28 May 2008

Getting in Touch with our Inner Taigan*

It is so gorgeous Monday that we can not stay home. So, agreeing to avoid sneezing on anybody (isn't sneezing on others everybody's secret hobby? no??), we venture out into the super-summery weather.

We do our part to stimulate the economy by taking advantage of a sale or two and then try to go to Indigo Landing. I say "try" because we wind up slowly circling the packed parking lot six, seven, eight times before we give up. Apparently everyone else is of the opinion that watching sailboats bob at Indigo Landing is the perfect way to spend the afternoon, too, and they're five minutes ahead of us and not about to give up their perch.

Dejected, we leave Indigo Landing but it is not long before we remember Le Gaulois, on King Street, and their courtyard. We get a fantastic al fresco table close to the street (great for gawking) and next to flower boxes that are brimming with color. We nibble on oysters, lightly dressed Caesar salad, garlic toast and sip wonderfully crisp white wine.

As we sit, talking for hours, we coo at the dogs that pass. "Ooo, look how sweet. What kind is he?" Because Old Town is all about the dogs. High-fallutin, special-breed dogs that are things I've never heard of and can't pronounce and were born with hair that lays much better than mine. Alexandria has a 1 to 3 dog to person ratio.** And dogs know how to absolutely bask in a sunny day. We learn much about seizing and appreciating the day from them.

Truly relaxed, we linger, talking for hours. Every five minutes the Old Town Trolley goes by with a load of tourists. I wave at every trolley. Enthusiastically. Who says the locals here aren't friendly?! I take it upon myself to singlehandedly change this perception.

Most of the tourists just stare through me but occasionally one catches my eye and grins and waves back. This is all the encouragement I need. Now I am waving like I'm 10 years old and meeting up with summer camp friends. I am waving like they are Ed McMahon and I've spotted my name on the giant, cardboard check under their arm. They are laughing. We are laughing. It is a good day.

* Yes, this is a real breed of dog.
** Source: Totally Made Up But Plausible Statistics, Cochran, et. al., 2006.


rs27 said...

Please tell me you did the big grin and wave. People love big grin and wave

lacochran said...

Rs27: I was Old Town's own village idiot.

Gilahi said...

"Cochran et al"? I thought you said you et oysters and salad....

And by the way, the word verification for this response is "olwkf", which is, I believe, the sound a Taigan makes when it barks. Ah, the fundamental interconnectedness of all things.

lacochran said...

Gilahi: Only if you pet it in the right spot.