How to enjoy a Sunday in DC…..

One of the other events that I found on the “Things to do in DC” website was a Jazz Brunch at a Cajun restaurant called Acadiana.  When we saw that it was less than a mile away from the apartment, we made a decision that it was THE place to be on a Sunday morning, and we were not disappointed!!!

After a lovely walk thru the quiet streets of Washington, we arrived at the beautiful restaurant and were soon seated.  Our booth was situated between two large mirrors and I loved the optical illusion that I faced as we ate….. IMG_3935As the band set up we started perusing the menu, trying to decide which of the delicacies we would try.

But first we were encouraged to try one of the $5 cocktails!!   Michael opted for the Cajun Bloody Mary while I chose the “Bourbon Lemonade” which was made with muddled blackberries and homemade lemonade.    IT WAS FANTASTIC!!!IMG_3931

The menu was set up as a “fixed price” selection so you paid one price but got an appetizer, main course and dessert.  After much consideration I got the Fried Green Tomatoes with a shrimp and cocktail sauce topping…..

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…and Michael enjoyed the Blue Cheese and Bacon salad…..IMG_3934

Next came the main courses of Jambalaya…..IMG_3940

…..and Shrimp and Grits (a Grits cake)……IMG_3939

By this stage we were completely stuffed but we couldn’t leave without dessert….

….a Pecan torte for Michael…..IMG_3942

…. and “Chocolate Doberge Cake” for me……IMG_3943

We rolled out of the restaurant and down the street to our apartment.  When we got there it was all that I could do to make it to the bed to crash out for about an hour….and remember that the bed is only 15 feet from the apartment door!!!   Oh yeah….the jazz band was great and was a fun background to the meal, but the food was DEFINITELY the highlight of the morning!!

Later in the day, after I had recovered from the food and alcohol of the morning, we caught the Metro and headed to the Jefferson Monument.  After disembarking at the “Smithsonian” terminal, we walk a bit and came to the Tidal Basin off of the Potomac River and loved our initial view of the monument…..IMG_0522

A few minutes of walking brought us to the monument itself, but first we had to stop and appreciate the Washington monument to one side of us…..IMG_0523

The monument itself is gorgeous and was obviously the place to be on this gorgeous Sunday afternoon…..IMG_0526

The statue itself was fairly plain…..

IMG_0531We did try to figure out what he was standing in front of…IMG_0536….possibly a stand with some books sitting on it.   I have tried to find this on Google but haven’t had any luck so far.

I did enjoy looking at the dome structure and thinking how fun it would be to make a quilt in this sort of a design…..

IMG_0534After one last walk around the monument…..

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…..we walked the 2 miles back to the apartment, ending our Sunday in DC!!


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DC Saturday….Who let the DAWGS out?

When we first started thinking about this trip, I got online and started looking for things to do during our visit.  They were listed 10 to a page and after about 6 or 7 pages, I almost quit but decided to go one more page and saw an event that we HAD to go to…..the blessing of pets at the Franciscan Monastery of  the Holy Land in America. 

We caught the Metro and headed to a station close to the Monastery and walked the last few blocks.  Our first views of the building showed a delightful building…..

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….filled with kind people who encouraged us to look around, take photos and enjoy ourselves…..IMG_0421

  Soon the pets started arriving…..IMG_0417There were excited dogs….IMG_0420

……nervous cats…..IMG_0428

 

….and even a sweet bunny rabbit…..IMG_0438

There were a few bouts of barking, but all in all, they got along well, including these two who posed for a photo in front of the St. Francis of Assisi statue…..IMG_0445

This gorgeous Collie has her own Instagram account, so I feel sure that Michael is starring there somewhere….IMG_0441

We had a fun time talking with the pet owners and hearing their stories.

Two of the Monks appeared and, after a few words of greeting, asked that each owners put their hand on their pet while he said a blessing over them…..IMG_0449

Then they formed a rather orderly line…..

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….and each went forward for a personal blessing….

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This little lady even came dressed for the occasion….IMG_0492

And, as quickly as it had started, it was over….IMG_0514We enjoyed a walk thru one of the  gardens…..IMG_0497….and then took a stroll thru the magnificent church itself…..IMG_0508

Many of the colors were rich and deep…..IMG_0510

….especially in contrast to the light streaming thru the open dome…..IMG_0505

This 3-dimensional painting was magnificent…..IMG_0507

….as were several wood carved pieces…..

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Next we followed Google Maps to the Monroe Street Market where we enjoyed walking thru the artist studios and talking with them about their work. 

When we got close to our apartment, we stopped for lunch at a Thai restaurant that we had passed the night before.

Then it was back to the apartment to get ready for the University of Georgia DAWGS football game against Tennessee.   We spent the next few hours happily watching that game…..22089553_1672505032759691_8437953155809823373_n

….and then moved on to the Texas Tech game. 

It was the perfect Saturday!!!


A DC Friday….

After spending Thursday walking outside, we decided to hit some of the museums on Friday.  Our first stop was the National Museum of the American Indian.  Since my heritage is Cherokee and Choctaw and since Michael has always loved reading about the American Indians, we were REALLY excited about this museum.

Unfortunately, it was a bit of a let down.  There were some wonderful exhibits but they were mostly about the South and Central American tribes.  The only North American group was from Alaska.

The building itself was beautiful….IMG_0361

…and there were a few exhibits that I found photo worthy, mostly based on the colors and designs…..IMG_0352IMG_0344

IMG_0355For some reason, I am always drawn to the masks of various people groups…..IMG_0349

We walked across the Mall to the National Museum of Art.  We both agreed that we really didn’t want to see a lot of early art but made our way into our favorite genre…..Impressionism.  We loved seeing great works from Monet….IMG_0367

I also loved this Monet entitled “Jerusalem Artichoke Flower”…..IMG_0378

… and Van Gogh.   I really love the heavy brushstrokes that he uses.  It adds so much depth and texture to the painting…..IMG_0370

I have always liked his self portrait and was excited to see it in person…..IMG_0369


The colors of this Georges Braque piece called to me as well….IMG_0380

Interestingly the museum is split into two buildings, one on each side of the street.  To get to the other side, you went thru a tunnel underneath the street.  The walk was made more enjoyable by a light show along the way.

In the other gallery, we enjoyed more of our favorite painters including Andy Warhol….IMG_0394


….Pablo Picasso…..IMG_0400

….and Jackson Pollock…..IMG_0391

After we finished enjoying the art, we walked back to the apartment to relax for a few minutes and then went to another of Austin’s fabulous restaurant picks.  This time we enjoyed a fantastic hamburger at Duke’s Grocery.  We sat outside at rickety tables and enjoyed amazing hamburgers and beer, commenting that we were at least twice as old as anyone else in the place….sometimes you just have to act like a 20-year old again!!!


Thursday in DC

On Thursday morning we began our tour of the sights of DC, starting with the “Monument” end of the National Mall.  As we first approached the Vietnam Memorial, I was amazed to see that we were about the only ones there….IMG_0191It was so moving to quietly walk among the 58,318 names etched into the dark stone walls.

The monument starts and ends at the same point, beginning with the first casualty in 1959 and moving right on the following 70 panels and then moves to the far left panel, ending with the last casualty in 1975….. IMG_0200

Each name had one of two symbols next to it.   An inscribed diamond meant that the body had been returned and a cross indicates that the person is still missing-in-action.   If a body is recovered, the cross is turned into a diamond.   If it is determined that one of the MIA’s is actually alive, a circle is inscribed around the cross, but to date, there have been none of these.IMG_0197

I think that this monument had the most meaning for Michael and I as we had lived thru this time period in history, although I have to admit that I had no idea that the conflict had actually started in 1959!  IMG_0201

One final look and a short walk took us to “The Three Soliders”…..IMG_0202

I loved looking at the monument from the back as well….IMG_0207

The next stop was the fabulous Lincoln Memorial….IMG_0210

If you cant tell from this photo, it was a magnificent day….clear skies and warm (not hot)!!  The sculpture of Abe is wonderful…..

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….and I love the fact that he is looking out toward another beautiful view….IMG_0222

The walls on each side of Abe are inscribed with “The Gettysburg Address” and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address.  In a smaller chamber under the monument there were several of Lincoln’s quotes that seem apropos for today…..IMG_0240

  ….and…..

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Our last act at this memorial was to sit on the steps and look out toward the Reflecting pool….

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….and to remember a favorite quote from the movie “In the Line of Fire”, when Clint Eastwood (who is a Secret Service agent) sits in the same spot, turns around to look at Lincoln and says “wish I could have been there for you Abe”.    With that, we moved on to the Korean War Memorial…IMG_0268When Michael and I were here in 1996, this was the monument that I remembered best, although I hadn’t remembered the shrubbery that they were walking thru.  We laughed when we realized that was because the memorial had just been built back then and the shrubs hadn’t had time to grow yet.  

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The granite wall behind this monument was an amazing collage of faces and figures…..IMG_0270I particularly like Michael’s photo that shows the statues in the reflection of the wall….

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The most moving part of this monument was this wreath that had been left…..IMG_0283

A bit further walk and we arrived at the World War II memorial….

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This was called “The Price of Freedom” and each star represents 100 Americans who were lost in WWII….4,049 stars in all….

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As I saw this sculpture, I was reminded of my Dad’s service in WWII, as a Medic corpsman…..IMG_0302

We continued around the mall to the amazing Washington Monument which stands like a beacon….IMG_0308

We spent some time standing in the shadow and playing with the sun…..IMG_0315

After a quick walk around a bit of the American History Museum we headed home for a late lunch….

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…and a bit of a rest.

Even with everything that we had already done, the highlight of the day was a dinner at “The Capital Grille”, one of our favorite DC restaurants!!  We shared the small dining room with a fun couple who were visiting from El Paso.  You can imagine what it was like to have 4 Texans in the same room!!  Needless to say they didn’t seat anyone else in the room!!

Our meal was magnificent as expected, starting with Bacon wrapped Mozzarella, continuing with Caesar Salad, Steak with all the trimmings and ending with a Flourless Chocolate Torte…..

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Afterward, we went for another walk, heading a few blocks down the street to the Capitol Building.  It is a glorious sight at night….. IMG_0330

We finished the evening with a slow stroll down the National Mall, enjoying the quiet that was only broken by the cheers from the “Glow In The Dark” Soccer games taking place on the nearby grass, and one swarm of Segway riders out for a nighttime tour.

When we arrived at the Smithsonian Metro station we decided that we had walked far enough for one day and headed home to reminisce about our wonderful day!!

 


It’s OK to open your mouth…..

I have been writing on this post for 3 days so it is finally time to call it done and get it posted!!!!

On Tuesday Michael and I started a new adventure but a little different from our normal ones.

Actually, this adventure started 3-1/2 weeks ago when the movers came in a moved all of our bottom floor furniture into our garages.  Then, 3 weeks ago the builders came in a pulled all of our carpet up and laid new hardwood floors.  This is how we have lived since then…..IMG_3876

You may notice the small square of yellow paper on the floor.  It is marking a protruding nail that we found and we had become quite used to it being there…..IMG_3877

   I think that we will miss it when it is gone!!

On Friday our builder called and said that they could come in on Monday and start the sanding process so the weekend was spent taping cupboards shut so that, hopefully, the massive amount of sawdust wont infiltrate the shelves and require even more cleaning. 

He also told us that our house would not be available to live in for about 2 weeks so we had to make some plans about what to do in that time.   When we had first started the process, we were planning to spend two weeks in Arizona but it soon became apparent that he wouldn’t be able to give us enough notice to get that trip organized.  Instead, we decided to take a car trip and head to Washington DC.  Michael got onto AirBNB and found a great little apartment that was a 10 minute walk from the White House so we were ready to go!!

Because we already had a commitment for the Monday night, we decided to stay in a hotel in Athens.   It is a very weird feeling to be in a hotel in the city that you live in!!  When I logged onto the internet it said “EXPLORE ATHENS” and I thought “nope…..I’m good”.

The next weird feeling came when I was in the shower and realized that I had my lips tightly clamped together so that no water would get in my mouth.  This is something that we regularly do in foreign countries where the water is not safe to drink but it took a few minutes for me to realize that I COULD open my mouth without worrying about tiny animals infesting my stomach and making me want to die!!  The same thoughts go thru my mind when it is time to rinse my toothbrush.   We have spent so many months of our life using bottled water and I feel like I have messed up when I stick the toothbrush directly under the faucet!!

On Tuesday we had an appointment with Michael’s Oncologist in Atlanta and then left from there to start our drive to DC.  We spent the night just outside of Greensboro, NC and got up early on Wednesday to finish our trip.

Of course, the first order of business was finding Espresso for Michael and Google Maps provided the answer in the form of a funky coffee shop called “Demolition Coffee”.   When we first turned off of the highway and saw the industrial district he said “I hope this is a gentrified area” and it definitely was……IMG_3882

We were soon back on the road and had an easy drive into DC….at least it was easy for me as I was riding shotgun!!  Our only real missteps was in trying to get into the parking deck as it was on a one way street and naturally we were coming from the wrong direction!!

Our host is out of town this week but we were met by one of his friends and ushered into our home for the next week…..IMG_0155

It is a TINY apartment….(yes that is the bed hiding behind the red shelves)  probably 600 square feet but it is on Capital Hill and we can easily walk wherever we want!!

After spending a few minutes getting organized we walked to a local “Whole Foods” store and bought a few goodies and then walked out to have an early dinner.  Our friend, Austin, had lived in DC for a while and had given us a list of restaurants that he approved and we decided to try one of these.  We again pulled up Google Maps on our phone and started walking to the Dupont Circle area and arrived at Zorbas Cafe about 10 minutes later…..

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I LOVED the blue and white building.  Of course the first order of business was to grab a menu and send Austin an “aren’t you jealous” message…..IMG_3890

The food was magnificent and very reminiscent of our meals in Turkey, although I would never say that to someone from Greece!!!!

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After dinner we took a stroll toward the Capital area and had our first ever look at the White House…..IMG_0162

One final selfie for the day……

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…..and we were home to relax and prepare for a fun day tomorrow!!