Unexpected Visitors

A phone call early yesterday evening alerted us that Steve’s sister Karen and her husband Joe were stranded at Dulles airport, having missed their connection between San Francisco and Paris. What luck! It so happened that I had been experimenting that afternoon with Leslie’s recipe for braised short ribs and had plenty. We were particularly sympathetic with their plight since United had stranded us overnight in Newark last August on our way to Scotland. But we had no local relatives or friends near that airport. Karen said they were the only ones affected who seemed happy about the change of plans. We were thrilled to have their company.

This morning we visited the Civil War Art exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum that shares the former Patent Office building with the National Portrait Gallery. It was there we enjoyed the Hall of Sports Champions and photographed our visitors with a statue of Casey Stengel. Then we had lunch in the Courtyard Cafe that unites the two museums, sheltered by a magnificent canopy by architect Norman Foster. What a treasure these twin museums are! You can get an idea at http://www.americanart.si.edu/visit/. Karen and Joe are now on their way to Burgundy and will celebrate Joe’s big birthday in Beaune, heart of Dijon. They promised to bring us mustard for Christmas.

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