Monday, March 25, 2019

Adventure 8/50 : Our DC trip, part 1

We had decided last fall to book a trip to Washington DC to see Massive Attack, since they weren't playing a show in Seattle. And because the DC show was on a Wednesday, we decided to go for a whole week and be tourists.

And then the show got postponed due to illness.

But we rallied – and decided to go on the trip anyway – and I'm really glad we did!

We arrived on Saturday evening, dropped off our bags at our AirBnB, and went out for a bit of a wander. We went out in search of bourbon and groceries … the booze was weirdly easy to find, the groceries slightly more challenging. But we picked up a few essentials at our neighborhood bodegas, stopped in at the Boundary Stone for a pint of east-coast cider, and then went back to our apartment for relax since we had a half marathon in the morning!

Sunday morning we ran our half marathon, got some lunch, and then came back for what could best be described as lukewarm showers. Not sure why, but we never had more than a lukewarm shower the whole week. And, nope, no baths either.

After a nap we headed out to keep our legs moving, stopping at ANXO Cider for a quick drink – a Ruth Bader Gin-sburg cocktail for Wil, a flight of women-brewed ciders from local cideries for me.

Then we set out in search of a Trader Joe's or other larger grocery store. This led us to the U Street Neighborhood, which we immediately fell in love with. Though we had somewhat foolishly eaten before going out (Why? Why???), we couldn't resist popping into Archipelago, a tiki bar. Spoiler alert: we went to Archipelago THREE TIMES.

Monday morning we wandered around the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History before heading to the office of our representative, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.

Evan, one of her aides, took us on a private tour of the U.S. Capitol Building. It was fun to go "backstage" where the public tours weren't allowed to go. My favorite areas were seeing the statues in the rotunda, especially the "unfinished" suffragettes statue (Lucretia!)…

… the painting of heavenly GW …

… the House chamber – which was much smaller in real life! …

… and, weirdly, the tunnels where our representatives move quickly between their offices and the capitol building.

After our tour, and feeling crazy hungry, we walked over to U Street where we had a massive platter of Ethiopian food, then waddled home to relax. And, hey, it may not have been peak bloom, but the cherry trees in our hood were putting on a good show!

On Tuesday morning we walked back to the mall, starting our day at the National Gallery's Sculpture Garden to kill a little time before going to the National Archives. Declaration of Independence! Constitution! Bill of Rights! Boo-yah.

It was a GORGEOUS day, so instead of heading back into a Smithsonian museum, we decided to go for a long walk. First we walked past the White House and wished someone else lived there…

Then we wandered around the mall looking at the monuments. It was lovely to see the World War II Memorial …

… and especially to spot the little Kilroy.

We made our way past the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and eventually to the Lincoln Memorial … probably my favorite building in the District. I was happy to see that most visitors were quiet and respectful … but maybe that's because there wasn't a bunch of schoolkids in MAGA hats sitting around bored.

We walked across the bridge to Virginia – Wil's first time in the state! – to visit Arlington National Cemetery… where, unfortunately, the President of Brazil (the so-called "Trump of the Tropics" for his racist, misogynistic, and homophobic remarks) was visiting, too. But once his motorcade left, we were able to see JFK's grave, the tomb of the unknown soldier, and an official wreath-laying ceremony.

Eventually we made our way out of the cemetery and caught an Uber to Fancy Radish, where we had a little of EVERYTHING on their happy hour bar menu. Fancy Radish is run by the Vedge folks – so good!

But then we walked back to our hood… and had a SECOND DINNER of veggie chili fries at Ben's Chili Bowl…

And then … our second trip to Archipelago, where we met Katie the bartender, drank two more delicious drinks, were loaded down with all the plastic garnishes in the world, admired (but could not possibly eat!) the food, and had a great time before going home.

Thanks, Archipelago! Our treasures after two visits:

Read about the second half of our trip in Part 2!

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