Stream of Consciousness

Monday, June 18, 2007

A weekend of tourism

Seeing as how this was our last Friday with no big plans and that we both had A DAY (you know, when you're just so fried/out of it/don't care/stressed), Dana and I decided a roommate happy hour was in order. So good to just kick back. I also gave up on counting points for the weekend, and just let myself enjoy eating or drinking anything that I wanted. I had beer, salad, shrimp, salmon, cocktails, buttery roll things, and a white russian. After dinner we laid around the apartment for a little bit, and then both ended up going to the gym for about 45 minutes. It was empty - surprise! But we both felt so much better after making ourselves go. It's nice to have someone around to motivate and inspire you. I can guarantee I would not have gone if Dana had not put on her sneakers and marched out the door. We also saw Knocked Up, which I highly recommend. We were laughing so hard the entire time, plus the back story was pretty cute.

Saturday we headed out for DC in the late morning. Dana had yet to do the grand tour of the monuments. We walked from the Washington Monument, around the WWII, and up to Lincoln. We were talking about how much more we appreciate monuments and things like that now that we're older. We also went over to the Vietnam Memorial. There were pictures with names, rank, where they died, and how old they were. I almost lost it right there -- out of a row of six pictures, only one of the boys was over 21. But what really hit me was a fellow soldier's letter to his friend AJ, who has offered to cover another soldiers post and died in the line of duty. It makes me wonder what kind of memorial, what kind of atmosphere will surround Iraq when our kids look back on it? After the Vietnam Memorial, we visited the Korean War Memorial, which is home to one of my favorite quotes, "Freedom is not free."

I finally got a chance to visit the FDR Monument during the day. What a well designed space. And the abundance of quotes was amazing. Plus I'm pretty much in love with any kind of sculpture that involves water. From FDR we walked down the edge of the tidal basin to the Jefferson Memorial. I never realized you can see the White House from the Jefferson steps! Apparently FDR wanted to be able to wake up each morning and see Jefferson, which is why there are no cherry trees planted there. After Jefferson we made our way to the White House in the stiflingly hot afternoon sun.

With our day of tourism near its end, and our feet crying for a reprive, we headed to Historic Georgetown. It took us a little while to find the area from the Metro stop, but we finally did. It's basically like Newbury Street, with a little extra European flair. When we couldn't stand window shopping anymore, we stumbled across the cutest italian restaurant on the corner of M and 31st Streets (NW). Dana busted out her wine ordering skills, and showed me how to properly swirl and taste the wine. The waiter never rushed us and we enjoyed the view from our corner table on the second floor balcony. The food was perfect. All of the fish was cooked immaculately -- nothing was dry or undercooked. It was one of the absolute best meals I've had in a long time.

Sunday morning we were at the pool by 9:45 am, which is technically before it even opens. It was so nice because there really weren't any kids there. Just laid around in the sun, read my book, and took a nap. We splashed around to get some relief from the heat, but we had to stand in the shallow end so Dana didn't have to tread water.

Sunday afternoon we donned cute outfits and headed to Annapolis. After a bit of an ordeal trying to find a parking spot, we wandered up and down Main Street. Bought some jewelry at one of the shops with a very dymanic (and slightly pushy) jewelry maker/sales lady named Amiee. So many people down there speak French. I was really shocked! We ended up on the docks about 5 minutes before a tour of the harbor and Naval Academy was supposed to leave, so we hopped on. The narrated tape was kind of cheesy, but it was still fun. And it was probably the best way to see the USNA without trekking all around it. Afterwards we had drinks and dinner at one of the restaurants on the docks. We people watched and chatted about how we're pretty much always going to have to live near some body of water. (Coincidentally or not we're both water signs.)

And to top the weekend off, I finally got a REAL ice cream cone (none of this frozen yogurt junk) from a local ice cream stand. We sat next to some Navy boys in their dress whites and just relished in the summer-ness of it all.

Being a tourist can be so much fun. It just keeps reminding me that I need to do it more often in the places that I'm from. And now it is Monday, with only 10 days left in Baltimore.

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