Sunday, October 6, 2013

Washington, D.C.

I had the awesome opportunity to visit my dear friend, Angie Bakker, and her husband, Brian, in "The District" this weekend.  They actually live in Silver Spring, MD (a.k.a. Montgomery County), but we spent a lot of time "playing in the city." :)

I arrived on a beautiful, hot Friday afternoon.  After meeting me at Reagan Airport, Angie & I took the train to the National Mall to meet up with her husband.  We dined at a nearby sports bar.  This is about the extent of the traditional sight-seeing we did.  Look east, see the Capitol (the mall was taped off and crawling with emergency vehicles because someone had apparently tried to set their self on fire).  Look west, see the Washington Monument covered in scaffolding.  Anything else I saw from the airplane window or a brief glimpse at an intersection.  Because it was the middle of the government shutdown, almost nothing was open.  However, I didn't come to sight-see (I did that with my family when I was in high school).  I came to visit my friends!

The kids were jealous because I got to ride the Metro.  I was just happy to follow someone who knew what they were doing and where they were going!

At our last stop I rode the longest escalator in the Western Hemisphere out of Wheaton Station.  It's 230 ft. long and rises 115 feet.  It takes 2 min. 45 sec. to ride it if you don't walk up/down the steps, and you can't see the bottom when you get on at the top.  It's not for the faint of heart!

Angie & Brian own a cute little colonial brick house in a neighborhood full of slightly different sizes and varying modifications to the same square red brick house.  They have done a LOT of awesome improvements.

One of the great things about the weekend was not having to plan absolutely anything.  I was totally on vacation.  Angie & Brian run on a very different type of schedule than I normally do (like none at all).  It was awesome to spend pretty much the entire Saturday morning chatting in our PJ's with coffee in hand in their screened-in porch.  The government shut-down affected our spontaneous planning even more than we imagined it could.  For instance, we thought about going kayaking on the Potomac River, but the rental places weren't open because the launch site was on federal property.  Boo!   So, our second plan was to go to the Newseum.  Angie had been wanting to go, and she could get in free that day with her teacher ID.  It was interesting, but reminded me why I rarely watch the news.  It's too depressing and disturbing.  The view from the 4th floor terrace was amazing.  The Capitol was one direction.  In the other direction was the bell tower where Brian proposed to Angie. :o)

Who wouldn't enjoy a mid-afternoon treat on a beautiful day with this beautiful soul? :o)

Afterwards, Brian joined us for window shopping on M Street in Georgetown.  We took funny pictures like the one below in a $2,400 chair.

I took pictures of other fun or funny things that you don't normally see in Iowa.  From left to right starting at the top: A church service for pets, a heavenly chocolate-dipped cranberry coconut macaroon, a ridiculous sign offering free sandwiches to furloughed government workers, the swanky Dean & Deluca Gourmet Grocery, a selection of mushrooms at D&D, a $86 fur cape for your dog?!?, a pot of freshly caught blue crabs that will be someone's supper, a personalized dressing room at Anthropologie.  It was a very fun evening capped off with a light supper at Chop't.

On Sunday, we dropped Brian off at church and headed north to Annapolis, MD.  What is normally a quaint, seaside shopping area was crazy and overrun with people in town for the Army/Navy football game and the huge, annual yacht show.  It was another gorgeous day, and we still enjoyed an amazing brunch overlooking the water and did some successful shopping.  In the first picture below, the buildings across the harbor are part of the Naval Academy.

Do I look like yacht material?!?

 Panorama shot of the harbor from the restaurant.

When we were tired of shopping and our parking time was about to expire (parking is the worst part of the city!), we headed to a gated community where Angie & Brian's friends live.  They weren't home at the time, but Angie knows the code, so we enjoyed an hour on the community's beach with our feet in the water before Angie had to bring me to the airport.  It was heavenly!

It was the absolute perfect vacation/getaway.  It was so great to see Angie & Brian and encourage them after they have had a really rough year.  I hope I can do it again sometime!

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