A Capitol week!

I had the best intentions of being really on top of things this week with all the travel posts I planned on putting up, but as usual I've been distracted by work, books, laundry, sleep, and starting "Game of Thrones"/finishing "Bachelor in Paradise" with the roomies. OOPS. Delayed gratification builds character, friends - really, I'm doing you all a favor. 

I spent last weekend and most of this week in Washington, DC for a work conference - and the ever-fabulous Kaitlin was willing to join me for a quick weekend adventure before the conference started! I planned on taking a red-eye Friday night that left San Francisco at 11pm and arrived in Baltimore at 7am. Imagine my horror when Laura dropped me off and, at bag drop, I was greeted with this news: 

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I was CRANKY, campers - I'm not a late-night person anymore, I had never taken a red-eye, and I was already exhausted from a super frantic week at work. What's a girl to do? First, buy some totally unnecessary but happiness-enhancing new perfume (I've gotten legit a dozen compliments on my choice, Jo Malone's Red Roses!). Then, hit the bar for the trifecta: bourbon, champagne, and books, duh. 

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After a few further delays, the most hellish ride in the back row of an airplane from the 90s with a child next to me, and zero sleep + another whole book, I landed in Baltimore and finally found this girl!

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We hadn't seen each other since my trip to Boston for the Shamrock Series in November of 2015 - I can't believe it had been that long, and weirdly, it didn't feel like it had been. Kait is the kind of friend with whom I can fall right back into our usual habits and rhythms - our inside jokes are never forgotten, our witty repartee is always fresh, and we have remarkably similar priorities for our time together. Namely, bottomless brunch. DC does an amazing thing in that they offer prix-fixe bottomless food AND alcohol at brunches, and we hit up Agora in Logan Circle for ours. Bottomless Mediterranean food and mimosas that, somehow, contained less and less orange juice as brunch wore on? Definitely recommend, friends. 

After brunch, we took a long digestive/exploratory stroll around Logan Circle down toward the monuments, and Kait came up with an amazing game: statue selfies! Below, a few faves, with Webster (of unknown origin/significance, but NOT the dictionary guy!) and my BOY Lafayette - he's taking this horse by the reins. 

The ultimate, however: the statue outside the National Geographic museum. OMG, A SHARK!

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Before we knew it, we had stumbled on this dump:

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We seriously didn't realize we were on Pennsylvania Avenue until we walked right into the barricades and were like "wait is this the White House? It's totally the White House." So we did what cool kids do and took a selfie. 

Honestly, I was surprised by how chill things were around #1600...with all the focus on DACA we had expected much more hubbub and maybe a protest or two. The crowd around the gates was comprised mainly of selfie-taking tourists, the lone exception a "Free Tibet" placard and this guy, which we spotted abandoned halfway to the Treasury:

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We had the best intentions of walking all the way to the Washington Monument, but the funny thing about 555-foot-tall obelisks is that they look deceptively close and tend to recede as you think you're approaching them. Instead of hoofing it all the way over, we surrendered, called an Uber outside the back of the Treasury Building, and headed back to our hotel for free happy hour. 

And here's where I totally become a shitty blogger: from the point when we took the photo above to the point when we took the photo below, I didn't take a single picture. What happened? We met up with our friend Michele from Notre Dame, who is an assistant principal in a DC school, and Kait's friend Andy from her Bmore days, who had recently moved to DC from LA. 

We had beers at Drafting Table, then met up with Michele's boyfriend and a few of Andy's friends to go to ChurchKey and watch the ND-Georgia game. After a few more beverages, a quick, late dinner, and freezing our asses off until the third quarter, we headed home to the comforts of our hotel, the Kimpton Rouge. 

A quick aside re: the Kimpton Rouge: Kait and I are pretty sure the theme was "bordello chic." The walls, as you can see below, were upholstered in red leather. There were twenty statues of the same coyly naked woman outside the entrance. The minibar was stocked with a "pleasure kit" (details NSFblog). And the suite we stayed in came with these bad boys: 

If THAT sight doesn't put you in the mood for romance, I don't know what will. Much hilarity was had. 

On Sunday, we slept in a bit and walked over to Dupont Circle for coffee and a breakfast sandwich, admiring street art along the way...

...and then, being true adults, we headed to the Smithsonian National Zoo! 

Not pictured: bonding with elephants from ten feet away; pandas taking the most adorable waddle around their enclosure ever; a baby orangutan that absolutely made my entire day with his antics. 

Pictured: a lioness brunch squad, and a golden tamarind aka the pet that I never knew I wanted (and definitely should never actually get to have). We spent over three hours walking around and people/animal-watching - it was an absolute blast. 

From the zoo, we walked to Adams-Morgan for a street festival, featuring the best "vegan" brownies I've ever had and plenty of art, street vendors, and live music. We met Michele again at El Tamarindo for jalapeno margaritas and pupusas, which are basically little tortilla Hot Pockets from heaven. Before we knew it, Kait had to head to Reagan to catch her flight and I had to head to National Harbor for my conference! 

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The fun wasn't done, though - we were invited by our independent consultants, Baker Tilly, to join them in their suite for a Nats game on Tuesday night! We started the evening in the Bullpen, an old shipping yard-turned outdoor beer garden...

...headed in with a gorgeous sunset and perfect weather to enjoy...

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...and got comfy in our suite, with pulled pork nachos, crab dip, a fondue fountain, and a fridge full of beer, wine, and champagne. Our view was incredible - the game, not so much (an 8-0 victory by the Braves). Highlight, for me? The Presidents' Race...I don't think I've laughed that hard or lost my shit quite so loudly with delight in a VERY long time. I tried to take a video, but I was laughing so hard that, on watching it back, it's near-impossible to tell what's actually going on. BOO! 

All that remained by Wednesday was to wrap up the conference and head to Dulles, where I very nearly bought my dad one of each of these sweet shirts: 

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...scored an empty middle seat...

...endured a terribly turbulent but undeniably pretty landing in San Francisco courtesy of Karl the Fog...

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...and made it home in time for the Bachelor in Paradise finale, two pounds of cupcakes, and plenty of bubbly to celebrate the second anniversary of this girl's twenty-ninth birthday! 

Excellent DC weekend - I'll definitely be back!