Living Abroad, Travel

Hey Mom! The Meatloaf!

Scott and I went back to the new world last month and enjoyed seeing family and friends in my favorite city in the world, Washington, DC! I spent the majority of my 20s in DC and it’s definitely home for me. So I thought I would share a quick travel guide and some of my top tourist attractions to visit when in the District .

I would first like to give a shout out to United for the amazing new direct flight from Edinburgh to Dulles! That was blissful. Mostly because we avoided the horrendous Heathrow, but also because they have brought back free booze on international flights. So glad they have sorted out their priorities.

I would also like to thank TSA for reminding me how much I miss being yelled at for bringing more than 3.4 ounces of non-liquid toothpaste on an airplane. And to the wannabe cop for giving me the choice of checking my bag for $25 or buying new toothpaste, that was a tough decision to make.

On a positive note, Scott was very pleased with the Dulles passport control for allowing him to join me in the US citizens line because we are married. So many perks to being legally bound to me.

Anyway, lets get started with my favorite things to do in DC, yes these are touristy but they are gems and many of them are free! Which Europe could really learn something about.

Tidal Basin
This is home to three memorials. Jefferson Memorial (my personal fave), Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial and FDR Memorial. It’s also home to paddle boats! Some even in the shape of swans if you want to be really fancy. And in the spring it’s lined with Cherry Blossoms. They blossom for like 5 minutes and the whole world comes to experience these pink trees, but sometimes you can have rare moments like below where nobody is around.

Library of Congress
I realize the title of this attraction sounds rather boring, but I promise it’s worth it. Because  it’s gorgeous!! Oh and also because its the oldest federal cultural institution in the US. I mean enough said.

National Gallery of Art
This is by far my favorite free museum in DC. Basically because I love impressionist paintings and it has Monet, Renoir, Cassatt and more coming out it’s ying yang. It also has a very cool sculpture garden with art like a giant typewriter eraser. Mind blown.

This is my favorite non-free museum. Where you can see a piece of the Berlin wall, daily front pages from newspapers around the country and world and a reminder of the First Amendment etched into the front of the building. It’s located on Pennsylvania Ave and a certain neighbor should probably drive by and acquaint himself with that amendment.

Renwick Gallery
This is a Smithsonian museum (all of them are free!) and is small but usually hosts pretty cool exhibits. Currently they have No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man. This is my kind of way to experience Burning Man, inside with air conditioning, plumbing and no desert. Needless to say, this is the closest I will ever get to the actual event.

Washington National Cathedral
You know I love a cathedral and I love that we have our very own mini Notre Dame with far less crowds. Check it out and make sure to climb the towers and see the spectacular views of the city. I always dreamed of getting married there, just another one of life’s little disappointments. I had to settle for Scotland instead.

The Wharf
The Wharf has fancied itself right up, let me tell you. There are cute restaurants, including Mi Vida which I chose because I always have to fill up on Mexican food when I’m in the states! Because, well, Mexican food in Scotland sucks. Making guac and margs isn’t brain surgery but, for some reason, it is nearly impossible in the land of haggis. Anyway, the Wharf also has concert venues, bars and a giant connect four!

This is still so pompously amazing. It’s filled with boutique shops, overpriced homes and Brat Pack wannabes (If you haven’t seen St Elmo’s Fire then get on that). And it has a beautiful waterfront where you can drive up in your boat just to show people you have a boat.

And now for my NEW favorite thing to do in DC. Electronic scooters! Shout out to Bird, I love you guys. You can pick them up anywhere in DC and I spent a good 48 hours during my trip cruising all over Adams Morgan, Penn Quarter, Georgetown and the National Mall. Edinburgh please get on this!

Yep, that’s me just casually riding around in the center of the free world.

Later I outscooted (I’m sure that’s a word) the protestors in front of the White House. Nice balance.

I have to mention Annapolis because I spent a few days there during this last trip. We went on a tour of the Naval Academy with my best-friend-in-law who’s assigned there.

If you have never been to the Naval Academy before, I would highly recommend it! Sorry I don’t have any more pics of the actual campus, I was too busy teaching my best friend’s new baby how to take a selfie. He’s still learning, but look how much he loves me!

We also enjoyed a sunset cruise on the boat that was used in Wedding Crashers! I love checking off another item on the Wedding Crashers bucket list. Champagne on the National Mall was already ticked (no, that is not technically allowed) and now cruising around on the Cleary’s boat is complete! Next I just need to learn to make some meatloaf.

If you are planning a trip to DC, definitely check out these places and if you want more tips visit Shameless publicity for my old company, but they rock!

It’s been in the 70s in Scotland! I actually wore a sundress outside because I had to, not because I wanted to! Unfortunately, you do see a lot of white tummies when it gets this warm, men have no shame in taking their taps off and walking along the street or sitting outside having a pint with their gut on display. And the Scottish weatherman did have to give a warning that you can easily get burnt in these temperatures. Isn’t that cute?!