Sunday, June 9, 2019

Washington, DC: May 23-27

In May last year, we visited Mark's brother, Pete, and our sister-in-law, Jane, in Idaho and spent some time in Yellowstone. At that point, we decided 2019 was the year to visit my brother, who lives in Washington, DC, a place neither of us had ever been. He and our sister-in-law, Gracie, were kind enough to let us stay for two weeks, and we began planning our trip. 

When we told friends we were staying for two weeks, we got one of two reactions: (1) Two weeks?? What are you going to do for two weeks?? or (2) You will never see everything in two weeks. In retrospect, we firmly fall in line with #2.

We left Fresno on Thursday, May 23, with a stop in Phoenix. Hot, dry Phoenix. I lived there for six years and I can tell you that it is not my preferred climate. 
We landed in lush, green Washington, DC about 8:30 p.m.
Just a little bit about where Jeff and Gracie live--they live in the Kalorama area of DC, which is in the northwest area if you are familiar with DC. 

After years of living in Dallas and working for the federal reserve there, Jeff was approached to run a department at the federal reserve in DC and they have been there for a little over five years. They live in a 100-year-old building, and their unit occupies three floors. 

You enter through this charming courtyard and their unit is the one at the back.

Our bedroom was on the lower level, the kitchen and living room are on the middle floor, and their bedroom, bathroom and office are on the top level.

They did a lot of remodeling when they moved in. Even so, storage is at a premium. Gracie was getting ready to leave for a trip to Spain and Portugal, so she showed us where she stores her luggage and some other things--behind the refrigerator! She rolls out the refrigerator. Now you see the storage...
Now you don't.
They live about two blocks from Embassy Row, although the embassy of Moldova is right next door.
Across the street.

Down the street.
Around the neighborhood.

We became very well acquainted with the metro rail system while we were there. Their closest station is Dupont Circle, and Mark and I dubbed it the "great abyss," as when you got on at street level you could not see the bottom. In fact, one day Mark timed it and it took 2 minutes and 20 seconds from top to bottom. It was a steep incline as well. I found that I needed to hold on and not look around, or else I would lose my balance. 
Get me outa here...
On Friday, Gracie took us on a walking tour. We did so.much.walking during our two-week stay (I'll give you a total number of steps and number of flights in the last post). 

Dupont Circle. Or possibly Farragut (I can't remember now...)

We saw our first protest, by a group from Eritrea, a country in East Africa. I'm not sure what they were protesting.
We saw a lot of Gunther buses, the significance of which is that Gunther is my maiden name, so of course I had to take a picture.
We had breakfast at a French bakery. Yum.
We saw our first glimpse of the White House.
I have a fondness for triangle-shaped buildings.
The Spanish Steps are very close to their house.

Also close by (two blocks away from Jeff and Gracie, on the same street) is one of several homes owned by Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon. It takes up an entire city block. He reportedly purchased it for $23M and is spending over $12M on renovations. I can't even comprehend that, but I like to feel that I'm part owner, considering how much I purchase through Amazon.
On Friday evening, we went to the waterfront, an area that has seen a lot of work in the last couple of years and now boasts a lot of great restaurants. It was a beautiful evening to sit outside.

On Saturday, we drove to Mount Vernon. As in many urban areas, parking is at a premium. Jeff has a parking spot at the federal reserve where he works, which is a 20-minute walk. He walks to work every single day, regardless of the weather, and never drives his car. Gracie usually retrieves it on Saturdays to run errands. 
The view from George Washington's home.

Washington's tomb.
Oh, look--seamstresses.
Lush gardens.

On Saturday evening, we went to a restaurant in Georgetown called Black Salt for a delicious seafood dinner.
Sunday morning, we headed to the farmer's market held every week at Dupont Circle. I had to take a picture of these strawberries--$5 a basket. What? Confirmation that we are spoiled here in the central valley of California where we spend $7 for three baskets or $12 for six!

 I was intrigued by these pink and white flowers. I don't think I have seen them before.

Monday was Memorial Day. Gracie was leaving for her trip mid afternoon, so Mark, Jeff and I went to the parade. It was thrilling to be in the nation's capital for the parade.

We ended our first weekend at a local Italian restaurant, La Tomate.


05 08
Robby said... #

Great pictures! I am also in the "two weeks isn't enough" camp, and to get to "live" there must have been wonderful instead of parked in a hotel. All those steps must have helped with the chance to enjoy some amazing food. You cracked me up with the idea that you might own a bit of Bezos' home, but I understand the feeling. I wonder if it's like a time-share and we can book ourselves for a few days each year?! Ha.

OPQuilt said... #

The first Sunday we lived in DC (for a year) we met a woman at the Renwick who said, "Run fast, you are only here for a year!" so of course I'm in the camp of "two weeks is not enough." From the sound of this post, it is obvious you hit the ground running. PS I used to live close to Mt. Vernon, so your pictures brought back memories. PPS Kalorama!! I'm jealous!

Amy said... #

Oxon Hill Farm is across the river from Mount Vernon. It's run by the National Park Service, so the view from Mount Vernon will always replicate what George and Martha saw everyday. I'm grateful for that because much of the land surrounding DC is or is going to be developed. And it's fun to see what you think of our part of the US. I've been pretty busy the last month, so have been saving reading blogs until now. And I'm looking forward to reading all your DC blogs to see if there's an adventure for us! Thanks!