Sunday, April 29, 2012

dunn, ayala, and gravy do the district

Well, you should probably get comfortable and prepare yourself for a photo overload. Jenn, Christian, and I had a blast in Washington DC last weekend. There are definitely too many fun things to do and see for two days, but we tried to cram in as many as we could.

After taking a half day off work on Friday, we took the bus down to DC, arriving in the evening. We dropped our bags at the awesome place I found us on airbnb (let me remind you of the view) then hit the town for dinner and drinks.

Christian's cousin lives in DC and suggested we check out U Street for bars and places to eat, so we took the Metro a few stops from our apartment. Can I just take a moment to profess my love for the DC metro? The stations are so clean and spacious compared to NYC. There are definite pros and cons (not open 24 hours?! who does that?! most cities actually...we are spoiled in NYC) but we generally always had great service.

After a short walk down U Street, we eventually landed on DC Noodles for dinner. It's funny how we (or maybe it's just me) gravitate towards certain things on menus. Take, for example, that I have a thing for squid ink. (I know, crazy, right?!) So I saw it on the menu and new I had to order this noodle dish even though it had the "spicy" label. Even though spice isn't usually my thing, I sweated through it (with a few water refills) and it was actually quite good. I swear Kurt is on a mission to burn off all my taste buds :) Afterwards, we got drinks on the rooftop at Marvin and later at Blackbyrd and finally headed home to prepare for a marathon day of touring.

Our view in the daytime was just as gorgeous! We were worried the forecast called for rain, but luckily it held off for a good bit of the day. Our plan was to fit in as many outdoor monuments as we could and switch to indoor museums if the weather took a turn for the worse.

We were super excited to take advantage of the Capital Bike Share. It was really simple to borrow bikes and made it easy to get around the city without walking or taking the metro everywhere. Our plan was to grab breakfast in the really cute neighborhood of Capital Hill. I am in love. If I ever move to DC, I will have to fork over the extra cash to live there. Everything is downhill after NYC, right?

(Jenn's a bit more agile on her bike, so she was able to snag the next three images as we breezed on to breakfast. Thanks, Jenn!)

Eastern Market

{via Jenn's instagram}

Breakfast of Champions: Migues Mini Donuts and coffee at the Eastern Market.

We took a stroll through a nearby flea market.

Jenn and I got matching hats! 2 for $10! I'm glad we did because it was much sunnier than expected and I could go a few more weeks without a burned forehead. With our new Toms and matching hats, Jenn and I were quite the spectacle all day :) It got us quite a bit of attention and started lots of conversations. People in DC are pretty friendly.

Christian got some new sunglasses too. We were a styling crew.

Our first stop was the Library of Congress.

It's pretty complicated to get in the main Reading Room, so we were satisfied with the gorgeous lobby.

Photo shoot with the Capital Building. 

Walk through the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Park

National Archives

Washington Monument

Vietnam Memorial

Lincoln Memorial from afar

Korean War Memorial

Martin Luther King Jr. Monument. Can you believe I ran into a couple I know here? Granted, they live in Alexandria, VA but what are the chances?!? It was fun to catch up shortly and see their adorable baby! 

Group shot at the FDR Memorial

Honest Abe up close

Jenn and I were working on the twin status. Sadly, my hat was tied up on the bike, but do note our signature leg cross :)

Institute of Peace

White House! It's much tinier than you would think. 

After a long day of riding and walking, we did a little research for boozy shakes and found Burger Tap and Shake.

My Evil Empire shake definitely hit the spot.

For dinner, we decided to do some touring around Georgetown. After getting caught in a rainstorm, we took refuge in West Elm before making our way to Bodega for Spanish tapas.

The weekend we were in DC was supposed to be the last weekend of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival (the 100th year, no less!) but since we have had such wacky weather this year, the blossoms had come and gone and were nowhere to be seen. Regardless, Christian's cousin told us about Cherry Blast, a party to wrap up the festival. While it was in a neighborhood I wouldn't normally venture as a tourist, it was a blast and we had a ton of fun (apparently I had too much).

There were garland clad dancers.

Art installations

My favorite part must have been the acrobats. They performed stunts on this fabric suspended from the ceiling. I can't imagine the strength it takes to do that. I was mesmerized.

See? Mesmerized. {thanks, Jenn!}

There was lots of dancing.

And photos you could draw on...can't wait to see the final product of this :)

And lots more dancing

The next day, the weather had completely changed. It was cold and rained ALL day. We had brunch very near our apartment at Station 4 before heading to the Holocaust Museum. Unfortunately, I was a bit hungover from our night before and couldn't 100% focus on the museum but what I did see is absolutely unbelievable. [What was most shocking was how all the powerful countries in the civilized world (including the United States) could look on while such atrocities occurred. I would like to think nothing like this could happen today, but it does in Africa and around the world and we all turn a blind eye and no government intervenes unless its interests are directly at risk. It makes me kind of sick.] Please see the museum if you visit Washington DC. It is painful but the collection is excellent.

After the museum, our crew disbanded. Jenn and Christian headed to catch two different buses back to NYC while I headed to meet my Dad who was in town for work. We met up at his hotel and went out for pizza and wine. It's so much fun to chat with my dad. I feel like we always have a fun time. I stayed the night at his hotel and got to enjoy the perks of his elite membership which included late night sweets and breakfast. Thanks for letting me crash, Dad! I can't remember the last time I was at a proper, fancy hotel :)

The next day, Dad had to head into work in the morning but we made plans to meet up for lunch before I caught a bus back to NYC. I had time to kill, so I hit the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art.

Underground walkway to the other galleries

Dad and I met up and had yummy Thai food for lunch. His office is in the middle of Chinatown but it is much more low key than in NYC.

National Building Museum

Impressive central space at the Building Museum. Apparently they hold lots of events in the space and were setting up for one as I wandered around. I will say it doesn't function very well as a museum.

After a lot of wandering, I finally found a gallery with famous structures throughout the world constructed from Legos. It was an awesome exhibit. Turns out you aren't supposed to take photographs and are supposed to have tickets! Whoops. Luckily I was able to sneak away before anyone noticed my rule breaking.

I wandered around the Mall some more, catching a photo of the Hirshorn Museum. If we had more time in DC, I would have liked to see this exhibit and performance.

Smithsonian Institution

It started to rain again, so I ducked into the Museum of Natural History. I always forget how much I love these kinds of collections.

On the way to catch my bus home, I walked by this little garden. I think it was dedicated to Japanese pride during World War II. I thought it was an interesting space with a strangely specific purpose. 

Union Station where I caught a bus back to NYC. I've had a week to calm down, but I had an awful bus ride. I thought a group of high school students were going to give me trouble but instead it was the young mother who decided to occupy the seat next to me with her two small (and horribly behaved) children. Needless to say, it was a long 4 hours. 

Other than the ride home, it was a great trip! Thanks for being great travel buddies, Jenn and Christian! I can't wait for our next expedition :)

See Jenn's recaps: The Fun and The Logistics.


  1. I can't believe we packed so much in to one weekend. I think I need a nap after reading that:)

  2. can you remove the picture of my face.


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