Sunday, June 30, 2013

google reader >>> bloglovin'

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GFC is going away TOMORROW! If you want to follow this blog it is super easy through bloglovin! I promise it is such a wonderful site which allows you to categorize your blogs between; food, fitness, lifestyle, fashion, etc. (Which I LOVE)... and it will import your google reader blogs with just one click so you don't have to manually switch over. Be sure to do it today before it's too late!!

Friday, June 28, 2013

weekend getaway: Washington DC

We spent all week making the perfect trip based on recommendations from friends. We were able to get in everything we were planning on and it was a really fun and exhausting trip. You could spend days and days just looking at all the amazing free museums - so to only have less than 20 waking hours was a challenge. We will definitely need to go back and hit some of the things we missed such as; the DC LDS temple, National Cathedral (it was on our list but it was over an hour in travel time plus it was the only thing that costs money (and we're cheap) plus there are no metro's that go close to it so it was either @$35 in a cab or a bus.. I've never rode on a public transportation bus - so I was a little worried we'd mess up or that it would take longer than planned, etc. BUT we were REALLY sad because we both really wanted to go...), and all the museums we missed.


5:00 am Rise and Shine

6:30 am Leave apartment for the Bolt Bus

7:30 am Off to Washington DC 

9:30 am Stop in Delaware and Taylor got me a surprise treat while I was waiting in the long line for the bathroom...
Seriously the freshest, warmest, amazing cinnabon I've ever had! 
While on the bus Taylor studied investment banking stuff and I started on the thank you notes.

11:50 am Arrive in DC, buy unlimited Metro day pass

12:15 pm Lunch at Nando's (recommended by Talyn)
Seriously fantastic food! Amazing chicken with special Peri-Peri hot sauce, mashed potatoes from heaven, and the yummiest garlic bread I've ever had. 

We stumbled upon this fun street of random buildings.

1:45 pm Air and Space Museum - on the way we passed the Smithsonian Castle and some gardens full of beautiful flowers. 

(it was Taylor's turn to carry the bag..)

 It was amazing to see the advancements in technology. The fact that we can even fly is incredible.

Top Right: How we used to document "bird's eye view" of the Earth. If it wasn't for this idea we'd not have google earth - which I literally use multiple times a day. Can you imagine sitting in an un-shielded airplane leaning over the side taking a picture? Crazy amazing. 

Bottom Left: The Wright Brother's airplane. Laying backwards and paddling with their hands and feet. Geniuses. 

I just liked the comparison - we first started flying in saran wrapped looking bicycles and then we advanced to a rocket that can shoot into space!

There was a movie showing the take-off of the first rocket ship - seriously incredible! We also learned that astronauts have awesome suits that cost up to $15 million. The part of the helmet that shields the eyes are made out of 18kt gold, it reflects the sun the best apparently. The suits cost up to $15 million each. 

4:45 pm Headed to the Pentagon (no pictures allowed) - it is HUGE, I mean GINORMOUS! 

photo via

5:30 pm Arlington Cemetery  

It was extremely sobering to see all these headstones - there were SO many, everywhere you look and the place is huge. We were extremely hot and tired so we only went to two destinations within the Cemetery.

 The Kennedy's

 They had Marine's out marching in front of the grave the entire time, it was really a neat experience.

Tomb of the Unkowns

7:00 pm Traveled to the Capitol Building and the Library of Congress - breathtaking buildings 

 So many beautiful flying flags.

 The Library of Congress - complete with sculpture fountains!

We both LOVED the Capitol Building and thought it was simply stunning... so we took a lot of pictures.. 

 From the first view it took our breath away. 
P.S. if you didn't know, Taylor loves architecture.. before he decided on a career in finance he actually wanted to be an architect/engineer.

 photo credit (cool reflection) goes to Taylor! 

8:30 pm Dinner at Good Stuff Eatery (recommended by Talyn and Jenn) 

We all know I'm a foodie.. I love good food. And this did not disappoint. If you know me you also know I never eat hamburgers. It is literally my last choice always. And sometimes I just don't eat if that is all that is offered. I don't know why - It's just been that way since I can remember... but this burger was divine. I got the Spike's Sunnyside, {Cheese, Bacon, Fried Egg} it was pretty much like a champ from Ernie's. It was great! Not to mention the fries - I am SUCH a sucker for fries... These were flavored with fresh  thyme, rosemary and sea salt. Yum!! *FYI: If you go you can DEFINITELY share the large fry, it's more like extra extra extra large.* AND last but not least the heavenly shakes. Fresh peach and toasted marshmallow were our choices. *You should definitely get your own large shake!!* We were stuft and we came no where close to finishing our fries. 

9:30 pm Walked around the WWII Memorial (I read online that it is better at night)

 Another beautiful monument - DC has done a really great job. Everything is so beautiful - from the architecture to the landscape and everything in between!

 Too bad the Washington Monument was covered in scaffolding and construction.

10:30 pm Finally made it to our hotel - We were COMPLETELY exhausted with the most tired feet and legs we've both ever had. It was so nice to get to the room and soak and massage our feet... I did accidentally misplace the hotel lotion bottle with the conditioner bottle and used that on our feet instead - oops! Haha we didn't discover that until morning when Taylor found lotion instead of conditioner in the shower.. 

Sadly I wouldn't recommend our hotel (Beacan Hotel) if you are wanting a comfortable night's sleep and are picky about your beds/pillows - which apparently I am. The bed was very hard (and I like hard-ish beds) and the pillows were about a foot high. Literally it was more like a back rest - I wish I had a picture of me trying to lay on them because my body was laying flat but my head was propped up pretty much perpendicular to my body. Granted - I do sleep on the tiniest pillow known to mankind. I like to sleep almost flat. I literally had my granny question if my pillow could even be considered a pillow. So... let's just say my neck and back hurt super bad in the morning {and carrying our bag with us all day, both days didn't help - yes, everything we packed we had to haul with us since who has time to go back and forth between a hotel especially when check-in is at 3pm and check-out is at noon?} - I actually usually pack it with me when I go places, but obviously for this quick trip it wasn't an option. 

hotel pillow vs. home pillow - literally one of the hotel pillows was at least 4 times the height of my pillow..


8:00 am alarm goes off.. snooze

9:00 am more alarms go off.. snooze

9:30 am finally get out of bed to still sore feet and pouring rain - needless to say.. we didn't wake up on the right side of the bed and were worried we wouldn't get everything done that we wanted to (due to sleeping in and the rain..)

11:00 am walking around to find breakfast/lunch (the rain magically stopped!! said it would just get worse throughout the day - it also said there was a 30% chance of rain when it was 100% pouring so..) and taxi to the Holocaust Museum.

12:00 pm look around the Holocaust Museum and get ticket for the main exhibit

1:00 pm walk to Jefferson Memorial as we wait for our time to see the Holocaust exhibit

 Everything here is SO big and beautiful!! I miss this type of architecture..

 Declaration of Independence!

The Washington Monument

1:45 pm the saddest, most amazing exhibit I've ever seen - no pictures allowed. Seriously it almost made me sick at moments because what happened at the Holocaust was so wrong and terrible. It was a very moving exhibit and extremely well done. There really aren't words to describe it! Just go someday.

2:30 pm rush in a taxi to the Lincoln Memorial

3:30 pm hit up the White House and passed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and almost died of heat stroke and sore broken legs/feet... We were so lucky that the sun came out and it stopped raining the whole rest of the day before we spend money on umbrella's AND with our couple taxi rides and DC being not terribly busy with tourists we were able to hit everything on our list - even with our 3 hour delay this morning!

 A very unique, sad, and amazing memorial.

 we passed this amazing building - lovely architecture!

 We made it to our final destination of the trip - visiting Mr. President. 

 It's actually smaller and not quite as cool as I was expecting... but still awesome!

5:00 pm Metro to Union Station and dinner at Potbelly's!! (Too hungry for pictures - but yummy!! sandwich with hot peppers and turkey. AND the oreo shake was really good... and so was the chocolate chip oatmeal cookie..)

6:30 pm Bolt Bus back to NYC = finally resting for 4 hours. We were at first crammed into the last available seats that were next to each other - which happened to be the last row that had 3 seats. This big guy on standby came and sat by us (by the window - I loved all the leg room in the aisle). Then the driver asked the big guy to move up front because he wanted both Taylor and I to move into the window and middle seats so two girls who were 20 minutes late could share the aisle seat... um... seriously? There wasn't even an armrest between the middle and aisle seats so that would mean 3 of us crammed into two seats.... Well apparently the bus driver finally realized he was being ridiculous and didn't let them come on the bus - since policy says that if you're late and your seat is given to stand by you are out of luck.. SO long story short we ended up with the entire back 3 seats to ourselves.. It was great!!

11:00 pm finally back in our city. Our feet were killing still (I really don't know how it was possible to hurt that much) and the trains were under construction by our house so it took longer than normal to finally get to our home. But we made it.

All in all the weekend was super great! We loved the city and were so grateful to see all the beautiful sights. Everyone should visit the Nation's Capital once in their life. It is full of culture and beauty. Everything is free so it makes for a financially friendly trip! Seriously all you pay for is transportation and food. We actually came up under the budget we had set for the trip. We are so grateful for the opportunity we had to travel to DC for the weekend!