I just got back from a trip to Washington, DC, where I spent a couple of days at a conference for work followed by a couple of days visiting a friend from college. The last time I was in DC was for my 8th grade class trip, so this was a chance to rediscover the city as an adult and realize what a fantastic place it is! We hit a nice combination of tourist spots and local favorites. Of course I snapped pictures along the way, if you'd care to see.
We started out Friday night with a Nationals game. I'm not a baseball fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I was more than happy to spend a few hours enjoying our good seats (in the very last row, which was the prime spot to catch the nice breeze coming off the water), good food (from Shake Shack), and good company.
Saturday started out with a pretty latte and a Nutella scone, followed by a stroll around the Capitol Hill neighborhood and a trip to the Eastern Market farmer's market (only to be followed up the next day with a visit to the second farmer's market of the weekend at DuPont Circle).
Then it was time for some marathon sightseeing. Starting out at the Capitol building, we walked down the Mall, visited a few monuments, circled around the White House, and ended up in DuPont Circle. We made a few pit stops along the way, looking in the Folger Shakespeare Library, stopping at an Asian cultural street festival, and grabbing a couple of pick-me-ups in the form of a slice of rhubarb custard tart from Paul bakery and an iced chai from Teaism.
I was especially impressed by the fairly new World War II memorial, which I got to see for the first time.
Now I have to devote some time to gushing about the amazing food that seemed to be everywhere around the city. We ate delicious Spanish tapas at Jaleo (which I failed to get any pictures of as I was too busy feasting on things like deep fried bacon wrapped dates and fancy pigs in a blanket, with chorizo "pigs" and thinly sliced potato "blankets") and brunch at the Tabard Inn, one of the oldest inns in the city, where we began our big breakfast with their famous freshly fried donuts and whipped cream.
And saving the best for last, our final stop on Sunday was Baked and Wired in Georgetown. It's a great little cupcake and coffee shop where everything is baked by hand in small batches and the cupcakes are displayed under individual sized glass bell jars. Unlike the charming, cutesy decor of most cupcake shops, this one has a decidedly hipster vibe that carries over into the cupcake flavors offered. I tried a dirty chai cupcake (a vanilla chai spice flavored cake topped with espresso buttercream frosting). Now, I'm fully aware that what I'm about to say is a big statement coming from me, but it was one of the best, if not the best, cupcake I've ever had! Everything from the size of the cake to the amount of frosting to the the wrapper was perfectly done. Most new cupcakes I try fall somewhere in the middle of the pack--tasty, but nothing extraordinary. Baked and Wired managed to jump to the top of the heap, earning a place among my top cupcake shops of all time.
A great weekend all around. Despite being jam-packed with activity and half devoted to work, it left me feeling completely refreshed and recharged. I'll be back, DC, I'll be back.