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Monday, December 1, 2014

A Few Reflections on the DC Trip

I lived in the DC area for about six years, so my relationship with the place is a little complicated.  On the one hand, I love all that DC has to offer, sometimes regret having left, and often scheme about how I can live there again.  On the other hand, I know very well from my own experience that unless you have the money to live within reasonable proximity to reliable mass transit and cultural attractions, the aggravations of urban living will often outweigh the benefits.  Personally, I was surprised and dismayed to find out exactly how much money would be needed.

Anyway, since I lived in the area for so long, I wasn't really up for taking pictures of all the usual attractions, although it was a treat to see the ones that we got to see.  I'm delighted to see the Washington Monument without all the post-earthquake scaffolding, for instance.

One thing that was new and that I deemed photo-worthy in my post-travel haze was our hotel for the first night.  As I mentioned in my previous post, we had all sorts of travel snafus.  This resulted in various hotel plans falling through--we were scheduled to spend the night in NY the day we arrived in DC, for instance.  We made a last minute hotel booking in DC, and ended up with what was billed as a boutique hotel.  I don't believe we had ever stayed in a boutique hotel before, so I was curious about what that would entail.  In the case of this particular hotel, it meant funky decor, a leopard print bathrobe, and Pez in the minbar.

I resisted eating from the minibar despite the unusual goodies inside.

I thought I'd provide a few lists pertaining to the trip, rather than run through all the details.

Best Foods Eaten

  • Oysters at Hank's Oyster Bar!
  • Cardamon gelato at Pitango Gelato
  • Breakfast from the Whole Foods breakfast bar
  • Indian food at Shangri-La in Bethesda
  • Kale salad at Nando's
  • Donuts at GBD
  • A large breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien, including a goat cheese and mushroom omelette, a green salad on the side, and bread with chocolate spread
Regrets and Disappointments
  • The top regret is definitely not getting to see any of our DC-area friends.  I think it was smart to not try to make plans under the circumstances (especially considering our travel difficulties), but there are some people I would have loved to have seen.
  • Not having time to go to Rockville for some of the wonderful Chinese food there.
  • Not having more time in DC in general for any number of things.
  • Finding that a Malaysian restaurant we had enjoyed for years had closed.
Non-Exhaustive List of Stuff Brought Back to Kazakhstan
  • Sugar-free peanut butter from Whole Foods!
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder and powdered sugar for flourless chocolate cookies I want to make.
  • Staplers with staples.  I spent nearly half an hour attempting to staple forty quizzes together recently, and decided I needed better office supplies than what I could find locally.
  • Folders.  See above.
  • Cough syrup
  • All kinds of chocolate--Ritter and Milka chocolate from the Frankfurt airport, an Endangered Species chocolate bar from Whole Foods, and chocolate-covered ginger from Trader Joe's.
  • Chamomile and white ginger pear teas.
  • Warm tights that are long enough for me.
  • Dried mango
We're looking forward to a longer trip to the US later this month!

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