Tuesday, October 19, 2010

away-we-go weekend: washington DC

I'm baaack! And hooboy am I tired. No outfit shots this morning (again)--I basically wore the equivalent of pajamas to work today (plaid tunic, tights, moccasins). This weekend went way too quickly and involved way too much travel. Still, it was lovely to see the girls and I really wish that we all still lived within the same city limits. The above photo is from the label of a wine bottle we picked out for its obvious appropriateness (I'm in the middle!). The trip could be summed up thusly: we ate a lot, drank a lot, walked A LOT and shopped a little (at one store, which was all we could afford but awesome enough to satisfy our shopping compulsion). I drove down to Boston after work on Friday, and stayed with my friend S, her husband, and their adorable puppydog. Mr. S was kind enough to take us to the airport in the wee hours of the AM, where we hopped a plane for Baltimore, took a train to Union Station (where we loaded up on Starbucks), then a cab to Columbia Heights. At this point S and I were pretty famished, so we all walked downtown, stopping briefly at the farmer's market for a butternut squash, then continuing on to Chipotle for some seriously satisfying burritos. We visited Whole Foods for groceries, then took a bus back to C's apartment to cook up a feast! First on the menu: chocolate covered strawberries:

While C's cat enjoyed his new paper playhouse...

...we poured ourselves an incredible cocktail. Since she found out that S and I were coming to visit, C had been infusing gin with pomegranite seeds so that we could make pomegranite martinis.

They were amazing. We bought a bottle of POM to cut with the gin in case it was too intense, but it was perfect! We didn't even need to girl-ify it. I really need to start infusing my own alcohol for fancy cocktails--all the cool kids I know are doing it! It wasn't long before we moved on to the next appetizer--Guinness Cheese Dip! I was the designated dicer, so I started chopping away...

(Dubliner cheese, yellow onion, Guinness!)

We processed it all together with mustard powder and pepper, then ended up walking to the corner store to add another block of cheese to the mix! (We like cheese.) We dipped into our baguette, uncorked a couple bottles of wine, and finally relaxed! Later that night we failed at making the butternut squash-mushroom-goat cheese napoleans that we had planned on having for dinner because C's mushrooms looked a little sketchy. Instead we mashed up the squashed, roasted some asparagus, and called it good. I was full to bursting :)

Brunch the next morning was determined by one deciding factor: one free mimosa with any entree at the CommonWealth Gastropub in Columbia Heights! It was already such a beautiful day we were able to sit outside on the patio. I ordered the spinach benedict, which was divine:

And then, because we were on vacation and we were sucked in by the sandwich board advertising pumpkin spice chai, we stopped at Tynan Coffee and Tea (next door to the restaurant). H.o.l.y.S.m.o.k.e.s. Best beverage of all time--it was like drinking pumpkin pie. Except maybe even better. I so wish I had an espresso machine so I could steam my own chai lattes--they are fantastic.

Since it was our last (and basically only) day in DC, C asked which I would rather do: monuments or museums. Originally I had just wanted to go to an art museum (National Gallery or Smithsonian), because I know that if K and I go back to DC that is the only museum he won't want to visit. Buuuut it was my very first time in DC and I felt like not seeing any historical monuments or other buildings would kind of be a travesty. So I opted for the grand tour. But first! We had to do a little shopping. We walked to Dupont Circle, where we stopped at Secondi, an amazing upscale consignment shop. After about an hour I had settled on one item--a yellow/black/white plaid sixties-style sweaterdress (which will undoubtably make its blog debut tres soon), even though I was verrrrry tempted by an incredible autumn-colors cape with a perfect Scandanavian print. It was swoonworthy in every way except that it kind of made me look like a linebacker. I put it back on the rack for another (taller) lucky lady to discover (it might still be there!). Armed with our matching brown shopping bags (S got an awesome skirt with suspender-style lapels attached [which she wore out that night--wish I got a photo!], a pink skinny belt and an awesome vintage animal print purse; C got an adorable little pink emergency purse for all of life's necessities), we took a bus over to the White House:

It was a gorgeous day. Even the nutjob yelling about Jesus couldn't get me down.

The Capitol building! It looked majestic, even from afar--next time I'll get closer!

I thought the Chamber of Commerce building was pretty impressive as well.

Cool shot of the Washington Monument!

Please ignore the fact that I look like a complete buffoon in this photograph. This is why i tease my hair. I just want to point out that S and C are both very fashionable ladies in fabulous corduroy-velvet skirts in autumnal hues. I would also like to point out that I was not the only one wearing heels for our multiple-miles trek around the city (not a good choice...).

(Jefferson Memorial)

Eleanor and I compared oxfords at the FDR memorial:

After a near-death experience with an attack of gnats by the water, we hightailed it over to visit our friend Honest Abe:

And to admire his eternal view. Not bad.

Finally, feet a-throb, we hailed a cab back to C's apartment for some pasta on the cheap and a little R&R. When our swollen feet had returned to normal size (+blisters on every toe, in my case), we put on some Lady Gaga and dolled ourselves up for an evening on the town. I wish we had taken photos, but somehow we didn't get any! I think S may have taken some photos of me dancing so when she sends those over I'll post them :) I'm not going to lie--we all looked pretty fabulous. We stopped to pick up C's neighborlady, E, then took a cab over to The Gibson for some fancy cocktails. The Gibson is unmarked from the outside, so you have to know what you're looking for, but if you knock on the door or ring the bell of 2009, you'll be allowed into a darkened hallway, ID-ed, and escorted through another doorway into the charming candlelit speakeasy lounge, where mature patrons sip sensational signature cocktails.

Because we went on a Sunday night it was quiet (which was nice) and uncrowded. The cozy booths and dark wood furnishings felt historic and the atmosphere was classically cool.

(Gibson images via google image search)
After perusing the menu for a while, we asked the waitress for recommendations based on our particular palettes and she ended up bringing us four drinks that weren't even on the menu! Now that's what I call service :) Most of the other girls wanted drinks involving whiskey, but mine was citrus-pink and served in a martini glass (just my style!). The waitress even lit a lemon on fire before dropping it into my drink. We considered ordering a $42 pitcher of punch but realized that our wallets were too empty, so we took a taxicab back to C's apartment, sipped some wine (which E scored via Groupon!) and went to sleep. After all, it was another very early morning the next day, full of (happily uneventful) travel--by train, plane, bus and car. Again, I wish the trip had been longer, but it's so hard when we all have lame full-time jobs!!

Also, while I was gone K shaved off his beard and I'm still adjusting to the shock of seeing a stranger in my apartment!! He got home from fishing last night and for the first few hours I couldn't even look at him without squealing and running out of the room! I just can't believe how different he looks--and to think that I was sad when he started growing a beard! Now I can't imagine him without it!


  1. DC looks so great. I read a book once that took place there and ever since, I have wanted to visit!

  2. Sounds like a hectic weekend! I think I might have to steal that idea about infusing your own spirits, sounds delicious. Love that photo of your oxfords and Eleanor's - genius.

  3. Glad you had such a good (if short) time and all the food you ate looked AMAZING. Plus, I wish I was in the vicinity to go and buy that cape, and I know what you mean, it is well weird when somebody close to you suddenly becomes beardless!