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Des Moines, Iowa
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Mr. Wood Goes to Washington, Part 2

Geoff Wood

You know that you're getting older when you try to sleep-in and catch up on sleep but are still out of bed by 9 AM. Such was the case for me on Saturday morning. All is well though, since my good buddy, Nick, was flying out from back home that morning. Nick's wife had stayed home with their two sons and he had decided to split a room with us so I was looking forward to hanging out with him for the weekend. Hope and I waited around for him but finally caved to hunger and grabbed some fancy pitas from Cosi just as Nick called to say he was at the hotel.

Figures.
We ate quickly and trekked the few blocks back to the Bethesda Hyatt. We found Nick, got him settled, then took off to get him some lunch (and us some drinks). We settled on the swank Redwood Restaurant and Bar in the Bethesda Row shopping area. After a confusing bout with the waiter over pickles, a ceramic tub of butter, and a lack of mayo, Nick and I decided to head back to the Irish pub from the night before to watch some football for the afternoon while Hope window-shopped.
Next up was the rehearsal dinner(1) so we quickly got changed and headed down to the lobby bar for some drinks with Matt's family. However, we weren't that quick and we had to take our beers to go through the courtesy of a few Starbucks cups that I noticed where left over on the bar from breakfast. Our ingenuity really impressed Matt's dad, Flip.
Dinner was a boat cruise that started at the waterfront and went down the Potomoc. We saw great views of the riverfront and many of the monuments as well as enjoyed great Chinese food and bottles of Yeungling(2) along with Matt and Jane and their families. One of my favorite parts of the night was sitting out on the upper deck with Nick and Matt listening to Mrs. Potter's Lullaby on the iPod. You see, we all went to high school together in Cedar Rapids but while Nick and I chose to spend our collegiate years at I-State, Matt decided to get all collegial at Creighton. However, Matt did spend one excellent summer with us in Ames and brought with him the Counting Crows. We had known of the Counting Crows obviously but that was the summer we all became fans (thanks to Matt). Ever since, whenever someone plays Mrs. Potter's Lullaby we raise a glass to Matt. Cheers.(3)
After the cruise it was time for more drinks at the lobby bar. We sat down with Matt's step-dad, Joe, who refused to let us pay for any drinks. The bar closed early, and Nick wanted to watch the end of the Red Sox game, so we tried to hit up the bar at the hotel restuarant (to no avail). Matt, his dad, his cousin, Nick and I then went across the street to Tommy Joe's. Flip bought a round of drinks (I tried but he wouldn't let me) and then he, Matt, and the cousin turned in. Nick and I stayed to the end of the game (Red Sox lost) which just about coincided with last call. 
(1)Though the rehearsal was actually the next day, so maybe it was just "dinner" (2)I'm a big fan, if anyone's making a run from the Mid-Atlantic to the Midwest, please pick me up a case. (3)Or, as Nick says, salute.