114 In Travel

The Sneaky Charmer

Who’s the charmer you ask? The national’s capitol of course! D.C. wasn’t originally on the list of places to travel (more on that later) but I’m so glad things panned out the way they did. A close friend had just moved there a few weeks prior so it gave me a great opportunity to catch up with her and have someone just as excited to explore a new city as I was!

I was fortunate to be able to spend almost an entire week in D.C. so we were able to squeeze in quite a bit of exploring. One of my first day’s there we decided to check out all the monuments. This day also ended up being one of the most exciting/interesting of my entire trip. I’ll tell you why if ya keep reading!

I was staying near Georgetown so we took the Metro into the city and then spent all day walking to each monument. One of the first we went to was the Washington Monument, then over to the Lincoln Memorial. On our walk there, people kept walking into the water (gross) and a police officer on a horse was trotting around threatening to arrest people-it was pretty hilarious actually. We also saw a couple standing next to us get engaged, which was super sweet and exciting!

Once we checked out the Lincoln Memorial we decided to snap some pictures. I don’t know if the proposal that we just witnessed was rubbing off because we somehow managed to get what looked like my friend Jenn proposing to me. I can assure you that was not the case, but it provided quite a few hilarious photos. (I obviously said yes-duh).

One thing that surprised me was how small the White House actually looked up close. I don’t know what I was expecting exactly, but it was a bit underwhelming. As for the Lincoln Memorial, I was expecting something small but I was so wrong, it was massive! Also, when we went to see the White House they had a large area in front of it blocked off for construction so it took us a little while to figure out how to even get close enough to take a decent photo.

Last on our stop of monuments that day was the Capitol Building. Here come’s that story I promised you. It was supposed to rain that afternoon so we were kind of rushing to get there before it started. As you can see, these photos are a lot gloomier than the previous ones. After we took all of our photos we turned around (not pictured) and look out across from the Capitol Building and a huge wall of dark, rainy clouds are heading straight for us, and fast. We decided it was time to leave and started booking it out of the park. We’d only gotten a few yards away from the building when we see a few European men playing with a wild squirrel… like petting it and everything- it was very bizarre. We stopped to witness this and then it started to pour. It was raining men, cats, dogs, the whole shebang. We see a partially inclosed brick structure a few feet away and decide to run into it to take cover. We’re in there for about two minutes before the group of European men join us. After another two minutes an Asian tour group of about 25 people pile in as well. At this point we are all quite squished together trying to stay under the small awning.

Now that we’re all packed into this structure like a bunch of sardines, the rain starts coming in sideways. The group of people across from us had their umbrellas out straight in front of them and everyone was absolutely howling with laughter. We stayed like this for about 20 minutes, laughing until we cried along with 30 other strangers. Once the rain slowed down quite a bit, the tour group left. A few minutes later, the European men left. We waited it out just a couple more minutes and then decided to keep walking back to the metro. As soon as we come out of the structure we walk right into the Europeans who are all staring off behind us and upon seeing us just say, “girls…” We turn around and this is what we see…

About 50 feet from the structure we took cover in, and right where we had been standing with them when they were playing with the squirrel, a huge tree was struck by lightening and had fallen onto the sidewalk. We literally just stood there in shock until we decided to walk around and investigate. Thankfully, no one was under the tree when it fell. We were in a complete daze and just walked around it getting a better look and taking pictures. (I insta-storied this entire fiasco so If you ever want a more in depth view of what I post, follow along @thegreatvacate.

After all the walking and drama, we were starving. We headed to a place that I’m not 100% what it’s called. It showed up online as “Plan B” but the website says “Burger Beer Bourbon” and their menu says “b Restaurants.” You can click the link and check it out. Besides the confusing name, it was awesome! They had so many gluten free things that I hadn’t had in ages! I had the buffalo chicken tenders but they also had fried shrimp which I was really tempted to get. Their menu is huge and they have plenty of full gluten items as well. Definitely a must try if you’re in the area.

That morning I had prepped some chicken in the crockpot so we could have tacos that night for dinner. It had chicken breast, honey, sriracha, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Super simple and super delicious on some corn tortillas with salsa and lettuce.

The next morning I was dying to try out some goods from D.C.’s only all gluten free bakery, Rise. All of their products were very well marked so you knew exactly which allergens their products were free of.

I had an everything bagel with butter which was so good I bought four more to take home so I could have one each morning! My friend had some sort of egg sandwich on the same bagel which she said was great, and she’s not even gluten free! I also bought a biscuit and a chocolate croissant to take home and they were both some of the best baked goods I’ve ever had. That croissant was so, so decadent I would have never known it was gluten free!

After breakfast, we headed a few doors down to “Tryst” and each got a latte to go. I wish we had more time to stick around and enjoy the shop because it was so cute! It was a large room with a bunch of sun lights along the ceiling, a wide variety of cozy couches and chairs, and a huge wall of books with a sign that read “take one, leave one.” The book concept was one I’d seen before but never with that wide of a selection. Also, the latte was delicious. I’ll definitely be back the next time I visit D.C.

The rest of that day, as well as the following one, didn’t consist of too much. My friends and I all managed to come down with a 24 hour stomach bug, all at different times- yay! Above are a few photos I snapped when we wandered around D.C. and Georgetown. While we were home we got hooked on The Strain on Hulu. If you need a new show to binge, give this one a try! I’m not typically a big syfy fan but man it sucks you in!

On my last full day there we went to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum which was so neat! It was crazy crowded so I didn’t take many photos but we got to learn about everything from mummies, sea creatures, cave men, the human skeleton, and more. I would recommend going on a sunny Monday when school is in session as opposed to a cloudy summer day when every child in D.C. apparently likes to go to the Smithsonian. Also, maybe I was misinformed, but I had no idea that the Smithsonian wasn’t a singular museum, there’s actually about eight or so. That being said, I would love to visit a few more next time I’m in town and have a chance to plan my timing a bit better.

So why was D.C. a sneaky charmer? For starters, I had a false viewpoint that the city would be boring and solely focused on politics, etc. Boy was a wrong. During my week there we met so many kind, exciting, interesting people. One weeknight we were at a small bar, it was just the three of us and our new friend (bartender) from earlier in the day. By the end of the night, two other groups of strangers had asked to join our table because “it looks like you guys are having a lot of fun” and we were! I woke up that morning knowing two people in D.C. and ended it surrounded by eight new lovely people. I don’t know about you, but that’s not an experience I’ve had going out in most places.

We also spent an afternoon in Bethesda, Maryland. I don’t have many pictures from that day but we ate at the “Summer House Santa Monica.” I didn’t particularly enjoy my meal but my friends loved theirs! They also had a large bakery with cookies (gluten free and full gluten) the size of your head. After lunch that day we went to World of Beer where we met our new bartender friend and got my friend Jenn (or should I say, new fiancé) a job!

This trip was full of so many exciting and fun moments and I would never be able to put them all into words. I hope you enjoyed the moments I did share and please feel free to ask any questions if you’d like me to provide more details on any of the above mentioned things.

Thanks for reading 🙂

-V

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