48 Hours in Washington, D.C.

I just need to do a quick shoutout for an awesome post I just read on Felicia’s blog about the art of the side hustle. I just grabbed a drink with my girl Sarah Fit, who’s in town, and I’m always so impressed by my friends who have turned blogging (/YouTubing, in her instance) into a thriving career. “I could do that!” I sometimes think.

But do I want to? No, right now. That’s why I love what Felicia has to say about the side hustle. This blog started as just a hobby, but the amount of doors it’s opened for me personally and professionally has made it a viable side hustle. I turned it into that — and turned that into a career — by reading everything I could about social media, digital marketing and blogging, applying that, and saying “hey, I could do this for you, too. This blog gives me skills, security in having my own thing should anything ever go sour at work, and yeah, a little extra dough. I feel like ditching the 9-5 is so romanticized these days, but the side hustle can be a great way to transition into that, if that’s what you’re looking for.

OK, that wasn’t a quick shoutout, but whatever.

I haven’t had a chance to write about my time in D.C. two weekends ago, but I had an awesome time and wanted to share some of the highlights. I have a few other travel posts as half-drafts — are these things you’re interested in seeing even if they’re way after the fact? They take longer to write than some of my more off-the-cuff posts so sometimes after a bit of time goes by I wonder if anyone cares any more.

Anyway, D.C.! 

My coworker Liz and I Airbused our way down to D.C. on Friday morning since the race was Saturday. We checked into our hotel (Residence Inn, nothing to write home about but a clean place to rest our heads) and headed off for the expo. PRAISE BABY JESUS, it wasn’t at the Armory. Here’s some of the highlights of where we went that weekend. To some of you, they may be old favorites; to some, they might be brand new. 

Matchbox DC

Matchbox

Definitely an old favorite! The expo was nearby at the Convention Center, and this pizza place was the first thing I could think of. I regret nothing. I sat down and immediately saw my old boss’ husband. Toto, this is a small city.

Tortilla coast

Tortilla Coast

This divey, divey place served as our pre-Capitol tour meetup. Liz and I arrived about 120 seconds before the group was to leave, and not realizing that, ordered a drink that we ended up chugging. I was immediately brought back to 2006 on multiple levels.

THE CAPITOL

^ I would think the seat of our nation’s government doesn’t need to be linked to, right? 

I used to report on Capitol Hill, but there’s rushing between hearings, and there’s a private tour. Rock ’n’ Roll was kind enough to set up the latter for us with former Rep. (and former Olympian!) Jim Ryun. Going on a tour with a former member means you get to see things the public doesn’t, like the House floor. (Way smaller than it looks on TV!) You can book a tour online, though, otherwise.

Capitol

Hi, please take the scaffolding down, thanks.

U.S. Capitol

Inside, it was truly beautiful and majestic, and I realized how much of this I’d taken for granted when I lived there. 

IMG 1592 

Each state has at least two statutes representing it.

IMG 1608

Another special area we got access to was the Speaker’s Balcony. If you’ve ever watched Inauguration, this is where you see the President and his family make an appearance just before you see them outside. (I covered the 2005 inauguration for my school paper — and got to sit in the press section just beyond those lights and GOOD GOD IS IT COLD.)

As you can see, you can see down the entire Mall to the Washington Monument. Even as someone who admittedly does not like the city of Washington, I appreciated the beautiful view and what it represented.

After the tour, Liz and I were famished and wanted a bite to eat. We ended up back in Chinatown again, since I knew it the best.

And at another one of my favorites!

PROOF! 

I like wine, and I like convenience…so this wine bar was one of my favorite places in D.C. I got a tapas-sized serving of gnocchi, which was the perfect pre-race meal for me.

The next day, we needed some post-race festivities, obviously. We met up with Anne for a quick brunch at LPQ in Arlington, since it was halfway between us and no wait. 

Liz and I moved on to Chef Geoff’s next. There was one near the American campus and one downtown. We decided it was a good spot to grab a drink while we plotted dinner plans.

Oh, who were we kidding?!

Lauriol Plaza

photo via

Lauriol Plaza it was!

Margaritas and fajitas? DONE. Pro tip for non-DC people who want to try this place: there is always a really long wait. There are also good margaritas. They make the wait way better. Another tip: go to the bar on the third floor. Much quieter.

The next day, we headed off to brunch at Commissary, which Liz found on Yelp. For $30 a person, you got a full breakfast AND you could split a bottle of bubbly. They brought over cute little juices to mix with, too, if you were into mimosas.

We ended our weekend with some culture at the National Portait Gallery, where we checked out the presidential portraits.

National Portrait Gallery

Okay, so maybe Commissary was the only new (to me) place I went, but it was a DAMN GOOD ONE.

What are your favorite D.C. spots?

14 comments on “48 Hours in Washington, D.C.

  1. Shannon

    Boy does this post make me miss my life in DC! If for no other reason than rooftop dinners (read: pitchers of margs) at Lauriol Plaza! I’m glad you had an awesome time and I’m jealous of that Capital tour.

    Reply
  2. Jane

    Sounds like a fun weekend! Definitely a trip down memory lane for me. Can’t believe I haven’t been back to DC since I moved away in 2011!

    Reply
  3. Katie

    I haven’t been to DC since I was a kid, so my only tip is to see the Ruby slippers! (Judy Garland performed in my hometown when she was a kid, and was born 1 hour away).

    I LOVE the side hustle. With yoga teaching and blogging I actually like my accounting job, whereas if I just did accounting I think I’d go crazy. I have made so many amazing connections through blogging that even though I haven’t taken the time to upgrade my blog, or add ads, I am 100% okay with the costs to be self-hosted as I’ve gotten some great opportunities I wouldn’t otherwise gotten.

    I’m contemplating a move to the Twin Cities this summer and that makes me a bit nervous for how to incorporate the yoga teaching into my life down there. I don’t want to be at corepower as they get too corporate, so hopefully I’ll find that right studio, or I would really love to have a job that wanted to give me a little something to have classes before or after office hours.

    Reply
  4. Felicia Sullivan

    Love this, T! I SO believe in the side hustle. It’s literally gotten me to where I am today. And like you, I love having a blog as a passionate project, one that could open doors for opportunities. xo

    Reply
  5. Alyssa @ Renaissancerunnergirl

    Thanks for sharing the post about blogging, it was super interesting for a new blogger like me.

    And I LOVE the national portrait gallery – FYI, this summer there will be a Met exhibit here in NYC on John Singer Sargent’s portraits of his artists’ circle, if you are into portraiture!

    Reply

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