A Day in D.C.

No more than 5 days ago I decided to take a trip to Washington D.C. for the weekend. Just a three and a half hour ride via Megabus it was the perfect distance for a quick visit to my older sister and a brief change of scenery. Philadelphia can be a bit overwhelming. Driving around in that city is a bit of a nightmare. The traffic lights are poorly timed, the way the streets are planned out with one-ways and traffic circles it is difficult to get anywhere directly, there are potholes and uneven roads everywhere, and the streets are always crowded with cars. As you can imagine, it gets annoying pretty quickly. One of my roommates was heading down for the weekend too so I figured why not go now and have a travel buddy. I could use a little refresher.

We got on the Megabus in Philly a little after 4 (it was 30 minutes late) and arrived in D.C. at 7:30 (an hour late). Not too bad considering some of the stories I have heard of buses being up to 2 hours late. My sister met me at Union Station, where the bus dropped us off. We got dinner, made pumpkin pie, watched a movie, ate some pie, and went to bed. The next morning we woke up and took a 2 hour walk down to the mall to see the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. It was incredibly large. There was a relief of MLK carved out of stone standing in the middle of the site. Behind him were two more giant rocks and a wall of quotes streaming out from either side of those rocks. The weather was very agreeable. The sunlight made the light-colored monument glow, making the MLK’s statue seem even more large and impressive than it already was.

After our walk it was time to refuel. We met up with my roommate and another one of our friends at Shake Shack near Dupont Circle. It was my first time to a Shake Shack. Ever. I spent three weeks in New York this summer and somehow (sadly) managed to leave without making it to get a burger, fries, and a shake. Now that I have finally had them I don’t know what was wrong with me that stopped me from going sooner. Bot was I missing out! I started the meal with an order of french fries. Some of the best french fries I have ever had! They were crinkle cut. That wonderful design allows for a larger surface area to be deeply fried creating fries that are perfectly crispy on the outside but soft and warm on the inside. Following that, I ordered the signature Shack Burger. Why not for my first time? The burger patty was made out of the most succulent, perfectly cooked 100% natural, vegetarian-fed, humanely raised beef.  It was layered with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and their special Shack Sauce all delicately placed inside the bun. The bun was made of potato bread. The entire sandwich melted in my mouth and was beyond delicious. If it could get any better from there I still had a shake to enjoy. I ordered the Black & White shake for a little twist from my usual choice of vanilla. The shake was a blend of chocolate and vanilla ice creams and was so thick it was almost still solid when I first got it. So thick that I started eating it with a soon because I couldn’t even drink it through a straw. Now that’s a milkshake. What a decadent meal that was.

After we were all nice and full we split ways and my sister and I headed off to buy a baby gift for a friend of hers who just became a new dad. Baby clothes are ridiculously adorable. My favorite purchase that we made at the store were some new watches. For us. Yeah that’s right. We bought watches for our adult selves at a baby store. Mine has fishes on it. Hers has monkeys. I didn’t set it to the proper time before I took this picture. As an added bonus to the level of cuteness the little fish in the middle moves as the second-hand.

From there we headed to our other shopping destination: a small, unassuming Japanese grocery store on U Street. It was a small space tightly packed with all sorts of Japanese goodies from sweets and snacks to noodles and frozen fish. We got some seaweed salad and sushi for dinner along with some snacks to have around. I cannot wait to break into my wasabi peas. “A happy present from the Earth.”

Somehow it was already 5 PM by the time we returned to the apartment for a little breather. We didn’t hang around there for very long. The Pittsburgh Penguins had a hockey game starting at 7:30. The game was not showing on local TV so we went to a bar on the hill to watch it. We hung out at the Pour House drinking beer and watching the game for 2 periods before we got tired and decided to head home. We stopped at Fro.zen.yo on the way home. They serve some of the best frozen yogurt I have had anywhere. Last time I visited my sister in D.C. I didn’t get any and was quite sad. I couldn’t let another opportunity pass me by. It was just a half a block away from where we got off the subway at Metro Center so we were able to make a quick stop and finally satisfy the craving I had been holding on to for months. About time.

This morning was low-key and appreciatively uneventful considering we were both worn out from the day before. I left D.C. right on time at 4:15 and am still on the bus back to Philadelphia. Let’s hope we arrive at 7:30 as expected.

A quick weekend. A fun-filled visit. Some successful shopping. A break from city driving. Only one downer to the whole weekend: the Pens lost 3-2.