Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Washington DC Trip - Days 1 & 2

How can one get to the age of 30 and have never visited the nation's capital? I'm not sure, but that was me up until this past weekend. In high school we had the opportunity, but for one reason or another, I did not take it and go on that trip.

Earlier this year, during the January meet up in Chicago, Becky and I started brainstorming dates for a big visit to Virginia and Washington D.C. I knew I just had to make that trip happen and now I can hardly believe it is over!

Day 1

I booked my flight out of Kansas City, because it was about $100 cheaper and I could combine some family time with the trip. On Wednesday, I headed down to KC and stayed the night with some family, Thursday morning we got up and I caught my 1pm flight into Reagan National Airport.

Due to arriving at 4:30 and right before the rush hour, I was able to witness some of the DC traffic. I did not mind though, because the views were incredible. Driving down I-95 I got a full view of the Pentagon in person and many other sites, I could even see the Washington Monument in the distance and I am pretty sure I squealed out loud. ;)

Frequently during this trip I was struck with the enormity of the history in this area and how amazing it is to see it in person. I was in awe of what it would be like to grow up in an area like this and have so much access to such rich history.

That night we had dinner made my the most wonderful hosts, Becky and her husband Ben, and then we ran a few errands (including Target and Wegmans (wine!)) and then it was time for dinner. Brewing in the crockpot was a delicious beef dish served over noodles, and it was so good! I could not stop myself from taking a second serving. I only regret not taking a photo!

{Becky in her new Anthro apron - I think it suits her perfectly!}

That evening, I believe, is when we started our Jason Bourne movie marathon. Becky is a huge fan of the series of movies (and, coughMatt Damoncough). When she found out that I had not seen the series, she quickly added that to the itinerary. I did not mind one bit, because hello! Matt Damon is some seriously yummy eye candy.

Day 2

The next day we got up at a reasonable time and, after stopping for the first of many Starbucks trips, we headed to George Washington's estate, Mount Vernon in Alexandria, VA. I honestly was not really sure what to expect. I have never toured a president's home and this was the very FIRST president's home! I felt honored, if that was even possible.

{Me just hanging out with George, Martha and the kids! Excuse my closed eyes - I swear I do that for 50% of the photos I am in. I still love this picture though.}

His home was simply stunning and I have to admit the back porch with the breathtaking views of the Potomac River were my favorite part. I've always loved water and would love to live close to the water again someday so, George, I agree, "No estate in America is more pleasantly situated than this." ~George Washington

{These green chairs are lined up along the back porch and facing the Potomac. The views were stunning}

{One of the many pictures I took, while sitting in those green chairs}

{Posing in front of the estate, right before taking the tour}

After leaving Mount Vernon, we headed just a couple minutes away to the Pope Leighy house, which is a home designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright. This home is only 1200 sq ft., but it is amazing what he did with that space. He did not believe in the extra clutter that we all keep in our homes and he made a home that was affordable and comfortable to live in. It was so beautiful and only further cemented my fascination with this architect's work!

{Me, standing in front of the house}

{A little dark, but a view of the back of the house}

After these outings, we headed back to Becky's for a little downtime before getting ready to head to Wolf Trap for the Idina Menzel concert and to meet Mandy with her step sister and brother in law! I have corresponded with Mandy for awhile now through blogging and Twitter so I was really excited to finally meet her face to face! She is just like she is online and we had such a lovely time at the concert. Today, in Mandy's post she suggested that if you have the chance to see Idina in concert, go! And, I have to say, I completely agree with her! The concert was awesome and Idina Menzel is hilarious! She's from Staten Island, so her sense of humor is definitely that confident, "I do what I want" East Coast humor, that I am beginning to admire and adore.

 {Mandy, me, and Becky waiting for the concert to begin.}

I also cannot end this day without talking about the Wolf Trap amphitheater. I adore outdoor concerts and have several venues that are my favorite places to see performing arts. Kansas City's Starlight Theater? Bonner Spring, Kansas' Verizon Wireless (formerly known as Sandstone) or Des Moines' own Simon Estes amphitheater just to name a few, but Wolf Trap was amazing! I loved every second of it and it may have stolen the top spot for concert venues.

{The view from our seats on the lawn. The night was perfect for an outdoor concert!}

The only downside of that venue was the parking. Getting out was horrid and the traffic was insane. We made it fun though! Despite being beyond exhausted, we laughed about the terrible drivers and their assertiveness. In the Midwest, we have our fair share of drivers that think they own the road, but I am pretty sure everyone on the East Coast believes they own the road! This night I saw someone flip us off for the first time while visiting, and I believe Becky got a good laugh at my exclaiming, "Ohmygod, he just flipped you off!!" I cannot remember exactly what he flipped us off for, but I know it wasn't for much, because if we had deserved it, I know I wouldn't have been that surprised!

This is getting long, so I will end here, but this was just days 1 & 2, I seriously have so much more to recap! Watch for my recap of the rest of the trip!

Did you go to Washington D.C. when you were young? If not, have you been as an adult? I think a young Amber would not have appreciated the overwhelming amount of history as much as today's Amber does. I wish I had gone when I was a kid, but I know that having gone at an older age, I know more about the history and can appreciate it on a much deeper level.


Lexilooo said...

I love Mount Vernon so much, it's one of my favorite places in DC! We go several times a year, including the twice yearly wine festival, which is an amazing event!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I was also 30 when I went to DC for the first time!! :) I just did not have an opportunity when I was younger. But like you said, we really appreciate it when we see it as an adult. I am glad you had such a good time! I knew you would - Becky is the ultimate host! She looks adorable in that apron, too!!

Amber said...

What a fun and awesome trip! I'm so glad you had such a good time and got to see so many awesome things!

Shoshanah said...

I loved seeing all your tweets throughout the weekend! It looked like you were having such a great time!

I remember going several times when I was little (like 4 or 5) and loving the air & space museum & natural history. Then I went in middle school and remember going to the Smithsonian & the Holocaust museum.

But the funny thing is when I was in college in Baltimore, I'm pretty sure I was only there once.

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

It sounds like you LOVED it! I can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip. DC is such a great place filled with tons of history.

Becky said...

What a great recap! And I LOVE my apron! Haha, I'm still laughing at how surprised you were when that dude flipped us off - I'm like "yeah, whatever!"

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

How fun! And I love that apron!