Fortunately for us, there were still plenty of cherry blossoms in Old Town Alexandria where we were staying. (above) They really are beautiful. Considering this is a mere 10-15 minute drive away, you’d think D.C. would still have a few hanging out for me to see though, right? Nope. This is what it should have looked like…
And had we been there a week earlier, it would have. But such is life. We still had a great time.
We decided to stay in Alexandria because my parents were in town for a few days and Old Town is such a quaint, cute little place with gorgeous brick townhouses and gas lamps lining the streets. You can walk to plenty of shops and restaurants and D.C. is just a quick Uber or metro stop away.
Pretty pink cherry blossoms right outside of our hotel…
It was chilly…much cooler and windier than what was forecasted, but we got a day or 2 of sunshine.
Some of the trip highlights:
1) Dinner at Old Ebbitt Grill, a fantastic restaurant next to the US Treasury that has been around since 1856. This is the kind of place where you will likely find politicians and celebrities- essentially a who’s who of Washington D.C. My parents have been coming here for over 40 years…
2) Newseum. Since we were only in town for a few days and have all visited the normal tourists spots, we tried to focus on exploring places that we had never been.
Newseum, a museum about news and journalism was one of our first stops. We loved it- the Pulitzer Prize photograph gallery and 9/11 gallery were my favorite exhibits. (note that this is not one of the many free museums, but discount tickets can be purchased here)
3) On the recommendation of some friends, we went to Founding Farmers for lunch. Located on Pennsylvania Avenue, Founding Farmers was one of the early adopters of the “farm to table” movement. Their food is made in house and they even distill their own spirits. All were excellent. Highly recommend if you are a foodie.
4) Seeing Ramsey Lewis live at a famous jazz club in Georgetown. While wandering the streets of Georgetown one afternoon, we walked by Blues Alley, a long-standing jazz club that has hosted many a famous jazz/blues musician (Tony Bennett, Earl Hines, Ella Fitzgerald to name a few) As fate would have it, we saw that Ramsey Lewis was in town and performing. I looooove Ramsey Lewis- he is a legend- so we bought tickets to see him a few nights later. My mom joined us…she had actually seen him perform there over 40 years ago. At 80 years old, Ramsey is still jamming…it was such a treat to see him play live.
5) International Spy Museum. While we did go to The Smithsonian’s Natural History museum (I heart the dinosaurs), my favorite museum of the trip was the International Spy Museum. LOVED it. So interactive and fascinating…great for all ages. Fun fact, there are more spies in D.C. than any other city in the world 🙂
6) Le Diplomate. Much-hyped and with good reason, the brunch at Le Diplomate was amazing. A French brasserie, the atmosphere was as good as the food. (P.S. those strawberries were soaked in champagne. Genius.)
7) The flowers all over the city. Washington, D.C. is so pretty in the spring. Yes it was cold and yes the cherry blossoms had blown away, but many of the streets were lined with colorful flowers and it was gorgeous.
8) Kevin’s highlight…escargot at Bistro d’Oc
Which happens to be located next to Ford’s Theater, where President Lincoln was shot…
9) La Tasca. We have family who live in the area who joined us for tapas and live music in Old Town. It was a lively (albeit loud) place with good food and a nice atmosphere.
Not a highlight was the snow that greeted us one morning…I definitely don’t miss living in Virginia. Snow in April. ?? Luckily there are plenty of indoor attractions in D.C. to keep a gal busy when it snows.
We got to spend a lot of time with my parents, see extended family, and visit some new sites in a great city. It was a fun little getaway 🙂