...on the 11th week of DC
05.12.2007 4 °C
Today is snowing, YEAH!!! Luckily this weekend we escaped nasty weather. And what better way to spend my final weekend here in DC than with my nearest and dearest. So that is what I did. Mike came to visit!!
Bright and early (as in still dark early) Mike touched down here in DC. We met up and the tourist bonanza began! Mike had never been to DC before so we had our hands full of things to do. Friday morning first stop: Bureau of Engraving and Printing. After walking a full circle around the wrong building, we finally made it to the Benjamins (the highest denomination printed and in circulation). After they "showed me the money" (sorry, I couldn't resist) we wandered through 'the castle' of the Smithsonian Institution building before checking out an amazingly lifelike mammal exhibit at the Natural History Museum and pondering the possibility of stealing the Hope Diamond...any suggestions?? Don't feel bad, we couldn't come up with anything either. Lunchtime took us to the Ronald Reagan building and the Washington International Trade Center, one of my favorite little plazas in DC. Its really European looking, and its international, what about that doesn't have 'Monica' written all over it? The afternoon brought a trek up the the Basilica of the National Shrine and the largest basilica in the US. Its huge! The most amazing part about it though are is all the mosaic work. Every panel on the walls and ceilings is mosaic. And not the ancient, drab, cubist look. Lifelike portraits and stories in bright colors with crazy detail and incredible intricate design. It was incredible...thank you mom for the tip! Our last sight on the tourist map Friday was the Washington Monument. We rode the elevator up 500' (of the 555' 5 1/8" monument to the 1st prez) to check out the 360 degree view. Luckily it was really clear and we were able to see for miles in every direction; across the river to Virginia, down the mall to the capital and Maryland, south across the Tidal Basin and north up through all the neighborhoods! That night we made dinner and headed out to a party for the interns at my work where we (ahem, I mean I, just I, cause I am over 21 and that is the law) sipped wine and were pretty tame for a Friday night.
Saturday morning we decided to head to VA. First stop, one of my favorite places in the US outside CA; Alexandria or Old Town, as the locals call it. It was so cold and windy but we managed to warm up enough to stand outside and catch the end of the Scottish Christmas Walk. With more plaid than anyone could wish for, and even dogs in kilts, the Scots were in out in full force for a battle of the bagpipes. It was pretty neat, we thought we might have seen the Buchanan plaid but it was hard to tell because, lets be honest, they all pretty much look the same. We finished up there and headed back towards DC with a stop at Arlington National Cemetary. We arrived just in time to watch the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier(s). On our journey westward, we next arrived in Georgetown where we checked out the campus, marveled at all the wonderful things at Dean & DeLuca and fantasized about our careers as organic farmers (mike) and chefs who cook with organicly farmed foods (me). It was getting to be about dinner time and we knew just where to go: Five Guys! When Austin was in CA for the wedding this summer he raved about the place as being better than In 'N Out. We figured anyone willing to insuld In 'N Out was going to need to back it up with something, so we went to see if there was anything behind his bragging. First off, they are different. In 'N Out is a very west coasty thing, fast food in style but natural and clean. I don't think Five Guys would claim either of those. I was satisfied but wouldn't want Five Guys instead of In 'N Out on any given day. We were pretty tired so we headed back home to rest up for a friend's birthdday party later that night.
Sunday was supposed to rain so we were out the door to hit up all the monuments and memorials. We walked past the White House to the Capitol Mall and started at the WWII memorial. Down the reflecting pool to the Lincoln Memorial, over to the Vietnam War memorial, over to Korea, around the Tidal Basin to FDR and Jefferson. We hopped on Metro to go over to Eastern Market before trekking up to the Capitol for a close-up. The weather started to turn poor so we headed into nearby Chinatown for lunch. We were pretty sightseed-out and decided to give ourselves a break and catch a movie. It was cold and rainy when we left so we headed home to warm up. Later we dined at Bistro du Coin, this great French place in Dupont Circle recommended by mom and dad...yummy!
Monday morning Mike finally got to sleep in on his 'vacation' as I headed to work for the morning. The afternoon was cold but we hoofed it to the zoo. The lack of people or time of day was great for us. We saw most of the animals out and about, feeding, playing and not being boring. That took up most of the afternoon and it was time to head back, round up mike's stuff, and send him off.
Not a bad way to spend a weekend if you ask me. Now I have seen Dad in NY, Mike in DC, I can't wait to see my Momma. I am looking forward to getting back, see you all soon and thanks for reading!