Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Jenny Goes to Washington!

Over the past weekend I finally made it down to Washington D.C. to visit an old college friend. She actually lives in Alexandria, VA which is about 30 minutes outside of the city. I should I say 30 minutes without traffic and in the DC area- there is ALWAYS traffic so it actually takes about an hour! We tried to cram as much sight seeing in as possible, while still making an effort to have a relaxing weekend.

I arrived late Thursday evening and Melissa had the perfect place in mind to kick off my trip: a speakeasy! I am fascinated with American history and part of that history includes prohibition, where it was illegal to serve alcoholic beverages in the 1920s-1930s. This is when speakeasy establishments came into fruition. Think F. Scott Fitzgerald, jazz music, candlelight and of course, the unmarked door. In Alexandria, VA, there is a restauranteur who recently opened a modern speakeasy known as PX. Of course, there is not a sign so it's really a word-of-mouth type advertisement. It is so awesome! You look for the blue light and if it is on, ring the doorbell and a hostess will decide if they will let you in. It only has space for 30 guests so it's not a guarantee. Once inside, you will be led into a small apartment-like setting, with cozy couches and a beautiful wooden bar where they're serving up the best cocktails in DC- and in my experience, the best cocktails of my life! Of course, it's gotten a lot of attention, making "best of" lists and receiving many rave reviews throughout the blogosphere and in local magazines. The cocktails are magnificent and even if you do not drink- you'd be impressed with the artistry. They make many of their own bitters, sodas, and herb infused liquors. The PX in Alexandria is definitely an experience!

Friday morning we took the metro into DC and had brunch with Barack and Michelle... oh right, that didn't actually happen. How freaking cool would that have been?!? We did see the White House though- and I caught a glimpse of Alan Greenspan leaving the West Wing in a town car. He was probably still scratching his head, wondering where he went wrong in his free market regulatory strategy. The picture above is the front of the White House- pretty nice digs.
This picture was taken from behind the White House- you can see the Washington Monument in the background. There was a major protest going on asking Obama to help end the genocide in Sri Lanka. It made me feel a little ridiculous for saying things like, "why am I feeling like I'm being pulled in so many different directions!?!" Can you imagine being the President of the United States? Still, it is really awesome that we are allowed the freedom to protest and assemble- right outside the White House especially when you think about genocides and other horrific things going on in other countries. It amazed me at how much I take these freedoms for granted.
This picture is of the US Capital taken from the top of the Newseum. The Newseum is the only museum that I visited this trip. It is actually fairly new and it's where This Week with George Stephanopoulos is filmed every Sunday morning. Incredible museum- it has a news history gallery which includes historic newspaper front pages that span from 1545 to today. I found it really fascinating to see the headlines from the day after the events took place. For example, seeing the newspaper from the day after Lincoln was assassinated, made it seem more real than when I read about it in a history book. Looking at all of those news stories, one after the other, was interesting because I sometimes forget about all the news I have witnessed in just 30 years! I have to admit, I teared up a few times. It's just a lot to take in all at once.
The Newseum also has a "Today's Front Pages" gallery- where they post a local paper from each state. And- wouldn't you know, on Friday they had posted The Kitsap Sun for Washington! I thought some of you from Kitsap County would get a kick out of that!

I took a public tour of the US Capital building- so beautiful. The tour starts off with a video, which I have to admit I was thinking it was going to be really lame, that it'd be cliche tourist stuff- instead, I was really impressed with it. The video explains how our government was formed and it is astounding to realize how much foresight the founding fathers really had in establishing the method for how many representatives and senators each state would have. It then goes over all the legislation that had been passed. Again, I felt somewhat ashamed for spending so much time complaining about how our government works when I should be writing to my congress person. If we are unhappy with our representation - we need to step up and get involved. That was the "take-away" of my whole trip.

Other than that- here are a few other photos from my trip! Enjoy!
Washington Monument, Reflecting Pool
Oh Abe!- Lincoln Memorial
Front of Lincoln Memorial
Alexandria, VA


Hillary said...

I really loved my phone call on Saturday night. You guys sure had a lot of different kinds of cheese! :-) Your trip looks like it was fabulous -- wish I could have been there!

Emily said...

Sounds like so much fun! I'm going to put PX on my list for next time I visit Mel.