Having visitors always inspires me to find new places to explore, eat, and enjoy in DC. With the parents in town, I like to see what’s on their “to do” list and go from there. Having visitors also presents a challenge; fitting your routine into a busy agenda!
Saturday morning started with a bike ride for me. I finally took advantage of the fact that DC, in its brilliance, closes part of Rock Creek Parkway (Beach Drive) to cars on the weekends. That’s right, all you see out there are cyclists, runners, walkers, roller bladers (yes, I’m serious), strollers and the open road. It makes a huge difference to ride with the road- no narrow trails, no sudden curves/hills/potholes, and all the space you need to Zoom Zoom along. The only thing holding you back is a stoplight here and there, so proceed with caution. Other than that, I got in ~23 miles and 90 minutes of good riding. It was perfect.
Our new adventure for the day? The National Cathedral – an architectural masterpiece, less than two miles from my house, that I had yet to set foot in.
Sunday’s agenda started with our usual grocery run, and a quick session with Jillian and her shredding (ST30!), followed by another new venue for both the DC Residents (i.e. D & I) and my Mom (i.e. the self-proclaimed “news paper junkie”) – The Newseum.
First, we had to eat! I searched for a new cafe or brunch spot; with as many options as we have, it seems a shame to eat at the same place twice. We chose “Bread & Brew” because the menu online left you wanting more – Come in check out daily soup, pizza, salad and sandwich specials. Yes, I will!
I went with a classic (in my opinion) – Roasted Vegetables & Hummus sandwich, on their fresh whole-wheat bread. Filled with roasted peppers, zucchini and yellow squash, this was just a little different than any other veggie + hummus sandwich I’ve had before…
Big vegetable pieces ( I’m almost positive that’s an entire yellow pepper you see there), thick hummus and toasted wheat bread = lunchtime perfection.
We spent the whole afternoon browsing the Newseum’s floors – trust me, there is a Lot to see. It’s not free, like most of the attractions around here, but I definitely found it worth the $20. Right now there is a 9/11 exhibit, and the newest addition will cover the media surrounding Hurricane Katrina.
We ended our weekend with a favorite of ours, Founding Farmers. This counts as “new” because I’ve only ever been there for brunch. Clearly, they made their marks, because I was exited about this dinner reservation all weekend.
I chose the Mahi Mahi – a “catch of the day”, cooked with Sea Salt, Pepper & Lemon Juice. It was joined by their “Side” of the night – roasted corn, zucchini and red peppers with mashed potatoes. I’ve started to really appreciate fish, after 5 years of living on the East Coast (grow up in the desert and trust me, it will not be your first choice).
The chefs back there never disappoint; the fish was moist, flaky, full of flavor, and complemented by the sweet crunch of roasted corn. I happily polished it off (minus ~1/2 of that potato stack), and already look forward to my next visit.
How do you fit it all in with visitors – mixing Your routine with a jam-packed agenda?
I think the key is to make a few things your priorities (i.e. get up a little earlier for that workout, and do a little extra research to find fun, healthy eats), and always allow a little room for the unexpected (i.e. an afternoon Frozen Yogurt treat, or a special evening cocktail…). Or, ask your visitors to join you for a walk, run, hike, bike, etc – just another way to see the sights! 🙂
After three days of “weekend”-ing with some of my favorite people, saying hello to Monday morning was far from easy. But I’m happy to have had a weekend that fit in exercise, explorations, good healthy food, and family.