I spent the "3 day yom tov" (Shabbat, followed by 2 days of a holiday that are usually kept in many of the ways that Shabbat is) in the MD suburbs of DC. Most of the time was at alanscottevil's place in Silver Spring, though I spent Sunday night seder and the subsequent night at the house of benjifus's aunt/uncle/cousins in Chevy Chase.
The time in Silver Spring, honestly, was much more intense than I was expecting. This was mostly in a good way. It was very Jews-in-the-Woods-like in terms of the sense of both isolation and camaraderie, even though when we sang the craziest and hippiest of the songs I associate with JITW, it was in a fully ironic manner. A bunch of the people there were fantastic people I know from JITW, plus my roommate, a few people I didn't already know, and a few people I know from other Jewish contexts. Also, Lawee!!!! I knew he was going to be there, but I hadn't spent extended time with him since he graduated college in 2005. DAMN that was nice. I'm so glad to be with him in the same Jewish contexts that we've both grown up into.
There was some bad. For one thing, seders were awkward. The first seder started absurdly late. (10:45 -- 3 hours after sundown, and about 2:15 after we were allowed to start according to the often-ignored Jewish law that we were following.) I hear it was fun, but I was in bed and asleep an hour into it, before most of the singing and nearly all of the eating. So I didn't really have a first seder. Second seder, in Chevy Chase, was only awkward because it had the distinct feel of a second seder, but it was essentially my first this year (both with those people, and really at all).
There was other bad too, teenage angst and food prep stress and carbon monoxide alarms and trips from the fire department and return trips from the fire department, but it's probably best to not dwell on such details.
Things were mostly good, really. Lawee made me so happy. Actually getting to be in the same city with tobeginagain for days on end was a treat. I got to hang out with Michal Leah again, the 3rd time I've seen her in the past 4 months, after meeting her at a wedding in 2004 and then never seeing her again until 2008. Laura B stopped by and I had some time to catch up with her. Molly Z and I bonded for the first time. Julie A and I had some nice chats. And so on. And I really did enjoy the second seder, the one I actually stayed up for. (It helped that it ran from 7:00 until midnight.) Even though Benj wasn't there, I got to hang out with his brother, his mom, and several cousins I know from previous seders. I really like that family, and it's fun to watch all the kids grow up by the snapshots I get at seder every couple of years.
Eventually, yom tov finished, I spent one more night in Silver Spring, and then left. I rode back to Philly with tobeginagain on Tuesday. I haven't really posted since then because I wanted to hang out with her and the mutual roommate (my current, her former). She left this morning.
Oh, and I ran into JSS on Wednesday morning! I had a vague idea she was in America, but no idea at all that she was in Philly! What a lovely surprise!
And now it's almost next weekend, huh? Still processing. (And still not sick of the food just yet. Huh. Having people make matzah lasagna for you tends to help with that, I guess.)