Thursday, September 22, 2011

We Went to DC! And Shane Got Married!

When I moved to DC for graduate school, I didn't know a soul. I met a few lovely ladies in classes, but they went home to Texas and Nevada for the summer. Shane was pretty much my first friend there. He went above and beyond as a friend (I'll never be able to tell you how many drinks he paid for, knowing that I couldn't really afford them), introduced me to his friends, and made it so that I finally felt at home in DC.

So when he told me that he was getting married, there was no way that Mike and I were going to miss it! We decided to drive down a few days before the wedding, so that we could have a mini-vacation, and that was a great idea. Besides, Mike had never been to DC, so it was my time to play tourist again, and I was really looking forward to it.

Mike's favorite part, I think, was either the metro ("It's like we're in a movie!"), or the goldfish that they brought to our room. I'm not sure.

We left for DC a little later than we had planned, which was fine because we avoided rush hour. The drive was one I had taken many times when I lived in DC, and it was a nice bit of nostalgia. Especially that one rest area on the Ohio turnpike. GROSS.

Yes, the animals came with us. Yes, all of them.
Yes, I am aware that we have issues.

Me and the Garmin are totally in a fight though, as the bitch told us to stay on the Beltway when I knew that we should take the GW Parkway, and GUESS WHO WAS RIGHT, GARMIN? Thanks for the hour-long traffic jam in rush hour, GARMIN.

But when we finally arrived at the hotel, all was forgotten. It was gorgeous:

The animals liked it, too.

After unpacking and relaxing, we walked two blocks to Red Mei, one of my favorites in Old Town Alexandria. We sat in the window, people-watching as we decompressed from the trip, and returned to the hotel early. Mike passed out almost immediately (in the kick-ass king sized bed!), and my darling Merrick walked the few blocks from her house and we sat in the lobby of the hotel, catching up.

Oh, and she was just about nine months pregnant at the time. This is her now:

We slept in on our first real day of vacation, and it was AWESOME. I mean, we didn't roll out of bed until 10, you guys. We had a tour scheduled for the afternoon, so we metroed in to DC and grabbed a quick meal at Union Station.

From there, we strolled around Capitol Hill, checking out the changes, and stopping by my old apartments. I still can't believe that I lived in that shitbox on 4th Street. I don't think that Mike was too impressed, either.

Remember my bitch of a landlord who wouldn't fix our door even though it didn't shut all the way and snow was getting in? Yeah, she was the worst.

I'd never taken a tour of the Capitol before - at least, not with someone other than my father. And OH SWEET GOD, I wish my dad had been there for this tour, because I was ready to punch our guide in the throat. He was absolutely awful, always sidestepping questions yet never really answering them. Then he got into a bit of a "discussion" with a British tourist who wanted to talk about the cowardice of the French. It was... weird. But now Mike has been to the US Capitol.

We hit up Austin Grill in Old Town for an early dinner and then Mike went to watch baseball or something. Kristen escaped Arlington for the evening, and she and Merrick and I went shopping. As you do.

The rest of the trip was fun, but extremely tiring. I forgot how incredibly taxing it is to be a tourist. We hit up a few museums, saw the sights, ate some great food, and generally exhausted ourselves to the point of idiocy.

I mean, can you be more awesome than this?
The answer is no. No you cannot.

This is Grant. He was in our minibar. We decided to keep him. Mike named him Grant because he has awesome facial hair like our 18th president.

Look, the White House!

Look, the Old Executive Office Building!

Look! Grant is at the Washington Monument!

Coffee at Peregrine.

Mr. Happy Dinosaur hanging out with
Dickens and Dumas at my favorite bookstore.

Mike and the animals watch the Michigan football game.

Wisenheim is a coffee snob, fyi.

And OMG, you guys! I almost forgot to tell you about the best part! Our hotel brought us a goldfish to keep us company:

His name was Jon.
I mean, seriously, could the hotel be any awesomer?

Sunday was the day of the wedding. It was scheduled for a little later in the afternoon, and it was our last day of vacation before the long drive home, so we thought (I thought) that it would be an absolutely grand idea to go to Arlington National Cemetery so that Mike could see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and other assorted sights.

Y'all, that place is HILLY. I don't know the total distance that we actually covered, but by the time we got back to the hotel, it felt like hundreds of miles. And before we knew it, we were getting ready for the wedding, held at River Farm - the headquarters of the American Horticulture Society.

Shane and Katie's wedding was gorgeous and simple. The details made it one of the sweetest weddings I've ever attended, and seeing so many friends made it a fun social event. Katie was absolutely stunning in a simple, flowing gown, and Shane was dapper (Dapper. How often does anyone get to use that word? Dapper.) in a pale yellow suit.

Thanks for welcoming me back, DC. I hope to see you again soon!


Waayers said...

Haha! That license plate is awesome. That totally looks like something you would have.

Heather said...

waayers - Now I want one! But Michigan's plates are expensive and I don't think that any of them feature good animals... Okay, there is one called "Wildlife Habitat" and it has a loon, but loons are not ferocious bears now, are they?