Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC

My mom has been asking to go see the cherry blossoms in Washington, DC for like 3 years now.  And this year being the year I decided to DO stuff because the last few years have been about unsuccessfully trying to have a baby, I made the plans to go!  Me, my mom, my little brother and luckily even my husband drove down to DC last Saturday to spend the night and see some cherry blossoms!  The goal of the weekend was pretty loose, see some cherry blossoms and maybe some other stuff.  Ha.  We planned to try to go to a few museums and eat some good food.  My mom wanted to go to the Holocaust museum and I wanted to go to the Fireworks Festival by the water (the food truck rally sold me) and Union Market (more food and also a pop-up at Thread).  Union Market is a lot like Chelsea Market in NYC (I was jut there 2 weeks ago for the first time and it was awesome!).  On the ride down, my brother said he wanted to go to the zoo.  We attempted this once we arrived, but it was just too crowded and the parking lot was full.  It was probably the first nice day of the year and also cherry blossom season, so the city was pretty packed!  We almost didn't get into the Holocaust museum either, but turns out military can get tickets even when civilians are being turned away due to the place being full.  My brother is the National Guard, so he got tickets for us.  After that sad experience we walked down to the water to the Fireworks Festival.  I bought some cupcakes and chocolate chip cookie bark and my family marveled at how much money I spend on such things.  I like to support the small business, especially the small food business.  The lines for the food trucks were very long and my family wasn't into the options, so we decided to check out Philips seafood, which was next to the Festival and advertised a seafood buffet.  We waited IN LINE for 45 minutes and the food pretty much sucked!  I thought that place was known for its seafood.  Not a fan.  I also wasn't a fan of the very long walk back to our hotel.  Have I mentioned my feet hate me?  They hate walking too.
Sunday we went to brunch at Kramerbooks & Afterwords.  This place is basically my perfect hangout. My husband and I used to (before it shutdown) spend are Friday nights at Borders drinking coffee and reading magazines (we are probably the reason it closed) and Kramerbooks is a bookstore, cafe and bar!  And it's open 24hrs. on the weekends!!  I'd be there all the time if I lived nearby.  It's right at Dupont Circle and there's a Farmer's market across the street on Sundays.  Ideal.  After brunch we checked out of the hotel and made our way to the National Museum of Women in the Arts where I was lucky enough to see a Kiki Smith sculpture.  We ran out of there pretty quick because our parking situation was questionable.  Luckily, Union Market had a lot, so parking was no issue.  I loved this place, but I'd like to visit on a Tuesday morning, not a beautiful Sunday afternoon when everybody is there!  We only managed to get a coffee, everything else was really packed (and also expensive) and my family wasn't really into it.  I should maybe explain that my family is perfectly happy at a chain restaurant when I'd rather seek out the small, local places.  Food is important to me.  Very important to me.  I take it very seriously and quite frankly, I'm willing to pay more for it.  I don't like to pay a lot for clothes, I'm a lover of the clearance rack, but $9 for a handmade candy bar from Brooklyn?  I'll take it!  My family thinks I'm nuts (but they eat the things I buy for them, no problem) and my husband tries to tolerate me (and he also has no problem eating what I buy).  Just refer to my trip to NYC last weekend.  
We also checked out the popup at Thread.  Very fun, but most of the items were out of my price range. Like I said, I'm more of a clearance rack girl!
All in all, it was a super fun weekend and I plan to go back for at least a day trip this summer!  And now for a few photos...

Pretty walk to the White House

The White House


Me and my brother (maybe not my best look)

Capitol Building

Washington Monument

Friday, April 11, 2014

Impromptu Trip to NYC

While looking for museums in DC with Kiki Smith exhibits, I found out she had one at Pace Gallery in NYC.  But, it was ending in two days.  So, I decided to take a day trip to NYC!  I only live 2 hrs. away and I'm lucky enough to not work on Fridays, so why not?  I couldn't find anyone else interested or able to go with me on a Friday, but I'm fine with doing things alone.
I took two trains and arrived around 1 to a rainy, cold city.  First, I went to Pace Gallery to see the exhibit. 

Train selfie

Kiki Smith

Then, I decided to check out Chelsea Market.  I had googled it prior and it sounded like just the place for me!  Yummy food all around!

Los Tacos Lunch!

High line right next to the market

After the market and relaxing on the High line, I found Blue Bottle Coffee and got a mocha to help warm me up!  It was still rainy and cold, Spring apparently hadn't gotten the memo yet.  Unfortunately, since it was so cold, I didn't get to try the New Orleans iced coffee that Blue Bottle is known for.  I totally plan to go back and try this summer though and I hear it'll be sold in Whole Foods soon!

Serious coffee art (is that a thing?) skills!

After the coffee, I had to use the restroom so I went back to the market and decided lobster roll lunch boxes would be perfect for me to take home for dinner!  I apparently had lost my mind, I don't know why I thought carrying those on two trains (the one from NYC to Trenton was PACKED) back home would be fun.  I came home with cookies from Sarabeth's (and a mug for my sister, Sarabeth), brownies from Fat Witch, The King from Liddabit Sweet, and lobster roll lunch boxes from The Lobster Place.  It might be the first time I didn't come home with cupcakes!  I couldn't walk the next day, but it was a great time and I'm glad I went!  Can't wait to go back when it's warmer.