When it comes to taking a road trip for lunch, it's hard to beat a 70-degree January Friday.
Destination: Bistro Bethem in Fredericksburg. Company: my aunt, who, at barely twelve years older than me, is more of a friend than an aunt.
Let's just say I once dated a guy older than she is.
Our relationship is based on our similarities (my father, her brother, wishes we would both get married and settle down), a love of good food and wine and the ability to talk for hours.
She comes from Warrenton, a shorter drive, so she was already facing the sunny front window and enjoying her wine when I arrived.
Our handsome young server, a Mary Washington student, brought me a glass of Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha because if a spring-like day in late January doesn't call for rose, I don't know what does.
For lunch, I went with the braised pork barbecue with Virginia-style sauce (tomato-based) and slaw on a branded (with a "B") challah roll and a salad of mesclun.
In a lucky happenstance, I'd worn a dress with a low-scooped back, allowing me to eat my 'cue and sip my rose while feeling the sun shining on my back.
On January 27th, no less.
Which isn't half as interesting as the tidbits divulged about my parents by my aunt during the dessert course, where we indulged in the coconut cake of which we both are so fond.
She knew where all the bodies were buried.
My father and his army buddy lived in an apartment in the basement of my mother's parents' house in Washington?
My father's first wife found a letter from my mother to my father while they were still married?
Holy shit, batman.
She told me about my Dad bringing my Mom to Richmond to meet his family despite my Grandfather's prejudice about Catholics.
I'm telling you, I heard all kinds of juicy information that neither of my parents had ever let on.
She shared that my father thinks he's the luckiest man alive because he found my mother and married her all those years ago.
Tell me something I don't know.
Small wonder he's always pushing marriage at my aunt and me.
He hit the jackpot And he's smart enough to know it.
So to that we, the unmarried, toasted.