Home » Blog » The District: Home to memorials, museums, and many of my favorite people!

The District: Home to memorials, museums, and many of my favorite people!

We took another Greyhound bus from NYC to DC with my amiga Kate to see some more of my favorite people in the world. Starting with these ladies.



We took the bus from the Port Authority in NYC to Union Station in DC and then promptly took the Metro out to Vienna (the end of the line in Virginia) to be picked up by my lovely friend Shelby to see her new fabulous home. We spent the weekend chatting, hugging, and drinking wine. Which is exactly what I expected!

Vineyards in Virginia!

Vineyards in Virginia!

From there we headed back into DC to stay at my awesome brother’s apartment with my parents for a few days until they headed home to MA once again. We checked out some memorials and ate some fabulous food. Founding Farmers comes highly recommended!


Founding Farmers has the coolest drinks


A walk by the Casa Blanca after dinner.


And of course a visit with Abe so he and Dad could have a chat!

Our first day after Mom and Dad left was spent running around the Mall. Literally. Running. We desperately needed to run off the plentiful beers and wines we’d been sharing with friends and family, as well as the nonstop food. N.O.N.S.T.O.P. To be clear, it was amazing. All of it. But we were both gaining weight at an absurd level. Welcome to America. So away we jogged!


From Dupont, past the White House, past the Washington Monument, and around the Tidal Basin to visit TJ.


After swinging through my favorite memorial – FDR Park – we stopped by the new MLK Jr Memorial.


From MLK, we ran over to the DC Veterans Memorial, over to the Vietnam Memorial, and then down the Mall to the Museum of Natural History. Where we of course visited the dinosaurs.


I would be a tasty snack!

That night we had a celebratory birthday dinner for my friend, Jen, in Dupont Circle. We opted for Kramerbooks and Afterwards, possibly because of their hilarious response to a broken front shop window. Also because the food is great.

Wednesday was spent at the Air and Space Museum, after a quick walk through the Botanic Gardens and a mosey around the grounds of the Capitol. This is the best Smithsonian in my opinion – I’ve been here so many times and it’s always entertaining!


Beautiful day for a mosey around the Capitol!


As per usual, there is some rally/protest gathering out on the lawn.


Look! We’re astronauts!


Anyone who knows me knows I always complain about being cold. Well, here’s proof that I’m not exaggerating! There he is being all cozy and warm and bright. See my nose? It’s black on this thermal camera. See my fingers? Nope, you can’t, because they’re also black. Damn air conditioning…


We’re going to the moon!

That night we headed to Courthouse for happy hour with some amazing friends at Mexicali Blues. Mostly UMW grads, we’ve shared some hilarious moments, plenty of Washington Nationals games, and more than a few beers together. Catching up with them was a huge highlight of this week.

And only a week later, the Happy Hughes welcomed baby Claire!

And only a week later, the Happy Hughes welcomed baby Claire! Love you guys <3

Thursday morning I had something pretty important to do. My passport expires March 2014, which doesn’t sound like too much of a problem right now except that by the time we get back to Roatan, it will be expiring within six months. That’s a big no-no for Border Patrol in many countries, so it was time to renew the old passport. Here’s the catch: I needed them to hand it back to me by Monday so we could leave for Scotland. While I wasn’t at all concerned, pretty much everyone else was flabbergasted that I was waiting until the last minute. So first thing in the morning I walked to FedEx to print out the documents I needed to present (this website has the details) and also to take my new photos. Lesson learned: taking a photo at 7am in which you cannot smile is a terrible idea. Alas.

I scurried from there toward the passport office, grabbing a coffee at Dunkin Donuts en route. I’m from MA…we are physically incapable of passing a DD without stopping. It’s not our fault. So anywho, I arrived at the passport office by 7:35am, and they were already open! There’s your insider tip, folks, get there early because the website says they open at 8am but it’s clearly not true! Sadly, because they were actually open I had to throw away my entire DD coffee to enter the building. Totally worth it. I walked out of the office at 8:04am. Less than thirty minutes and they told me to come back at 2pm to pick up my new passport. Piece of cake! Here’s to a government office in DC being super efficient and full of nice, friendly people. Loved it 🙂

The rest of the day was spent meandering around the Newseum for a few hours before meeting up with my old coworkers at The Laughing Man Tavern. We love that place and I’m fairly certain their new game room was funded entirely by AILA staff. Well played, team! I had such a great night catching up with all my friends and they in turn loved meeting this guy.


He’s a champ…I’m pretty sure he’d met 100 people by this night.

Friday we went back to the Newseum, taking advantage of their two-day tickets to spread out all that information and soak it all in.

Not a bad view from their balcony, huh? This place is fantastic, it's the only museum I'll pay to go to repeatedly.

Not a bad view from their balcony, huh? This place is fantastic, it’s the only museum I’ll pay to go to repeatedly.

The next day we headed out to Maryland to celebrate a beautiful marriage. When I first decided to move to Washington, DC, during my senior year at UMW, I turned to Craigslist to help me find an apartment. Enter Kate.

Isn't she just the cutest??

Isn’t she just the cutest??

She had just signed a lease and needed a roommate, and we hit it off right away. The location was exceptional – less than two blocks from Dupont Circle – and we both loved taking advantage of the perks of the city. Living with Kate (and Alec since he pretty much became our other awesome roomie) made me incredibly happy. They are two lovely people who make an inspiring pair. Being at their wedding to celebrate that love was a true honor.

They are absolutely wonderful. So much love for you two! Photo from Tara Peddicord Photography

They are absolutely wonderful. So much love for you two!
Photo from Tara Peddicord Photography

After a week of traipsing around the city and hanging out with so many fantastic friends, it was time to head across the pond! Thank you, DC, for being a fabulous host to finish off our North American adventure. Friends and family, you are all so loved and seeing you made me unbelievably happy. Cheers!