I’ve know Mike Hankins for over 18 years and have played trumpet with him at all variety of venues during our long friendship. I even lived with him for a short stint in the “Bat Cave” in Portland as I transitioned from Oregon to DC. If there’s one thing I would say about Mike, it’s that he’s a constant student of the instrument. AND he’s a good cook. Last night we had burgers on the grill, roasted veggies and a big fat baked potato, paired with Mirror Pond Pale Ale from Oregon.
Right off the plane and he was at the shop. He helped us Christen the Shop Lounge with a nice Tempranillo and our favorite trail mix.
I had to work on Friday so Yolanda and Mike took a short hike over to The Phillips Collection to see an exhibition of Man Ray, a Surrealist photographer and painter fascinated by mathematical equations expressed as 3D objects. This was followed by a nice cappuccino and gelato. Ah, the life of leisure!
Later that evening we surprised him with a trip to Blues Alley to hear Arturo Sandoval. Sandoval is a legend as a musician who can play classical, jazz and Latin on trumpet, piano and timables. That night he lead a band of six players, including trumpet, sax, keyboards, bass and two percussionists. We loved his solo ballad arrangement “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” as well as his upbeat Latin numbers.
Saturday was a beautiful day in Washington. Unfortunately, Yolanda ate something pretty bad the day before and ended up in bed all day, so Mike and I were a couple of groovy guys out on our own. We hit the National Museum of American History. We saw the original Star Spangled Banner and were eaten by an giant undersea creature. That doesn’t happen every day. After that, we headed over to Whole Foods to get some chow for dinner. Burgers as noted above.
No visit to DC is complete without a visit to Logan Hardware. It’s an awesome store on two levels. The staff uses walkie-talkies to call ahead to get you to your ultimate destination. We bought a washer, super glue and a toilet paper holder.
Another trip to Whole foods and….dinner! Mike had a hankering for oysters, so he became the official shucker. We paired this with a Four Graces Pinot Blanc he brought for us from the winery. We then moved on to a Pinot Noir from the same winery, accompanied by veal schnitzel, asparagus, couscous and a caprese salad. Oh, and an ice cream sundae for dessert.
Just when we thought we had eaten enough…the next day we decided we had to take a trip to Ben’s Chili Bowl. Ben’s has been around since 1958 and is a favorite or President Obama. It was also a favorite or our former imfamous and recently deceased mayor, Marion Barry. Mike liked the house t-shirt, bearing MB’s happy face (in the background) and bought one to commemorate the dog. Chili dog, that is.
At some point, Mike had to board a plane to Amsterdam to start his next cruise line adventure. It was great to see him and sad to see him go, but we shall meet again soon!