Monday, October 20, 2008


Vietnam Women's Memorial

My zodiac sign on the floor of the Library of Congress

Union Station

Vietnam Memorial

This past week I was in beautiful Washington D.C. visiting my older brother Michael and his wifey Emily. I went having no expectations. I'm not someone who's really into national monuments, don't get me wrong they are pretty amazing, but I've would have (up till now) put other destinations higher on my list of places to go. I was there from the 11th to the 18th and if only it had lasted longer. Of course, I didn't get to take very many pictures, I'm still working on that area of my life but it was a blast. I tend to always forget what I did on what day after a trip, so just for my purposes I am going to write out each day and how it went.

Saturday: arrive at 10:30 p.m.
pick up Wendy's on the way home, because I'm starving.

Sunday: sleep in, wake up at 9:30ish
after breakfast and shower Michael and I ride the metro down to the National Zoo. It was amazing. We spent several hours there and I've never seen so many cute animals. There were pandas, and otters mewing at us, and all the exhibits were so nice and it was a fabulous Sunday afternoon. plus, the zoo is free!
Dinner at 8:00ish. Michael makes amazing thai food. beautiful coconut sauce, basil, mint, broccoli, mushrooms mmmmmmm....

Monday: Just before Emily and I embark Michael calls and says he's coming home early! yay! (he's in med school and unfortunately didn't have every day off).
12:00 arrive in Baltimore and tour Fort McHenry. The video was the best part.
2:00 arrive in Annapolis and walk along the harbor and the beautiful town. Stop into a local seafood eatery and enjoy my first ever crabcake. delish.
8:00 where to go? the mall of course! Just a short stop in H&M and I'm set with a lovely new droop turtle neck. Also, a few slices of cheesecake to take home

Tuesday: 8:30 wake up early to go to Washington Monument.
9:30 (we got there a little early) visit WWII memorial, which unfortunately was my least fav. then to Vietnam memorial which was amazing. So unique and touching. And even though the women's memorial was not as spectacular I was still very moved by it.
10:00 Washington Monument tour. The view from the top was amazing. It was also a clear day and everything was beautiful and green. On the way down the elevator they slow and let you see some of the special bricks donated by various organizations. They are so beautiful and old and I just loved it, best part of the Wash. monument.
12:00 visit Natural History Museum. Loved it. I love Natural History museums. learning about the past, seeing all the animals, or their taxidermy's (which kind of creep me out, but who doesn't want to see what the past looked like?)
1:30 visit Air and Space. It wasn't on the agenda but we needed a cheap cafeteria fast. It was still really neat though. I learned a lot. I had no idea the Red Baron really existed. I know, ridiculous right? I always thought it was just Snoopy. It was interesting to see how aviation has played such a huge role in history. I didn't expect the museum to even have exhibits touching on the importance of aviation in the wars the U.S. has been involved in. It was also so crazy to be able to look inside the control panel of an old space ship. The controls are ancient looking, and honestly it resembled a hunk of junk, but they took in to space and brought it home with them, amazing.
3:00ish visit the Art Museum. We didn't spend as much time as I would have liked but it was so great. They have a quick one hour tour that we probably spent almost two hours doing. I got to see plenty of Rembrandt's, that I'm particularly fond of. Some astonishing takes of the bible story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife. Beautiful Picasso's and much much more.

Wednesday: Shopping today! Emily and I decided that after our crazy full day on Tuesday (it really was a lot of walking) we would sleep in and then hit up the stores.
12:00 check out Filennes Basement, not so hot.
12:45 dine at lovely Chinese restaurant along the strip mall. It was good though. I also tried my first Bubble Tea. And don't let the name confuse you, it's not really bubbly, it's like big balls of tapioca, or unflavored chewy-gummy weirdness, which wasn't all bad, but still weird. However, the peach flavor was delish.
2:00 Arrive at Tyson's Galleria, and after about 30-40 minutes we realized how poor we were to be at such a high end mall (seriously, not a single store I could afford)
3:00 Arrive at Tyson's Corner, the cheaper, but still nice version of the Galleria. Spend almost two hours in the HUGE j.crew. Unfortunately I get nothing. I almost purchased a beautiful shell colored soft leather tote. Emily was able to take advantage of my discount and got some great buys, including a very cheap cashmere sweater that is a perfect maternity shirt. Then on to two more H&M's (yes, two in the mall) where I buy a sweater at one, and earrings at the other. Then Nordstrom's. Yes I know we have one here, but is our's three levels? no. Does our's have the new and gorgeous fall Marc Jacobs hand bags? hardly. Also, this is where I purchased my lovely on-sale seychelles boots, that yes, fit over my calves.
After shopping Emily Goes to visit a friend while Michael and I have delicious Gyros from a quaint pizza and sandwich shop. And when I say quaint I am saying it very generously. The gyros were delish, but I can't get over the fact that the owners of the store pronounced it exactly as it's spelled, and not it's correct pronunciation. Michael has told me it's been going on for some time now.

Thursday: Sleep in again, why not? I'm on vaca.
Visit the botanical garden. I will admit I haven't always been a plant person, but there are some pretty beautiful plants out there. Orchids are just lovely, the work orchid just drips of elegance, don't you think?
Tour Library of Congress. Maybe one of the most elegant, amazing, intricate buildings we have. Of course, no pictures in the reading room, sad I know. But I did get a few shots, one of the ceiling, my zodiac sign on the floor and some other great shots.
Visit Union Station. Also pretty amazing. It's so great to see such a public place that everyone goes to because all the metro lines meet as well as trains.
For dinner, Papa Johns, my first time. Loved it. Supposedly the owner of the chain used to work for Pizza Hut but believed he could make a better pizza, or so Emily tells me. And boy does he!

Friday: My first train ride! Back up to Baltimore to visit the American Visionary Arts Museum. Maybe my all time favorite. I guess you could joke and say that the art was not made by real artists, but they have an actual art museum all to themselves, so it counts for something. Many of the artists suffered from mental illness or some other handicap and to see what they have created and what has helped them with their illnesses was pretty great. One of my favs was the giant pink poodle. Also learning about screen painting, like painting screen doors and windows, so fun.
Then to meet up with Michael and have dinner at Five Guys, their delicious hamburger joint. Definitely Rivals In-n-out. So good.
$8.00 friday nights at the Aquarium was our next stop. It was packed but for $8.00 how can you complain? (especially when it's normally $22.00) Usually I can say that fish kind of creep me out. Have you ever touched one live? It's a feeling I'm not used to. But, I saw so many amazing species of fish, frogs, sharks and more. I really wanted to pet a ray, for some reason they just seem so petable. the sharks were creepy, just because their mouth is pretty scary, rows and rows of teeth, yikes! The frogs were adorable. SO small! and some really big and gross.

Saturday: Michael had the day off! Too bad I had to leave that day, but at least I got to say goodbye to him. We went out for breakfast, a fun little pastry shop. 5 pastries and the 6th is free! I had a yummy cream cheese and apple danish, and a cream cheese and raspberry croissant.
I hadn't made it to Lincoln all week and so we stopped there on our way to Reagan. It was so inspiring to see him. Although, I will admit there was some resemblance to Zeus sitting on his big throne.
Then to Reagan to catch my long 3 1/2 hour flight home. It was so sad to say goodbye to them. I only get to see my big brother once a year if and I really see how much I've missed them both in my life. I love them so much and couldn't ask for better people in my family. It is fun to have an excuse to visit new places though.

That was my week in D.C. I loved it. The monuments were spectacular, and I really felt a connection with the history and importance of where I live.

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