Washington, D.C.! What a place. I spent last weekend bebopping around this richly historical city with my mom and my sisters. G to the irls’ trip!
So there’s kind of a story to this trip. A while back I told you about this book I read that really moved and inspired me: The Storyteller by Jodi Piccoult. It tells the story of a young girl living through the Holocaust, and it really made me want to learn more and pay respect in some way. At the time my sister was also reading a book about the Holocaust, and although we both wanted to hop a plane and fly over to Germany to really experience more firsthand, we decided that maybe Washington, D.C. and the Holocaust Museum there would be a little more realistic.
So we did it! And it was amazing and I’m so glad we took the time to make it happen. Here’s a quick recap of what we did and saw and ate. I hope you’ll chime in with your Washington, D.C. faves too, because I am going to need them for my next one hundred trips back.
Places we ate:
- Old Ebbitt Grill – very classic and White-House-ish. I mean, it’s like two feet away. I’m sure Prez Obama eats here all the time. Things we ate and liked were the clam chowder, the quiche, the fish and chips, and the veggie sandwich served on fried eggplant instead of bread. YES.
- PJ Clarke’s – chosen less because of the restaurant itself and more because of the location within blocks of both our hotel and the White House, but that being said, the lobster mac and cheese + a side of roasted brussels sprouts were divine after a long day of walking.
- Founding Farmer’s – we arrived to find that 90 million people were also hoping to eat dinner here, so we didn’t brave the long wait. But it comes highly recommended by D.C. peeps and the vegan-friendly menu looked so creative and incredibly fresh. It will be my first restaurant stop next time I’m in D.C.!
- Baked and Wired – too cute, you guys. Just too cute. A really small local bakery and coffee shop full of good smells and addicting baked treats in a corner of town that looks like the East Coast version of Europe.
- Ceiba – seafood galore with a Latin flair. Favorites were the shrimp with pineapple salsa and guacamole and the huuuge crab cakes with a sweet potato plantain mash and caramelized brussels sprouts. And whatever spicy red spread they were serving with the crackers: yum.
- ShopHouse – this was the only restaurant on my MUST TRY list when we left for D.C. because it is the newest Chipotle concept restaurant, but southeast Asian fresh street food style. Right now the only locations are in California, Maryland, and D.C. so we made it a priority to check this place out. I created a noodle bowl with cabbage and kale, ginger tamarind tofu and pork meatballs (totally makes sense, right?), spicy green beans and broccoli, and drenched in a green curry sauce. Topped with green papaya slaw and crispy garlic. And at less than $8, it’s reeeally hard to beat that one.
Things We Saw
- U.S. Capitol
- White House
- Washington Monument
- Smithsonian Museum of American History
- Holocaust Museum
- Lincoln Memorial at night
- World War II Memorial at night
- Korean War Memorial at night
- Vietnam War Memorial at night
- Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial at night
Where We Stayed
Only one place to list here! The Jefferson Hotel. They hosted us during our stay, and I think the pictures speak for themselves.
It was incredible, you guys. I was expecting it to be big and completely over the top. But instead it was small (maybe even boutiquey, if I may use that word), classic, and subtle.
The location was PRIMO – just a few blocks from the White House and walking distance to lots of monuments and museums. The staff was knowledgeable and patient, and they helped us figure out answers to the constant question —> where to eat. And the details of the room were just so lovely. For example, glass decanters of water on the bedside table that were refilled every time we would leave the room, plush slippers that I did not want to take off ever, big beautiful windows, high ceilings, really unique themed decor (our room was the architectural design, so the curtains and pillows had these really creative soft blueprints on them, which maybe sounds weird but it was so subtle that I didn’t even notice them until someone told me), and individual furniture pieces like a classic desk and a regal, antiqued-looking entertainment cabinet. It was such a pleasure to be so graciously hosted by such a unique place.
In the hotel itself, which was build in the 20’s as an apartment building, there were tons of original building details like the classically small elevators, old brickwork, and beautiful chandeliers. WHAT FUN. We loved it all.
After all this ramble-shenaniganing, I have a takeaway for myself: I need to take more trips. One of my goals for 2014 is peace and rest, which we already talked about, and another part of that is spending time with and truly appreciating people that I love, and this was such an awesome way to make that all happen.
To take advantage of those 72 weekend hours and really max them out took a little more work and required me to wear something other than sweatpants and old t-shirts, but it was so worth it. We had such a good time, saw so many things, and spent valuable time together. Yes, yes, yes. More of that please.
In light of that goal, pretty please share your best places for weekend trips! Email, comment, whatever so that I can start spending all my free time scouring the internet for deals. Which coincidentally happens to be my favorite time-wasting guilty pleasure. Win-win.