Thursday, May 1, 2014

Washington D.C. Recap

Alright, alright, alright, it is time to get back into the regular blogging routine. So, let’s stick to the regular information for now – workout and breakfast - before moving onto the more exciting parts of this post.


Today’s workout was a tough one, but a good one. I started my day off on the right (and early) note with a 6am spin class at the gym. It has been awhile since I have taken a spin class, as I have been taking advantage of this beautiful spring weather by spending time at the pool. It also doesn’t hurt that I can simultaneously work on my tan and workout at the same time. So, today’s spin class was tough in the best way. We did mostly hill work, but we did lots of sprinting on those hills. If you have read this blog with any regularity, you know that sprinting on hills is probably one of my least favorite things to do on the spin bike, so as much as I hate it, I also love it. Twisted, I know.


After a quick shower and a little bit of packing (as I have yet another trip to Houston this weekend – keep your fingers crossed for this interview), I headed over to SRD for my final day of work this week. Once I got here, I wrapped presents for the eight graduating seniors at SRD before sitting down to enjoy my breakfast of scrambled egg whites and spinach (typical),

and some sliced strawberries and mango. 

It was delicious, and about an hour later I enjoyed a cup of Dannon Light & Fit Raspberry Chocolate Greek yogurt. You guys know I have to get my chocolate fix in each day!

Washington D.C.

I am a bit frustrated with myself for not doing a day-by-day recap of my time in Washington D.C., as I did when I went to San Francisco, but, I did not, so just hang with me if this is a little bit longer than usual.

Sarah (my room roommate – suite 1 forever) and I decided kind of randomly to sign up for the Nike Women’s Marathon that took place in Washington D.C. last weekend. Remember how much I loved the San Francisco race? Well, we figured a weekend trip to D.C. would be the perfect pre-graduation getaway, and we were right. It was so nice to escape Austin for a long weekend and enjoy the beautiful east coast weather. We left extremely early Friday morning, as we attended a fashion show on Thursday night featuring one of our roommate’s incredible design collection that she has been working so diligently on all year.

We actually came this close to missing our flight, as we got on the plane two minutes before they were set to close the gate. Talk about an adrenaline rush! I alternated sleeping, reading, and completing some final job applications throughout the three-hour flight, and was happy to finally get off the plane and stretch my legs. We had quite the journey to our hotel, but we finally made it, freshened up, and headed off to find some lunch. After quite a bit of wandering we ended up at a place called Ted's Bulletin, which came highly recommended to us by our roommate, Haleigh, and her sister, Katie, because they are famous for their homemade poptarts.

After much deliberation,  I finally settled on the chicken and shrimp kabobs with a side of asparagus and broccoli. There is cheese on the vegetables in the picture, but don't worry, I got that taken care of! Sans cheese, my meal was still delicious, and it fueled me for quite a bit of walking.

Our next stop was the Pentagon, and though it started raining pretty hard on us while we were there, that was easily one of my favorite things that we did over the weekend (I might sound like a broken record at the end of this post). We obviously did not get the pleasure of going inside - top secret and all - but I now understand why people want to go into a profession like the FBI. It is all so cool, and I can't even comprehend the security measures that were in place while were there. Additionally, 9/11 really fascinates me for some reason, so I loved getting to see the Pentagon Memorial. It was so incredibly touching, and I couldn't help but feel a little more American pride than usual.

Like I said, it was raining pretty hard at this point, so we nixed Arlington National Cemetary and instead headed straight for the race expotique to pick up our race packets. It was pretty standard, but my favorite part had to be my exposure to Chocolate Dipped Coconut Luna bars. They are a magical experience, y'all. I don't even want to count up how many of them were consumed over the course of the weekend.

After our time at the expotique, we managed to flag down a taxi that took us right back to our hotel. We waited out the rain before deciding it would be the perfect evening to walk around and look at the monuments. Sarah's dad snagged us a hotel in very close proximity to THE White House, Washington Monument, etc., so we took advantage of that proximity and did our own mini monument tour.

I really loved the World War II Memorial, and I just really enjoyed getting to experience seeing the monuments at night. I loved walking through physical representations of events and places I have studied for years in school, as I truly feel that Washington D.C. is a place everyone should visit at least once!

After such an early morning, and quite the long day, Sarah and I slept really well that Friday night. We got up when our bodies naturally woke us up and took our time getting ready for the day. First up on the list - breakfast! We went to another restaurant recommended to us by Haleigh and Katie - Founding Farmers - and we liked it so much that we went back the next day. We snagged a seat at the bar, as there was about an hour and a half wait (clearly other people liked this place too), and wasted no time deciding what to order. I went with the Drag Through the Garden pan scramble, which consisted of scrambled egg whites, roasted seasonal vegetables, and spinach. For my sides I choose fresh fruit and multi-grain toast, and let me just say that first of all, I ate every last bite, and the strawberry preserves they brought us to go with the toast was absolutely incredible. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up!

It was, again, the perfect fuel for another jam-packed day. We started off at Great Falls Park, which is a natural landmark along the Potomac River. It is actually located in both Virginia and Maryland, but we were on the Virginia side of it. Sidenote - does it blow anyone else's mind that Washington D.C. is not actually located in a state?

Anyway, the falls were absolutely beautiful. I had never seen anything like that before, so I was truly blown away by the beauty of it all. The pictures don't really do it justice.

We probably spent about two hours at Great Falls Park - if you want to hear an interesting story about our time at the park, please ask, as I would be happy to tell you - before heading back to D.C. and getting some food into our empty stomachs. We walked around for a bit trying to find something that appeared both unique to D.C., tasty, and without much of a wait, and we settled on Sweet Green, a place that very much reminded me of Salata in Houston. I created my own salad, and into the bowl went spinach, quinoa, tomatoes, green peppers, broccoli, and shrimp, all topped off with a little bit of balsamic vinaigrette. I think my empty bowl at the end of the meal speaks for itself.

We then hopped on the subway and headed over to Arlington National Cemetary, which was easily one of my favorite parts of the trip. Similar to my experience at Normandy, it was just breathtaking, and I could not believe how it just went on and on and on. Highlights of Arlington Cemetary were definitely JFK's gravesite and the tomb of the unnamed soldier, but I would go ahead and say that all of it was very, very worth our while.

Our legs were feeling pretty tired at this point, so we headed back to our hotel to relax a bit before heading back over to Georgetown to find dinner and get ready for our moonlight monument tour, which ended up being quite the hilarious event. It isn't even worth going into detail over.

Naturally it started raining again, so we taxi'd back to our hotel and went to bed shortly after that, as we had a wake-up call coming in the 5 o'clock hour. It was officially race day! We woke up later than we normally would for a half marathon, because we didn't plan to run the entire thing, so we didn't need those two+ hours to digest our food. Our training didn't really happen, so we came up with the plan to walk a majority of the race, running when we felt like it. Well, we ended up running 10/13 miles - running the first three, walking one, running two, walking one, running two, walking one, and running the last three. I really liked that method of completing the race, because although I wasn't really prepared to even run 10 of those 13 miles, that one mile walking break fueled me for more running, and some very speedy running at that.

The course itself was absolutely beautiful, starting at the Capitol building and going by the Washington Monument, both the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, the World War II Memorial, and a large chunk of the race afforded a beautiful waterfront view. The weather was honestly ideal running weather, which made it that much more enjoyable. Being presented a Tiffany's necklace by an ROTC member at the end of the race didn't hurt much, either!

After the race, we headed back to our hotel to shower and head back over to Founding Farmer's for breakfast. Should I be ashamed to admit that I ordered the exact same thing I ordered the day before? Although, this time I rewarded myself with a Peach Bellini. And I wasn't even carded, so I'd consider that the second victory of the day.

After breakfast, which was more like lunch, we headed back over to Georgetown to relax with some shopping. It was the perfect post-race treat, and we walked around for a few hours before collapsing in the grass by the water to take a little nap before dinner. We finally figured out that if we didn't want to wait for over an hour to eat, reservations were the way to go, so we had a 5pm dinner reservation at Farmers, Fishers, Bakers - the sister restaurant of Founding Farmers. We very obviously enjoyed our meals from there! The menu was very diverse, but I settled on a simple salad with pickled shrimp. Refreshing and delicious - perfect for my last meal in DC.

We headed back to our hotel for the last time with very happy stomachs and happy hearts after a wonderful weekend spent in a beautiful city. We woke up in the 4 o'clock hour for this flight, and it was quite a long day of traveling as we encountered some inclement weather in Nashville. We got back to Austin around 12:30pm, and it has been pretty non-stop from there, but I am very grateful for the opportunity to explore a new city with one of my best friends.

And now, I’m just hanging out, enjoying being back and working at my beloved SRD – the very best place to be.

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