Monday, October 29, 2012

DC is scandalous...

On Friday after work, a few of my friends and I went out to happy hour at BlackFinn (happy hour culture is huge here!) and then went on an American Scandal Tour. I found out about the tour from a Free in DC Blog I follow, so the 2.5 hour tour was free! 

Basically the tour talked about many scandals that have happened in DC with politicians and people in government. Most people think government is bad now, but I was amazed to learn what people did a long time ago!

The tour started at Lafayette Park, which is behind the White House. Sorry this picture is blurry! Here, we learned about scandals with:
  • Thomas Jefferson- He had 6 children with a slave, but it wasn't confirmed until long after he died.
  • Grover Cleveland- Had an illegitimate child, but still got elected as President.
  • Daniel Sickles- His wife cheated on him with his best friend, so he shot the best friend in this park! But he wasn't found guilty because his lawyer came up with the "temporary insanity plea". 
  • We also heard about Clinton and Nixon. 

This is the Treasury, where we learned about Alexander Hamilton. While he was Secretary of Treasury, Maria Reynolds approached Hamilton to ask for money because her husband left her and her daughter. Hamilton gave her the money and started an affair with her, but then found out her husband didn't actually leave! So Hamilton paid the husband to keep quiet. When Maria and her husband finally decided to divorce, they hired Aaron Burr as their lawyer, who eventually killed Hamilton in the famous duel.

This is the Willard Hotel. The term lobbying was created at the Willard. 

This is the DC Government Building. Here we learned about Marion Barry, formed DC mayor and drug addict. He was elected to office multiple times after DC found out he was a drug addict! His campaign slogan was "I may not be perfect, but I'm perfect for DC."

This is the Canadian Embassy. Supposedly, the architect designed the building to make fun of Americans. The picture on the left is of columns that don't support anything (like many American buildings) and the picture on the right is a little area that echoes really loudly (maybe because politicians just repeat stuff over and over)!

Last stop was the Capitol, where we learned about:
  • Wilbur Mills: Fell in love with a dancer at a strip club named Fanne Foxe.
  • Strom Thurmond: Opposed Civil Rights, but 6 months after he died, it was revealed that he was the father of a mixed-race daughter with his maid. 
  • John Schmitz: Opposed sex education, but fathered two children with one of his students from when he was a professor. Most people know more about his daughter, Mary Kay Letourneau, who followed in his footsteps. 
Well I learned a lot from this tour, but it was really funny too. On the website, it is rated R for ridiculous. I hope you learned some fun (?), interesting facts haha. 

Did you know about these scandals? 
What is the best tour you have went on?

Saturday, October 27, 2012


On Sunday, we woke up and ate breakfast in the hotel before going out for one last walk around King St. It was a relaxing morning and the weather was perfect for fall. 

During our walk, we stopped at a cute cafe for Chai Tea Lattes and our friends got a Pupcake- which is a tiny cupcake for dogs! I wish we had got some for our dogs, but my mom had other cupcakes to bring back home that day (hint, next picture, hint.)

After dropping our friends off at the airport- so sad, but luckily I will see them again in about a month!!- my mom and I headed out to explore the city some more. 

We went to Chinatown to walk around and get lunch. After that we went for one more stop in Georgetown!

Cupcakes!! Again! There was no way my mom would be able to go home without bringing cupcakes for my siblings. We kept looking for souvenirs for them, but then we realized all they really wanted were cupcakes. 

We got them Red Velvet, Peanut Butter Fudge, and chocolate ganache cupcakes. 

We got the Peanut Butter Fudge and Pumpkin Spice ones for us :) P.S.- we ate these at Georgetown Cupcakes and then split more cupcakes at the hotel later that night. I think I've officially had my cupcake fill for a while haha. 

We went into a few more stores around Georgetown, like this store called Paper Source. They have cute gifts and cards and a whole custom printing and gift wrapping section! I liked these file folders. They say Total Crap, Other Crap, and More Crap. That basically describes half of the paper work we all have haha. 

That night, my mom and I went out to dinner on King St. and had some amazing seafood. Then we walked back to the hotel, ate some cupcakes, and that was the end of THE BEST WEEKEND EVER. 

The next morning, I dropped my mom off at the airport :( and headed back to my apartment to drink some tea (tea from mom, cute mug from our friends!) and finish up homework before class. 

I'm sad the weekend went by so quickly, but it was the BEST WEEKEND EVER. I love spending my birthdays with my mom and our friends :) 

Do you have a certain group of friends that you always spend your birthday with?
Would you use those file folders?

Friday, October 26, 2012

DC After Dark

Let me just apologize ahead of time- there are no desserts in this post. Or any food at all. I'm sorry to disappoint you. 

On Saturday night, we took a night tour of the monuments called DC After Dark. It was this nice charter bus with the funniest tour guide/bus driver ever, who drove us to a bunch of locations in DC and other areas. Some things he just pointed out from the bus (like the Capitol), but other places, we got to get off the bus and explore. 

Quick side story. I don't really mention names on this blog (for the privacy of others!), but when we were at Union Station waiting for the tour, we ran into a girl that my friend and I went to school with in elementary school! She was in DC for the weekend and we just happened to be in the same exact spot at the same exact time! Crazy, huh? So she went on the tour with us too. 

Our first stop was the White House. It was nice to see it at night with less crowds. 

The Reflecting Pool. I love how the Washington Monument looks with its reflection at night!

Hello Lincoln! The Lincoln Memorial was really busy at night, but I still got some great pictures. 

WWII Memorial. We ran over here because I love how the fountains are lit up at night. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to walk around this memorial. 

Iwo Jima. I had never been here before! When we were driving up, we went right past Arlington Cemetery and saw some of the headstones. I need to go there during the day soon- it's on my list of places to go.

MLK Memorial. The walls around it are filled with quotes and these are just a few pictures. If you're ever in DC, I recommend going to the MLK Memorial and FDR Memorial and read all of their quotes. 

Jefferson Memorial. There are also great speeches by him engraved on the walls here. Why don't politicians write their own speeches like this anymore?!

Overall, the tour was great! Take a tour when you go to DC because it is such an easy way to see the main points of DC and hear interesting facts about them from your tour guide. Although it was a cold night, it was the perfect end to our Saturday. Best weekend ever! 

Were you disappointed about the lack of desserts in this post?
Have you ever had any random run-ins with old friends like we did?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Warning: Lots of dessert in this post!!!

Let the birthday celebrations begin! On Saturday, we woke up early and had breakfast at the hotel. Our hotel was really nice and had pretty flowers in vases near the food. The rose one reminded me of Beauty and the Beast haha. 

First stop of the day: Rosslyn. The escalator at that stop is huge!

We walked over the bridge from Virginia into DC. You can see Georgetown in this picture! 

Our motivation for making it over the bridge :)

GEORGETOWN CUPCAKES! So many to choose from! We got there at a great time though, because we barely had to wait in line. 


We got Salted Caramel and Red Velvet :) 

All gone!

After that, we walked around and shopped for a while before lunch. Warning: if you judge people for eating too many desserts in one day, stop reading now! 


We went to Serendipity for lunch- there are 4 in the US and so far I have been to 3. The first time we went was when my mom and our friends went to the one in NYC for our 16th birthday trip- where has the time gone?!

In case you haven't seen the movie, this is how we knew we wanted to go to Serendipity. It started this whole trend of wanting to go to all of them. Go watch this movie now! 


 Can you catch the spelling mistake on the menu? Anyone want some Hazelbut liquer? I sure don't...

Dessert! This is the part where you don't judge and forget that fact that we already had cupcakes... We got 2 red velvet cake sundaes and 2 frozen hot chocolates and split them between all 4 of us. By the way, we all split meals so we would have room for dessert- we were thinking ahead :)

After finishing lunch and walking through the rest of Georgetown, we went to the Capitol to take pictures. With all of the fall leaves, it looked absolutely beautiful!  

Me in front of the Capitol. Hopefully I can start taking better pictures of myself with the iPhone. Although this one still has random people and a dog in it... 

After this, we headed to Union Station to get ready for our Night Tour! 

How many times do you eat dessert on your birthday?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Rain, rain go away!

After we picked up our friends from the airport, we dropped everything off at the hotel and went exploring on King St. Unfortunately, after walking all the way down King St., which is about a mile, it started raining! Sound familiar? That is exactly what happened to me and my dad during our first night in DC. 

So we ended up catching the trolley to Red Rocks for dinner. It was so good the first night, that we went back again :) Plus, our friends wanted to go after we told them how good it was. 

When we left dinner, it had stopped raining, so we continued our walk along King St. We saw this guy, Jamey Turner, playing the glass harp- you know, the cups filled with water that make music?

I've heard that he taught Sandra Bullock how to play the glass harp for Miss Congeniality! Then we walked around the water and saw all of the beautiful lights from the city. 

The Capitol is in the distance in this photo, but you can't see it too well with my camera.

Next stop, ice cream! We went to Ben & Jerry's and I found coupons in the store for buy one get one free large ice creams. The staff there thought it was funny that I found them, but didn't give us a problem about using them! Although I probably ate too much ice cream (is that possible?!), I got butterscotch and fudge brownie. So good :)

Then we went into some of the cute shops along the street. This DC Souvenir store had my name! That almost never happens. 

We walked back up the street to our hotel, passing by some more cool places along the street. This is outside a restaurant and if you can see in the background, all of the trees were lit up. I love Alexandria!

We headed back for an early night because Saturday was a day full of birthday festivities and time with friends! 

When traveling, do you normally go to bed early and wake up early to get more done during the day or do you do the opposite?