While I was napping, my friend, Jill, virtually flew in for the weekend so I’ll have company for the next few activities. After she checks in we meet up at the Mandarin Oriental’s Spa for a little pre-event pampering. We’re opting for the “Holistic Foot Treatment With Hot Stones” which they describe as a “holistic foot and nail treatment includes gentle skin softening exfoliation as well as a relaxing acupressure point massage with the aromatherapy massage oil prescribed for your individual needs. The feet are then enveloped in warm paraffin wax to deeply nourish and condition the skin.” It’s perfect to bridge the gap from hiking around monuments (or airports) to high heels.
I looked and looked for an appropriate gown for the evening and kept coming back to this one. It’s very simple, but I love the swingy-ness of the skirt. I’ll add some eye-catching jewelry, a wrap, and these fabulous shoes to complete the ensemble.
Jill’s wearing this, btw, in black. Both our dresses are from, you guessed it, Coldwater Creek. (Hey, I don’t shop much and they sent me a catalog.)
I originally planned to dine at the Kennedy Center’s Roof Terrace Restaurant, but a plethora of mediocre online reviews put me off. So I turned to DCFoodies.com and they steered us to Circle Bistro. Circle Bisto also offers a 3-course pre-theater menu and their chef is a cute Austin boy, so it seemed like the perfect place to go.
I start with Creamy Corn Soup with Crab, Shrimp and Jalapeño; Jill opts for the Jumbo Lump Crab Cake with Fried Green Tomato, Succotash and Applewood Smoked Bacon. We waver over our entrees so much we end up sharing both the Grilled Flat-Iron Steak with Chanterelles, Fingerling Potatoes, Grape Tomatoes, and Red Wine Sauce and the Idaho Trout with Artichoke Hearts, Pine Nuts, Capers, and Roasted Tomatoes. (That’s one of the joys of dining with someone else.) But for dessert, there is no question in either of our minds—and absolutely no sharing. It’s the Bistro Brownie Sundae with Espresso Ice Cream and Candied Walnuts. After all, we want to abide by Vacation Rule Number 1! Even virtually this makes my mouth water.
Pleasantly full, but not so much that we’re liable to fall asleep mid-aria, we walk the three blocks to the Kennedy Center and take our seats for the Washington National Opera’s version of Gioachino Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia. (That’s “The Barber of Seville” for us non-Italian speakers.) Naturally, we have terrific virtual seats, so we entertain ourselves by admiring the red and gold silk curtain (a gift from Japan) and the exquisite crystal chandelier (a gift from Austria), and indulging in speculation on who the elegant Washingtonians seated around us might http://codex.wordpress.org/Excerptbe.
It’s a fun, light-hearted opera and even if you’re not an opera buff, I guarantee you’ve heard the iconic phrase “Figaro, Figaro, Figaro!” even if it was just from Bugs Bunny. The Figaro in question is the barber of the title, who helps young Almaviva win the hand of the beautiful Rosina and saves her from marrying her guardian, Dr. Bartolo. It’s almost 3 hours of scheming and manipulation set to glorious music. (Hmmm, behind-the-scenes plotting and planning to gain a desired outcome…that never happens here in DC, does it?)
More adventures in store tomorrow, but that’s enough for tonight. As Figaro might say, “Buonanotte!”