Sunday, August 19, 2007

Need To Get Out More

A sure way to become a tourist in your own city is to host friends from out of town... and we were lucky enough to have some of our best friends here this past weekend, from my favorite small-town, Kernersville, NC! And it just so happens that each time Jayne and Jason come to visit (which has been just about an annual affair!), I discover new things about the city I've called home for close to 6 years now! News alert: it appears that there IS more to the DC-area than softball fields, tennis courts, Mexican restaurants, and (my favorite) grocery stores!

Everyone arrived after yet another less-than-perfect travelling adventure Friday evening - but a few homemade ice cream sandwiches later, we had calmed everyone's nerves and were in for a great weekend.

Saturday morning we were treated to an unseasonably beautiful morning (it was so nice we immediately opened up all of our doors and windows to take advantage of the weather!) and enjoyed a fun brunch of Orange-Pecan French Toast, bacon, and fresh-sliced fruit. We headed into DC for the National Portrait Gallery and the National Archives - both were having special exhibits in addition to their usual collections.

At the National Portrait Gallery, we spent some time in the "America's Presidents" exhibit as we are all big US history enthusiasts. It was so interesting to learn a new little snippet about many of our Presidents and was a great primer for the exhibit we later saw at NARA. There was a very interesting "life mold" of President Lincoln's face both before his Presidency and a short 5-years later - wow, what a difference a few years of being President made! I'd also never seen this picture of Lincoln which showed him in quite a different light than the more formal portraits that I'm used to seeing.
We then made our way to my ultimate destination - the Harry Benson photography exhibit. It had been recommended by some friends and we weren't disappointed! *the exhibit closes 9/3! Benson got his start photographing the Beatles early-on in their climb to fame and has since taken a number of shots that you'd surely recognize. I could have spent hours there reading about each picture and how Benson just happens to always be in the right place, at the right time.

At the National Archives, the line wrapped around the outside of the building was a welcome retreat as we basked in the beautiful weather while waiting for our turn to enter; once inside, we completed our day's worth of education on the Presidents as we went through an exhibit called "Schoolhouse to White House: The Education of the Presidents".

No visit to the Archives is complete without a glimpse of the documents that govern this great nation so we chatted in line with some friendly Italians while waiting to see our Declaration of Independence, US Constitution, and Bill of Rights.

Guacamole was next on our list of "to-dos" so we turned our ship around and came home to catch our second winds and have a quick snack before our 7:30pm crab-a-thon!

One of the biggest treats of the summer that we've discovered here in DC is sitting on the Quarterdeck's patio under the summer sky enjoying their all-you-can-eat "Feast" crabs. We were invited to this DC-find two summers ago and since then have made it an annual tradition. Jayne has heard me go on and on about how much fun it is so we decided this would be the perfect weekend... and was it ever!

We all decided that we would eat no less than 3 trays full of crabs (in order to get our money's worth of course) so by the end of the evening, we were absolutely covered in Old Bay seasoning, crabs shells, and stuffed full of delicious steamed Chesapeake Bay blue crabs.

*we thought this was "textbook" fat and happy

Even though we felt pretty darn full, I think it was more the fact that we'd been "eating" for almost 3 hours rather than the actual amount of food we consumed (shelling crabs is hard work!). We did, however, manage to find some room for more ice cream sandwiches and JFB's (brownies) after we rolled ourselves home.

Sunday morning, I started somewhat of an unusual "brunch" to feed my departing friends. I'd been craving homemade pizza earlier in the week so I decided to prepare the dough Friday evening and then all I'd have to do is just roll them and top the pizzas for an early lunch. All went according to plan so we had a great and easy meal... two pizzas: fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil, and turkey pepperoni, Italian blend cheeses, slivered onions, and oregano, plus a fresh green salad. I also sent my travelers with some cookies and brownies so they wouldn't starve on the way back home (one of my secrets for not having to eat them all myself!).

It's always far too quiet once fun house guests leave - even Annabelle moped around for the afternoon while I got ready for the upcoming week. Now more than ever I'm extending the invitation to come visit... DC's a great place to be a tourist and I promise that you won't starve!


  1. What fun! We wanted to go to the Archives when we were there in June, but that line deterred us quickly! I'll learn next time to buy tickets in advance.

    And great ideas for meals. I'm jealous!

  2. I didn't like Giffin's third book as much as the first two, but it wasn't bad.

    And Hallows was too violent for me! The end was sweet, but a bit typical. I know she did what she had to do, of course.

    Chamber of Secrets is and always will be my fave!

  3. Now that I agree with! She is amazingly creative. If only I could be so ... I'd be rich, too! Ha.

    Off-topic: Have you been to the Julia Child exhibit? Where exactly is it, if so? We're coming back up there in October and I'm making a list of things to do.


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