I know I need to stop this… taking such a long break between posts. 😀 But in between writing weekly assignments on strategy schools and change management models, sitting down to write a blog is really far from my mind. Don’t forget capstone…. my final thesis blearggghhhh… I conclude that my career will never ever be in research. And I have the toughest supervisor/grader ever who picks up on the tiniest things. Arghhhh.. oh well… happy thoughts, need to have happy thoughts!
This is a very belated post on our spring break vacation to Washington DC. To be fair, it wasn’t really a suitable time for blogging about fun then since Singapore was still in mourning. We actually found out about the bad news while in DC and wanted to pay our respects at the Singapore embassy over there. Unfortunately, we were due to fly out the day that the condolence book was available for signing.
The husband has been super obsessed with American history since the start of the year. I think he has probably watched all the available documentaries on Netflix that has to do with the history of America. Btw, the PBS versions narrated by Ken Burns are supposedly the best out there. I suggested that we head to DC so that he could get his fill of all things American. It was a place that he had never been and a place that I had been to only very briefly many years ago. We also had family and friends whom we we were more than happy to catch up with. To prepare for the trip myself, I binge watched all the episodes of House of Cards! hee
We booked ourselves into an AirBnb place again and it was the most lovely of stays. The apartment was in the basement but so spacious, clean and bright. The first thing I noticed and loved was the DC print on the wall from Rifle Paper & Co. I wish they have something similar for Singapore . I am already eyeing the Chicago one to bring home when we move back. Even though I have yet to step into Wrigley Field lol.
What we didn’t expect during our stay was that our hosts had a baby just a few hours before we checked in! But they were still so sweet and responsible to text us and check if we were settling in ok. We even heard and caught a glimpse of the newborn when they came home 2 days later. Of course we had to leave a little gift and card to thank them for everything before we left.
To be honest, we went to DC at a not so great time. I was hoping for some cherry blossom viewing but they were a no show due to the unusually cold winter and the tons of snow that dumped on to the east coast. The iconic Capitol Building dome was under major repair, so no photo opportunity there. The dinosaur section in the Natural History Museum was also under renovation.
The night monuments tour we took was quite blah. It was too cold, so the “open” trolley become a covered up one with plastic sheets and the view to the monuments were pretty obscured. The tour wasn’t as informative as I remembered. It probably is a luck of the draw thing as the tour guides are volunteers. Hence, the quality really depends on how experienced and knowledgable your guide is. Sigh. But my very positive and happy husband didn’t really care. Again, I am so thankful and grateful that he is always the cheerleader in the family.
The great thing about DC is that the majority of museums are free and there is always something for everyone. And if you didn’t like what you saw, just hop to the next museum. Or if you can’t finish what you want to see, just come back another day! We hopped in and out of the American History museum 3 days in a row!
My favorite was the National Portrait Gallery. I didn’t recognize more than half the people on the walls but taking a tour with the docent there was super informative. Free too!! Btw, that middle photo is Pocahontas after she got married and moved to England. Lost all her Native American-ness unfortunately.
The portrait gallery also had a pretty covered courtyard where we chilled out for a bit. The husband also sat here to do his work (he had to grade his students’ assignments during spring break! sigh) while I wandered about on my own first. He said if we lived in DC, he would come here all the time to do his work since it’s so serene, pretty and free! Aiyoh…
The presence of internationals from near and far in DC meant that food choices were a lot more varied than Chicago. The quality was pretty amazing as well. Our friend drove us to this amazing Korean BBQ place in the burbs and we had awesome seafood too.
Most unforgettable was our meal at Little Serow, a Northeastern Thai place in the Dupont Circle area which our friends recommended us to go to. Even though it was a place run by a through and through American chef, they weren’t stingy on the spices! For this Southeast Asian couple, everything pretty much hit the spot for us. It was so good feeling the burn of chili padi!! The restaurant serves a standard set meal made up of little plates for $45 each person. The menu is changed every week. Sticky rice and veggies were free-flow! So we had 3 rounds! (sheepish smile)
The restaurant is teeny tiny (only 28 seats!) and very nondescript. They take no reservations so a queue forms at least an hour before it opens! We were very lucky to squeeze in for the first seating and managed to make friends with a nice little old lady who was in the queue behind us. It was also her first time and she was excited. Service was great and the waitresses all wore cute vintage floral dresses. Very hipster! The decor really doesn’t match the food but well, food is more important!
So despite some of the not so great parts, I really enjoyed the trip to DC. It really is a very livable city. Unfortunately, many areas are getting very gentrified, driving many prices sky-high. It feels very different from the DC I visited in 2009 which I remembered to be a boring government administration kind of a city. Some say it’s due to the Obama effect where all the young, talented and idealistic have come to DC wanting to contribute and play a part in national policy. It may change if/when power returns to the Republicans.