Quite possibly the best part of a virtual vacation is that while my virtual self had to get up in the wee hours, drive to the airport, stand in line at security, and yawn over a white chocolate mocha at the gate, my real self was nestled all snug in my bed. But now that hurdle has passed, I’ll just pretend to be my virtual self, OK? Otherwise the grammar will get too complicated and you’ll get tired of reading “virtual” over and over.
This is my travel outfit.(It’s from Coldwater Creek if you’d like one of your own; the pic links to it.) I like the attitude of it; it says I’m cool but comfortable, classic but adventurous. There’s no jacket to take off at airport security and no, I won’t be wearing the boots in the pic for that very reason.
Flight 1600 lands in Washington, DC at about a quarter to one (local time). It’s my first time in our nation’s capital and I can’t wait to get started seeing the sites. Fortunately, it’s just a short taxi ride to my home for the next week, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
I chose this hotel because a) it’s walking distance to the Smithsonian b) it has fantastic rooms and views and c) there’s an in-house spa and a 5 star restaurant. I cannot conceive of actually spending this much money on a hotel in real life, but this trip has a virtual budget, so a little luxury was in order. (OK, maybe a LOT of luxury.)
After gawking at my gorgeous hotel room for a bit like the small-town girl I am, it’s time for lunch. And where better to dine than the Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington’s oldest, most historic saloon? Founded in 1856, Presidents Grant, Andrew Johnson, Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt and Harding supposedly refreshed themselves at its stand-around bar. I’ll take a seat in the Main Dining Room instead, where I can admire antique gas chandeliers and paintings by Kamil Kubik that show patriotic scenes near the White House, Supreme Court, and Library of Congress.
They’re famous for their jumbo lump crab cakes and who am I to argue? They come with corn and tomato Chesapeake and oven roasted potatoes, bought from local farms. Delish! But you don’t have to take my word for it; I sweet-talked the chef into sharing the recipe. You’ll find it on my recipe page. It’s the perfect introduction to dining in DC.
I’ll have more to share this evening. For now, I think a post-lunch stroll is in order. After all, I’m just a block or so from here: