After our family reunion in Connecticut, my mom flew back to Texas and my little sister Hannah took the bus down to DC with me. The plan is to look at some colleges, but I also want to have some fun and show her what independence in a big city looks like. (Hannah’s sitting next to me while I write this. Her commentary? “Independence in a big city? More like I’m-frickin-terrified-all-the-time-in-a-big-city,” which sounds about right). With two days left of traveling, couch surfing, and exploring together, here are the highlights of our trip so far.
Thursday, August 10th
The day started off early, as we put our niece on the bus and headed off to daily mass with our older sister. I’m not a practicing Catholic, but my sisters are, and I can appreciate the spirituality present in so many churches. After a big post-mass breakfast, we packed up and began our journey to DC via New York City. Hannah had only been to the city once or twice, when we were little. I’m in New York almost every month, to get the train to my sister’s house, but I forgot how discombobulating it was for me the first time I was there by myself. Between our luggage, the crowds, Hannah’s nervousness and her cute but incredibly impractical choice of footwear, it was a bit of a struggle to navigate the city. So of course, I decided we should walk a mile and a half to one of my favorite tourist traps, Black Tap.
The journey was worth it, and the destination more than made up for Han’s sore feet. We feasted on burgers and split their seasonal smores milkshake, which was beyond amazing. We took a taxi to Port Authority (what real New Yorkers we are!) and – miracle of miracles – our bus to DC was perfectly on time.
I’m a little broke, so we’re couch surfing to save money while Hannah’s visiting. So far, it’s been a great experience – everyone we’ve met has been lovely and hospitable. We made it to our host’s house pretty late Thursday night and passed out almost immediately.
Friday, August 11th
We’re staying in the Navy Yards neighborhood until tomorrow, so yesterday morning we decided to try Slipstream for breakfast. I’ve heard good things about the daytime-cafe/nighttime-bar hybrid and have been meaning to check it out. We weren’t disappointed – everything was delicious, and super reasonably priced for the location and quality.
I tried the breakfast bowl, with white rice, fresh mixed greens, and watermelon radishes, all tossed in a lemony vinaigrette and topped with avocado and a poached egg. Hannah loved her breakfast sandwich, and her chai latte was delicious. Her drink order reminded me of my favorite chai in the city, so after leaving Slipstream, we took the metro to Foggy Bottom to get some work done at my favorite coffee shop. L Street’s Bourbon Coffee is where you can find me pretty much every day during finals season. It’s a bit of a trek from Georgetown, but their super-spicy Aztec Chai is to die for.
After chilling at Bourbon, we walked to Georgetown, where I had an interview scheduled at 1:00. I got the job – super exciting! – but the three hours of paperwork I had to fill out afterwards made us miss the start of Baby Driver, which we were hoping to see at V Street’s Atlantic Plumbing Theatre. Luckily, we were able to switch our tickets for a later showtime, and killed time by jumping on the Cava bandwagon for dinner. The restaurants are popping up all over DC, and with good reason – they serve delicious and healthy Mediterranean meals in the fast-casual style of Chipotle. Hannah pretty much died when she took the first bite of her pita. The movie was an awesome end to a great day – if you haven’t seen it yet, get on it!
Saturday, August 12th
That brings us to today. We’re both a little exhausted from the past few jam-packed days, so we’re taking it easy with tours of DC’s museums and art galleries.
Today’s lunch marked my first visit to GCDC, the District’s one and only grilled cheese bar. I usually avoid red meat in general and beef in particular (this explains why) but I caved and got a delicious short rib sandwich with Gruyere – heaven. I love GCDC because it reminds me of one of my favorite food trucks in Austin, where I got my birthday lunch for most of my teenage years. The rest of today will be spent at the National Gallery of Art, before we head over to the 9:30 Club’s screening of Clueless for their summer movie series.
Lea DeLaria is playing at Blues Alley tomorrow night, so we’re hoping to catch what should be an amazing show. We’re grabbing dinner at the Ethiopian restaurant Keren tomorrow with one of my close friends; I’ve never been, but I’ve heard great things. Other than that, the next few days will be spent touring colleges and exploring more of what summer in DC has to offer.
Are you in DC right now? Do you have any recommendations? Let me know below!