Thursday 1 December 2022

Silver Spring all day

My last full day. I get up around 8. Potter around for a while and make myself a coffee. Taking advantage of a rare free day.

Fancying a proper breakfast, I look for a diner on the internet. Tastee, a proper old-fashioned diner isn't far. Seems like the perfect destination.

It’s only a short walk away. Though I do have to cross two stroads on the way. Not particularly pedestrian friendly.

Eggs, bacon and home fries. The first proper cooked breakfast of the trip. It's greasilicious. Exactly what was required. That should fuel me for the best part of the day. I do love a proper diner, especially for breakfast. Unpretentious and good value. And full of bacony goodness.

On the way back, I drop by the liquor store to get bourbon for the kids. Then CVS for a sandwich for later. Got to take advantage of my CVS discount card while I can. If anyone were to analyse my use of the card, it would look weird. Several times in California. Then nothing for months and once in Chicago. Nothing again for weeks and then several times in Maryland. It's a weird pattern. Well, no pattern at all.

I laze around my room for a while. Then think: “Why not go for a beer?” Why not, indeed? It’s a little before three. None of the breweries nearby open until four. Looks like it’s Dog Haus again.

It’s a bit busier today. Then again, I am a little later, almost three 0’clock. I plonk myself down at the bar and wonder what to order first. I know: let’s have an Elysian Space Dust again.

I thought I should make the effort to get out. So far, it’s been a very quiet day. After a good night’s kip I woke up feeling the best I have all trip.

It’s been a funny trip.  Mostly, I’ve been feeling my age. I’ll need to pace myself much better in future. I can’t just rush around like I did when I was younger.

The weather is fucking freezing today. Quite unpleasant. Yet just a few days ago, I was feeling too hot and my arms were caught a little by the sun. Quite the turnaround in such a short space of time.

Last night’s event was cool. I always liven up when I start talking about beer. Just glad people still want to listen to me. It’s amazing how many dates and numbers I have in my head. Except when the Reinheitsgebot was extended to cover the whole of Germany. Was it 1906 or 1908?

With all the books (I hope) gone, I may be able to take home all the beer I’ve been given. That would be a first. Usually, I have to guzzle it down the day before I head home.

The two blokes sitting a few seats away reek of weed. Must be strong stuff they’re smoking. It’s just like being back in Amsterdam. Neither of them finished their beer. That’s not something you see in the UK. Other than in soap operas.

Paul and Jamie pick me up at 17:30. When we park just around the back of Tastee diner, I realise just how close Silver Branch is to my hotel.

While they finish setting up, we have a beer. No, I don’t have an IPA. To fit in with my lecture, I go for a Stout.

In the run up to my appearance, we’re served lots of different Stouts. First, their own in three forms: cask, nitro and CO2. You can probably guess which I preferred. Though it could have done with a bit more condition.

Next, we see if we can identify four Stouts: their own, Sam Smiths Oatmeal Stout, Dragon and Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. The latter is obvious. So ashy. The Sam Smiths I can spot, too. I’m quite pleased with two out of four. Kicking myself I didn’t spot Dragon, though.

I rattle through my talk. It takes about exactly an hour. About the intended length. I could maybe have lingered on some of the tables a little longer.

Talking done, it’s time to flog some books. Which goes pretty well. Only the one left. That’s close as perfect estimation.

There’s time to chat a little with some of the audience. Before I’m forced to have something to eat. I opt for tacos. Nice and light. Just what I probably needed, but didn’t realise.

The crowd gradually drifts away as I feel myself drifting off. You guessed it: I’m feeling knacked. Yet again.

Back in my room, my pal Jim is waiting patiently to guide me to sleep.

Tastee Diner
8601 Cameron St,
Silver Spring,
MD 20910.

Dog Haus
933 Ellsworth Dr STE 933,
Silver Spring,
MD 20910.

Silver Branch Brewing Company
8401 Colesville Rd #150,
Silver Spring,
MD 20910.


Anonymous said...

Stroads! Having you been watching urban planning videos on YouTube?

Ron Pattinson said...


yes, you got me.

Stroad is such a great word for some US thoroughfares.