November 23, 2012

On Capitol Hill

Kevin and I have had lots of great trips with family or visiting family and friends. We've gotten many weekend trips, particularly camping excursions, just the two of us. We have been so blessed to have the past 4 and a half years of marriage to focus on each other. But we had been hoping for a week away, just us, to a "foreign" location, to relax, unwind, enjoy each other's company, and do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. A bona fide vacation.

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the Jefferson Memorial sited from the banks of the Tidal Basin 
Way back in April or May, I began planning our vacation. I looked into various spots, modes of transportation, places to stay, what to eat, how much it would cost. I love planning trips like this. It's like a window-shopping addiction. (I'm pretty sure I got that from my dad.) After much hemming and hawing, we finally decided to visit Washington, D.C.! We've been saying for years how we wanted to visit the Capitol together, so no matter how nerdy it makes it, we booked the trip! 

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The Lincoln Memorial -
a moving experience
Thanks to, we got a fantastic, fancy-pants hotel--the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill--for way way way cheaper than normal, and get this--we ended up FLYING via U.S. Airways instead of making the 7 hour drive. It was less expensive to buy 2 airline tickets and take public transportation to the hotel than it would be to pay FORTY FIVE DOLLARS A DAY to park our muffler-needing, partially rusted '98 Honda Civic in the valet parking garage. *yeeesh* 

And so, from Sunday, November 18th to Friday, November 23rd, Kevin and I spent our time with the Capitol building in our peripheral vision. Our evenings were taken up with relaxing in our luxurious hotel drinking Safeway-brand diet cola and eating too many tomato-basil Lays chips while watching Friends re-runs on TBS and getting in more than my fair share of the one television network I miss most--The Food Network. Every morning we awoke around 7 or 7:30, with no alarms set, rolled out of bed feeling rested and ready to conquer the city. We walked around the National Mall through the various entities of the Smithsonian Museums and strolling wherever we felt like it--exploring our way off the beaten path. The weather was absolutely perfect in my opinion--50s, sunny, crisp, but warm enough for just a sweater. I love November. (and not just because it's my birthday). 

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I loved this view of the Washington Monument

We ate delicious food. The birthday lunch at Moe's Southwest Grill at L'Enfant Station was amazingly filling and super cheap (but also I had a stomach ache all night afterwards. That may have been because of the run I took in the afternoon. Ooops.) The West Wing Cafe was kitty-corner from our hotel and fed us fantastic sandwiches--and I am a sandwich critic. :) Pete's Diner was this little hole-in-the-wall place right next to the Capitol building and MAN could they cook a good sweet potato pancake! We indulged a bit in a Crumb's peanut butter chocolate cupcake on my birthday (but wasn't super impressed, honestly) and made a few coffee-and-danish stops at Starbucks, Au Bon Pain and Dunkin Donuts. I am so glad we checked out Armand's Chicago Style Pizza. SO GOOD. And what's Thanksgiving dinner without some solid Chinese food from the Union Station food court?? ;) 

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A beautiful day to visit the Lincoln Memorial 

We walked a lot, we ate a lot, I ran on the treadmill in the fancy-pants fitness center and along the National Mall. We made friends with our floor's housekeeping ladies and they kept up stocked on Tazo black tea & fresh towels. We went to see the new OO7 movie--Skyfall--at the Regal Cinema in the Gallery Place metro stop on Thanksgiving day and even ordered a gigantic coke & popcorn to share (with refills! so there *is* such a thing as too much popcorn. I didn't believe it.) I brought 3 books and read exactly 11 pages. I finished crocheting 1 scarf and probably could have crocheted 3 more. But I was even too lazy relaxed to do that. It's not often I can watch tv and not feel guilty about not being busy with something else. :) Kevin read a huge book--one of the Bourne novels--and honed his Pokemon skills via the Kindle Fire. We talked, laughed, people-watched, avoided pigeons at all costs *cough* I am scared of birds *cough*, and tried our best to not stick out like the sore thumbs of tourists that we were. I was a minimalist packer for the first time in my life and we never felt stressed or rushed or pressured--even at the airports and the metro stations! 

I call this vacation a WIN. and from what I hear, my husband totally loved it as well--which makes me super happy.

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We strolled through the lovely Constitution Gardens Park

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Washington Monument

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And of course, the Capitol Building, just 1/2 mile from our hotel


  1. Wow! Looks like a great vacation! Your next one should be to Colorado, you can go skiing!!

    I would love to go on a vacation like that, but right now, it's not in our budget so our living location is our vacation destination.

  2. Wow Mel....your vacation looks awesome, as do the photos you took. You did get some fantastic deals, and amazing views.


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