Our DC trip snuck up on us (as you might remember, we quickly went from a June Alaskan trip to an April DC one), and as we rode the shuttle from the parking lot to the terminal at DFW, I snapped a picture of us that kind of hiliariously summed up our preparedness for the trip.
We look so confused! And tired! Are we...going on vacation or are we going into a stressful work meeting? No one can be sure.
Anyway, the flight itself was thankfully uneventful. We got into DC, grabbed a Super Shuttle, and finally arrived at our hotel. (Quick travel math: Dulles arrival + Super Shuttle ride + Dupont Circle hotel = A MILLION TOTAL TRAVELING HOURS.) We booked our hotel room at the Topaz Hotel through Kristin, a blog friend who does travel advising, and when I mentioned to a few people that it was a Kimpton property, they told me you could request a goldfish be delivered to your room.
I was quite excited by this because I think what our travels have really been missing is pets. I did have a brief panicked moment right before I got to the counter to request the goldfish because what if my friends had steered me wrong? What if they DIDN'T offer free goldfish and I requested one and things got awkward?
Thankfully, there was no issue and Spike (what I named him) was delivered to our room without incident.
After we welcomed Spike to our room, we headed out for another Spike. Spike's Good Stuff Eatery! The burgers and fries were just so-so, sadly, but the milkshakes. Guys, THE MILKSHAKES ARE GAME CHANGERS.
Mike and I split a mini-toasted marshmallow shake and then went back two more times on our trip to enjoy our own, non-mini-sized ones.
After dinner, we walked around the mall, catching our breath at every turn. To see this place come alive in front of us, a place we see in movies and in pictures and in textbooks was just incredible, I nearly cried a dozen times. Maybe it was the history major in me, or the eternal sap, or both, but what a breathtaking part of our country. I felt really lucky to be there.
We stopped in the Air & Space Museum before it closed that day and then we headed back to our hotel room.
We made it back that night to enjoy the complimentary happy hour in our hotel lobby (ANOTHER reason to only stay at Kimpton properties from now until forever), and I requested one glass of wine to enjoy in the lobby and one to enjoy in our hotel room. Yes, I requested two glasses in one hour's time, and I was a little hesitant to do this. Was that...overstepping the complimentary happy hour boundaries? When I went up to ask for the second glass, I said, "I'd like to take this glass to our room. Is that...can I...IS THAT ALLOWED? SHOULD I PAY FOR THE SECOND GLASS." The happy hour bartender got a glimpse into why I rarely drank in high school. I am very much a rule follower and I have a deep fear of authority. I didn't want to break any rules! HAPPY HOUR RULES! LIKE THERE IS SUCH A THING!
Anyway, I think I took a long bath and then crawled into bed at 7:30pm that night, where we watched a movie, ordered room service dessert, and remembered why vacations are so lovely.
(When I told Mike that a book, a bed, and a glass of wine is basically my favorite scenario, he said, "You know, you could read and drink wine in bed at home ANY TIME YOU WANT." I hate when he makes so much sense. STOP MAKING SENSE, MIKE.)
The next day, we slept in and met Caitlin (!!) for lunch at Sweetgreen, which was absolutely delicious. Texas, go ahead and open a handful of these. We also got a tour of Caitlin's office. She works at National Geographic and Mike suggested I apply. If he thought my commute NOW makes me bitchy!
(Us, at National Geographic! This was just the hallway. We're very bad at choosing photo backgrounds.)
After lunch, we headed back to the mall and walked around a lot. We had dinner reservations, so I told Mike that the one thing I absolutely had to do before dinner was see the White House.
We saw the freaking White House, and I had to AGAIN stop myself from tearing up. The White House! (I'm like the most cliche tourist there ever was.) President Obama was sadly out of town this day, which explains why he didn't come out and invite us in for dinner.
Two little boys were standing beside us as we snapped pictures, and one said to the other, "What do you think is INSIDE there?" The other, "Probably a really big tennis court."
From there we walked to dinner at Zaytinya with Mike's uncle, aunt, and cousin. (Seems like we had JUST eaten lunch, I know, but I swear there were MILES of walking between lunch and dinner. So many miles. We were so tired and hungry by the time dinner rolled around.)
Dinner was fantastic, and I recommend this place to anyone who is looking for a meal in DC. Favorite dishes: hummus, the crispy Brussel sprouts (OMG, these were amazing), and the crab cakes.
When we got back to the hotel, we headed next door for a drink at the Tabard Inn where we saw Janet Napolitano, although we only KNEW it was her after asking the waitress who the Secret Service dudes were with. Still, DC, you are so charming with all your politicians, just having drinks in the same bar as us. In Dallas, I've seen David Archuleta and Jake Pavelka. NOT THE SAME.
(At Tabard Inn, cocktails and flash photography)
The next day we headed out of town, and Mike had no idea where we were going. I TOTALLY surprised him. That's part two, my friends. Check back sometime in August for that recap.