Tag Archives: daily

Weather chasers

The past few weeks have been glorious weather-wise, so we’ve been taking advantage. It’s nice to have a break from days in the 70s to enjoy temps in the 60s. Florida is so miserable sometimes. (Seriously. See: May, June, July, August, September and usually October.)

We went to Dinosaur World with some friends who also have a toddler. (And happen to be expecting—it’s the water, kids. Don’t drink it!) Shockingly, I’d never been to DW even though it’s less than an hour away and my self proclaimed dinophile status. Too much longer and I would have had to turn in my badge to Jeff Goldblum.

The park ended up being larger and more exciting than I’d anticipated, especially the part where a dino came strolling on by on a leash. True story, even though I have no photographic evidence. I basically loved this place and would totally go back by myself to read every plaque and take notes in the museum. Addison and her buddy found a small enclosed loop trail where they could run endless circles and burn endless energy with minimal supervision, so that was also a major win for all the parents involved.

Difficult lighting situation.

Please note the discrepancies in excitement level.

Oh, was Addison supposed to be in the picture? My bad.

There is something to be said about being utterly ridiculous every now and then.

dinosThis week Addison had an appointment with a new pediatrician. Yet another perk of our new insurance—switching all of our primary care providers. Anyway, don’t let me spiral down that rabbit hole. Thankfully he was awesome and she chatted away like the highly advanced verbal superstar she is. Stop rolling your eyes, it’s true! Just ask her grandma, a trusted resource for completely unbiased and objective information regarding Addison’s intellectual capabilities.

Because it’s toddler law, I bribed her with basically anything she could ever want as long as she held it together for the visit. She did! Her request was “a pink treat,” so she took down some cake pops outside like a boss.

photo 1Then we met Clayton for lunch at a park near his work. After my weekly emotional meltdown, we had a lovely afternoon by the water.

photo 4Boots + a bump.

photo 5

A Nat oldsmarSome days she likes me.

Weekending, poorly

We have water! In the house! And not in a gurgling puddle in the yard! Hallelujah!

The plumbing “crew” of one 14-year old boy spent most of the day Friday digging a new hole for pipes around the trees of doom. I saw the actual plumber for about four minutes total, so I’m not sure how child labor laws factor in here, but all I know is we got water, apparently that sophomore has a full time job, and I ain’t asking any more questions. Clayton refers to our still raised new dirt line somberly as the Trail of Tears. I think the more accurate Trail of Tears would be the path from that leak to the bank where the plumber cashed our check before closing on Friday. Dude didn’t waste no time.

Saturday turned into a massive catch up day. I don’t know if it was a dose of the prego crazies taking hold, but the idea of not having water all week made the house seem extra germ-filled and completely sticky. So we divided and conquered most of the house and the piles of laundry that had accumulated. We are out of water for five days, the city is out for the next month as we probably used it all that morning.

The job was finished in enough time for our friend Tori to stay Saturday night. She was originally going to stay Friday, but we didn’t want her to show up and have to say, “We’re so glad you’re here. If you have to go to the bathroom, the Citgo is on the corner.”

We escorted her around town to all the hot spots, i.e. that one coffee shop/bookstore where we take everyone to act like we’re super hip even though the only time we go is to show it off to out of towners. We were all quite enamored with the bears in the hot chocolate.

bear hot chocA fellow book nerd, Tori proved to my husband I am not the only person who finds great pleasure in wandering around aimlessly staring at books I have no intention of purchasing. There’s at least two of us in the world! Three if you count Rory Gilmore, which obviously I do.

(Related: There was a little girl named Lorelai at the playground the other day and it took every ounce of restraint I had to stop myself from skipping over to her mother and girlcrushing her to death with something like, Whatever heinous crimes or general absurdities you commit from this point on, it doesn’t matter to me because I am already certain we were meant to be bffsies.)

(Kind of also related: If you didn’t understand any of the last three sentences, why are you here?!)

And then we rounded out our humiliating display of hard core Noa weekending at Ruby Tuesday and a three-year-old birthday party, where I assured our childless guest there would only be one other kid and we’d stay for a half hour, tops. Two hours and SEVEN children under four later, Tori had disowned me as a friend and started walking back to Jacksonville.  Not really, but I wouldn’t have blamed her. Hopefully the homemade ice cream cake helped. Certainly the Yuengling did.

After Tori left Sunday, we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and headed to a manatee viewing center about 45 minutes from our house. The center is connected to a Tampa Electric power plant, and the gobs of manatees are attracted to the warmer water and toxic run-off. Kidding; I assume they test that stuff, but who knows? Mama just wanted to squeal at some cute manatee snouts. Because this picture can be deceivingly unimpressive, I’ve taken the liberty of finding the more obvious manatees. See? Gobs!

manatee spottingAddison was being a lot like Addison and not having it at all when we were actually checking out the manatees. So she was stuffed in the stroller and left to her own whiney devices while Clayton and I tried to find sharks in the water.

A manatee

Once Addison woke up a bit and had the universal toddler medicinal remedy of a snack, she was ready to party. We walked the half mile trail to an observation tower, some of which was covered in shells. Have you ever tried to make forward progress with a toddler engrossed in finding shells? No, you haven’t because that is an impossible feat of nature. Every shell was delightful. Every speck of dust was necessary for “my collection.” Like most two-year old activities, it was adorable for seven minutes and excruciating for 20.

But then, at the tower, there were STEPS! That drew her attention away from the ground and into the sky and she manhandled those five flights with energy to spare. My little power lifter. I probably should have taken a picture of this part, but nope.

Since I actually completed some form of physical exercise, I spent the majority of the walk back deciding my reward. Something that would clearly provide twice the number of calories I’d just burned. We stopped at Sonic for shakes and slushes and tantrums before I let Clayton make dinner while I worked on yet more laundry.

We capped off the weekend with Felicity narrowly escaping machine gun-wielding apes. I want Maurice as a pet.

(Source)maurice

Enough

I wrote this post several months ago but found it today and still got smacked in the face by it.

__________

Last week, up to my elbows in soapy water and covered head to toe in the mess of motherhood, I lost it. Full on tears dripping into the clean dishes lost it.

And the most maddening part of all was that I ruined those clean dishes (not really, I totes put them in the cabinet anyway) for a phantom. For a nothing. For an imagined problem that nags at women and moms with an incessant chirping of you are not doing enough!

I am surrounded by strong, ambitious superwomen. They inspire me continually. But because we have been numbered and categorized since our first breath, my instinct is to begin numbering and categorizing the theirs against the mines. This friend does this job, and this job, and raises this baby, and volunteers there. That friend works there, works out that many days, earned that degree, and takes her baby to the library. That girl wakes up at this time, works those hours, cooks those meals, and always wears mascara.

And, inevitably, what follows is the conclusion that

I am not doing enough.   

____________________

What is “enough?” How am I supposed to know when I’ve reached it? When I can’t put down the computer until midnight every night? When I have to find someone to watch Addison five days a week? When I have structured, age-appropriate Pinterest activities planned and prepped for her every morning when she wakes up? When my husband comes home to a hot, home cooked, edible (<– key word) meal every night of the week?

Why are we am I in an all-consuming, head-down, relentless pursuit of a goal that is wholly subjective and indefinable? What am I even chasing? If I look up, what is ahead that drives me to justify neglecting the truly valuable in anticipation of some fleeting, self-prescribed merit?

Stop. Look to the left and to the right. That is the goal. Those are the milestones that build a city of memories, a lifetime of timely pauses and spare minutes. The race is not against mothers or friends or women who do things that I can’t or never will. The race is with them, a shared marathon with some paving the way, others coming behind and the  beautiful synchronization of friends striding beside you. Swooping in with home cooked meals that will taste better than any concoction you could dream up. Busting out their own hot glue gun and ribbon when you don’t have any more space in your head for DIY crafts. Walking into your house and scooping up your baby with the warmest familiarity.

Time to enjoy the space between afternoon naps and dinner, with a swing in the yard or wagon ride in the driveway, is not

wasteful

or insignificant.

It is not a consolation for not having more important commitments.

It is

enough

and so much more.

When responsibilities are met, and the must-get-done’s are done,
breathing, deep and slow, for a minute or an afternoon, is okay.

When did it stop being nourishing and start being indulgent to read a novel that wasn’t accompanied by a test that counted toward a degree, to take a nap because you were up three times with an unhappy baby or just because you are tired, to let the laundry pile up one more day because a lunch date with your daughter is way more fun?

I have freelance projects every week.
I am a full-time mother.
I volunteer at my church.
I take care of Addison while Clayton volunteers at our church.
I handle the cooking (or ordering) of our meals, the cleaning of our house, and the organizing of our schedule.
I keep my body healthy.
I go to a small group once a week.
I see friends and family as much as I can.
I write sporadically on a blog.

In what universe would this collection of identities not be enough?  I feel so compelled to fill in the gaps of every hour in order to feel accomplished, to be sure I am making the most of my time. But I know in my head that making the most of my time is defined by what and who gets most of my time. And I don’t what that to be a computer. Or a stranger. Or a brochure or web page that will wither and die.

Making something requires an intent to create, a choice to design a life that has some growing room, some space around the edges to relax for awhile. To allow for minutes that spring up when a cat finds its way into the backyard and needs to be watched through the back door, when the play area at the mall is completely empty for the first time ever, when your kid discovers how to flip over her toy table and climb on top of it but can only get down with a Mama’s hand.

Those seconds will sprint right past you if you are not so very diligent in making time for them.

And I have told myself I do not want to miss them.

I do not want more clients if it means less time with Addison, I do not want more volunteer commitments if the joy of giving is replaced by dread, I do not want quiet moments with my husband at the end of each day to be hijacked by exhaustion.

I want to find enough

laughter surprises spontaneity fulfillment joy confidence beauty

right here in this moment. Because I am certain it is there. I just have to stop and look.

 

Automation Frustration

Shifting gears out of the deep end, you know what is one of my biggest pet peeves? Automatic bathroom appliances in public bathrooms. I have lived 29 years and have probably been determining the appropriate amount of hand soap for myself for about 26 of those years. I don’t need a fake machine brain to portion out a dollop of soap at a time. That soap dispenser has no idea what may have taken place seconds before someone required its services.

And the towel dispensers. Oh my word. Those things can push me over the edge. The motion sensor must be a millimeter wide and my spindly little wrists are not substantial enough to activate it. I can never, ever, ever perform that sassy wave and grab that people with presumably meatier wrists have mastered. I am reduced to banging and upper body calisthenics to see that tiny red light, and then just as I am filled with glee at my success, the wheel stops. The paper towel for my dripping wet hands is the size of a toilet paper square. By the time my sopping hands can finagle it out of the machine, it’s nothing but wet, crumbling shreds. And there are still giant beads of water falling from my fingertips and pooling on the floor.

Not to mention the automatic toilet flusher. Flush when I blink or turn my head 3 degrees to the right, but not when I am finished peeing and frantically waving my hand in front of the sensor. There is a line of women outside that door and they can probably see my shadow of insanity in this stall. Finally, we all know the end result is a ninja kick to the miniscule manual black button. For some reason it feels like a failure of womanhood to use it.

My deepest fear is what may be coming next: automated toilet paper dispensers. Cannot, will not tolerate it. I’d rather pay to use public restrooms. I’ll take up a second job for my Bathroom Budget, but PLEASE do not mess with my toilet paper.

The Claytonism, Round 2

Remember when I celebrated Clayton’s birthday with a collection of his, um, special remarks that had a way of sticking into my brain like a blow dart?

There’s more! Behold, round two of Claytonisms. This bunch is less violence-inducing and more endearing(at least to me, and I run this operation).

“Addison’s hair looks different. Did your mom put highlights in it?”

“Birds are weird. They have, like, no brain.” Pause, then a haughty, “Dumb birds.”
I don’t know what the birds ever did to him.

Me: “Leah and I were at the top of the class, so we got to go to Pizza Hut with our teacher as a reward.”
Him: “Is that the teacher you ended up dating?”
Me: “I was in fourth grade, Clayton.”
(But seriously, remind me to tell you the story of when I dated my teacher.)

While walking through the grocery store, out of the blue, he asks me, “Do you feel like your hair has been less frizzy and more manageable?”
After overcoming utter confusion and just before I backhanded him for implying my hair might look anything less than Kate Middleton perfect, I remembered the bottle of shampoo I’d bought two weeks earlier. He’d been waiting for that one a long time.  
shampoo

So that’s a little snapshot of the conversational roulette I play daily with my hubs. To his credit, he usually leaves me laughing, not crying.

DSCN3217

Usually.

29

Happy birthday to me, suckas.

In pre-baby birthday fashion, I would have been prancing around here for weeks with a fancy countdown plug-in and a detailed wish list with pictures, size/color specifications and links for your shopping convenience. But since my little thunder stealer came along, half the time I forget that it’s even August.

Luckily, my boo didn’t forget. He’d asked what I wanted to do a couple of weeks ago, and the first and only request I made was to sleep in. Like, a sinfully indulgent 10 a.m. I suggested having my parents watch Addison, and I guess the next logical step if we had an Addiesitter was to jet over to the beach for a 36-hour getaway. If that’s where the boy’s mind goes, I’m certainly not going to talk him out of it. Off to the beach we went!

We actually hadn’t been on a proper beach outing this entire summer. We were due for some Vitamin D and subsequent aloe baths.

A little heavy handed hinting with the receptionist scored us two free drinks at the hotel’s restaurant. So, naturally, we started our adventure there. The hotel was right on the Gulf, and our room had a decent view.

hotel view

After a couple of hours out on the restaurant patio looking at the water, we did a quick change for dinner. We’d pushed back our initial reservations a half hour to catch the sunset, but it was really overcast and the show wasn’t all that spectacular. I know, you’re feeling so sorry for us right now. Do you know what is spectacular? Photo editing apps.

Photo attempt by stranger with vampire aesthetics:

C N bday dinner original

Voila:
C N bday dinner

My brain doesn’t even comprehend that technology.

Dinner restaurant blah blah blah adult food mumble mumble. ICE CREAM!

nat ice cream2

We rented a forklift to get my three scoops back to the hotel while Clayton dripped his mint chocolate chip the entire length of our quarter mile walk. “At least we’ll find our way back if we get lost,” was his positive spin on losing half his dessert. Ice cream on the balcony listening to the waves break did not suck.

At 9:45 this morning, Clayton opened the curtains to a bright, sunny Florida summer day while I was still warm and cozy in a huge hotel bed. Total birthday success, even if I didn’t quite make it to 10 a.m. We grabbed breakfast at the hotel and spent the day on the beach. Despite the warnings inherent in the very concept of “Shark Week,” I did join my husband in the water for awhile. Cautiously. Intensely sensitive to every ripple and nearby squeal. Mostly floating on his lap so that he would be the one to get the gnarly scar on his calf while I could still boast nonchalantly, “I totally survived a shark attack.” It’s my birthday, I can reduce my chances of hemorrhaging in the ocean if I want to.

Can we just collectively freak out here for a second about how the guy on the Shark Week finale died during the filming of that show? Anyone?

Clayton can only lay out in the sun comfortably for 18 seconds before he starts whining like a toddler. Since it was my birthday, he made it to 30 seconds before letting out a guttural disgusted grunt that made it clear I would not be reading the entirety of “Bossypants” while working on my tan for the duration of the afternoon. We went for a leisurely walk that ended up being 2.2 miles. For serious. We logged it on a running app.

rocks beach IG

I had very high Instagrammable hopes of running into a big flock of seagulls, causing them to artistically scatter in the perfect photogenic angles. My first mistake was that the birds were about 200 yards away from us when I started my run. So people had a very long time to watch me and wonder why I up and started sprinting away from my husband. The second mistake was my assumption that seagulls would even care my post-baby hips were coming at them at a daunting 23-minute mile pace. They didn’t. So I finally reached them, anticipating some big spectacle, and they hopped their annoying little feet over six inches. I think maybe one flew away.

nat run beach

Not birthday success.

After our marathon walk, it was time to head out. We grabbed lunch at Gators, adorned from top to bottom in University of Florida garb, and tried not to vomit at the life size cut-out of Tim Tebow at the entrance. The gator wasn’t even that good. And the food wasn’t that great, either. Zing!

Our last stop was my parents’ house to pick up the little lady we’d been missing.

A shadow giraffe

In case you were wondering, no I don’t feel older.

Larger and less attractive, but not older.

 

Special thanks to my husband for a perfectly unexpected birthday treat. 

Wildlife

For Addison’s birthday, Clayton and I bought passes to the zoo. Addison gets in free. Happy birthday, A. Spared no expense.

Addison and I have already been enough times for the passes to pay for themselves, and on our zoo dates I’ve noticed a few common species.

Tourists
Hailing from the native habitats of Europe or Canada or Michigan, where the sun is a mystical phantom only read about in books, they are easily identifiable by their once pasty white skin that has turned a cracking lobster red in the Florida sun. Sometimes you will pick up the scent of burning flesh if you stand close enough. Their hair sticks to the sides of their faces and foreheads in sweaty, matted streaks. But they have a fierce determination behind their eyes, seen in between the blinking away of dripping perspiration. Clutching their maps, they are on a mission to hunt down the baby elephant pen if it kills them. Which, in fact, it might, as heat stroke is a very real danger to this population. Direct to the air conditioning as needed.

Grandparent Babysitters
Spotted without much effort as they are slow-moving, often immobile fixtures near any attraction that promises to hold the attention of the wild banshees for which they are caring. You will find them close to the carousel, roller coaster, ice cream stand or splash park. Approach cautiously; they are most likely napping and will startle easily.

The Adolescent Couple
On a desperate search for a hidden spot to canoodle, this cost-conscious breed (or their parents) opted for zoo passes because they were about $50 cheaper than Busch Gardens passes. Immediately identifiable due to the drastic age gap between them and the other zoo populace (toddlers and adults over 30) and the unenthused scowl of regret smeared over their faces. Becoming cagey upon the realization that their caretakers will not be arriving for another three hours, these are the most likely culprits for throwing water bottles into the orangutan enclosure and popping the tires on the baby train ride. Best handled with total avoidance or a disapproving single eyebrow raise.

The Parent of Infant
These dazed-looking specimens have ambitiously attempted to abandon their herd and safe lair for a solo trip with their youngling. You can hear their shrill cries throughout the park as they realize the Starbucks kiosk is closed for the summer. Never known to pack lightly in the wild, the usually female parent can be seen carrying or dragging her child (who refuses to ride in their high end carrying apparatus) with a noticeable disparity in gait, favoring the 40-pound diaper bag containing the essentials for a week at the zoo, a three-day electrical outage and a zombie apocalypse. Pass quickly as aforementioned carrying apparatus, while stylish, may have a fickle braking mechanism or parental unit may be too distracted to engage the brakes, resulting in an unimpeded tumble down the path adjacent to the red lion tamarinds.

That runaway stroller may or may not have belonged to a certain Parent of Infant who was busy trying to film her one-year-old’s adorable monkey impersonation and could not be bothered with details like a destructive projectile Chicco.

And I Was So Excited About Not Having Cockroaches

About two weeks ago, on a Friday night, Clayton and I were spending the evening lazying it up on the couch. Apparently, Friday evenings can put some little creatures hard at work, and one of those happened to catch my eye as it scurried from under the bathroom door, around the corner of the wall to the kitchen, and right up under the stove. Yes. I saw it with my very own eyes — the fuzzy grey fur, the long, pale tail. We had a mouse. In our house. And I saw it.

Whatever reaction you’re imagining, I probably handled it much worse. The next half hour was spent drilling imaginary holes through the oven with my laser stare that I refused to remove from the exact spot where I last saw the mouse. I had the very logical reasoning that if I didn’t move, neither would little mouseketeer. At the same time, I tried to stuff my knees farther and farther into my esophagus to keep my toes as far as possible from the floor. Because mice will chew off your toenails. I’m pretty sure I read that somewhere.

My darling hero of a husband cleaned out the pot drawer underneath the stove and cleared out all the lower cabinets just to prove his theory that the mouse was no longer under the stove but had escaped back into the hidden mouse kingdom he’s been maintaining behind our walls. He appeared to be right, even though I HADN’T STOPPED LOOKING AT THE SPOT. Clayton put on a brave face, but I saw the way he stayed up on his toes, ready to hurdle the kitchen counter if necessary. No one likes a mouse. In their house.

So, we made a midnight trip to Wal-Mart and stocked up on several different kinds of mouse traps. For two people with a combined three and a half college degrees, that was one of the most confusing experiences of our lives. I don’t know if it’s a tribute to the endless supply of American consumerism or a scary indication of how sadistic we can be, but there were like 17 different options to kill a mouse. You can poison them, trap them on a sticky mat, capture them in a disc, or simply lure them with peanut butter and break their neck. We went with the peanut butter.

Our first stop the next morning was the front office of our apartment complex. As horrified as the office worker was, she said the earliest anyone could treat our apartment would be the following Friday. A week to live with a mouse in our house. We complained and called during the week, but the pest guy still didn’t show up until Friday. And my calves were looking better than they ever have from walking around for 7 straight days on my toes. The “professional” pest control technician put down traps with the sticky mat about three inches away from the traps we had already placed around the apartment. Good work, team. And then we learned another valuable lesson about catching mice: you can’t. You put out your peanut butter, and you wait. Every morning you have to peak with one eye into the cracks and corners where the traps are set, partly hoping the little bugger will be in there and also, as a general life rule,  not really wanting to see a dead rodent. So the traps had been out for a few days and we’d begun to live life normally again, almost walking flat-footed, albeit a bit more conscious of falling asleep with leftovers scattered around the kitchen.

And then Tuesday night I heard a very unsettling noise coming from the kitchen. Under the stove. Clayton had fallen asleep on the couch, and I was working on an assignment for class. I didn’t want to wake Clayton up for nothing, so I tiptoed to the kitchen counter, staying as far away from the stove as I possibly could while still being able to see around the corner. Nothing. About 45 minutes later, I heard the pots shift again, and then I heard the snap. It was muffled, and I wasn’t exactly sure, but deep down I think I knew what had just happened to Mr. Whiskerfritz. I peeked around the corner again, just to say I’d done it, but I didn’t come even close to touching anything in that kitchen. I hated to wake Clayton up, so I finished my assignment and waited to see if I would wake from this kooky, totally-foreign-to-a-Floridian dream. No such luck. I gave Clayton a little shake and tried to explain to his half-asleep mind what I thought had happened. And my husband came through yet again. And I didn’t question his sanity for doing it barefoot. Again. He went to the kitchen and looked in the traps next to the refrigerator, but they were clear. He pulled out the pot drawer for the second time, and our problem was solved. In a peanut butter trap. Furry butt up in the air. The next half hour became a sitcom-worthy scenario of trying to figure out how to dispose of little Fievel. Eventually he made it to the dumpster, along with one of our yellow latex cleaning gloves, and my feet made it back down to the floor after my hamstrings started to cramp from an hour of constant flexing.

At this point, I’m telling myself we had a mouse problem, not a mice problem, so that I can sleep at night. But just to be sure, that trap by the head of my bed is staying put.

Lessons from My Mom that Turned Out to Be Completely Useful

In honor of Mothers Day and a general feeling of guilt for my entire teenage years, here are some things that I heard my mom say at some point but didn’t actually absorb until much later. Because at the time, I was too busy rolling my eyes into the back of my head and being so cool I could barely handle it. As it turns out, mama knows best, and she’s given me countless words of wisdom over the past twenty-five years.

1. You look pale. Put on some blush and lip gloss.

2. Don’t let people boss you around. Stand up for yourself, or I’ll do it for you.

3. You can be anything you could possible imagine being. If you don’t do incredible things, I will be disappointed because I know what you’re capable of. But I will love you with all my heart no matter what.

4. Wear your hair down.

5. You are blessed beyond measure. Smile more.

6. People need you to show that you love them. What may be out of your comfort zone could mean the world to someone else.

7. Take care of your teeth.

8. You don’t have to like everything your family does, but you must respect and cherish the irreplaceable bonds we share.

9. Clean up after yourself when you’re someone’s guest.

10. Above all else, being a mother defines your life. 

Compliments of William Shatner

I know, I know. For a “writer,” I’m doing a pretty lousy job keeping up with this site. But you know how determined I am? I’m writing right now, right in the middle of my beloved Intervention, even though it’s clear that Richard the crack addict needs my full attention and support.

It’s been a busy few weeks. Clayton’s on-call schedule has felt a bit like being hazed for a fraternity. Except that instead of graduating to kegs and blondes, Clayton’s reward is house calls to change oozing bandages and blood stains on his Asics. But I’m not bitter.

After lots of “it shouldn’t always be like this” weeks, we decided we needed to get away. One of the best perks of living in this part of the country is being central to dozens of trip-worthy cities. First on our list was Washington D.C. I’d never been, and Clayton had only visited when he was a kid. The verdict: I was looking for apartment rental signs by the second day. I really, really liked D.C. This may make me a little too Oprah-ish, but I think most big cities have a certain energy or personality that define them. New York is relentless, overbearing, always moving, and proud of it. D.C. was comfortable, unpretentious in its importance, and humble. The businessmen walked down the streets in their Italian leather loafers; the hippies, done with their daily protest, walked down the same streets. Tourists ate with locals. Visitors running in the race of the day ran the same route as residents logging their daily miles. The whole place had an ease I didn’t expect to find but realized was something we definitely needed. 

If you’re interested, we stayed here thanks to the Name Your Price feature on Priceline. If you get the insane deal we wrangled, I’d totally recommend it.

My favorite restaraunts were Jaleo, where we somehow dished out over $30 on dessert (mostly because of the pre-dessert drinking we’d already done that interfered with our typical ordering, not because of their prices) and Sunday brunch at Napoleon Bistro and Lounge  in Georgetown. 

If you’re anywhere near the city, you better let me know so I can awkwardly invite myself to tag along.