I used the weekend to take it easy and sleep. Lots of sleeping. I read a study once that proved you can never actually "catch-up on sleep" but after all the time I've spent in bed, I feel like a whole new woman. Today was really the first day I ventured out.
My first stop was Bang in Chinatown for a haircut. Tourist tip: while they're still on the pricey side, Bang Salons are the most reasonably priced salons I've found in the city that have sleek, professional hair stylists. I really appreciate how they consult with you about what you want and give you several options before they even pick up a brush.
Anyway, today's goal: Cut and blend in the freaky blond splotch I have in my dark brown hair. It's a birth mark, but several hairdressers have asked me, "umm, did you dump peroxide on your head before you came in here?" The one today was no different.
I'll spare you the details and just show you the result:
Ta-da! I like it, though the color is lighter than I wanted it, but it's not orange, which is what the stylist said might happen if we pile on a dark dye. Good! Also, those bangs were fun for about two minutes, but now we have spats.
After pampering, I met up with Ruth in Dupont. A quick stop for a bite to eat at Zorba's Greek cafe for gyros (heros? yeros? eros? I never know) off Connecticut Ave., then we headed to a vintage and used bookstore I found online called Second Story Books on P Street.
Coming from a family of big time readers -- we just inhale books, my dad especially -- I was on the hunt for unique gifts and Ruth graciously obliged to check it out with me.
What I was expecting was a dusty, dimly-lit store full of torn and faded books of the past, so you can imagine how surprised I was to find most of the collection was contemporary used books. Hell, we found The Da Vinci Code among the shelves and boxes. A few locked cabinets held the ancient volumes I had anticipated, but anything behind lock and key is beyond my price range.
I ended up with two books -- a 1994 ed. re-purposed collection of the original 1892 Sherlock Holmes stories and a 1902 book of love poems. It was the inscription inside the poem book that made me buy it.
July 8-18, 1927
"Good bye to you Lil,
May the words of this book
bring many fond memories
of an almost blissful
summer romance -
'Till we meet again, Matt"
Ruth and I were both tearing up and I couldn't let it go, even though I felt a little disrespectful sneaking into (and purchasing) some one's private thoughts.
Total for the purchases: $9. Bargain!
I could spend entire afternoons in bookstores, but I feel a store like this where the books themselves have a story to tell outside the pages is truly special. Our next venture is to find the vintage bookstore President Obama visited shortly after he took office.