SHBFF DC VISIT + GIRL ON THE TRAIN

This past weekend I went to see my SHBFF, SH = Statehouse, and it was the perfect weekend to catch up and visit a few of my favorite places. I took Friday and Monday off for a long weekend since federal government employees celebrate Columbus Day. Oh, the irony.

I arrived in DC around lunchtime and I hopped on the Metro towards Capitol Hill South. I spent the afternoon reminiscing at the Rayburn House Office Building and distracting my friend from doing actual work. We got floor passes and made our way to the House floor.

I gave tours to constituents as a Hill intern and while eight years have since passed, I still remember a few of the facts. The American flag behind the rostrum (a fancy way of saying podium) was supposed to be wrinkled on purpose to represent America’s strife and struggles. Also, there is a bullet lodged in the ceiling above the House floor from when Puerto Rican nationalists fired onto the House Chamber in 1954. I also stopped by the famous stairs with the blood stains from that time Charles Kincaid, a reporter, shot Congressman William Taulbee of Kentucky in 1890.

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Next, we hit up Eastern Market and my favorite bookstore, Capitol Hill Books. This place is an institution and the owner is over-the-top-sassy. He has a sign behind the cash register listing the words that he considers to be mind-numbingly bad. After saying “Perfect,” he pointed to the sign and reminded me that it was one of the forbidden words. He even has notecards with spoiler alerts tucked inside the books, such as a “RON DIES” tucked inside Harry Potter. False advertising, but hilarious at the same time.

I bought a canvas bag for a fellow writer at work and a Hunter S. Thompson book for a friend. After our Hill exploring, we headed to Arlington where my SHBFF lives. We had both read Girl on the Train and decided to see the movie. Holy disturbing! Luckily, I knew the plot this time and did not do a repeat performance of me watching Gone Girl in the theater. I successfully made it without fainting, but I did have to close my eyes for the finale. I am glad I saw it, but once is enough for me.

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On Saturday we met friends for brunch before their WH Garden Tour. Hamilton is one of my favorite DC restaurants and the salmon, quinoa, and prosecco (fancy!) hit the spot. We also hit up a Goodwill since the SHBFF needed her Halloween costume. I even found a skirt in my size with pockets for $7. The best part of having lived in DC at one time, is that you no longer have to do anything touristy when you visit.

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We did run into the Renwick Gallery for a quick look since it’s free and has not been open that long. It is located directly across from the EEOB.

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That night we did dinner at Teddy and the Bully and then went to DC Improv. Teddy and the Bully was new since I have lived in the DC area and I loved the Teddy Roosevelt theme.  The bartenders were personable and they even shared their ‘secret’ sangria recipe with us. It was basically a whole lot of liquor and a few apple slices. The Brussel sprouts had a creamy sauce with a sweet peach garnish. We also split the Teddy burger and I enjoyed a PBR. ‘Merica in a meal.

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DC Improv was funny, but some of it was off color (to be expected) and there were way too many Canada jokes. Then we headed to Chinatown for an Irish pub to hear live music – the band played Led Zeppelin and we ended the night by singing Chainsmokers’ ‘Closer’ in the backseat of an Uber. I’d say it was a success.

On Sunday we went to the WH Garden Tour. We did it in the Spring last year and I liked this time of year even better. We were really excited about our matching Converse and about being together. The WH was ok too. We took it easy the rest of the day – lunch at Hawk and Dove on the Hill and then we watched the presidential debate and yelled at the television like old people.

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On Monday, we decided to explore Alexandria, VA. I notice new things every time I visit and it is like its own little world. I love the history and the character of the houses.

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Don’t tread on me!

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My dream car: think What About Bob?

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Before heading to the airport, we stopped by Gravely Point to watch the airplanes fly into Reagan. I had never been and it seemed fitting to do so before I boarded a plane. Add in a farewell meal at my favorite burger place, Good Stuff, and it was an amazing visit as always.

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They always make the Dem burger more attractive.

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As happy as I was when I touched down in Indy, DC will always hold a special place in my heart. Among the movers and shakers, are some passionate, brilliant people doing their best to make an impact.

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Xx, Libby

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