Although my time here in Washington, D.C. has been absolutely amazing, time is dwindling down and I will return home in a mere 13 days. There is still a lot to get done between then and now, but I am looking forward to the last minute exciting adventures. But enough about the future, let’s talk about this past week. Holy guacamole it was perfect as could be. My boyfriend, Max, made a trip to D.C. on Tuesday morning and he got to stay until Saturday afternoon. You can guarantee that we packed our week full of exciting things to do.
Tuesday when he arrived we grabbed a quick lunch and headed straight for the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. Unfortunately, it was raining pretty heavily so we got back to my apartment to change just before we had to take off again. This time we were heading to Baltimore, Maryland via MARC train. This train is a commuter train between Baltimore and the nation’s capital, packed with business men and women trying to get home on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. It was a very easy trip, though. Only about an hour until we arrived at Penn station. But the trip didn’t stop there! We had to hop on an even smaller commuter train heading toward Pennsylvania, because we planned on spending the week in Harrisburg (or near Harrisburg) with his family! That train took about another 45 where his uncle picked us up and we drove off to their home. Max and I got to spend the week with his aunt, uncle, two cousins and grandparents. It was so much fun and so nice of them to have us both!! Of course, Max and I didn’t want to miss out on all the home cooked meals.
Wednesday we got up and after some breakfast headed to the farmer’s market with his grandparents to get some fresh ingredients for Thursday’s festivities. We also made sure we got some homemade pretzels to enjoy along the way. Max and I split a glazed raisin pretzel hot off the press! His grandparents urged us to try some miniature homemade tacos while we were there as well, all before lunch back at home! It was a week full of eating!
That evening we spent hanging out with the family and cooking the side dishes for Thursday, all the while preparing dinner for that night. When Max’s aunt Cheryl asked if we would like to go workout at the Y with her, we had to say yes just so we didn’t feel as bad about all of the pie and mashed potatoes we would be eating the next couple of days!
The morning of Thanksgiving, Max, his cousin Logan, his uncle Mike and I all ran a Turkey Trot 5k along with 2,600 other people! It was chilly and a little windy at first, but it was a lot of fun to take the roads for a good cause. Everyone seemed so happy because of the holiday, which made it even better. It also got our day going early! The rest of the morning we helped his grandmother and aunt prepare for Thanksgiving lunch and around 1:30, we ate! So much amazing food surrounded by such a warm and welcoming family. I was very lucky to spend Thanksgiving with them, instead of in my apartment all alone! That was just the beginning, though. That evening Max’s uncle Mike’s family came over for a leftover feast, where we all hung out, watched football, and grazed over the food that everyone brought. Between the turkey and the talking, everyone was worn out. But at about 10:30 pm we took the shopping malls with all the crazy Black Friday (even though it was Thursday) people to see what kind of deals we could get. Max and I were there more for moral support while his aunt searched for steals, but we found a couple things for ourselves along the way. After one last pit stop at Victoria’s Secret to see Logan, we headed home at about 1:30 am. We were definitely ready for bed then!
Friday we had planned to head back to Washington, D.C., we just didn’t know when. So instead of rushing to get out the door, we enjoyed a quiet breakfast with his grandparents while we packed away all of our things. We headed out the door about 12:30, grabbed some lunch and off we went. The trains we commuted by on Tuesday weren’t running for the day, so his aunt and grandparents dropped us off at the very end of the D.C. metro red line. Max and I arrived back at my apartment around 5:30 and weren’t sure what we wanted to do next. His grandparents recommended a restaurant, but we weren’t exactly hungry, and the museums didn’t sound very appealing at that time of night. After talking to my roommate Hannah and her boyfriend Josh, we got the idea to go ice skating. A co-worker of mine had mentioned it, but I completely forgot. So we bundled up and headed down Constitution Avenue to the sculpture garden rink.
I had the most amazing time ice skating. It was so pretty and lit up with a variety of music playing, and enough people to make it interesting but not too crowded. I don’t even remember the last time I had been ice skating, so it was extra exciting. We skated for almost an hour and a half before we realized we were hungry and decided to take off on another adventure, trying to figure out exactly where to eat! Ending up in Chinatown, we had a simple 5 Guys Burgers & Fries to cap off our evening. It was fun for Max to see Chinatown all aglow and alive in the evening as well.
Max was heading home back to Iowa Saturday, but we wanted to get as much out of the day as possible. We took his grandparent’s recommendation and made reservations for breakfast at Old Ebbitt Grill. Heading out the door at 8 am, we went and found some bikes to rent through a bike share. Grabbed our bikes, and headed toward the restaurant. Again, so much fun! We had a great breakfast to fuel up before we hopped back on our bikes to see all of the monuments. Max had seen them all except MLK, so we wanted to make sure we stopped at that one for sure. Otherwise, it was more fun just riding around on our rental bikes all day! With time to spare, we headed back to the apartment and relaxed while Max packed up all his things. We quickly explored Union Station before heading off to the airport. Max will be student teaching in Chicago next semester, so saying goodbye was hard. But I hope to visit him toward the end of January and he can show me the ropes of town just like I showed him!
This week will go by fast since I have a lot to finish up. One last paper, final communications class, a test, and a trip to the Holocaust Museum. And then next week we have a reception on Tuesday, my last day of work Thursday, final seminar class Friday, and heading home on Saturday! Thirteen days can seem a long time away, but I know it will fly by before I know it. I’m excited and sad all at the same time. Next Sunday will be my last post while I’m here in D.C.! How crazy is that! It’s been great, but I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my life as well.
Until next time,