Shutdown covered. Let's move on.
I was in D.C. for four full days, staying with my friend Melissa, focusing more on soaking in the culture than taking in the sights. I managed to see all my good friends that live there, take a thorough tour of Georgetown, and eat southern food twice. It was quite the success, I must say.
Melissa said something along the lines of, "Whatever is in your wildest dreams to do in D.C., it's my job to make that happen." Talk about a great hostess!
The first day I spent wandering around three neighborhoods: H Street, Adams Morgan, and Dupont. I popped into little vintage stores, gawked at the gorgeous villas along Embassy Row, and ate fried chicken and collard greens out of a styrofoam box from a greasy place called Henry's where the ladies called me "baby". It was fantastic. It was halfway through my chicken leg that Melissa called to make sure that I wasn't near the capitol building, where a shootout was taking place. Lots of "excitement" in D.C., let me tell you.
That night we ate dinner with Melissa's friend, Ita, at Big Bear, her neighborhood hot spot. The setting was quaint, with ivy growing up the brick walls, and umbrellas framed by large twinkle lights strung above the tables. To really add to the atmosphere, there was an R&B singer named Alison Carney that crooned us through drinks, dinner, and dessert.
Bright and early Friday, at 11:30am, I left for Georgetown, where I spent the entire day. I finally got to see the Office of International Programs and witness my Georgetown-based colleagues in their natural habitat. After lunch with an old colleague, I received a private tour of the entire campus from a student worker. It was really awesome to get an inside look at so many cool pockets of the university. That day I really got to imagine the other side of my students' experience, as well as witness in general what a private, east coast university experience would be like. Quite the opposite of mine, that's for sure! Let's just say there was a lot more mahogany.
Presidential photo shoot
Meeting up with Paul
That evening I met up with Emily, who was the Residence Coordinator at the villa right before me. We overlapped there for a semester and made our share of memories! This is us in front of Massimo Dutti, one of our favorite European stores come to America.
Melissa and Bridie, Emily's Georgetown friend that was the RC at the villa before her, met us for happy hour along the waterfront in Georgetown. Nothing like a $5 margarita to get the weekend off on the right foot.
We had dinner at an Italian place for old times' sake that was just off the canal and appropriately called "Il Canale". Of course you know I tracked down the owner to entertain him with our nostalgia of Italy.
A lot of the weekend's highlights surrounded food, and one of my favorite spots was Eatonville on 14th near U Street. I got to meet up with Claire, a friend from UCSD that is currently living in DC. The food made me swoon-shrimp and grits, friend chicken, and mac & cheese to die for. I loved the mac so much that I literally ate my whole meal and then ordered just that for dessert. The waitress didn't judge me at all, and I knew I was at home there.
Let's see...other activities I haven't mentioned? Watching Scandal in the actual city where it takes place, Meeting up with Paul and Vincent (more friends from villa days), going to Eastern Market, enjoying killer pie on H Street, getting my hair pulled by a gang of teens on the bus, thrift shopping with no luck, sweating, brunching, and pretending it was autumn in 80 degree temperatures.
Drinks at Marvin
Farmer's Market with Paul and Vincent
Because every vacation should go out with a bang, Melissa and I got tickets to a fall wine event at Mount Vernon, George Washington's estate in Virginia, for Sunday evening. There was a huge wine tent for tastings, plenty, and I mean plenty, of acres on which to picnic, a blues band, and candlelit tours of the house. Magical doesn't adequately describe how neat it was to relax on George Washington's porch. It was one of those mind-boggling history-meets-me kind of experiences for both of us.
One highlight of the night was snapping this photo with George and Martha. I put my hand on G. Wash's shoulder, and, completely in character, he slowly swiveled to face me and drawled, "Why, you're quite forward." Even the next morning, Melissa and I could not stop cracking up about it.