Friday, May 20, 2011

Mid-Week Vacation to DC

After work on Tuesday, I zipped up I-95 to the DC area for a mid-week vacay. Let me just say, why don't we all take mid-week vacations? They're awesome. No crowds, less traffic. Just great all around!

The reason for the jaunt was that my dear friend Bret had bought us tickets to see a new revival production of Follies, a Stephen Sondheim show from 1971. It's about a reunion of former showgirls from the era of the Follies between the world wars, and is staged in a spectacular way, with the present-day older women shadowed by their younger, glamorous selves in AMAZING costumes. There's talk of the show moving to Broadway, and I certainly hope it does. 

Bret had never really spent any time in DC or done the touristy stuff, so that was top of our list. He wanted to see Fonzie's jacket and Archie Bunker's chair, so we went to the Museum of American History, my personal fave. We pretended to be presidents, of course:

And we popped in at Julia Child's kitchen, which is a master class in organization and space solutions.

Bret's bringing stovepipe top hats back.

We decided the memorials were a must even though the walking was even more burdensome than usual because the Reflecting Pool is under construction and the entire perimeter is blocked off. It also rained in the morning just long enough to ruin my hairsdo and make the ground muddy. But c'est la vie!

We wandered up to the White House and ended up listening to a school group's history lesson, then hopped a train up to U Street to eat at Bar Pilar, a great little drinks and dinner spot recommended by my friend Shayna. It has an excellent casual vibe, with good food at decent prices and a great drink menu.

Bret had scallops and a small plate of morels and I tried both! I'm a big kid now! I had a little arugula salad to start, and then bucatini with ramps in a cream sauce. It was delish, and filling without leaving me overstuffed. For drinks, I had the Chicago, which had rum and port and lemon juice and something I'm forgetting. Bret had the Lost Year, an absinthe mixed drink that came in a teeny tiny port glass.

We timed it perfectly to get down to the Foggy Bottom Metro station and take a shuttle to the Kennedy Center. The shuttle is a free and super easy option, and there seemed to always be one waiting when we needed it. We arrived with about 20 minutes till curtain, so it was perfect. I loved the light fixtures in the Center; they look like earrings!

On Thursday, we took it a little easier and just had a great hibachi lunch at Tokyo Japanese Steak House, which was really nice. Hibachi is always fun, don't you think? I hadn't been to a hibachi place in probably four years and now I can't remember why! We made a quick stop at our favorite shop in Old Town Alexandria, Red Barn Mercantile, and then packed it in to head home.

It was a fabulous little visit, but my favorite part has to be that both nights, we stayed up till 5 a.m. talking with Katie, reading old live journal entries about our previous trips to see Broadway shows and giggling. So fun! 

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