Friday, October 5, 2012

Exploring D.C.

I'm heading to D.C. after work tonight because I was lucky enough-make that fast enough-to get tickets to Virgin Mobile Freefest this Saturday which, as you've probably guessed, is FREE! I'm super psyched about it, some of the headliners include Jack White, Nas, Skrillex, ZZ Top Ben Folds Five and Alabama Shakes. They also have a huge variety of local & veggie friendly food options. I can't wait to go, look for a post next week!

My older brother has lived just outside DC for a little over two years now, and it's about 4.5 hours to get down there by bus. Since I moved out east, I've been down to see him & several of our friends who live in the area every few months. This fall, I'm actually going three months straight-and this post is about my first trip. I went down on Labor Day weekend because we had tickets to the Cubs/Nationals game (go Cubs!), but my brother forgot exactly when I was coming and planned a weekend away until Sunday with his girlfriend. This turned out to be quite nice because I wanted a break from work, noise and people, so I stayed in his apartment and spent my days re-visiting old favorites and discovering a few new ones around town.

Brother's cat, Loki, who was beyond happy to see me after being alone for a day.

I got down Saturday afternoon and grabbed a quick lunch at an amazing and healthy place called The Protein Bar. They have a huge variety of extremely healthy and even more delicious options, which is perfect when you need to be nice and full for a day of museum-wandering.

 I kicked off my sight-seeing rounds after by heading down to the National Mall & revisiting the National Air and Space Museum, which I'd only briefly run through on my first trip to DC nearly two years ago. It was nice, but extremely crowded, so I headed outside, picked up some ice cream & wandered over to the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, which is probably one of my favorite things on the Mall. I proceeded to spend about two hours reading my book on the edge of the fountain, dipping my feet in and out of the water. I don't think I could have asked for a more relaxing afternoon. 

Oh, annnd I had to imitate this statue. Again. There happens to be an identical one at the 
Pappajohn Sculpture Park in Des Moines, and I have an earlier photo of me imitating this same statue.

Once the sun started to set, I decided it was time to finally make the long walk to the Lincoln Memorial. It turns out they'd just re-opened the reflecting pool, so I couldn't have picked a better day! Unfortunately, once I got up there, an incredibly inconsiderate tourist kicked my foot (I was wearing sandals) and split my big toenail halfway up, sending me in search of a first aid kit. 

In high school, I got the chance to take a trip to Memphis and I visited the hotel where 
Martin Luther King was shot. It was an honor to stand where he did when he gave this speech.

Sunday morning, I got up and took the Metro (which I hate so much more than the NYC subway!!) out to Eastern Market, an amazing outdoor market near Capitol Hill full of fresh produce stands, local artists and unique finds. Some of the stands, especially the jewelry, are the same things you could find in the jewelry district in NYC, but there are also some great artists, and I even found the same company I'd seen before at Brooklyn Flea that sells incredible mirrors and wood furnishings. After I ate my way through (no exaggeration) and grabbed some coffee, I headed back down to the Mall with the intention of visiting several Smithsonians, but after the National Gallery of Art I got distracted by the Newseum

Those amazing mirrors! I can't wait to get my hands on one.

A Degas, my favorite, at the Gallery of Art

The Tinkers! They went to my high school-you may have heard of them in a history class, they protested the Vietnam war with black armbands in class. Featured in the Newseum, now!

View of Pennsylvania Avenue & the Capitol from the top of the Newseum 

Michelle Obama's inaugural gown at the Museum of American History

It was a lovely, relaxing way to spend my weekend-and when my brother got back, we all headed down to the Nats game to watch the Cubs lose, but shockingly not by much! Us Cubs fans, we always have to be optimistic. Cheers to this weekend & Freefest!

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