My last days in Pennsylvania were not actually in Philly. Perhaps not terribly surprising, but I went up and out to the country for a few days of fire building and additional organization instead. It was much as it always is: quiet, peaceful, lovely. And also very cold. When I was packing up L. suggested that instead of putting Meow Cat's ashes into storage, I take her along with me, scattering some of her ashes in a variety of locations. I did think that was a nice idea. And so a few hours before my departure I walked down to the creek and said a few words before sprinkling some of the cat's "cremins" into the still trickling water.
And so once the ashes were scattered and the car was packed, and I waited the requisite amount of time for Zul to be properly tranquilized, I got on the road. The drive to Virginia was generally uneventful. For the majority of it, I listened to Armistead Maupin's second to last Tales of the City book, which was absolutely perfect. All the characters were familiar to me from the previous installments, most of which I read between the ages of 12 and 15, and then revisited in my late 20s. I arrived a bit before CRS and J, which gave Zul time to hide in the hotel room and me time to...maybe I took a shower? I kind of forget what I did. Once they arrived we went to dinner at El Puerto. CRS and I both ordered margaritas, on ice, with salt. They were certainly large in size, but very much 'meh' in terms of actual goodness. Standard sour mix, lots of it, with tequila somewhere in there. We both finished them, but I wouldn't rave about them in any context really.I ordered their mushroom and cheese quesadilla with tomatillo salsa and a funny 'guacamole salad.' On the whole you really can't go wrong with melted cheese, but this was not all that great either. The guac was a little suspect in its absolute smoothness - I guess they could have used a food processor...but it just made me suspect that it was most certainly not being made from scratch. The tomatillo sauce actually had a nice little kick to it. The mushrooms were your standard button variety, and I probably would have suggested sauteeing them with some other herb or onion to increase their flavor. Not bad, but not really memorable. Very much Mexican for white people in the south.