I live, I learn, I travel, I write.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring Break: DC Revisited

Like last year, I used my spring break as an opportunity to visit one of my dearest and oldest friends, Lauren. The thing about the DC area is that it's really amazing. It's just a really great city with so much going on what seems like all the time. Also, it wasn't 30 degrees, unlike Michigan at the beginning of March. Also, it's relatively cheap to get there--especially if you fly into Baltimore (BWI) and take a train the rest of the way. So that's what I did.

Seriously, it's like $100-200 cheaper than flying into Dulles, and the train ride from BWI to Union Station in DC is only $7. Anyway, Lauren met me at Union Station and we went back to her apartment to chill out for a bit and plan our day out.

After we sat around for an hour or two, we decided to just go on a walk and eventually make our way over to the new Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial. It was pretty cool, although I only took one picture of it for whatever reason.

We headed back to Lauren's apartment afterward to get ready before heading over to see Julia Nunes at the Red Palace, which, as it turns out, has really good happy hour specials. Before going to the venue, though, we got some amazing ramen at Toki Underground. But seriously, it was so delicious. If you're ever in DC and craving some Eastern deliciousness, don't limit yourself to Chinatown. This place was absolutely top-notch.

If you don't know Julia Nunes at all, then 1) you probably don't know me personally and 2) she's a Youtube-based musician and plays guitar and ukulele. She's really fun:

There were two bands that went on before her, both from the area. I don't remember the name of either of them, but the first one was pretty good. They played some poppy folky countryish songs, and it was cute. The second band... um, well, they were talented. Unfortunately, they just sang variations of the same heartbreak-inspired songs with ominous chord progressions in minor keys for like 40 minutes. Also, they had three guitarists. Why? Anyway, Julia Nunes was amazing. I sang along to literally every song. Actually, the dude standing next to Lauren and I (who I bonded with as we both sang along to First Impressions) came up to me after her set was over to tell me that if "there was an award for best fan," it would go to me (since I was singing really loudly to, again, literally every song), and that I wasn't annoying (though the people who were standing in front of me would probably disagree), but I added to the ambience. Well, thank you, sir.

OH! And I met her.

The next day, Lauren and I crossed nature off the list and went to Arlington, stopping first at the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial, which has its own island. We just walked around the island and took the nice day in.

We tried to find a pub or something to go to in Arlington, but it was a little early and not much was open (hold your judgment, I was on vacation).Instead we walked across the river to Georgetown and perused around the area. Georgetown is really nice--and really expensive. We ended up stopping at Kafe Leopold, which was a really cute bistro sort of place with outdoor seating.

That night we stayed in with the comfort of soul food and gin and RENT. We spent Sunday afternoon at the zoo (which was free!):

We followed up the zoo by catching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Pt. 1 on TV, and then watching Workaholics and random videos on Youtube. This is why Lauren and I are best friends. Oh, then we saw the Lorax and got shamrock shakes from the Chinatown McDonalds. Sunday well spent.

Of course, Monday came next and I had to head back to Michigan. But not before lunch at the DC location of Bobby Flay's Burger Palace, which was just as excellent as you'd expect. Plus, a vanilla-caramel-bourbon milkshake? Okay.