30 Hours in Washington, D.C.

You guys. I pulled off an amazing surprise this weekend.

That I actually managed to pull it off is something of a feat. Even at 28, I’m the girl who wants to give you your Christmas present early because I can’t wait. I scoop myself on my own big news because I just have to tell you. (I am, however, decent at keeping others’ secrets. Blame the Catholic guilt there.)

When I saw my lovely friend Lindsay in Maine this summer, we talked about how she was going to be running the Marine Corps Marathon. I told her I’d think about coming down to watch her that weekend and then sort of forgot about it. Until earlier this week, when I realized I’d feel like a really crappy person if my best friend who lives 6,000 miles away (in paradise) was going to be 250 miles away running a marathon and I didn’t go watch her.

So Thursday afternoon, I made a gametime decision that not only would I go down to DC, but I would surprise her! I made plans to take a bus down Saturday morning, and I started emailing her mom to make plans to surprise her.


I took the bus down yesterday morning and went over to Beth’s, where I was staying. (Thanks so much for letting me stay with you!)


We went to Trio, on 17th, which was just weird. From our very eccentric waiter (yes, turkey burger is backwards) to walking through the kitchen to get to the bathroom, we had a weird lunchtime experience.


Wait, what?


From there, I went over to American (where Lindsay and I met as college roommates!) to surprise her. I sat in this little coffee shop on campus, marveled at how young the college kids looked, and waited.

Finally, Lindsay and her family walked in!!


She was so surprised!


Yeah, we had the good fortune of showing up just when it started snowing. Jake (Lindsay’s husband) had never seen the campus, so we gave him and his family a little tour.



For example, here’s our dining hall, which definitely contributed to my weight gain in college. All-you-can-eat…everything? Uh oh.



Eagle’s Nest, the convenience store.

Nothing on campus looked too different, but nothing really looked the same either. We felt really old, again.


So, um, I pretty much only went to the gym in college if Lindsay dragged me. I did enjoy swimming laps, but never would dream of going alone.



I like carb-loading, but Lindsay wanted a big salad the night before her marathon. (I know, I don’t know how we’re friends either.) We went to Ted’s Montana Grill for dinner since it was near their hotel. They had this big creepy bison on the wall. I felt sort of guilty for eating one of his friends for dinner. Sorry, bud.

I conveniently didn’t take any pictures, but afterwards, I met up with Beth and her friends for a Halloween party. I was tired and planned on staying for just a drink or two, but those are always the famous last words, and we got back to her apartment around 4am.

Which means that there was no early-morning spectating, and we rolled up to mile 26 of the marathon around 11.



Getting there around 11 meant that we were just in time to see the 3:15-3:20ish finishers, and they all looked super-strong!

I missed getting a photo of Lindsay, but I did see her, which made the entire trip worth it.


The spectators spilled onto the streets at this part. I was surprised there were no race officials there to keep them off the street.


Does the girl in the green shirt look familiar?


Once I saw Leslie, I began the long, muddy trek back to the metro.


Oh hey there.


And hello. Nice to see you.


Do they give massages after NYCM, too??

I walked to what ended up being the colossal disaster at the metro before changing my mind and walking up to Clarendon to meet friends for brunch.


A new-to-me place, Cava. There’s so many new restaurants since I left DC!


French toast. OH YES.


Fries with feta. (If you are counting, yes, that would make three meals in a row with fries.)


They got some mini pitas, which looked delicious.

After this whirlwind little trip, I am exhausted but my heart is happy from seeing all kinds of old friends all weekend. I have no desire to ever live in DC again, but it’s nice to be able to come back.

And I am alternately completely psyched up and terrified for NYCM now. I looked at the runners and thought “I can’t believe I’m going to do that next week.”


Once again, congrats to everyone who ran MCM! I can’t wait to read your recaps.

15 comments on “30 Hours in Washington, D.C.

  1. Cristina

    Wow!,, this post was full of fun pictures to see for me. I went to AU too and have not been back to campus since 2001. MGC looks so fancy. It was not like that when I went there. I’m going to have to go to campus next time I’m in DCA.

  2. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine

    Such a fun trip! At least you got away from NYC when it was like blizzarding here…looks like it wasn’t as bad in DC. I can’t believe the marathon is so soon, it seems like people JUST started talking about their training plans and it’s already November!

  3. sarah (sarah learns)

    what a fun surprise! i used to surprise my husband all the time when we were dating long distance. i’d pretend i couldn’t make it down one weekend, and then show up anyway, or tell him i’d be there one day, but take off of work & get there early. i love surprises!

  4. Lizzy

    What a fun weekend! I wish I was there with you guys. I can’t believe you went to AU! I haven’t been back in years!!! Did Lindsay go see our coach? That would have been funny. TDR, the good old days. Did Linds get hot chocolate at Eagle’s Nest? like old day? hahah

      1. Lindsay

        Oh my goodness Liz, I have had like 12 hot chocolates since I have been here (on the east coast). Living in Hawaii I never have them so I am catching up on lost time. The one from AU was wicked good!
        I can’t thank Theo enough, that was such a great surprise, and she kept me so calm the night before the marathon.

  5. Alicia from Poise in Parma

    What a fun getaway to support a friend! I love race spectating. I think I’m going to be doing more of it in the future as my running has been replaced with yoga recently. That said, I still love the excitement of race day!


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.