5.05.2009

Our Nation's Capitol

Andrew and I made a little trip to D.C. a couple weekends ago to visit friends of mine from college and get out of Rhode Island for a weekend. Andrew hadn't been to D.C. since he was a kid so he was really excited to see the sights, the tourist attractions, and the urban neighborhoods. Here is a brief review of the weekend shenanigans:

The U.S. Capitol, a few blocks from Kelli's 'hood. Did I mention that Kelli lives in one of the most adorable neighborhoods in the U.S.? "The Hill" is absolutely gorgeous! Andrew and I loved it.





















Washington Monument. The mall is pretty amazing, albeit a bit too touristy for me.





















Me & the Prez. No we didn't actually get to see the president, but we did get to see two motorcades of important people! That's right, we were feet away from important people, we assume, twice!














We're not sure who they were because it all happens in a blur. Motorcycles fly down the street, wave their arms to get all traffic to stop, zoom forward to the next intersection and continue. A few more motorcycles or police cars come through, blaring their sirens and causing a diversion. Next, a string of about 5 black and gray SUVs fly by and then it's all over and you're left spinning around in a cloud of dust.
Exhibit A. Two black SUVs blowing by us. Andrew got a very nasty glare for snapping this photo. It must be understood that you don't photograph this event. Don't know. We were tourists 0:)














Next we ate lunch at a local place, The Breadline, that I had found on the Internet with great reviews. It was not a touristy place so we ate lunch with lots of local DC workers in suits! We felt pretty urban and proud. Well, minus the whole plaid shorts and polo get ups that made us stand out and scream, tourists!

After a brief refresher, we headed down the mall toward the monuments and memorials. I love seeing veterans at the memorials. The picture below is of a family with three generations--grandchildren, parents, and grandpa. They were pushing their grandfather in a wheelchair, decked out in WWII veteran gear, and posing for pictures with the WWII memorial in the background. I can only imagine the stories he's shared with them and the significance the memorial holds in his heart. How cool.













Next stop: Jefferson Memorial.






















On our way we stopped at a park to watch the plans land at Reagan Airport. Every time we saw a green helicopter fly by we were convinced it was Marine One. Below is a brief clip of our siesta:
video

For some reason, Andrew and I made an ambitious plan to do DC in a day. This was our walking route:

View Larger Map

This was us at the end of the day, bleeding blisters and all. It wasn't until we got back to Rhode Island that we mapped it out and realized that we walked 10.3 miles that day!! Ouch, ouch on the feet!
















No time to rest, the party will go on! Next stop, dinner with friends! We went out to dinner on Friday night with Kelli and her fiance Ken, Caroline and her boyfriend Shane, and Andrew and I in downtown D.C. Have I mentioned yet that D.C. is a pretty rockin' town?! It is. It's just great. Fun tourist attractions, national monuments, important people, the hope diamond, Abe, beautiful neighborhoods, great restaurants, and a pretty hip downtown. Dinner was great, although a Friday night dinner after everyone has worked all week was a little rough. I think we were already ready to fall asleep at the table:( BUT it's okay. We will take a rain check, rest up, and get ready for a party in June at Kelli's wedding.


Day #2: Neighborhood day. Visit Georgetown, Dupont Circle, and Kalorama. I really didn't think my body would be able to walk 5 more steps that day.

We started the day by taking the metro from one great neighborhood (The Hill) to another (Georgetown). Metro destination: Foggy Bottom. Yep, that's right, the metro stop is named, Foggy Bottom. It never gets old. It kicks me back to 3rd grade every time I read it or say it.

First stop, an amazing place I ate at before in Georgetown, La Madeleine. I don't do too well on an empty stomach so starting with a little food was imperative. And sitting. That was imperative as well.

Next stop, walk up and down M Street. What incredible facade!


















Andrew got a Passport to National Parks as a kid, so we couldn't resist stopping at the Old Stone House to get a NPS stamp for his sweet little passport. Fortunately for us the Old Stone House gave us much more than we bargained for. We got to wander around the 18th Century dwelling and see period relics of furniture, kitchenware, etc. Furthermore, there was a cute little garden in back with many people lounging around relaxing. The perfect invitation for our beat up feet and sore legs! In this garden were amazing, beautiful white flowers the size of your head!














Did I mention that spring hadn't arrived yet in Rhode Island and that DC was an absolute treat?! Andrew seen below enjoying a break for his feet, the sweet scent of pollen, the luxury of UV rays, and the proximity to the giant white flowers.




















Next stop--JFK's house. We saw a website that listed all of his prior residences, many of which were in Georgetown. This was the one he lived in last before the white house. For those of you who don't know, for some unknown reason, he is my absolute favorite past president. By a lot.





















On our way out of dodge and in search of water (the temp was in the 90s) we saw a little league game in a field. Being exhausted, with sad little feet we welcomed another opportunity to sit. We lay in the grass, further increasing our sunburns from the previous day and watched the little kids play ball. It was cute, we weren't sure how the structure was set up, but one team definitely had less kids so some kids from one team played in the field for both teams. It's so nice at that stage before sports become too territorial or competitive.














Further down our walk we past this beautiful home. Tulips, a red door, and a poodle flag. What more could you want for the American Dream?




















Unfortunately our brief stint with D.C. had to come to end. We went to church at Capitol Hill Baptist and then hit the road.

Little did we know the 7-hour drive would be 11 treacherous hours. Andrew would not be as happy if he knew the gloom that awaited us. This picture was taken to confirm our long sought after goal of taste-testing Starbucks vs. Dunkin' Donuts. That may sound crazy to some of you, but it's true. People in Rhode Island are obsessed with Dunkin' Donuts. I'd say there are probably 2 people for every one DD. They are everywhere!! Needless to say they love their DD fiercely. It's the only place to get coffee.

I've also noticed a slight shift in my allegiance. DD is less bitter, I believe. So we put them to the test. We have talked about this test for months trying to figure out when we'd be in the same town and when we could find a DD near a Starbucks. We found a corner in Shane's (Caroline's man) neighborhood and got in line at both!

Well, as was the theme of this day, both coffees let us down. They were both gross. Neither of which we'd recommend getting again. I think the people were just in a hurry and we couldn't figure out if they were comparable or not. Is an ice mocha the same thing as a ice latte mocha swirl? Who knows. All we know is that we have to do a re-do. Next time with plain coffee, plus cream and sugar to decide which coffee--the main base of these fru-fru drinks--is best.

That about sums up the weekend. A lot of walking, 90 degree temps, beautiful sights, great friends, touristy trips, lots of sitting! Oh, and don't believe AAA or Google maps that tell you it's between 6.5 and 7.5 hours from Providence to DC. Wrong! It took over 8 to get down and 11 to get back. Yuck!

4 comments:

  1. Looks like a fun trip, minus the blisters and sore feet!

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  2. Wow...we are such tourists! Little did we know that that helicopter was nothing close to the actual Presidential 'Marine One'. Oops...

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  3. I can't believe I made the blog!! I had a blast with you here! Can't wait to see you again in less than 6 weeks. Thanks for making the trek with your man. I loved getting to see your sweet self!!

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  4. What a fun trip! Kim, I'll never be able to catch up with your travels and you are half my age. You have been blessed, and I have never been to DC. Add it to the list of vacations in the future.

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