Travel To Do: Washington DC & Surrounding Areas

Every time I travel, I spend a few days doing the touristy bit and visit a good handful of the well known places in a city. The other days are spent trying to be more like a local, visiting and discovering the smaller nooks and crannies of a city. I like the mix of both and with companies like Yelp and Instagram, finding interesting places is so much easier!

Our biggest “local” task was to discover and utilize the Metro/Metrobus. We lived in a city that had NO METRO, so we had to bus about an hour to get to a larger city center. We were 20 minutes bus ride from Georgetown though, which was nice. We traded some quiet for distance. I LOVED that!

I try to keep my vacations just that. I don’t want to feel like I need a vacation from my vacation. You just have to make sure to plan adventure days as well as relaxation days.

Most of my picks ended up being coffee or food, but we definitely explored so much more than just these little tidbits. Think of this as little stops to make while exploring your bigger cities/places!

9 places to try

9 places to try

1. Georgetown Waterfront– in the heat/humidity of July in DC? You’ll want to come here to relax and maybe enjoy a dinner along the Potamac at sunset. Gorgeous. You can rent bikes, kayaks, etc here and enjoy the weather, but many families just let their kids run through these giant arches of waterfall from an outdoor play fountain!
2. Astro’s Chicken & Donuts– Alan loves both. We tried this place after an exhausting adventure day (the first day we arrived!) on the Big Bus Hop On/Offs after visiting Ford’s Theater and going to Madam Tussaud’s. I wouldn’t go again, but Alan loved the chicken! The passionfruit donut had great flavor, but wasn’t anything special. The creme brulee one was great! Custard filled and brulee’d!
3. Eastern Market Flea Market– a 1 mile walk from Union Station. Open on Sundays, it is a great way to adventure but enjoy the locals getting goods at the farmer’s market and getting food.
4. Georgetown– shopping & food, but also has an amazing trail C&O Canal
5. Luke’s Lobster– I think this is the chain over here because it was all over DC! Maybe it was just our tourist thing to try, but it was tasty! A little small in portion, but they give quite a bit of seafood on each half piece of toast.
6. Northside Social– our friend Jo took us here when we landed. I had a sweet and creamy iced vanilla latte, which was the perfect thing for someone who was tired and hot from the plane ride! They also have soft serve and GIANT pastries.
7. Baked & Wired– In Georgetown. A MUST GO. Coffee isn’t amazing, but the strawberry cupcake WAS. I will dream about that place until I get my hands on one again! Locals tipped us off to come here rather than Georgetown/DC Cupcakes, and I’m so glad we listened!
8. Caffe Aficionado, Rosslyn– Walkable from Georgetown (across the bridge). This cafe is smack in a business center, but it is a hidden gem. The coffee was smooth and strong. I got an iced latte.
9. M.E. Swing Coffee– a block from the White House. This place has a cool and easy vibe to it. Cool and relaxed with high tables and old school brewing gear. This had THE BEST iced vanilla latte I’ve ever had in my life. The sweetness of the vanilla syrup, the creaminess of the milk, and the sweet and fruity notes of the roasted coffee was SOOOOO GOOD. It was smooth, but had body. My personal preferences perfected in a cup!

Weekend Trip Capsule: Sacramento, CA

I lived in Elk Grove/Sacramento for a year after I graduated from college/grad school at UCDavis, so that area will always have a very special place in my heart. I love going back in the summer when it’s summer break.

Alan hails from Sac, so we visit his family as often as we can. They are crazy good at gardening and I am ALWAYS down to pick figs in the summer and persimmons in the fall. ūüôā

Now Sac is HOT in the summer with heat that lingers late into the night. It also has tempermental spouts of cloudy days with a little sprinkling, even in the summer. Like DC… minus the humidity! I actually brought ¬†pair of jeans, but didn’t really end up wearing it because it was still quite warm. Depending on the weather, I’d advise to always pack long pants just in case!. Jeans work with all the tops and accessories as well.¬†Weekend Trip Capsule: Sacramento, CA

Travel Capsule: Washington D.C.

I’m back from our vacation to Washington D.C!

Alan and I travel light, so we shared one¬†carry-on luggage and even then, we had plenty of room to share! We knew that it’d be hot and humid, but luckily for us, the weather wasn’t terribly humid! Guess we brought some Bay weather with us… ūüôā

We knew that we’d spend a lot of time exploring¬†and on buses/transportation but also in coffee shops, so our clothing choices had to be flexible in heat/AC and also comfortable, but polished.
I pretty much switched through the tanks with the shorts during the day and then wore jeans at night when it got a little cooler! On our more relaxed days (like spending a full day in Georgetown), I wore my striped dress!

Boring colors, but I let my textured scarf and striped dress pull some pattern for me. I also brought my Angela&Roi red crossbody and Longchamp berry tote, which brought a pop of color to my neutral colors!

Travel Capsule: Washington D.C.

5 Day Weekend in Socal Capsule

I’m back! I’m finally over my¬†illness and back in the Bay Area. I had the most amazingly relaxing 5 day weekend down in Southern California. I went down for a wedding, but spent a few days, hoping to be a beach bum, which never happened due to cloudy weather!

I didn’t bring much clothes at all on this trip, but with 5 days.. you really don’t need much at all! This capsule would actually take me through 8 days. That’s 1 sweater, 2 pairs of pants, 4 tops, and 2 pairs of shoes. If you haven’t noticed, I keep things simple and neutral with pops of color. These pants are my all stars for all year round.

I bought my¬†funnel neck zip sweater (similar sweater in the picture) at Old Navy 4 years ago! I’m still wearing it and it’s starting to break apart! I’m going to have to sew myself a replica or find a replacement soon. The glory of a capsule is that you are able to wear your items for YEARS. I wish that there was a better quality in the same style that would last even longer than ON quality… if only!

The white jeans were a purchase also from 4 years ago (what! I keep them white by washing WITHOUT fabric softener and with a few tablespoons of vinegar with the detergent instead). The coral pants were a purchase from a trip to Hong Kong last March.

The newest pick for my spring/summer capsule that I (embarrassingly) keep wearing days in a row is the striped woven top! It’s like linen/chambray and incredibly soft. It works with anything and everything, which is probably why I keep wearing it. (Don’t judge me.)

I have my rose gold bar necklace I bought from Etsy that I wear daily for jewelry, but threw in 2 pairs of shoes for variety. Silver glittered and striped. 5 Day Weekend in Socal Capsule
Replicating this capsule is easy, really. Stick with the neutrals. Pick one color and have a top and pants in that color. Add stripes or polka dots for pattern. Lace would be nice for texture if you want to mix it up too! See how easy it is to build a capsule when you have neutrals/basics?!