I am back from vacation and I feel like a new woman. I hung out with my little sis (I call her D. She calls me Feather. It's just one of those things and I'd like to say it goes back to when we were 3 years old but it started in the past year so there is no excuse really.) in DC and I had an AWESOME time. And as usual, I kept forgetting about the existence of a camera. I've been trying to tell people about my trip and it goes something like this: "We went to the Smithsonian- the American History one! And we saw Dorothy's shoes and Julia's kitchen! And we went to Lush! And I got delicious smelling massage bars, and then we went to Sephora and spent, like, HOURS in there! And I got to see my sister's CGM training and that was AWESOME, and we had surf and turf dinner (that she and her friend made), and ate pizza! And there were Sudoku challenges on Facebook! And her apartment rocks and we went and bought pictures and lamps at IKEA to make it feel a little warmer and more inviting! And we stayed up until 2 in the morning playing the Wiimote games on the Wii and got really silly and I suck at shooting ducks! And I got to see her play kickball right smack in front of the Capital building!"
Sooooo, if you weren't there all of that probably sounds a little lame. And I get a lot of looks like, okay now, you did WHAT? So let me see if I can break this trip down a little so it all makes sense. Well, I'll hit the highlights so that this isn't one of those posts like GOT UP. BRUSHED TEETH. TOOK VITAMINS.
On Thursday evening I went to see my sister's kickball team play another team in front of the Capital Building, which was pretty awesome if you're from out of town. It's like, "Oh! There's the capital! Oh! There's the Washington Monument! Oh, they're chasing balls into the street again...." I'd never seen kickball before that I remember so it was pretty fun. The sun was setting and then the moon rose right over the Capital, so photographers went crazy trying to capture the perfect picture (you can see mine below). Then we went to some bar somewhere around there (I'm bad with names) for dinner and D's friend Dana patted me on the forehead because this is what she does with my sister's out of town people. I think. She might need to clear that up for me. Also: witnessed flipcup. Looks like a game some drunk person made up. (Duuuuuh.)
Ohhhh yeah, that's just with my cellphone!
Do you see the little teensy moon?
On Friiiiday we had a DEEEELICIOUS lunch with another of my sister's friends, Magda, at The Cheesecake Factory. YUM. Then we went to D's CGM training, which is really cool if you have or know someone with diabetes and pretty boring if you don't. Trust me on this: technology and science are AMAZING. This is a really fantastic piece of equipment and I'm so glad she's lucky enough to have insurance that allows her to use devices like this.
Saturday was IKEA day. We spent hours in that store. I SOOOOO wish there was an IKEA in Nashville, but it's probably better for my wallet that there isn't. I remember IKEA from when my family lived in Amsterdam a long time ago and we got furniture and household goods there. I'm pretty sure my dad still has a couple of their chairs, and I have a throw rug somewhere around here that I bought a when I was in high school. So it isn't ALL cheap crap. My sister has an IKEA comforter on her bed and I decided it must be called the Flurrfnnurgn because, well, that's just what Ikea does. (And then I had to say Flurrfnnurgn several times because COME ON that name is hilarious. While I'm talking about beds I should also mention that she has a Miralux Rapture mattress which is just about the most comfortable thing on the planet and I'm getting one ASAP. I don't know how that girl gets out of bed in the morning it is THAT COMFORTABLE.)
On Sunday I went with D and her buddy Howie to the farmer's market in Dupont Circle. WHOA. That is one nice farmer's market. It was a really beautiful day, not quite hot, and you could smell the peaches and basil and bread and salsa and although it was PACKED, it was worth it. I don't think Nashville's farmer's market quite measures up, but maybe I just haven't been on the right day and the competition from DC is steep. That night we (well, D and Howie) boiled up crab legs and pan fried steak, roasted potatoes, and cooked corn on the cob. That meal was THE BOMB. The corn tasted perfect, it was really really fresh. The peaches were also wonderful (we used a few that night in daiquiris, the rest we ate for breakfast for the next couple of days). Crab legs are way easier to cook than I ever thought they would be, the only issue was that there weren't any of those claw cracker thingies so we had to just break them apart with our hands. RRRRRRRrrrrrr. I felt very manly.
On Monday we took the Metro in to the Smithsonian Museum of American History. And here's why my sister rocks. Yes, she lives here so she can go any time she wants. So she's not a person who lingers and reads every single word of a display. She ALSO doesn't rush through and then wait around for you and make you feel all guilty. She's got good museum pacing. I totally appreciate that. I think my favorite exhibit was called "Within These Walls" which is a house that was built in the 1700s and then shipped to the museum in the 1960s because it had witnessed so much history but was slated to be demolished. The American Revolution, The Civil War, The Industrial Revolution (when it was chopped up into apartments for the immigrant mill workers, which is so cool because I just learned so much about that in July), World War 2... there was a lot going on there. Of course we had to see Dorothy's shoes and Julia Child's Kitchen (which was freaking PACKED to the gills), and an exhibit on Lincoln, and the one on the First Ladies (I've decided my sister bears a striking resemblance to a portrait of Martha Washington, at least I think that's who it was, but of course a google search just pulls up old dowdy pictures of her and that is NOT what I was comparing her to!), and we pretty much knocked people down flying through the exhibit about the flag. (Snoooooze.)
We also walked in the rain over to the White House because I'd never been that close to it. As we walked up a couple of helicopters took off. Perhaps I saw Marine One! Perhaps I saw a decoy! Doesn't matter, it was still pretty cool! Even the back of the White House is a really beautiful building. My sister wanted to steal the chandeliers, and I wanted to go swimming in the fountain. Elaborate plans were made, but not acted on. And this is why I'm not writing a post from jail tonight.
After that we had to balance all the class and culture by meeting some of D's friends at the Chinese/Japanese restaurant for cheapo beer and trivia. Fun!
On Tuesday we got to go to the Textile Museum. Unfortunately the Amish Quilt exhibit I wanted to see had closed on Sunday (NOOOO!) but we got to see it looking down from the other exhibits right as it was getting packed up. Ha HA! We were sneaky! The other textiles they had were really incredible, mostly clothing from all over the world, some of it very very old (we're talking 500 AD for some of the items from South America). It was still worth going even without the quilts. Then it was lunch at a bookstore near DuPont Circle and off to the airport.
The theme of the weekend really came down to a story my sister told me almost as soon as we left the airport Thursday. Apparently one of the her friends has a neighbor who never leaves the house, and long story very short she had been dead in her apartment for several days. And D's FAVORITE thing to say at the end of this story is, "And... she had cats." Now, we don't know for sure what happens when animals and dead people are in a low food situation, and I don't like to speculate. But my initial, and very vocal, reaction was something like, "THAT'S IT! I have to get married!" Husband scouting is now in full swing here at Chateau Heather.
I love Washington DC. I love how the public transportation is so good. The people seem to be really active and there are lots of public spaces that are well maintained. I'm now lusting after a pair of Dansko clogs for city roaming, even though I don't live in a walking sort of city.
PS As usual my clothes and everything all smelled like smoke because I have nasty smoker neighbors downstairs. My apartment complex has done pretty much everything they can to fix it, but the smell still gets in. So today it came to me in a flash of light and I finally bought an air purifier. Not one of the crazy expensive ones, but a reasonable one from Home Depot. I've had it on in the living room for most of the day and I am pretty sure it's working. Of course the main problem with living in a house that smells like cigarette smoke and that you get used to it and you can't smell it until you're gone for a while. So hopefully it really is dissipating and I'm not just accustomed to it. Does anybody have any other suggestions for how to get rid of this lingering odor? I can't even describe how much I hate it....
PPS For all of that EATING (I mean, really, there was some major eating done) I gained a pound. One measly pound. And would you like to know why? Because in DC you WALK. A lot. I remember when I lived in London it was no big deal to walk 10 city blocks to a less convenient Tube station to avoid changing trains somewhere. Boy did I forget what that was like until I was back in a major city.