Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Week in Washington, D.C.

Before I even begin my entry about DC I wanted to apologize in advance. Most of these photos were taken with my phone because I got down to D.C. to discover my camera's battery was dead and of course I forgot the charger.... and on to my late week recap...

Sunday afternoon Matt dropped me off at the airport, destination Washington, D.C. for a week long work course. I traveled down with two colleagues so after we checked in and went to the gym we headed out to dinner. We ended up eating at Sweetwater Tavern. By the time we got there I was ravenous and had to apologize because I was on the verge of "evil Lauren" that, typically, only Matt sees. We quickly ordered chips with guacamole and roasted red pepper queso dip. I also ordered a stout with the dips. It was delicious and delivered enough sugar to my system to get me back to normal function mode.

For dinner I had a roasted chicken salad with mixed greens, corn off the cob, tomato, sun dried cranberries, dates, pine nuts, goat cheese & champagne vinaigrette.

Monday, after a long day in class, our little group headed into Washington, DC on the Metro to do a little touring and to grab dinner. After walking by the notorious Watergate complex, we ended up at beautiful Washington Harbor.

Washington Harbor was surrounded by restaurants so we decided that it was a perfect time to grab dinner. We ended up at Farmers & Fishers which is an organic restaurant that sources from sustainable agriculture from family farmers and fisherman to ensure fresh, unprocessed foods and high quality ingredients. I loved the concept of the restaurant! For my dinner I ordered the Mussels and Calamari Fra Diavolo which was served on a bed of North Dakota durum spring wheat pasta that is made fresh daily. Yum! To accompany my meal I also had a glass of Pinot Noir. It was the perfect dinner!

Tuesday was another long thought provoking day. After my class I got to catch up with Matt's beautiful cousins who live in the DC area. We had a great dinner at a local Thai restaurant. It's an awful picture of me... I thinking I was mid-sentence?! How else do you explain my face?!

Wednesday was another long day in class. By Wednesday, I realized that our afternoon snack break was always something fun and delicious. Monday it was fresh baked cookies, Tuesday was ice cream and Wednesday I finally remembered to take a photo of our delicious treat, fresh made whoopie pies! YUM!

After class on Wednesday I joined two lovely ladies for a trip to the mall. My suitcase was already too stuffed to bring anything home but it was still fun to window shop. While we were at the mall we decided to grab dinner at Coastal Flats. We decided to start with deviled eggs as an appetizer because it was intriguing to see them on the menu. You don't see deviled eggs on a menu very often! They were delicious! Sweet (from the sugar cured bacon) and savory. Yum!

For my dinner I ordered the Sauteed Shrimp & Creamy Grit Cakes with ham, roasted corn, asparagus, peppers, sweet onion & cajun cream. It's hard to get grits up in New England so I jumped on the chance to have a "southern" dish! It was the perfect combination of flavors and textures. I wish I could recreate this dish at home but I wouldn't even know where to start or even where to buy grits!?

Thursday.... another day in class... followed by a fantastic dinner at Fogo de Chao. We had so much fun eating dinner! They have the most beautiful salad bar with an array of vegetable and cheese options! They warn you not to fill up on the salad but I couldn't help putting a heaping pile of veggies on my plate!

After salad, when you're ready for dinner, you flip over this little card. One side of the card is red and the other is green. When you're ready for your protein you flip the card to green but you better be ready because the gauchos charge at you when they see green and your options can become very overwhelming! Every cut of beef, chicken, pork (ribs and tenderloin), lamb, and linguica. Oh my! In addition to your salad and meat every table also gets warm cheese bread, crispy polenta, garlic mashed potatoes, and caramelized bananas. I save the bananas for the end of my meal as dessert. Needless to say you get very full very fast! In the below picture you can see all of the sides, a slice of beef and my Brazilian drink, caipirinha.

The Fogo de Chao wine wall

Dinner was sumptuous and so much fun!

After dinner we headed to Union Station to hop on a Monuments by Moonlight Trolley Tour.
On our way to our first stop at the Jefferson Memorial we got to see the city at twilight.

The Capitol

The Washington Monument at the end of the Reflecting Pool

The United States Botanic Garden

US Supreme Court

Library of Congress

This shot is courtesy of a fellow classmate. We thought this looked like Jefferson playing Darth Vader with his light saber and so I had to be a dork and share.

On our way to our second stop, Lincoln Memorial, we drove by the World War II Memorial. It didn't photograph very well but if you're ever in DC you have to go see this memorial. It's my favorite! So beautiful, especially at night!

Lincoln Memorial

Last stop of the evening was the Iwo Jima Memorial out at the Arlington Cemetery.

Friday... our last day at class. The course was fantastic but it was the longest week of my life! Our days started between 6:45 and 7:15 (to grab breakfast before signing into our course) and didn't end until 5PM. We had breakout group sessions, presentations and sat in on seminars all day. My brain was very full! I'm so happy that I got to go but I was even happier at noon on Friday when the course was over. After grabbing lunch and saying good bye to classmates, friends, and colleagues my friend, Candice, and I went into D.C. for one final walkabout which is when I got this pretty photo of The Capitol.

We walked through a sculpture garden which is where I saw this pretty tree.

Our stroll ended up taking us to the National Air and Space Museum.

Model of the F16

The Wright Military Flyer

I'm not sure what this is but Breitling is the name of a watch company. My husband used to have one of these fancy watches until I accidentally washed in our washing machine. Oops! This photo was in honor of my hubby and his destroyed watch.



And more planes...

After all of the walking around in the museum I was hungry! Candice and I stumbled upon a McDonald's so we decided that we had to keep our traveling together tradition going strong. Two McFlurry's please! M&M for me and Oreo for Candice. Yum!

By the time we finished walking around the museum it was 5:00PM and we realized that everything that we wanted to check out in D.C. closed at 5:00. Back to the hotel we go. After a quick hop in the hot tub followed by some leisure book reading time we decided to order delivery for dinner. I never eat Chinese food at home so we decided to give one of the hotel's recommendations a try. The food was just okay but we still had a great night. There is nothing better than Chinese food, a bottle of Pinot Grigio, and "Say Yes to the Dress"!

I had a great week in D.C. I ate a lot of great food, saw important U.S. buildings & memorials, and learned a lot that I can apply to my job!


  1. what a great trip! I'm sure you worked hard in class, but I'm pretty jealous of the rest! And I can hook you up with real stone ground grits if you want to try it out! I recently took an attempt at traditional shrimp & grits, came out pretty good if I say so myself! (recipe is from a friend in Charleston, SC)

  2. Next time we get together I'll bring ingredients to make something delicious for us!