in a crossroads bar.
But then it was downhill, and he rolled along beside the Potomac River in sixty degree weather, into his favorite lodging, an AirBnB, very near the National Mall. Good food, nice bed, clean clothes. Teddy Roosevelt thought about his safari porter, and texted me, at 6:30 this morning:
How would you like to coordinate package delivery tomorrow? My AirBnB is right by the National Park.
I smiled and went back to sleep. At 8:30, after a shower, dressing, breakfast, bed making and so forth, I replied:
Tomorrow I am driving to Alexandria VA. Expect to be on the National Mall around 10 am Sunday.
Five minutes later: Alright.
I expect he will be through with sister, cousin and grandma long before Tuesday, and change his ticket for a Monday flight.
The weather forecast is outstanding, half the cherry blossoms survived and will peak this weekend. The weather here was so lovely today that I had the front door open all afternoon.
Toby was beside himself, between standing on the door closer, and peering through the chink at the bottom. I promised him I will get him an all glass storm door this summer and maybe an interior door with full glass this fall, though that improvement will be more for me than for him.