Saturday, January 3, 2015

Tourism and a NYE Wedding in Washington DC

Happy New Year, you lovable bunch of SOBs! I hope your 2014 ended on a positive note and that your 2015 is already making last year look like a chump.

The past couple weeks have been mostly spent away from my computer, which has been both a nice change of pace and a much-needed break for my neck/shoulder. I left the Boston area on Saturday December 20th to head to Pittsfield for my nephew and niece's birthday party, and I stayed there through Christmas (which was lovely!) and then drove south to Connecticut for a UMass friend's wedding on Saturday Dec 27th. (Congrats Luke and Dani!!!!)

On the 28th, I drove back up to Boston, relaxed for a day, and then flew out on the morning of the 30th to head down to Washington, DC for the New Year's Eve wedding of another UMass friend, Rabbi. (His name is actually Eric, but no one calls him that, and I'm sure not going to start now.)

I arrived in DC late morning on the 30th with my friends Derek and Jrod, and we made our way via cab to our hotel - the brand new Marriott Marquis in downtown DC. The hotel was enormous, and our block of friends was more or less scattered around the 9th floor, with a few exceptions. After settling in and meeting up with a few other friends, a handful of us headed out into the blue and crisp afternoon to find some food. We wandered the streets for a little while before heading into The Laughing Man, where my Buffalo Chicken Wrap did the trick to quell my growing hangriness.

Properly fed, we headed back out into the sun to be tourists in our nation's capital. Confession time:  This was my first trip to DC, and I was absolutely oblivious to the fact that all of the touristy national sites were SO accessible from downtown. For some reason I had it in my head that they must be more on the outskirts of things. I was way off. We spent the rest of that first afternoon in DC walking allllll over the place, checking out all of these thaaangs:

- The White House
- Eisenhower Executive Office Building (which I found much more impressive than the White House itself)
- Washington Monument
- World War II Memorial
- the reflecting pool
- Lincoln Memorial
- Korean War Veterans Memorial (larger-than-life statues of soldiers frozen in action as they make their way across a garden - a scene with a lot of impact)
- Martin Luther King Jr Memorial
- We saw the Thomas Jefferson Memorial from across the water

The White House
.  ye olde white house  .
Eisenhower Executive Office Building
.  eisenhower executive office building  .
The exterior of the Lincoln Memorial
.  the lincoln memorial  .
The Lincoln Memorial
.  featuring ya boy, abe  .
Lincoln Memorial, reflecting pool, Washington Monument
.  reflecting pool and washington monument  .
Selfie at the Lincoln Memorial
.  successful selfie at the lincoln memorial  .
.  note to self:  zoom out, then snap  .
Martin Luther King Jr Memorial
.  martin luther king, jr memorial  .
Jefferson Memorial
.  thomas jefferson memorial  .
The Washington Monument
.  the washington monument  .
That night a large group of us went to City Tap House - a restaurant just a couple of blocks from our hotel that featured a great atmosphere, delicious food, and fabulous dinner service. I ordered a kale salad that was decked out with dried figs, pomegranate seeds, toasted pecans, grana padano and maple-pecan vinaigrette, and my friends nommed on mussels, pizzas, chicken & waffles, and more.

We spent the rest of the night at The Dignitary - one of the multiple bars located within the hotel itself - with a ton of others who were staying at the hotel that night (mostly the wedding party and their significant others, with a mix of random friends).

The next morning we gathered up a crew and headed out again to find breakfast food, finally landing at a place that had no breakfast menu... but they did have desserts. So... peach cobbler for breakfast, it is. Then it was off to the National Museum of Natural History, where we saw exhibits on the deep ocean, dinosaurs, insects, gem stones, and the Hope diamond. We saw some big ass insects and some other creepy things, and had this terrifying experience with a tyrannosaurus rex:

.  derek, me, scotty, jrod  .
.  it was a close call  .
Some of my favorite parts of the museum that day were the many stunning photographs of animals and the natural world. There were even a few pictures of Oregon and Washington that had me longing for the Pacific Northwest. And clearly I couldn't resist this charming fellow:

.  dose lips doe  .
.  magical moment captured by derek  .
That night was New Year's Eve wedding time! I got dolled up in a new blue dress that I'd just purchased a couple of days prior from Kohl's and wore it with dangly chain rhinestone earrings, black nylons, black closed-toe booties, a bright magenta lip and a straightened ponytail. Here's the only photo that I have of myself from that night. Naturally, it's blurry:

.  with my fwiends kara and dan  .

Rabbi and Brooke's wedding was being held at Right Proper Brewery - a spot chosen because of the bride and groom's fondness for the place. It was a really cool venue for a wedding - laid back, spacious, perfectly set up to serve drinks and appetizers to lots of people, and adorned with interesting artwork on the walls.

After a nice ceremony that culminated with the smashing of a glass and an enthusiastic "Mazel Tov!" we nibbled on apps, drank, and enjoyed dinner before turning up the music and dancing the rest of the night. Leading up to midnight, they turned on a video feed of the Times Square ball drop, and we all participated in a countdown before exchanging tons of smooches and lighting sparklers.

(I'll skip the part about me getting sick that night after the wedding. I recovered just fine, and that's the important part.)

The next morning a group of us went back to the City Tap House for a very long New Years Day brunch that actually ended up being the perfect way to end the trip. Then, with full bellies and most of us still in one piece, we exchanged goodbyes, killed the perfect amount of time in the hotel lobby, and headed to the airport to trot trot back to Boston!

Turns out that a New Years Eve wedding in Washington, DC is a right proper way to ring in the New Year. Surrounded by friends who make fabulous tourism companions by day and who all want to give you hugs and smooches at midnight... not too bad, Bail. Not too bad.

I hope you had a fun and safe New Years Eve doing whatever it is that makes you smile when the clock strikes twelve! Sleeping? High-fiving? Sparkling? Twerking? Get it.

Happy New Year!



  1. I'm glad you had a blast!! That picture of you and the chimp though ahaha. Those sights look amazing! I had no idea there was so much to see in DC.
    I was out like a light at 1130. Totally meant to stay up but in the end sleep won :P
    Happy New Year!!! Here's to 2015!

    1. The chimp won me over - those lips!! There is so much more to see in DC than we even got to - I hope to go back in the springtime. Happy New Year!

    2. BTW, have I mentioned how much I adore your photo captions? ;)

  2. I grew up in DC and love this post! I'm tired from all the sightseeing yall did and I wasn't even there lol. Happy new year!

    1. It was such a great day of walking - and the weather we had the entire week was juuuuust phenomenal. We really lucked out! Happy New Year :)

  3. I've actually never been to D.C. so I find it quite awesome that all the great places to see are so accessible. Must go some time soon. Love the photo of you and the chimp.

  4. Hey! You were in my neck of the woods!
    I'm sorry I missed you, but it looks like you had a great time!

    1. Yeah!! Your neck of the woods sure are pretty - and incredibly walkable! I can't believe how we lucked out with the weather all week. Happy New Year!


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