Travel Guide: Washington, D.C. & Baltimore, MD

A few months ago, hubs & I were trying to decide where we wanted to spend one of his rare vacations. We wanted somewhere not too far away, as to not waste valuable vacation time, and still warm in October. We decided on Washington, D.C. He had received his bachelors in Baltimore, MD and masters in D.C. so he had wanted to take me there for some time now.

By no means do I think I am a travel expert, but this is just we happened to do on our trip!

Washington D.C. Museums/Sites:

Our first stop was the National Gallery of Art. I said to my husband, “Why are we here? We don’t like art.” We left after 15 minutes. But outside this museum was the…

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden

I loved this piece! It’s called House I by Roy Richtenstein. “The house uses optical illusion to play with perspective. To appreciate the full effect, walk at a steady rate along the arc of the sidewalk that runs in front of and nearly perpendicular to the sculpture, with your head turned to one side, facing the sculpture. The house will appear to be spinning in space, like the “Wizard of Oz” house.” – From Wikipedia because it’s the best source ever.

Pretty cool but you can’t touch anything in the sculpture garden…or so the signs say…

National Museum of Natural History

e8a8cdfc-21f9-479e-ae49-73204b8aad02DINOSAURS!!!! Ahhhh! Got the best T-rex slippers from here, but they’re not too comfortable and they kind of have me tripping over myself, but…worthhhhh it! No pain, no gain even if it means falling flat on my face.

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Reenacting the scene from “The Lion King” where all the animals bow down before Simba.
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Just hanging with an old relative

We spent a decent amount of time here. The gems and minerals exhibit was interesting with the millions of dollars in jewelry there. The minerals just remind me of Hank from “Breaking Bad” and his mineral collection, but most people like to refer to them as rocks.

National Museum of African American History & Culture

This is a gorgeous museum recommended by a friend to us just the night before. You could probably spend the whole day here. The history portion of he museum dates back to the 1400s and you travel from the bottom floor up through to current history. Other areas of the museum include an exhibit dedicated to Oprah because she did donate $21 million so obviously she gets her own hall. “You get a car! You get a car! You get a carrrrr aHHHH!”

But looking at the online map, this is supposedly a changing exhibit. I love Oprah and definitely grew up watching her every weekday at 4pm after school with my mom. She’s a baller. There’s also other galleries containing exhibits on African American arts, music and more. You do need to book tickets even though it’s free entry. This is because it is the newest Smithsonian museum and has garnered a lot of interest.

Reflecting Pool

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The walk among the trees to the Lincoln Memorial is nice. The pool was dirty. No dipping my feet in the water today.
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Lincoln memorial

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Lincoln is my fav. I remember dressing up as him for some history presentation. I tied a ponytail under my chin to make a beard…

WWII Memorial

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Gorgeous, I know. Oh sorry, you were talking about the memorial. Oh ok.

National Air and Space Museum

Meh. I was impressed with all the models of rockets and airplanes when I came here as a kid but not anymore. We were done with this place pretty quickly. We were also just tired by this point. We had hit the 20,000 step mark.

Washington, D.C. Food & Drink

We basically travel places to eat and drink well. That’s what we tend to splurge on…although I think we need to plan more activities during trips that don’t involve consumption. We wish we could have eaten at more restaurants but our stomaches can only fit so much food, sadly.

Zaytinya

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A friend recommended this place. We loved it so much, we went two days in a row. This was probably the best hummus I’ve ever had in my life. The pita bread is amaze too.

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The cucumber yogurt cold soup is probably my favorite thing on the menu. It’s basically the best raita (Indian yogurt) ever.

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Don’t order anything with chicken- I am very particular about my chicken. It has to be all white meat. I don’t want any cartilage, fat or any junk in it. I had tried the chicken ____ and it was half junk. I basically didn’t eat it. The fries are great. Falafel on point.

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Adana (lamb) kebab was also yum (ordered by hubs but I tried it. I’m not a big lamb eater).

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There’s so much yummy in this picture
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Turkish Delight-
walnut ice cream, yogurt mousse, honey gelée, orange-caramel sauce, caramelized pine nuts

Milkbar

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Oh-ho-ho *drool*. So hubs convinced me to go here for breakfast…great influence, I know. He had a smoothie plus a cookie. Thank goodness they did have a breakfast option of breads. I ordered the egg and cheese one. It was delicious. I also picked up the garbage can cookie. I wasn’t too impressed. Husband’s smoothie was on point though.

Milkbar is located in CityCenter if you’re looking for some high-end shopping.

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Rasika

We met a few friends at Rasika. The wife is an old college friend of mine. Her husband is an oncology fellow. We all had plenty to catch up on so that was a really nice time. The reviews on yelp were exceptional but I don’t think it was that amazing but maybe we needed to try more than two dishes plus naan. I definitely feel like Darbar in Montreal is much better than this joint to fulfill our Indian food cravings. I wish I could have some Darbar flown to me right now.

Rose’s Luxury

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Rose’s Luxury is a Michelin Star Restaurant. If you don’t know what that is, look it up. I didn’t know until I met my huge foodie husband. The interior of the restaurant is very cute!

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When ordering, we couldn’t decide on a second pasta dish so the waiter said he’d surprise us. I hesitantly agreed. I was not excited about a surprise dish because I like to know that what I am ordering will be something I will enjoy. But of course, I was overjoyed when he brought us cacio e pepe. We had been jonesing for the cacio e pepe as seen on Yelp but hadn’t see it on the menu. The Cacio e pepe is off the menu so you do have to ask for it, FYI!!!

The creme brûlée with popcorn on top was delicious and different. They were really playing off the different textures. Everything went melodiously together. I liked it so much I recommended it to the couple next to us. I don’t normally do this because I’m screwed if they don’t like it, but they loved it.

Columbia Room

Columbia room won “Best American Cocktail Bar” in 2017. The atmosphere is really nice. The two areas (not including the tasting room) we did see were lovely and full of character.

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We were first served a punch while we waited for our bartender to grab us for our tasting.

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The idea behind the latest Columbia Room Fall Tasting Menu (2018) was this whole versus thing. By chance, we were there on the first day this new menu was served. You select one or the other drink and battle it out. Husband and I just chose one of each so we could try everything. We ended up switching a few times.

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Anything with alginate is always fun. It takes me back to Tickets Bar in Barcelona <3. The drink and bite here went together very well.

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This was a sunflower seed risotto. It was good but then it gets to be a bit too much. I wanted some actual risotto.

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I have a serious catsup phobia so the above item was unappealing.

We had about 5 drinks with the tasting menu (for the final one, they give you both). We were also given champagne as a belated celebration of my birthday. So yes about 7 drinks in about 2-3 hours. I didn’t finish everything I was given. Some were just too strong. The tasting wasn’t my favorite but you definitely get a lot of drinks out of it. We did meet a couple from Michigan that also grew up in MA so we ended up having a really nice conversation with them as well.

Shake Shack

I know it’s a chain but when we first arrived in D.C., we wanted a quick lunch and this was close to our AirBnB. I’ve had the crispy chicken sandwich before and it’s great. I was dabbling with the idea of trying their new hot (spicy) chicken sandwich but decided I should just stick to what I know I already like. I ordered it and the cashier suggested the hot version….I asked him which he liked better…the hot he said….I decided to trust him…so much regret ensued…

It was delicious and actually spicy…like too spicy for me. My nose was drippy and my tongue was burning. Meanwhile, a bee that happened to wander into the restaurant decided to join us. Great. I ate the sandwich because it was good and I was hungry but I was also dying. This also comes in an extra hot version. Beware.

Georgetown

We ventured over to Georgetown one sunny day.

Georgetown Cupcakes

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OH. MY. GAWD.

These cupcakes are so MOIST. I had the chocolate ganache then and there and it was amazing. The carrot I saved for later and it went into the fridge. Because of this, the carrot pieces were crunchy and extra cold to eat. I think this one is better eaten at room temperature and soon after buying.

Georgetown University

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We took a stroll around Georgetown University so hubs could show me around his old stomping grounds. We had started dating when he was at school here in 2011 and I was in Massachusetts. We started off long-distance and I still consider us long-distance due to his work hours haha.

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Shopping

Every store you could possibly want to shop is here. I really wanted to spend some more time here but we were tired after all the walking we did.

Baltimore, MD & Johns Hopkins University

We also ventured around Hopkins, husband’s alma mater. Ya I married a smarty pants, but so did he.

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The Elk Room

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You know you’re getting old when you walk into a bar and feel like you’re going to trip and fall because it’s so ridiculously dark. We first sat down at the dark bar and then moved over to the brighter area once a few friends arrived.

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Thuy Lyfe

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I liked the drinks here better than Columbia Room. They were much more bearable and not so overpowering with the taste of alcohol. The best drinks are the ones that don’t taste like they have alcohol in them…but then again, that’s kind of dangerous.823c8a73-ed71-422a-a78d-aabb7df27fbe

Ajumma

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Hubs is obsessed with this spot on his old Johns Hopkins campus. He’s raved about the chicken bulgogi since we met. Back when he was an undergrad, they were under a different name and half the size. The chicken bulgogi isn’t the traditional version. This is a dryer version, I believe. I’ve never had any other version. It was pretty good nonetheless especially if you’re a college kid looking for some Asian takeout.

Well, thanks for reading my blog! Until next time, ta-ta!

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P.S. We ended our D.C. trip with a wonderful message from our pilot:

“We are having some slight mechanical issues and working on resolving them. Will keep you posted.”

Ten minutes later…

“Ok our landing gear wouldn’t pop out, but it’s ok now. Don’t be alarmed by the emergency crew on the ground or any sparks you may see.”

So my husband says “It’ll be fine, it’s not exactly brain surgery” as he giggled and grinned hugely. We landed just fine but the pilot said he couldn’t steer the wheels on the ground so the plane had to be towed to the gate. I think we’re due for a nice little stay-cation next.

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