a visitor from the north

Friends, I was recently reminded by one of my beloved readers that I have failed to mention the Halloween-weekend visit from a very exciting/excited Minnesotan named Laura. It was a jam-packed five days of museums, food, the Sanity/Fear Rally, and the Marine Corps Marathon, and I loved (almost) every single second of it! Ok, maybe I even had a good time on the sardine-can Metro ride downtown on Saturday morning. I won’t subject you with a long-drawn-out description of someone else’s vacation (my aim is not to make you bored or totally jealous of our awesome times), but I want to share some of the neat things Laura and I got to do together. Because I live here and she’s visited several times in the last couple years, we are able to see a few things that the average DC tourist doesn’t…and we have a nice apartment to escape to when we’re tired of sightseeing!

She arrived on Wednesday evening (a little late thanks to weather), and we went straight to one of my favorite restaurants, Founding Farmers on Pennsylvania Ave. Happily, they seated us upstairs away from the bar, so we could hear ourselves talk. Readers, when you go to FF, always order the cornbread. It’s homemade and delicious, and served with honey butter. In order to walk off some of our calories, we took an evening stroll down Pennsylvania and waved hello to the Obamas. It ended up being a nice clear evening, and Laura got some good pictures of the White House.

North Lawn of the White House

During Thursday’s visit to the National Museum of the American Indian (where we reminisced about fieldtrips to Milwaukee’s Indian Summer Festival), Laura got the official cookbook from the Mitsitam Cafe. I’m excited to see how those delicious recipes turn out in the real world! Then we hit up Air & Space, Natural History, and the National Archives (are you overwhelmed yet?!), and finished the afternoon at the Farmers’ Market in Penn Quarter. We picked out some yummy handmade soaps and an enormous Honeycrisp apple that was the perfect breakfast the next day. A Yellow-Line-Rush-Hour adventure deposited us in Pentagon City for dinner at Creperie Brasserie. The waiter knows my name.

Navy Memorial and U.S. Archives

Friday, possibly the best day, was Zoo Day. Laura the Zoo Enthusiast had scoped out the website in advance, and developed a whole game plan for viewing cuddly animals. The highlight? By far the Meet-a-Kiwi! They are only native to New Zealand and are rarely seen even there, so this was a very special experience. The day was rounded out with a trip to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to see the special exhibit From Memory to Action, and Chinese food in Courthouse.

Manaya the Kiwi

To see the First Ladies exhibit at the National Museum of American History on Saturday, we squished ourselves onto the Orange Line with thousands of other excited rally-goers. Readers, I must confess that I had been worried that such large crowds would quickly get out of control, but our fellow passengers were friendly and polite and just out for a good time on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. We walked to the Chinatown area for a trip to Ford’s Theatre (very eerie and very well-done), and then walked about 20 blocks (!!) to Dupont Circle to catch a Circulator home. We rewarded ourselves with Hello Cupcake. On the way, we found numerous Waldos, Gumby driving a hybrid car, and a lot of bananas. I think they were going to meet up later to become a bunch.

President Lincoln's box at Ford's Theatre with the original Washington portrait

Sunday was a sad day, because Laura had to get back to her life in St. Paul, but we were awakened bright and early by the Marine Corps Marathon! My building is very near the USMC Memorial (Iwo Jima), so the Finish Festival took place on my street. Even though we had not run anywhere near 26 miles, we still grabbed our free samples of Ocean Spray Pomegranate Craisins. Then it was off to the airport to send Laura home…and I curled up on my sofa for a nice nap. Altogether, it was a great long weekend, and I really liked the mix of tourist and native activities. Thanks, Laura! (P.S. All the pictures are hers!)


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Laura Wolfe
    Nov 08, 2010 @ 22:52:19

    You’re welcome! If I’m able to next Fall, I’d like to visit again and do the 10k. I had lots of fun with you! (Does this sound like Mom wrote this comment? Cute.)


  2. Trackback: giving thanks « My Words Are Sparkly

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