We left home last Thursday, and drove to Chester, NY to stay overnight with our friends, Mike and Barb Gilman. They are long-time dancers, former dance organizers, gardeners and all-around good folks. The morning was a little drizzly, but we took a brief tour of the farm anyway, said hello to the horses, admired the new deer fence around the garden – for our Maine friends, their asparagus is starting to come up! And Sadie, my border collie, of course jumped in the pond shortly before we needed to leave... visiting the Gilmans was a great way to start off the tour! Our first gig was the Friday night dance at the Spanish Ballroom, at the Glen Echo National Park in Glen Echo, MD. We first played there 12 years ago, and each time we return there have been more renovations of this wonderful and historical place. The ballroom is completely repainted, the roof and ceiling fixed, the carousel repainted, the bumper car pavilion redone into a great outdoor dance space. There were about 300 people dancing Friday night. We enjoyed meeting a bunch of dancers and organizers at a gathering after the dance. These guys are doing a great job growing their community by attracting and educating beginners - there were about 100 people at the beginners' workshop before the dance. I felt a little rusty, after the last couple weeks of not playing because of illness, but the dancers didn't seem to notice!