I apologize for the lack of posting. Things have been so hectic/exhausting I haven’t really felt like writing when I finally roll home. I’m going to try to be much more consistent.
Things are going well in the big city, but I have felt like I haven’t gotten a moment to breathe since getting here. With moving, starting the job and then playing tourist with visiting family I’ve been out the door on average by 7 or 8 a.m. every day and not usually back home until 9 or 10 p.m. I love that there is always something to do, but I’m definitely going to need to find a balance.
Friday after work I met up with the visiting family at the Sculpture Garden for Jazz music and sangria. The place was absolutely packed with young professionals. The atmosphere was electric and the sangria was fantastic. I think this will be a staple in my Friday routine for the rest of the summer. After the jazz we made our way to my cousin’s apartment in Chinatown. He was having a rooftop party. He pays an arm and a leg for his small room, but the view is incredible. You can see the entire district, with phenomenal views of the National Cathedral, Capitol and Washington Monument. I definitely think this will be my viewing location for all things Fourth of July. We had some bad weather come through, but it was still a fun evening.
Saturday had me play full throttle tourist. I met up with the family at the National Museum of the American Indian, which is definitely one of my favorite buildings in all of D.C. The design is incredible. The exhibits were incredible too, as was the food. Seriously. If you like more variety than a hamburger and hot dog check out this Smithsonian. They have some really interesting cuisine for not that much more than some of the more generic options (like venison and pheasant and buffalo). After the museum we headed to the Botanical Gardens, which were lovely. I can’t keep a cactus alive, so to see the huge variety of flora there is incredible. Next up was the National Gallery of Art. I can certainly appreciate art, but I really need to be in the right mood, and I wasn’t quite all there on Saturday. That being said, the exhibit on the works of John Taylor Adams was fantastic. The talent and almost anal retentiveness he must’ve had to produce his works is mind boggling. I was also hugely impressed with the East wing of the gallery. The East wing houses the modern art and was designed by I.M. Pei. As expected the building is gorgeous both inside and out. After the art we made our way to the Museum of Natural History, which is one of my favorites. We decided to take in an IMAX on tornadoes (which was narrated by Bill Paxton and extremely interesting) so our time to look at exhibits was cut short. We did get to see the nature photography award winners, as well as a really interesting exhibit on bones that I definitely want to check out again. By the time all of this was done it was after 7 and I felt time for me to head home, since my sister and I wanted to get moving on Sunday to take in the zoo. My commute back to Arlington was smooth….until I took the wrong bus for the second time in three days. Oops. Luckily this one was at least headed East. I hopped off and decided to just walk the rest of the way…turned out I was a little over 3 miles away from my house, so I had quite a nice hike to end the day. Needless to say I’ll be paying a lot better attention to the bus situation from now on!
Sunday I got up and got moving to head to the Cleveland Park area to meet my sister for some National Zoo time! I know there are a lot of people out there who don’t like zoos, I’m not one of them. Now, I’m not one for keeping animals in inhumane conditions, but I think zoos benefit animals in a long run and the facilities at the National Zoo are gorgeous. We had good weather for a zoo outing, minus the humidity. It was overcast and relatively coolish. Being that it was Father’s Day there were a lot of families and screaming kids, though I think that’s pretty typical most days there. We definitely lucked out with our timing/weather. The zoo wasn’t too crowded and the animals were pretty active. We even got to see the orangutans on the “O Line” (a series of towers and cables that allow the orangutans to travel from on habitat to another over the zoo…it’s really cool). Orangutans are my favorite animals, so I’m biased when describing how cute/amazing they are. Other highlights were the very playful otters, elephants, and the lion cubs. All were very active and fun to watch. Once Katie (my sister) and I finished at the zoo we headed to Pentagon City, which is described as a “fashion center” aka a mall. However, a very nice mall. Until I get my first paycheck I won’t be able to make any kind of significant purchases, but it’s nice to know where this is. After the mall we headed back to my cousin’s for dinner and to take in the end of the U.S. Open. For dinner I had Chinatown Express, which is by far the best Chinese food I’ve ever had. I’ll be eating it all week there was so much. If you go get the fried noodles. They’re inexpensive, delicious and the portion is huge! After watching Rory win the U.S. Open it was time to head out and unwind at home before the start of another work week.
This will be my first full week at work, which is exciting. I have a list of tasks to accomplish (which I like). I also already have plans for the week, including hitting up Graffiato (Top Chef Mike Isabella’s new restaurant) opening night on Thursday (I’m thrilled we were able to get reservations and can be there for the opening).
I think this is really cool, but can you imagine how gross/disastrous this same thing would be on Metro?? Ewwww.
My little sister visited this weekend and we had a really grand time playing tourist. I was particularly happy she chose this weekend to come (and use a hotel room in DC) because thanks to the derecho Friday there has been no power at my house. Which given the record breaking heat is obviously miserable. So hooray for Katie and her fabulous intuition knowing a hotel would be the way to go!
Friday, I finally made it into DC after a really bizarre morning. No power. My cell phone was dead (turns out there wasn’t any cell service either so this didn’t really matter). Limited hot water, etc. You forget how much you rely on electricity to do things. I couldn’t make coffee. I couldn’t check the bus schedule. I couldn’t get in touch with Katie or the rest of my family to let them know I was alive. It is really bizarre. After finally making it in the city (after going through areas of huge devastation) I camped out at a Starbucks briefly to get enough juice in my phone and then met Katie at the airport.
We decided to head to Georgetown. Katie wanted to hit up Lush, which is basically her favorite place ever. Before we got to shopping though, we went to Serendipity 3 and had lunch and frrrozen hot chocolate!
Yay! Frrrozen hot chocolate!
After lunch (and dessert) we shopped a little longer before deciding to hit up, one of my new favorites, Bandolero, for margaritas and guacamole served with chips and chicarrones. So yummy.
After snackies we made our way back to the hotel and decided to be lazy. Katie was tired from being up early and not feeling like she was in the right time zone, and I was tired from being up all night the previous night because my room was 90+ degrees.
We got moving on Sunday, knowing there was quite a bit we wanted to accomplish before our dinner at Jaleo that night.
The first thing on our agenda was to visit The Art of Video Games (well first thing after satisfying Katie’s craving for Dunkin’ Donuts). Unfortunately neither of us did the research we should have and ended up walking past the National Portrait Gallery (where the exhibit is being held) and all the way to the National Gallery of Art. Ooops. So we perused the gift shop briefly and then backtracked to where we needed to go.
I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t realize the Portrait Gallery had a second floor! It was super nice and had really interesting modern art!
Modern Art wing.
Exhibit with TV screens in each state showing what the artist thinks of when he thinks of that particular state.
From a distance, I thought this was an actual woman and was concerned she was eating so close to the art…
And finally the main event:
Katie was quite excited about it, but wished it had been a bigger exhibit, however she agreed that it was awesome a national museum was doing such an exhibition. As someone who is not as into video games as she is, I was still able to appreciate how cool it all was.
Next up was my personal favorite, The Newseum! Last time we were there they were putting the finishing touches on their HP New Media Gallery and Katie was disappointed she didn’t get to see it. It was very cool and highly interactive. Also, surprisingly empty for how busy the museum was.
On our way out we found out they had artists doing caricatures for free, so we each decided to get one done.
After the Newseum we made our way over to the Hirshhorn. Which is something neither of us had done before. And it is, well, interesting. I think the art is a little too modern for my tastes. I mean, one exhibit was a room that had music playing and had mattresses and pillows all over the floor. That’s it. I honestly don’t want to think about what goes on in there. Ew. There were some things that were a little interesting though.
They had statues of all the Chinese lunar animals, and this is Katie in front of a snake.
This exhibit isn’t done until 2012, but it looks like it will be pretty cool. The entire bottom floor is going to be covered in quotes in messaging.
Katie walking through a really bizarre interactive exhibit.
As you can see, there was a lot of neon going on.
After becoming thoroughly confused by the Hirshhon we made our way to the National Archives, somewhere Katie had never been to! I think she enjoyed seeing the Declaration of Independence (or what’s left of it) and the Constitution.
After all that excitement, we cooled off with some Rita’s before heading back to the hotel to cool off before our yummy dinner!
So that’s all of the sightseeing, because dinner was such an awesome affair, I’m going to devote another post to that later on.