Friday, March 16, 2012

DC vacation

I'm finally sitting down to write. This isn't going to be the most exciting blog post. I'm burnt out. It's been a rough week. I have about a month left of grad school, by then, I am pretty sure my brain will be mush. So, here it goes: the recap of our trip.

We left Friday morning, and got to DC around 9:30 am. We dropped the bags off at the hotel (the Hotel Palomar, which I highly recommend), got lost for a moment, then ended up at Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe in DuPont Circle for breakfast. From here, we hopped on the metro and spent the rest of the morning/midday at Arlington. This was my second time visiting the cemetery, and if you've never been, I highly recommend it. You can spend an entire day there and still not see everything. An absolute must is the Changing of the Guard ceremony. If it doesn't move you to chills, there's something wrong with you!

We checked into the hotel, napped, then headed over to Chinatown to eat dinner. When we got off the metro, we were stopped from crossing the street almost immediately. Within about two minutes, DC police had the road shut down and Secret Service was flying overhead in helicopters with sniper rifles aimed below. What the hell was going on?

Uh, the PRESIDENT drove by. That's what was going on. He had his window rolled down and waved at us! I almost died. Of course, it all happened so fast, we barely had time to take photos. Joey managed to snap one photo of the President's limo.

Needless to say, I was giddy the rest of the night. I've never been so close to a president before! We had a great meal at Matchbox Chinatown, and then walked the very long trek over to see some of the sights at night.

The next day, we spent the morning at the Newseum - another must see in DC. I could have spent all day here. They have some fantastic, interactive exhibits. It's one of the few places that you have to pay to get into, but it was well worth the money. After the Newseum, we walked back to see the sights during the day, including the Vietnam Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial.

We were so exhausted after all the walking that we didn't do much at night except EAT and DRINK, first at the hotel, then at Marvin DC. The downside of consuming all that wine was my inability to see the chair in the hotel room after stumbling back from the bathroom. It was my little toe versus the chair leg, and the chair leg won. Result? Tears and a broken pinky toe for Katie. (I still can't wear close-toed shoes at this point.)

Saturday was rough because of my toe. We hobbled around the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of Natural History in the morning until I simply couldn't walk anymore. Then, we hobbled over to a great local bar, Penn Quarter Sports Tavern, to watch Florida (my alma mater) and Kentucky (Joey's favorite team) play in the SEC basketball tournament. My foot was thankful for the two hours of rest at the bar and the bloody mary to take a little bit of the edge off the pain.

After a quick mid-afternoon nap, we decided to cancel dinner plans. We had reservations at a nice seafood restaurant, but it was across town and I couldn't wear sneakers. And there was no way my foot could have made it into my heeled boots. Instead, we walked across the street and had a great Italian dinner at Vento, and then went back to the hotel to watch a movie (Crazy, Stupid, Love - so cute!) and crash early.

Sunday was our departure day, but it was also the day I was looking forward to: brunch with my very best IF friends! While I packed up our things at the hotel room, Joey ran down to the ATM to get cash out for my cab rides to and from brunch. It was then we realized our cards were shut down. We found out once we returned home that the bank placed a freeze on them because of recent ATM fraud in the area. Overall, we spend about four hours on the phone trying to get the issue resolved. Joey works at the bank, and he called everyone he could think of. Even his boss, a vice president, couldn't release the hold. It just kept going right back on our cards! It was the most stressful situation I've ever been in: stuck in a different city, hundreds of miles from home, with very little cash and no working cards.

I tried not to let it ruin my day, but it resulted in me not getting to spend as much time as I would have liked with my friends. The time we did get to spend together was great! We had an incredible brunch on the water at Sequoia, and we talked and joked as if we'd all been doing this for years. I wish I had a chance to spend more time with them on my trip. My vow is to get up to Philly in the next year to see my family and to have a reunion with these amazing ladies!

Overall, I'd say the trip was a success. We even got a chance to see some of the cherry blossoms in bloom, thanks to the warmer than usual weather. The card situation did put a damper on things, though. (The bank did apologize, and because of Joey's boss's status, they are looking at different policy and communication changes to ensure this type of thing doesn't happen again.) The one theme on this trip? We both kept saying how we hoped this was our last child-free vacation. Only time will tell, I guess.

More to come in a post tomorrow about my post-trip doctor's appointments, and explain why it's looking increasingly likely that I will need a surgery this year after all.


Dawn said...

Sounds like so much fun! I saw President Clinton once at Arlington. It was so exciting.

It is so nice you got to meet some bloggers. What fun!

So sorry to hear you might need surgery!

Rach said...

So cool the president drove by!! Great pictures.

Jenny said...

I just started reading your blog, and I want to let you know that your story touches me. Thank you for bravely sharing the highs and lows of your journey, and for fighting for all of us. You are an amazing woman, and you will be a wonderful mother. Sooner than later, I hope.

Tammy said...

Your trip sounds great, minus the card fiasco! I loved that movie, by the way. So cute, and pretty unpredictable, I thought. I'm really sorry to hear you might need a surgery this year. You deserve a surgery-free decade, at the very least!

Lollipop Goldstein said...

Next time you come, please, please, please let me know.

I love Sequoia. It has been so many years since I've been there that I had forgotten about it. said...

I just wanted to tell you (again) how much I enjoyed meeting you, spending time together, and catching up. It was truly the highlight of my month. It's funny .... you were exactly who I thought you would be in person - and that's awesome :)

Rebecca said...

Your poor toe!!!

I LOVE Kramerbooks!! Such an awesome place.

I have an incredibly blurry picture of Obama in his limo speeding by me, too -- after a rally before the '08 election where we'd been WAY too far back to actually see him during the rally. My friends and I (three of whom were guys) MAY have squealed like teenagers for the next hour or so that "he waved at me!!!" :)

So glad that the trip was good all in all -- even with the issues.