"The kitties would be so happy here! Oscar was made for wood floors and grey walls."
"Um. I guess?"
"The kitties would be so happy here! Oscar was made for wood floors and grey walls."
"Um. I guess?"
If this is what spring is always like here, I take back every good thing I've ever said about this city, and shout it out again, twenty times louder.
Last weekend we went with our friends to the National Mall to enjoy a perfect day. Our original goal was to see the cherry blossoms, but we never really quite made it there. Instead we took our shoes off and ran on the grass barefoot (ok, that might have been just me). We wandered around, feeding ducks and checking out monuments.
The flowers are out everywhere. Tulips the size of your head! They are gorgeous.
Our friends are so cute:
Molly hypothesized that I have reverse seasonal affective disorder. Allow me to explain: normally SAD describes people who are at their baseline happiness level through most of the year, and take a big dip in the winter. I am at my baseline happiness level in summer through winter and take a huge spike in the spring. The diagnosis sounds accurate and I accept it.
I'm telling you, when the weather is like this, I feel like I can do anything. Like assist a two year old with illegal cherry blossom picking:
Or take really awkward family photos:
My confidence (and competence) level at my job has been improving a lot in the last few weeks. Spring is responsible, I know it.
It doesn't look like this weekend will be quite so sunny, but even in the rainstorms: I love it here I love it here I love it here.
There are so many awesome free museums in DC. Someday I will go to all of them! We went to The Newseum last month, which happens to be one of the rare museums in the area that charges admission. It felt kinda silly to be paying for a ticket when right down the street were a million free-to-enter places, but man, it was worth it! It came highly recommended by a few friends, so I was really looking forward to visiting.
The whole museum is about history of news and journalism. It covers a lot of ground! This exhibit features a radio antenna that was on top of one of the World Trade Center buildlings. The whole wall was about 3 stories high and was covered in front pages from newspapers all over the world from 9/12/2001. There's also a movie room showing a mini-documentary about the journalists and photographers who were at Ground Zero that day. Some of it was very difficult to watch but it was all really well done and incredibly moving.
One long hallway is devoted to the that day's front page of dozens of newspapers. I couldn't stop thinking about how long it takes someone to replace the whole wall every single day! It's a beautiful exhibit: one whole side of the hall is a window, looking out onto Pennsylvania Avenue. There's a lovely "promenade deck" along the side of the building with lots of placards comparing Pennsylvania Ave now to various points in the past.
There's also this great walkway called the "First Amendment Walkway" which highlights the five freedoms protected by the first amendment of the Constitution. Chris and I came around the corner and the light was coming through the front of the building just right. I got really excited about this photo!
I also got really excited about the sunset as we left. The gorgeous rainbow mixed with all the historic and important buildings definitely gave me a "I still can't believe we actually live here!" moment.
I didn't take a ton of photos, but there were so many great exhibits. My favorites was the one on the presidents and their official photographers. I loved the pictures of the presidents with their pets, and so many of the photos seemed intimate, capturing a private, relaxed demeanor that we rarely see from the President. I also really liked the history of printed news, and the gallery of all the Pulitzer prize-winning phtoographs was also amazing. Definitely, definitely hit up the Newseum if you get a chance! We'll be going back for sure.
Last week our friends took us to Dairy Godmother for dessert. They serve frozen custard, which I'd never had before but am now obsessed with. Like ice cream, but slightly better! And isn't that the best name for a custard shop? So cute.
Their flavor of the day was Girl Scout Thin Mint. Sooooo good. haven't seen any Girl Scouts this year to order my favorite cookies from, so I was pretty happy to get my fix in here.
It's a little strange to eat ice cream when it's cold outside, but it was so worth it.
Thanks Jackie and Dan for introducing us to this gem!
Yesterday was Chris's birthday! We were so busy celebrating that I didn't even tell the internet.
In a lame bit of scheduling, he ended up having a rehearsal Monday night, so we went out to dinner Sunday night instead! We've heard nothing but glowing reviews of Ray's the Steaks since we moved here, so Chris's birthday seemed a perfect excuse to give it a try.
And man, did it live up to the hype. I am not normally a big steak person, but I was on Sunday! It was a really wonderful night with great food, delicious wine, and great friends. If you're in the DC area and you even sort of like steak, you should definitely give it a try. (If your wallet's not up to steak, try his burger place Ray's Hell Burger instead. Best burger I've ever had. And the man likes a pun, which I can appreciate.)
On Monday, his actual birthday, we slept in till almost noon, which was amazing. Then we went to another local restaurant that he'd been wanting to try since we moved here, and which I kept vetoing. I thought it would make a nice surprise, and it sort of did, but unfortunately my initial instincts were right--the place was not very good. Do not recommend, will not dine again.
All was not lost, since there was cake at home. More specifically, cheesecake, his favorite food. I had never made a cheesecake before, and really was nervous about it since I don't even really like cheesecake, so I didn't even know how to tell if it was good! Luckily, Chris loves it. I used this recipe, though mine didn't look quite as nice as the picture.)
Happy birthday Chris. I love you!
There are a few restaurants within 2-3 blocks of us that we've already grown to rely on for those "man, I really don't feel like cooking" nights. I'm determined, though, not to settle into a rut when we've only been here for 6 weeks, so we walked over to Georgetown to try Pizzeria Paradiso recommended by my parents. The pizza? Delicious. The night? Perfect.
We walked up and down the street, poking into shops and enjoying the evening until the sun had set and it was time to head home.
I love it here.
Every week during the summer, there is a military band concert in front of the Capitol steps. Even if my husband and most of our friends weren't in those bands, I would probably go anyway. It's a lovely way to spend a warm hot summer night: sitting on the steps of that impressive building, listening to an excellent band, watching the sun set.
(At a Marine Band concert a few weeks ago.)
We celebrated our first fourth of July in DC with the masses on the Capitol lawn. We packed a big cooler full of yummy food and lots of water and camped out on the lawn for the afternoon. We'd brought my pretty rainbow umbrella because we were worried about rain, but it ended up being used mostly for sun protection -- we were so glad to have it. It was soooo hot.
We were there to watch "A Capitol Fourth," the big concert that airs on PBS every year. Chris was actually supposed to be IN the concert, but because of his surgery he couldn't participate. He was disappointed, but I was glad to have someone to enjoy the concert with. It was a really fun concert, especially when the quartet of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins impersonators came on. Once the fireworks started, I was upset to discover we were in exactly the wrong place to see them. That was a pretty huge disappointment (I LOVE FIREWORKS) but overall it was a really fun night and a fun way to extend our feeling of being "permanent tourists."
ps: hi Mom!
We've been here for three days now, and good news: we still love it. It's been a weird and fun weekend. Weird because it feels like a vacation. I must have said to Chris "I can't believe we live here!" about twenty times, and thought it fifty times more. Since 95% of our belongings are on a moving truck somewhere, it's been really easy to convince ourselves to get out of the house all day. We've been doing a lot of fun touristy things, exploring some of the museums and monuments in downtown DC.
I love museums. I think they are so amazing. So much information, presented in a visually appealing manner, concentrated in one place! (Hi, I'm a dork. But if you've been reading this blog for longer than three days, you probably already knew that. Also, 17 days till the final Harry Potter movie!) To have this many amazing museums so close to us and so free to enter is such a gift and I am so excited to take advantage of it while we live here.
I was so fascinated by the minerals and gems display at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. The colors of all the different minerals were incredible. And can we just talk about that insane diamond and turquoise crown down there? A gift from Napoleon Bonaparte to his lady love. The sparkle in real life was out of control. I would pay money to try that on.
Below: museum animals and zoo animals. There are 7 lion cubs at the National Zoo right now and they were super cute. I kept quoting The Lion King while I watched them (in my head). The gorillas were highly entertained by the Amazon.com box in their habitat, and I was highly entertained by all the jokes I came up with regarding their Amazon.com order (in my head).
Supposedly the truck with our stuff is getting here on Tuesday morning, so I expect we will begin to (slowly) settle into a routine this week, and it will stop feeling like a vacation. I'm looking forward to that, but there are still lots of sights I want to see and I plan to proudly take on the role of permanent tourist.