Friday Five, Washington, DC edition

I feel like I am being plagued with unfortunate luck. I have been riddled with a yucky cold since I came back from Washington on Sunday, and then there is all this crazy weather and a natural disaster. Not that I can claim Tuesday’s earthquake (earthquake on the east coast?! I still don’t get it!) was specifically out to get me, but Hurricane Irene? She has direct orders to, quite literally, rain on my parade. I’m supposed to be heading up to New York tomorrow to stay through Monday (here) to attend a private cooking class with none other than everyone’s favorite Italian gramma, Lidia Bastianich. I paid an arm and a leg for the lesson and will be super-grumpy if a wee bit of rain (I think if I keep downplaying how severe a hurricane is, it just won’t happen) gets in my way…well, it won’t be pretty. White Person Problem #511.

Anyway! Just like I did the when I went to New York last time (and just like I WOULD do again next Friday for this weekend’s mini-vacay, if I didn’t already have something spectacular and amazing in the works for you!) this week’s Friday Five is all about my trip to Washington, DC.

Aside from the 2 hours of pouring, torrential rain and crazy lightning on Friday night, wherein I passed the time squeezed like a sardine at the covered roof-top bar at Nationals stadium and narrowly avoiding drunk-chicks (the real ‘DC’ in ‘Washington, DC’) and drunk-bros desperate to start something because oh hell no, you did not just interject your elbow into my 3 square inches of personal space up in this roof-top bar that is presently 15 times over capacity, you need to watch yourself, bro! … the trip was great! I walked pretty much the entire city, including a 5 and a half mile jaunt that took us up to Georgetown (land of DC Cupcakes and CB2!!), down Embassy Row (seriously, the Embassy of Finland is uh-maaay-zing. I had a total design-nerd meltdown on the side of Massachusetts Ave trying to process how gorgeous the building is), and to the White House front lawn. Most shockingly, however,  I entered and left CB2 without buying anything. Lest you assume I have developed overnight the ability to control my impulses (HA!), it was only 10:30am and I didn’t feel like schlepping a huge bag with me for the rest of the day.

Washington is a great little town, but seemingly lacks anywhere to eat unless you go on a Where’s Waldo search for food. Very bizarre. Sunday morning at 11:30am found me slumped over on the sidewalk from a mix of heat exhaustion and low blood sugar, giving my last will and testament. This is not even remotely an exaggeration. Someone, remind me to eat something before starting my day walking around the Capitol and the Supreme Court, will you?

Anyway, without further ado, five photographs of my trip to our nation’s capital.

Third floor, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

I definitely got into a heated debate with one of the people that worked at the front desk of the museum over whether or not there was a portrait of Nixon hanging in the Presidents wing. Guess what? There wasn’t, but that old dude was desperate to convince me otherwise. I’m amazed I even had the energy to climb all the way to the third floor rotunda, but the view up there is just something else. Total departure from the clean, gray lines of the rest of the building. The tile work on the floor and ceiling is just beautiful. It felt like walking into a house someone like Jay Gatsby might have owned.


The National Archives

This was sort of an accidental visit, as it wasn’t on the itinerary for the weekend. But the building, like most of the major buildings in DC, was just so staggering from the outside that we couldn’t walk by it without investigating. The National Archives house the original copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Or, at least that’s what we’re told, because there was no way I was waiting in line for another hour once inside to see it. There are plenty of other exhibits to see, including a sheet of notepaper on which JFK scribbled in a meeting on the Cuba during his presidency. Fact: he had messy handwriting.


Beautiful house, Georgetown

During the aforementioned trek through Georgetown on Saturday morning, I rounded a corner and saw this wonderful, quaint little house, nestled between two larger and imposing ones. I don’t think I need to tell you precisely why I am smitten with it, do I? Painted white brick? Red door? Lattice fence out front for growing ivy? It still maintains its charm after all these years and several coats of paint. Not that I could ever afford to live in Georgetown, but if I could, this is where I’d pick.


Breakfast sandwich, Puro Cafe, Georgetown

Yes, I did just post a picture of a breakfast sandwich up in here. Trust me, if you had tasted it, you would have done the same thing. Puro Cafe sits on a main street in Georgetown, and after walking around the university campus and being veritably famished, we stumbled in here for a late breakfast. It did not disappoint. The sandwich was served open-face on a toasted croissant, with a slice of ham, a poached egg, and a light bruschetta on top. Between this, the flat screen showing a fashion show, and the all-white decor, I was so overcome with joy I nearly wept.


Flower stand, Eastern Market

Eastern Market is a wonderful indoor/outdoor farmer and craft market in southeast DC. It’s also the oldest running market in DC. There are vendors selling crazy looking heirloom tomatoes, handmade art, fresh fish, flowers, produce and more. I almost left with an old window pane from a church, the panes of which had been turned into mirrors. It was only $45! I really regret not buying it. Anyway, I’ve never seen bigger hydrangea bunches in my life, and they must have had three different pots that large. I love how cheery flowers can make any space.

Well, that’s my weekend in a 5-picture nutshell. I have plenty of pictures that didn’t make it in, such as me smiling in front of the White House, posing in front of DC Cupcakes, lots and lots of pictures of dinosaur skeletons, and even a picture of the actual robes worn by Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter. Note: he is very, very short.

Have a great weekend, kiddos! What are your weekend plans? If you live on the East Coast, too, good luck surviving Irene! What about hurricane survival tips, got any for me?