Get ready friends, because this is a big Tourist Tuesday. A lot has happened since last week, and if you don’t remember you can catch up with Part 1 of Back in the DMV. When last I left you, I had been to my friend Mala’s bridal shower and I had spent the day hanging out with my childhood friends. After that I spent the rest of the week walking around DC, catching up with friends, and going to Mala’s wedding. Let me tell you about it.
On Tuesday, I went to get my hair cut at Fiddleheads in Dupont. Yes, I flew across the ocean and decided to get my hair cut. I haven’t found a place in London that I really like, and I love Fiddleheads because they specialize in curly hair cuts. I had about 4 inches cut off and the pile of hair on the floor looked like a small dog. It was gross and amazing and I sort of wanted to take a picture of it.
I then went to visit my colleagues at Live It Learn It. It was wonderful to go back, but also a little tough since I was so sad to leave the job in the first place. In case you don’t know, Live It Learn It provides students from DC public schools with opportunities to visit and experience the museums and monuments throughout the city. Live It Learn It goes into the classroom to prepare students for their trip, and then students gets hands-on experience at sites throughout the city. It’s an amazing organization. Since I left, Live It Learn It is now in a beautiful new office, and the surrounding area is mostly the same but there were a couple of new shops in the area too. When I arrived we sat around, had some snacks, and chatted. I caught them up on what I’m doing in London and I got to hear about new programs, classes, and developments at Live It Learn It. The organization is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary next month and I got to hear all about their plans for commemorating the event. As I left, I felt blue about not being around anymore but glad that every thing was going well, and that I still get to help out a bit now and then.
Although most of my DMV vacation was about going to favorite places and seeing friends, I did want to do a little traditional tourist site seeing. I took the metro to the National Mall, and decided to walk the monuments. First, of course is the Washington Monument. Here’s my first, but not last, Abrhama Lincoln reference of the post. See where the color changes in the stone? That’s because during the Civil War, Lincoln stopped construction on the monument, and when they started building again they used stones from a different quarry. Anyway, it’s not DC without construction, so you can see work being done on the Capitol Dome in the background of the bottom right photo.
After that, I went over to the Lincoln Memorial. I saw some helicopters fly by, which is another nice DC treat (photo at top of the post). I like the Lincoln Memorial in part because it has such lovely views. I could see over into Virginia (top left picture, above) and all the way back to the Washington Monument. It’s tough to see, but I attempted a good picture of the Washington Monument with the spot marking where Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. But, I really love this monument because Abraham Lincoln is my favorite, so I love this monument. After I left Lincoln, I went to peak over at the World War II Memorial, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial (above photo, bottom left).
Next, I did a little tour of places where I used to work. First I went to the Newseum. One of my favorite things about the Newseum is the botched headlines they print on tiles in the bathroom. But, the real reason I went was to see the exhibit called “President Lincoln is Dead,” which is about the news coverage of Lincoln’s assassination. It’s about to be the 150th anniversary of the assassination and the Newseum is on the site of the National Hotel, which is where John Wilkes Booth was staying at the time – so that’s why they are having this exhibit. The exhibit itself is pretty small, but quite nice. My favorite part was learning how papers stayed up to date. The New York Herald printed seven special editions, some within one hour of each other. Each new addition had a new fact (and sometimes rumor) about the events of the assassination. The most interesting paper though was the one above officially announcing the president’s death. They printed black bars between the columns to show mourning and it reminded me of the black mouring bunting hung on buildings, like Ford’s Theatre.
If you’ve never been the Newseum, I do recommend it. For DC, it’s a pricey at $23 for an adult ticket. But the ticket is good for two days and the museum is amazing. They have a piece of the Berlin Wall and part of the antenna from one of the World Trade Center buildings. They have newspapers that are over 200 years old and photographs that will astound you. It’s a cool place, you should go.
After the Newseum, I then headed over to Ford’s to visit my friends/former colleagues. As you can see I had a warm welcome from my friend Anna. But that was just a quick visit, my real time with my Ford’s girls, Anna, Ashley, and Charlotte, was later in the week when we had brunch. We went to Ashley’s house and had a crepe buffet brunch. We had mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, and sweet and savory crepes. My favorite crepe was a bananas fosters one made by Charlotte. Although, when we went shopping for ingredients, Charlotte and I went to Trader Joe’s and bought cookie butter. It was like nutella, and cookies, and sugar, and perfection all wrapped into one. I did bring home two 48oz jars of peanut butter, but I should’ve also brought home one jar of cookie butter. Missed opportunity.
But, the real reason that I wanted to go to Ashley’s was to visit her new baby son. He was so tiny and adorable and snuggly. It was also nice to see Ashley with him. She is a chill mom and seems totally confident and is just wonderful with him. It was also wonderful to see her dog Tuck, who Ryan and I used to dog sit. He is a really loving dog, and you can see he’s curious about the baby – but it’s also clear that sometimes he wants to be petted instead of the baby. I tried to spread the love and give them both cuddles, but as you can see from the photos I was super excited about the baby.
The main event of the whole week in the DMV was Mala and Sean’s wedding in Baltimore. I was the Matron of Honor so I had to make a speech and do a dance! I was a little nervous because since I live across an ocean I haven’t been around for much of the wedding preparation – but once I arrived I devoted all my time to the bride. I held her train, I calmed her nerves, and I safety pinned her into her clothes. Whatever she needed, I was there.
It was a really beautiful day. She had both a Catholic and Hindu wedding ceremonies. Let me say, Mala looked progressively more gorgeous throughout the day with more sparkly and decorated outfits. It was so wonderful to watch her get ready and help her be beautiful. For the Hindu ceremony, it starts with the Baraat, which was Sean’s procession. He came in on a white horse and the rest of the guest and wedding party were dancing in the streets. It was awesome and slowed traffic as everybody watches us get our groove on. What I loved most, was how happy Sean looked and how much he was enjoying himself. I loved seeing him that excited to marry my best friend.
For me, the best part of the day was being there for Mala. I gave a toast, which I think went well. I told some funny stories about her, although of course I kept the best ones to myself. She said it was a “roller coaster of emotions,” which is pretty much what I wanted. And, as I said before, I had to do a dance. The bridesmaids and some of Mala’s family did a medley of dance routines at the reception in front of all the wedding guests. The other bridesmaids and I had practiced and we were all totally nervous – but once the music came on we jumped in and had a great time. It wasn’t perfect, but it was fun and Mala beamed at us the whole time which was nice. It was great that she appreciated it so much.
I also got to see some of my college friends, Lynn, Kim and Norma. We danced, told old stories, made up new jokes that don’t make any sense, and took some funny pictures. We can’t stay up as late or get down as low as we used to, but being together felt just like old times. The whole wedding a blast. I danced so much I was sore the next morning. I don’t think I could have had more fun.
I was nervous about this trip to the DC area. A year ago, I didn’t want to leave and move to London because I was sad to leave friends, family, and jobs behind. I was nervous about visiting again because I like London and I didn’t want those feelings to come back. If I’m honest, sometimes it was tough to be back. I felt nostalgic and homesick and I wanted more time with my friends. But, what I know is that even though time passes and we’re getting older, softer, and more gray haired – the people and places I love are still there for me. They are still there and when we’re back together it’s a blast. And now, I can always look forward to another amazing trip back to the DMV.