Thursday, October 25, 2012

Visiting D.C.

First, I want to thank everyone for their well wishes and concern.  I'm doing better now.  Not well, but better.  At least I can sit up on the couch now without being in complete agony.  And I have seen the doctor.  He is a little concerned about my habit of pitching myself down the stairs, and confused by my protestations that my broken toe is normally rather sideways, but he is also confident that I will heal up as good as new.  I am back in the stinky black boot, and much less grumpy now that I can stitch for more than ten minutes at a time.

Now, on to the much talked about trip to Washington, D.C., from week before last.  On the Saturday following our visit to the State Fair, hubby and I hit the road.  First to Greensboro so that I could hang out with my fellow Sampler Guild members, then on to D.C.  We took 29 north through Danville.  Much of the drive was through beautiful countryside.  The skies were blue, the leaves were barely beginning to turn, and the traffic was light.  It was really a very pleasant, relaxing drive.  At least until we hit the city traffic.  : )

Saturday night, we stayed at the historic Willard Hotel in the downtown area.  What a beautiful hotel!  It is on the national register of historic hotels, and really, it has seen a great deal of history.  Martin Luther King, Jr. finished his 'I have a dream' speech at the hotel, and it is believed that the term 'lobbyist' was coined in reference to persons lurking in the Willard's lobby in an attempt to connect with the rich and powerful who were staying at the hotel.  We thoroughly enjoyed our time there.

Exterior of the hotel:

Here's a view looking into that famous lobby.  The ceiling is decorated with the State Seals of 48 states.  The last two, Alaska and Hawaii, are the two round images you can see just above the archway in this photo.
 And the view from our room.  Granted, it's nothing special.  But trust me, the room was pretty.  And I was in love with the silky soft sheets on our bed!  And no USA Today at this hotel.  Sunday morning we had a complimentary issue of the Washington Post delivered to our room.
Saturday evening, we wandered around the downtown area a bit, just soaking in the atmosphere.  There was a street fair and live music a block from the hotel.  Another block up and you could see the capital in the distance.

 If you walked a block in the other direction, you came across this little white house set back on some lovely grounds.  Seriously, I had never walked around this side of the White House before.  I'd only ever seen the other side on previous trips.  The road on this side is closed to all but pedestrian traffic.
Sunday turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous day.  We walked to the National Building Museum and toured it (no photos, sorry).  After checking out of our hotel, we wandered around Capital Hill and the National Mall for several hours.  Really, the weather was so beautiful.  We'd stroll a bit, then sit on a bench and watch the world go by.    

I think this patrol vehicle defeats the concept of 'secret':

For some reason, I was fascinated by the diving ducks and their little duck butts.  I love the curly little feather sticking up from this guy's rear.

This was just wrong.  In so many ways.  (note the vanity tag.  Also wrong).
Later in the evening, we traded our swanky downtown digs for the Holiday Inn in Rosslyn, which was near the convention Alton was attending for the first half of the week.  The view wasn't too bad:

On Monday, while Alton was working, I headed back into the city on the Metro.  I toured the Supreme Court, took a quick peek into the Library of Congress, and toured the National Postal Museum before making my way back to Rosslyn via Union Station.  The weather wasn't so nice that day... grey and slightly rainy.  And for some reason I didn't take any photos!

When Alton had finished work for the day, we walked from our hotel across the Key bridge into Georgetown.  Dinner was some delicious pizza.  Afterwards, I insisted that we get cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes.  The shop and its owners are the stars of the TLC show "DC Cupcakes."  I don't know if it was the weather or the fact that it was a Monday, but there was no line.  Seriously.  There was one person in front of us.  I barely even had time to admire this blingtastic mixer:

I soooo want one of those!!!  The cupcakes were delicious.  I ordered two (one for the next day), and Alton picked one out for himself.  My favorite by far was the cinnamon cupcake (the one with the little heart on top).
 Tuesday, I again headed out on my own.  This time, I met up with my friend Jennifer for a quick bite of lunch.  I then spent a few hours in the National History Museum before joining my friend Steph for a tour of her new school, followed by a little taste of home at Bruegger's Bagels.  We explored a few of the rooms in the beautiful National Portrait Gallery before Steph had to head off for dance class.  Alton then met up with me on the mall and we walked (a very looong walk) to check out the MLK memorial, which neither of us had seen before.  It is a lovely memorial, and I think it was especially striking in the darkening evening:

There was a nice view of the Jefferson Memorial from the edges of the MLK Memorial.  I know my photo is slightly craptastic, but you get the idea:

On Wednesday, it was time to head home.  But not without a quick side stop at In Stitches needlework shop in Alexandria.  
 What a great shop!  And the people who were work there are really nice.  I was going to snap a quick photo of all the little goodies I picked up there, but, ahem, I dug into the stash and started stitching some of it before I got around to taking a photo.  Trust me, they had great stuff.  I even got the newest Blackbird Designs pattern straight from the shipping box!  (that's the one that I'm working on right now.  It's THanksgiving themed, and I decided to try and finish it for this year).

Well, that's all for today.  I'm keeping an eye on this monster storm brewing out in the Atlantic.  Are you?  It makes me a little nervous.  I'm definitely hoping that the weather casters are being overly dramatic about this one.  Meanwhile, I think I'll stock up on lots of stitching and scrapbooking supplies.  Wouldn't want to be caught without enough fabric and thread, right?  ; )  I hope everyone stays safe, dry, and has lots of crafty time over the weekend!


Margaret said...

I enjoyed seeing all the pics from your trip! Looks like a fantastic time was had. Love that blingy mixer -- lol! Wow! and I have to admit, I haven't walked around or toured DC since I don't know when. Must have been fun to stay in that cool old hotel! Glad you got to stop at In Stitches too. As for the storm-- yes, I'm VERY nervous about it. Totally stressed, actually. Ugh. I think you're probably safe. But we might be in the bulls eye up here. :(

Linda said...

Wow. I sure enjoyed seeing all your pics. Sure thats the closed I'll ever get to any of them.


Ellen said...

Thank you for sharing the photos, enjoyed seeing them! Love to visit DC one day!

Glad to know that you are feeling better!


Chris said...

I am glad that you have been to the Dr. and that you are feeling better.
What a wonderful trip to DC. There is so much to see and do.
The cupcakes look fabulous!

Myra said...

Thank you for sharing the pictures of your trip. DC is such a wonderful place with lots to see and do. I am glad you are feeling better and hope your injuries will be completely healed soon.