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Hey, friends. It seems I’ve been a little MIA these days. But, no fear, I’m still here!
I once read that we should think about our lives in terms of seasons. We may have seasons of nose-to-the-grind productivity, seasons of awakening and transformation, and seasons of change and navigation. Sometimes we have seasons of hunger. Hunger for more.
In the not-so-distant past, I was fighting a strong urge to jump on a plane and fly far, far away. My unsatiated appetite for more life was not being curbed in my tiny apartment or amidst my hectic schedule. So I did the next best thing a girl (who can’t just jump on a plane) is to do and spent four weeks planning a very well thought-out trip that I knew would bring me more life.
What does more life look like, you may ask?
Like the 118 year old marble floors of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, the world’s largest collection of knowledge and creativity. The impactful stories on every floor of the Newseum. The uneven cobblestone paths along the streets of Georgetown. The sidewalk inspiration in Old Town Alexandria. The martini and table for one at a snazzy pizzeria. The intricate and mesmerizing architecture around every turn. The rows of historic homes and artisanal market goods. The miles of sidewalks, metro tracks, and roads that led me where I planned to go for four exhaustively wonderful days.
Check out my trip details below!
My first ever AirBnb experience was nothing like I expected! No axe murders. No scam artists. No bed bugs. I chose a modest apartment in a safe looking neighborhood in the Rosslyn area. It was walking distance to Georgetown and the metro and successfully met my two biggest needs of #1 being able to sleep throughout the night and #2 being able to drink wine in bed. Using an AirBnb for the first two nights was perfect for saving a little money and leaping out of my comfort zone. Thinking about booking your first AirBnb for an upcoming trip? Use my link to get $20 credit!
I unknowingly booked the trip for Columbus Day weekend and thought it was going to be a big travel mistake. I was totally wrong! The weather was beautiful, the sidewalks minimally crowded, and I didn’t have to pay a dime for parking. Score. On the third night, I stayed in Alexandria at a nice ol’ Hampton Inn along King St.Â Between free parking and free continental breakfast, I really was happy as a clam in my king size bed.
If I’m being honest, the food was a really big piece of planning a trip to DC. A foodie dream is being able to look forward to at least nine consecutive opportunities to try new restaurants. A few of my favorite things was the peanut butter milkshake and cheeseburger at Shake Shack, the *fun-guy* pizza and nutty-caramel martini at Red Rocks, the brown sugar Ted-tarts at Ted’s Bulletin, and the Guinness cupcake at Alexandria Cupcake. And yes, my sweet tooth is really controlling. This weekend was also A Taste of DC where tons of food trucks and tents line Pennsylvania Avenue. I was happy with my own food excursions, but missing this event seems like a good excuse to go back next year ðŸ˜‰
I’ve visited DC a handful of times. I’ve been through the exhibits in many of the most popular Smithsonian museums and I’ve walked past all of the monuments along the National Mall. For this trip, I wanted to go down a different path and experience some places I’ve never been.
I strolled through some of my favorite stores like Madewell, L’Occitane, and Paper Source. It was a pretty warm day, but the stormy weather held off and it turned into the perfect way to start my journey. After lots of window shopping, I headed back through the Georgetown Waterfront Park and over the Key Bridge. While the setting sun has the power to make even trash look pretty, experiencing the Golden Hour over the Potomac River was the only reminder I needed that flowing water has transformative properties. My worries washed straight down that river.
The day started bright and early at Starbucks (of course) and then on my way to Capital Hill. First stop was the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. If you’ve never been, it’s an ABSOLUTE must. It’s such a mesmerizing experience (and free.) Walking up the gigantic steps and into the Great Hall would’ve been enough for me. The Italian Renaissance-style building was a sight to see on its own. That same afternoon I spent four hours perusing the floors of the Newseum. Visiting this museum was on my imaginary bucket list and I wanted to take full advantage of the $24 ticket. It’s one of the priciest museums, but if you’re interested in anything related to news, it’s so worth it. My favorite exhibits were the Time Warner World News Gallery and 40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World — the Photography of Howard G. Buffett. The role (and power!) of media to express, transform, and even altar views of the world is incredible to me.
I made my way to Eastern Market where I did one of my favorite weekend activities ever, which is drink coffee and walk along the market. I’m easily pleased. I finished up the afternoon by taking a detour to the US Botanic Garden and a quick stop at the iconic US Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington. After packing up my bags, I left for Alexandria. Upon arriving at my hotel, I did some Old Town shopping. My favorite stops were Olio, the Spice and Tea Exchange, and Anthropologie.
The morning was slow and quiet. I spent a couple hours enjoying breakfast and reading in my room. After checking out, I took one last stroll down King St. and enjoyed lunch along the waterfront.
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”
What should I add to my next DC itinerary?