Oh Where, Oh Where…

US Capitol

U.S. Capitol

Have you missed me? I’ve been on hiatus for the past week on a little trip to our nation’s capital. It was wonderful. I am exhausted, happy and not really refreshed, but that’s not how vacations work for me. I like to learn, eat and experience all that I can.

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

In summary, our vacation to Washington D.C. = Two thousand mile road trip, crashing in our wonderful friends’ guest rooms, lots of Maryland crab cakes, monuments, battlefields, learning about ‘merica and a stow-away stray kitty sleeping in my suitcase.

So, here’s the wrap-up:

annapolis

Annapolis Naval Academy

After a 14-thousand mile drive, we got to the D.C. area and quickly started sightseeing. We were incredibly happy to be spending the entire week with a friend who lives in the metro area and knows his way around the sights as well as the good eats.

On Sunday, we went to a delicious brunch at YellowFin Steak and Fishhouse where I ate a ridiculous amount of sushi, followed up by a walk through Annapolis. That campus is just beautiful. After that, we went into the city where we got a drive by tour of the sights. On the top of my list was a world-famous chili dog from Ben’s Chili Bowl, a D.C. institution (Obama has eaten here!). So we grabbed one from Ben’s Next Door, the pub next door.

Gettysburg wall

The walls of Gettysburg Battlefields

On Monday, we drove out to Gettysburg, PA to tour the battlefields. We were supposed to do a horseback tour but it may have been good luck that the tour was off that day. Instead, we took a bus tour with a disgruntled guide. I learned a lot and afterward we got to go out on our own to walk the battlefields, see cannons and explore. It was pointed out to us Texans that our state has the smallest state memorial on the grounds…and it is pink. My guy has already started planning his letter to the governor. I wasn’t in the mood to buy souvenirs on this trip, but I did purchase my first and only trip gift, a paperback copy of Gods and Generals at the gift shop. My family are the descendents of Stonewall Jackson so I figured this would be a good read. After a long day at the battlefields, we headed back to Maryland. Also at the top of my list were Maryland crab cakes so we went to dinner at Clydes in Chevy Chase, MD where I had am amazing, sweet crab cake and white wine. My belly was incredibly happy at this moment.

vietnam memorial

Vietnam Veteran’s War Memorial

usmc band

The Marine Corps Silent Drill Team performing in front of the Iwo Jima Memorial

Tuesday was a day full of walking. We walked from monument to monument, including the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, Korean War Memorials, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memoiral and FDR Memorial Park. This was a great way to work off all of our food and celebrate ‘merica! We then headed over to Arlington National Cemetery for the a very special evening event called the Sunset Parade, a performance by the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Team and Band. The performance was amazing, especially set against the backdrop of the immense Iwo Jima Marine Corps Monument in Arlington National Cemetery.  I’ve spent my adult life surrounded by Marines, including my guy who truly is my hero. Seeing this tradition brought tears to me eyes and made me even more proud of my love. We ended the night with in-house brews from  Capitol City Brewing Company. mmmmm.

roosevelt memorial

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Park

At this point my feet were already aching, but I had serious sightseeing to do, which included going back to Arlington National Cemetery, the U.S. Capital Building, the Library of Congress, House of Representatives buildings on Wednesday.

Arlington

Arlington National Cemetery

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

We started the day by touring our nation’s most important historical documents at the National Archives, where we made lots of nerdy National Treasure jokes. I decided here that if I am president one day, the first thing I would ban is the school field trip, but only for those kids who stand there, limp and unimpressed, staring into their cell phones. The kids who are interested are more than welcome. As I mentioned, the best part about our trip was being able to visit and stay with my friend who lives in the metro area. On the top of his list was visiting Birds of a Feather, a tiny scotch bar in Baltimore so we ended our day there. He is a big scotch drinker and my guy and I are wimps who ordered beers. But this place was fantastic and a great way to end the night. If you are looking for a quiet place to have a drink and conversation, this is the best place in Baltimore as far as I am concerned. Oh…and if you like scotch.

mlk memorial

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Despite my screaming feet, we attempted to do a bit more sightseeing on Thursday,  our last day in D.C. We limped our way through the Air and Space Museum and the American History Museum, where I squealed at getting to see Dorothy’s slippers from the Wizard of Oz. We also joined lots of 80-year-olds while sitting at the benches, trying to rest our toes. We ended our trip at Ted’s Montana Grill in Crystal City, VA for a dinner with my old college roommate. I had the most amazing burger, called the Canyon Creek which had cheddar cheese, bacon, jalapeños, blackberry jam and a fried egg. I’m still speechless.

stow-away

Our stow-away, who I have named General Lee.

After 14-thousand more miles, we ended our trip with a little extra souvenir, a little kitten. We saw this little fluffball at the hotel on our last night, mewing away in the parking lot and then sleeping in the hedges this morning. Tears were almost shed! My guy scooped him up and now is back in Texas with us, living in the garage and waiting for a new home.

That was quite the eventful trip!

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