Trip: Washington, D.C.

I have made entirely too many trips to DC this year.  It’s a nice city, for sure, and easily accessible by train if you live on the East Coast, but this is the third time I’ve been there and they’ve all been for business reasons.  I’m starting to associate the place with unwanted chores.

The timing was unlucky, too, since, to break up the bad associations, I went for a long weekend that turned out to be just after the government shutdown.  So no National Mall, no museums (except for the private Spy Museum, which was fun but which did only take up a couple hours) and no street traffic to watch.  The weather was bad as well, drizzling and cold.  So this trip ended up being basically about eating.  Jackson 20 in old Alexandria was decent foodwise, but served some of the worst cocktails I have ever refused to finish.  Seriously, my carrot/gin one somehow ended up tasting like liquefied cotton candy crossed with pina colada.  Daikaya Ramen was solid but unspectacular, a good bowl on a rainy afternoon, while Pearl Dive Oyster Palace was genius whether they were frying, grilling, or stewing their oysters.  And the Jaleo tasting menu (Jaleo Experience) was both one of the most delicious and most painful meals of my life.  It’s a bad idea to wear a tight waistband if you’re having a tasting menu.  But still, the stomach pains were worth it.

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Trip: Washington, D.C.

I had to make a quick trip to D.C. for career reasons this past weekend.  It was lovely, sunny with low humidity and just a gentle warmth, but sadly, I didn’t have time for much besides my hotel room and a quick stroll to D.C.’s “Chinatown” (super-small, too polished, no grocery stores).  Thankfully, the hotel turned out to be a quaint little treat (with an odd construction/preservation job next door–I spent some time musing about what used to be behind the cool facade), with neoclassical this and French colonial that, and a chinoiserie dining room that reminded me of Silver Age Hollywood films.  The bed was nice and fluffy, albeit a bit short, and best of all, I got an excellent deal for ~$89 a night for it.

P.S. How do people living in downtown D.C. cope with late-night emergencies?  I showed up in town slightly after 8 pm, realized I’d forgotten to pack floss, and spent a good half-hour wandering around looking for a pharmacy.  Even a smartphone wasn’t much help, seeing as half its suggestions weren’t open at that hour.  NYC so spoils people when it comes to this sort of thing.

Trip: Washington, D.C.

I just got back from four days in Washington, D.C., partly for work and partly for fun.  Unfortunately, the work part took over more of my time than I had expected, so I only got out of the office for one day.  Still, I hit up three of the Smithsonian’s museums (Air and Space looks just like it did when I was a kid, Natural History has spruced up a bit, and Hirshhorn was brand-new to me), strolled around the National Mall and then caught up with friends and family.  It was a pretty lowkey semi-vacation, but I think it came at a good time.  Sometimes you don’t need excitement, but just a break.