Thursday, June 7, 2012

Visitor from the UK!

A few, well, several weeks ago, one of my dearest friends Emily visited from England!  She did a bit of a US Tour - DC first, then visited a friend in New Orleans finishing with a few days at home in Maine.

The first day she was here, we decided to do some shopping!  We headed straight to the outlets - she needed to stock up at Ann Taylor and Banana.  That evening we went into Clarendon and met H for dinner at Ray's the Steaks.  What a fantastic restaurant.  We don't go there enough, but Emily's request for red meat was a great excuse.  The wine list is great and the food always delicious!  

The next day was our 'Tourist Tour of DC' day, and luckily it was the most beautiful day of the week.  With a huge list of places to go, we got up and out early around 1130am.  We drove to Vienna and hopped on the metro.  Our first stop was Rosslyn and Iwo Jima (1). 

I had never been up to the monument myself, so it was neat to see it finally.  It's enormous!  And really powerful.

From there we walked down and across the Key Bridge through Georgetown (2).  The Georgetown French Market (3) was going on that afternoon up Wisconsin Ave, so we wondered around that for a while.  This is the second time I've been to the market - the first time it was really underwhelming.  This year was definitely better, but still not as big as they advertise.  

On the way back down the hill we stopped at the Marvelous Market (4) for a quick sandwich.  Sitting outside on the picnic bench was a great break!  After the pit stop we headed on down Wisconsin and continued through Georgetown to about the end, and jumped in a cab.  We got out right around 17 and Constitution to continue our walking tour.  We headed down 17th and stopped to admire the WWII monument, Lincoln and Washington Monuments (5).  

We continued on and explored the new MLK monument (6).  This is a huge space, and really at an interesting spot among the original collection of monuments.

Continuing on around the Tidal Basin, we wondered through the FDR Memorial (7).  I'd walked through a few times, but never really took the time to read the quotes and explore the area.  It's really one of my new favorites.

As we made our way over to Jefferson, we had a slight run in with a squirrel (8) and almost went for a swim.  Since the Tidal Basin is 10' deep, it's a really good thing we weren't one foot closer to the edge or the day could have taken an extreme turn! 

We dodged waves of school groups as we took in Emily's favorite spot in DC (9).  We decided that the steps of Jefferson were a great place to take another pit stop and sat down for a good long while.  It was so nice to soak up the scenery and just chat.

Once we left the Jefferson, we walked on around the Washington Monument, crossed 14th Street (10) and up the mall towards the Capitol.  

This is when we got the phone call from my softball coach asking if I'd happened to bring my catchers mitt with me that day...while I normally carry it everywhere I go....not this day.  We would have to forego pinch hitting for the team and just see them at the after-party.

This is also when we apparently decided we'd done enough photo taking for the day...

We walked about halfway up and then back, on our way to stop 11 - a beer at Old Ebbitt Grill - and oh man how good did that Sam Summer taste!

Stop 12 was dinner at Siroc.  One of my favorite restaurants in DC, I couldn't resist taking Emily there!

And finally, we ended our day with stop 13 at The Exchange to meet up with the Elon CAN Softball team.  Emily enjoyed seeing some old Elon friends and we had a great night dancing and hanging out with the team!

Saturday's weather was gross, so we decided to skip our day in Old Town and stick around close to home.  Lunch at Coastal Flats, the Fairfax Corner art show, dinner at Los Toltecos and beers at Dogfish - a great low key day!  

I can't even tell you how great it was to have Emily visit for a few days.  After my trip to England last spring and meeting she and her husband in Barcelona in October, I'm loving all of our visits and (significantly) increased email exchanges.  It makes London seem not quite as far away!  I can't wait to see them on our final stop during our European trip this coming fall :)

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