Exploring Washington D.C.

First off, Happy Veteran’s Day.  I would like to acknowledge all the brave men and women who have fought for our country.  I saw a few older vets down in D.C. as they visited the various memorials.  I swear, it just about melted my heart.  God Bless America.

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Have you ever been on a trip by yourself?  No, not taking the bus to see someone.  Legitimately solo.  Sure, I traveled across the country without knowing anyone and happen to walk to and from work by myself each day, but taking a trip to a different city is something else.

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Growing up, I learned to be independent.  I would run errands on my own, go running on my own, go to the farmer’s markets, and I even went to see a movie on my own.  Why?  Well, even if no one was around or interested, I still wanted to do it.  People often say that life doesn’t happen when we have everything settled in our lives.  In fact, it’s often occurring while we are making plans, so why hold out?  This mentality probably is related to my go-go-go personality, sometimes a bad thing because it creates the “fear of missing out” mentality.  I didn’t want to look back on my life and realized I didn’t take those chances, make those trips, or do the things I wanted to do.

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Because of my independence, I have a high sense of confidence and am confident in my ability to navigate life – both in terms of literally navigating directions, but having awareness of myself as well as my goals and expectations. There’s a lot more to this conversation than a simple paragraph, but it’s something I wanted to touch upon.  This also comes with the fact that I may trust myself and my surroundings a little too much, but that’s why we learn and keep money on my for taxi fare (Thanks to both sets of grandparents for that lesson).

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Often there are times where I feel different.  Others where I feel invincible. Times where I feel this sense of confidence has hindered my ability to relate to some of the people at school, especially during those college years where it’s normal to just go into your friend’s room and chat, vent, or simply crash for a few hours.  Even other times where I feel as if I’ve experienced so much more.

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Anyways, this past weekend I decided to make an impromptu trip to Washington D.C.  My options were between Boston and D.C. and since my friend in Boston wasn’t going to be around most of the weekend, D.C. it was.  I had finished my internship on Thursday and didn’t start my new job until today (Monday), so it was a great excuse to leave the city.

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I left on Megabus (a first time for me!) around 9:30am on Friday, only to realize that this was the first time I would be leaving the little island of Manhattan in over 8 weeks!  I guess there was so much to keep me going that I didn’t notice the time fly by.  After about 4.5 hours, we arrived in the capital and I was ready to conquer the city.

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We had traveled to D.C. about 8 or so years ago and done everything from the National/Monument Mile to Ford’s Theatre to the Spy Museum.  So, I went into this trip with  a few items on my checklist, but nothing too specific.  Quite a big step for someone who has made excel sheets for her previous vacations and weekend getaways.  Curious how this girl made it through Europe?  Oh I have excellent itineraries.  Guess I haven’t really fit in with the societal expected mold of the college party child.

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I ended up traveling to some of the same monuments and museums and found myself amidst various families and school groups.  Because I was on my own, I made it through much faster than I anticipated and so I continued to wander the city.  Some of the conversations that I overheard were too darn funny.  None very blog worthy, but I got a kick out of casually eavesdropping none the less.  Actually, it’s not really eavesdropping if they are standing inches away from you as you look at the Declaration of Independence.  The zoo was one of my favorite spots simply because of the animals.  I sent a few pictures home and of course my family thought they looked like our dog, Bodie.  It seems to be a running joke that any animal that is sleeping or looks pensive looks like Bodie.

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The best part of the weekend had to be Sunday morning.  I woke up around 6:45 so I could meet Sarah for a Veteran’s Day 10k.  I’ve been following her blog for sometime and it was the first time we could actually meet!  I mean, I’ve been on the west coast for some time, so actually being in the same time zone was fabulous.  We originally were just going to meet for dinner or breakfast, but of course two obsessed runners would get along great at a 10k.

People often think this whole blogging thing is odd – the fact that I can relate to some bloggers, whom I’ve never even met (and may never meet).  I feel as if we’ve all experienced something that brings us together and it’s really a phenomenon I can’t adequately explain.  At least not right now.  I could relate it to my elementary school friends; people I didn’t really hang out with a ton, but have reconnected with and would consider my best, best friends, simply because we understand each other and know what one another has gone through.  Not to mention we’ve all found how similar one another is and it makes life great.

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Back to the 10k.  We agreed on an “easy” pace but ultimately ended up going around 7:51ish.  Oops.  I guess that’s what happens when you feel great (maybe after popping an advil), have a GORGEOUS course (running along the water and the monuments…what’s better?) and have a great conversation going.  We actually both needed to fit in 9 miles on Sunday so after finishing the 10k, we set out for 3 more.  Once that was through, we drove up to Georgetown for breakfast.  I swear, this area was TOO DARN ADORABLE.  I really wish there was a better way to access the area because I totally would have spent a majority of the weekend there, wandering and window shopping.  I was simply limited by public transportation.

My food selections throughout the weekend were less than noteworthy.  This is because there aren’t too many good places to eat around the monuments, all places where I felt my stomach rumble, I was left to eat at Starbucks and Corner Bakery.  So adventurous, I know.  The highlight of my eating happened to be when I went with Sarah to Clyde’s in Georgetown and practically inhaled some epic grilled cheese with fried egg and side of pumpkin butter.  The butter wasn’t included in the actual meal, I just saw it on the menu and decided to ask 🙂 I love my sauces and creams, even if they don’t love me.

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Once breakfast was complete, Sarah was oh so kind to drive me to my hotel, I packed up in a rush and narrowly made my 12:30 bus ride.  That’s right folks, I like to live on the edge and probably make my mother and grandmother down right worried.  I’d like to think I’ve learned enough from my dad about pushing things too tight, yet still work out 🙂 Thanks TFred.

Well, this was certainly a different recap than I expected, but a recap none the less.  I will certainly be back to D.C. in the future, probably with my grandmother when we visit family friends in Maryland.  But, I also hope to get out to Boston to see some friends, maybe my cousin, and definitely Sarah when she is home from school for break.  Until then, it’s off to my new job and MAMA is coming this week! Girls WEEKEND 🙂

a0427422f636f3fcd8f482106cb81e81Have you ever taken a trip on your own?  Favorite parts/restaurants of D.C.?

Happy Veteran’s Day

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14 thoughts on “Exploring Washington D.C.

  1. What a wonderful trip! I was just contemplating a solo trip to D.C. next spring- although it would be my first solo trip of that caliber! I admire your independence. I am trying to get better at it myself!

    • Thank you! It’s certainly a learning process, but I highly recommend it. It’s a wonderful way to learn about yourself and what you can accomplish. You definitely should consider it and if you want to meet up for a lunch of whatnot, maybe I’ll join you 🙂

  2. SO EXCITED WE GOT TO HANG OUT! Like seriously, it is too bad that we’re still 3-4 hours away from each other because I feel like we’d be hanging out every single day, no joke. Yesterday morning was definitely a major highlight of my weekend (and if I hadn’t spent friday night with my family, it would have been THE highlight). Anyways, I adore this recap and the way it came out- it’s way more introspective than just giving a play-by-play of what you did and you know I can relate to pretty much everything you said since we talked about a lot of it yesterday. Hopefully we can do this again soon 🙂

    • Really. Words cannot express how much I loved yesterday. While we are still a ways away, this means LOTS of adventures 🙂 I couldn’t express to my family how awesome it was to connect. The entire time we were talking, I was nodding, yes, yes, yes. 🙂

  3. i loved trips on my own!! after reading about how go go go you are and how you like doing things on your own i can say i am so unbelievably similar to you. i have never let whether or not someone wanted to do something with me change my mind about me wanting to do something. yay for independence. i am also very jealous you got to hang out with miss sarah. she is a blast!!! looks like you had a great weekend!

    • I can totally thank Sarah for helping me find your website! I love seeing the sort of adventures you do, your drive, and how you say it like it is 🙂 I agree, I don’t usually let someone stand in the way of what I want to do. Sometimes it bites me in the rear, but other times makes me so much stronger!

  4. Oh my goodness I’m so jealous of your trip AND how brave you are! I don’t know if I would go on a trip like that by myself. Props to you! I went with my 8th graders to DC last January and am planning their trip for May there too. I LOVED DC. LOVED it. So much history and such a beautiful city. Glad you had a good time!

    • Thank you! Wasn’t it just an amazing city? I can’t believe how much history has occurred and continues to occur there! A trip for students is certainly a must!

  5. I could have written this post.. I went to a movie by myself on Saturday, to the beach and shopping (an hour away) by myself on Sunday, and (until I found out my boyfriend may not have to work this weekend) was planning a solo trip to either NYC or Boston for next weekend. This post made me want to head to DC again in the near future.. I think I’ll hold off for slightly warmer weather though. Glad to see you had a good time!

  6. You go girl! I am seriously impressed that you fit in so many fun activities in a weekend! I’ve never thought about taking a truly solo trip, but now that we are young adults and all that jazz, it seems perfectly acceptable. Congrats on your speedy race!

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