Back from my weekend in the Shenandoah Valley to celebrate the birthday of my soon-to-be roommate, Sarah… It could have been a t.v. show … “eleven strangers, picked to live in a chalet without cable, internet or cell phone reception, and told to waste as much time and alcohol as possible in a 48-hour period…”

We were a funny, random bunch. I only knew about half the people, all friends from work. Others were Minnesotans who work on Capitol Hill, others somehow knew people in one of those contingents. We played a bunch of drinking games, although some got so intense that people actually forgot to drink. For example, during our three-hour game of speed quarters, we eventually reached such a magical still point of speed quarter nirvana that we didn’t even bother to pause.

Other highlights: being in the second row of a cheerleader-style pyramid, canoeing without falling in, hiking through lots o’ mud, running through a field towards Emily in slo-mo, Twister at 3am, napping in front of a woodburning stove and reading just one chapter of the four books I brought. Every now and then I’d just stop and think, “Wait. Am I having fun here? Whoa….”

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