Weekend in DC

Like I mentioned on FridayBridgette and Rob were in DC visiting this weekend! I always have the best time when we’re together, and this weekend was definitely no exception.

They explored the Newseum, and then I met up with them for lunch at Cava Mezze Grill (a favorite of ours!) in Chinatown. And any visit to Chinatown includes a quick stop at the colorful arch!

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We then trekked up to Northwest DC to visit the Smithsonian National Zoo (which means it’s free – amazing!). Bridgette is a little in love with Bao Bao, the baby panda, who was out to play and chomping on plenty of bamboo! We also had great sightings of the elephants, gorillas & chimpanzees, lion, tigers, and cheetahs. It may have been chilly, but the sun was shining!

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After the zoo, we visited the awe-inspiring National Cathedral, which isn’t too far from the zoo. In fact, mine & Bridgette’s grandma grew up quite close to the Cathedral, a fact that I love! The sun was setting beautifully on the National Cathedral – oh how I love golden hour. We then ventured to one of my all-time favorite restaurants in the city, Lincoln. It’s a must if you are looking for a great meal in DC! They have locally-sourced, farm to table seasonal small plates, and we shared an amazing winter kale salad, farmhouse mac and cheese skillet, sweet potato tots, sausage, roasted Brussels sprouts, and great drinks (go with the Honest Abe Moonshine or Lady Lincoln!). The decor is amazing, too!

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And Sunday wasn’t the most beautiful of days (think: cold rain), but we enjoyed several museums (indoors and free!). The Air & Space Smithsonian is always a favorite – Bridgette is on the moon in this shot! I distinctly remembered this museum from childhood, and I always like coming back as an adult, too. We went to ShopHouse for a delicious lunch (a fast-casual must-try), and then headed to the Newseum and National Gallery of Art!weekend4It was a wonderful weekend, for sure!

DC Weekend – Zoo, Georgetown, & Old Town

Over the weekend, Bridgette came into town for a wonderful visit! Having her so close (if two hours is close!) is one of my absolute favorite parts of living in DC, and I am always so thankful for the times we’re able to visit each other (or meet halfway). I think her ulterior motive for coming to DC wasn’t to see me but to see Bao Bao, the baby panda!

I was anticipating crazy long lines at the National Zoo (after seeing plenty of articles about how popular Bao Bao is at the zoo), but the entire day was a breeze – quite perfect! I love visiting the National Zoo, and it was fun to take Bridgette for her first visit. We headed straight to the panda exhibit and were greeted by the daddy panda chomping on bamboo outside. Once we headed indoors, the mama panda was walking around their habitat and sweet little Bao Bao was curled up sleeping. Bao Bao sleeps, on average, 20 hours a day, so it was unlikely we’d see much movement or action. Thankfully, Bao Bao awoke some while we were there! She was stretching and rolling around a little, and her mom nuzzled her some, too. So, so adorable! I was just so happy we had such an amazing panda-viewing experience while Bridgette was in town, since she’s been a little obsessed with Bao Bao for months now!!

We were also able to see the elephants, gorillas & chimpanzees, lion (such a loud roar!), and tigers up close and personal. It was a fabulous zoo visit with lots of active animals.

Bridgette and I then headed to one of our favorite parts of the city, Georgetown, to pick up our beloved Georgetown Cupcakes. These cupcakes are definitely hyped up (especially by tourists), but they are really so good. We usually pick two flavors each, but Saturdays have such a good selection that we ended up picking out three flavors each. Don’t worry, we definitely don’t eat them all at once! Bridgette and I ordered salted caramel (x2), key lime (my fave), peanut butter lava fudge, and the new strawberry cheesecake (x2). Yum! I also surprised B by customizing the cupcakes with fondant pandas and “Bao Bao” toppers. So cute (and free!).

Then we ventured across town and down the Potomac to Old Town Alexandria, Virginia – another favorite part of town. B had never been to George Washington’s Masonic National Memorial before, and it’s also a central part of one of our favorite books, The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. I’ve taken the tour before, and it’s a great tour filled with lots of information and history – both about the Masons and about George Washington. My favorite part is the outdoor observation deck at the top of the temple, where you have 360 views of Old Town & King Street, Northern Virginia, and even DC & the monuments. So cold but so beautiful!

Exploring King Street is always a good idea! B and I popped in several shops and boutiques, even finding a gorgeous dress for her to purchase. The Christmas lights on the trees are up year round, which makes shopping even more festive. We then met up with two of my closest friends, Kelly and Kate, for dinner at Virtue Feed & Grain. This restaurant has quickly become a new favorite of mine, as the food and atmosphere are spot on. I had a fabulous pinot noir to accompany a lamb burger with feta & tzatziki. Oh, and a side of brussel sprouts, of course! Dinner, drinking, and chatting with three of my favorite ladies was incredible, and I love when my sister gets to know my friends even better (and vice versa)!

It was a jam-packed day with B, and it was absolutely amazing. I am so blessed by her love + friendship, and our visits together are always full of adventure, fun, and laughter. She’s the best!!

PS: Check out Bridgette’s blog post about our weekend adventure in DC!