March 11, 2014

monuments & macaroons.

     Jason and I finally took some time to go to Alexandria, Virginia to visit our good friends David and Melissa. One of the days we were there, of course, we couldn’t pass up on visiting Washington DC. In our travels, Jason and I have found that traveling with different friends can bring new perspective to a destination. In the case of our foodie friends, they always know where the best food spots are in the city and Washington DC was no different. This weekend’s obsession was macaroons. I’ve always admired this vividly colorful cookie, but never had the actual pleasure of tasting one.

     We took a taxi to Georgetown and for lunch ate delicious pizza at Pizzeria Paradiso. Continuing down M street we unexpectedly ran into a sign for Olivia’s Macaroon and headed down an alleyway to the small, cute shop. Once inside, Jason and I picked three macaroons apiece. David and Melissa, however, chose six apiece—they do not mess around. 

This poster outside of Olivia's was enough advertisement for me to come into their shop

     Georgetown is a historic neighborhood in Washington DC that is lined with all kinds of boutique shops. We loved looking at the beautiful stone and brick architecture and peeking into some of the unique shops. We wandered into Gorin Bros. Hat Shop and I had fun channeling my inner Downton Abbey character, Jason on the other hand, channeled his prohibition gangster and even tried on the “official” Heisenberg hat from Breaking Bad.

We love the colonial look of some of the buildings around Georgetown
No caption needed
Is this the look of the Heisenberg?
Call me Lady Mary
If a Spainiard see's a Zara...
     We continued walking up Wisconsin Ave. admiring the fancy window displays until we found a second macaroon shop: Bee’s Macaroon. After choosing more treats we found a place to sit and finally enjoyed some pastries. I took small bites to savor every bit of macaroon deliciousness and Jason finished them off in one bite. We all agreed that Bee’s had the better macaroon, but Olivia’s had the better display.
We love how each place is seperated by a different color - Bee's is the Yellow one
The official "Jason Approval"
Enjoying our macaroons
My favorite thing about the macaroons may have been the pretty colors
Cool old sign of Georgetown

     Before leaving Georgetown, we passed a frozen Chesapeake and Ohio canal and walked along the Potomac River. There was a great ice skating rink just on the edge of the river that looked intriguing, especially with penguin guides to push to help children skate, but it was still too chilly for us to enjoy.
How many penguins can you spot?
The Potomac River
     Taking a taxi from K Street, we headed to the Washington Monument. Last summer when we visited Arlington, Virginia the Monument looked like a spaceship from all the scaffolding to repair damages from an earthquake a few years ago. Unfortunately, there is still scaffolding around the bottom of the structure, but lots of progress has been made and we still enjoyed looking at the 555-foot tall obelisk.

The Washington Monument
Best Buddies

     We then made our way to the National World War II Memorial. Of course, this memorial is so much more beautiful in the spring and summer when the fountain is running, but we enjoyed having it to ourselves. It was fun finding all of the states we have called home. The states of Michigan, California, Idaho, and New York have been good to us, but who knows where we’ll end up next.

Although I'll probably never go back, I'll always be proud to be a Michigander
It's much prettier with the fountain on
I still forget I live in New York
Aw, come on guys, we have so many fond memories of this place!
     We continued down a long path adjacent to the empty Reflecting Pool to one of my favorites: the Lincoln Memorial. It’s always a surprise to walk up the steps to the Greek-like temple and then out of the shadows see the gigantic statue of President Lincoln sitting on a chair. We were grateful that David was able to take many pictures of both of us with one of our favorite US Presidents.
The road to Lincoln
Outside the Lincoln Memorial
He's so big!
The great view from the Lincoln Memorial (I always think of Forrest Gump)

     Our final sightseeing stop was the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Jason loves this war memorial and how expressive and lifelike the sculptured soldiers appear. It makes you feel like you are in the actual battlefield with them. A 164-foot long black granite wall stands nearby with photographic engravings depicting images of people and weapons involved in the war. It was very touching to look at the detail of the engravings and reflect on the people who gave up their lives in Korea.

Korean War Memorial
They just get to you
The etchings on this wall are incredible
     All and all, we had a fantastic time visiting David and Melissa and we were so happy that they were able to take time away from their busy schedules to show us around Georgetown and DC. Hopefully they can come up to New York soon so we can repay the favor, but until then, we wait anxiously for our next foodie adventure.

It was so great to see David and Melissa!

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