As we were enjoying a lovely spring evening with wine, gossip, and laughter, my friend got to talking about her summer “bucket list” of all of the things she wants to accomplish before starting business school in the fall. While some of the items resembled a to-do list more than a bucket list (evaluate life plans and go to friend’s wedding aren’t exactly bucket list material), it got me thinking of all the things I want to do this spring/summer to take full advantage of the nice weather and all that DC has to offer.
This is probably more of a to-do list than a bucket list per se, but hopefully it will be good motivation to keep me exploring and adventuring through the next few months.
- Move. I love our apartment, but I’m dying for a patio/deck/outdoor space.
- Roosevelt Island. I still haven’t been, which means that a nice stroll around the island is in order.
- Billy Goat Trail.See above.
- Camping. A night in the Shenandoahs is always a good idea. And now we have an even more spacious four person tent.
- Screen on the Green and other outdoor concerts/screenings. DC has so many free outdoor activities during the spring and summer months, and it’s a shame not to go to as many as possible.
- Capitol Bike Share. I’m deathly afraid of biking in the city, but I’d like to rent a bike and at least spend some time down on the mall.
- Explore Rock Creek. We live blocks from the park, but have only explored a few paths. I’d love to spend more time trekking and exploring (during the day).
- Picnic. Again, we live so close to Rock Creek, so but sometimes it seems like such a hassle to get all of our stuff together for a picnic. It’s really not that difficult.
- Try new things. There is so much to see, do, and explore in DC. Do something new every week. This weekend, Dan and I are going to a shooting range and heading to the outlets. Plus, I’m going to (and co-hosting) my first ever bridal shower.
You can’t beat springtime in Durham in the garden with two of your best friends.
I love the real world–I really do–but spending an afternoon in the Sarah P. Duke Garden is a sure-fire way to trigger the college nostalgia.
Home is where the heart is. And as much as I love DC and the home we’ve made for ourselves in Cleveland Park, a part of my heart is stuck in California–and each time I go back, I realize even more how much I miss it.
The nice thing about heading to the Bay Area with people who aren’t from the region is that it gives me the chance to act as a faux tourist. Between San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area, there is an overwhelming list of things to do and see–but I have my own favorites and must-dos for out-of-towners and locals alike.
West Coast Wanderings:
- Walk/run across the Golden Gate Bridge. I didn’t do this until I was 18, despite living 15 minutes from the Bridge for my entire life, and I’m glad I finally got around to it. Despite the wind and fog, you can’t beat the views.
- Take the ferry. My favorite is the ferry that goes between Larkspur and AT&T Park for every Giants game. What a great way to get to and from a baseball game–and no need for a designated driver! But you’re not losing out by taking the regular ferry either, which drops you off at the Ferry Building for plenty of shopping and dining.
- Visit the Ferry Building. This is a great stop to browse, buy, and indulge in local delicacies. From fresh roasted coffee to organic chocolates to locally cured meats to the Slanted Door, you can’t go wrong. And if you happen to be there on a Saturday, you’ll get the extra pleasure of a fantastic farmers market.
- Eat in Chinatown. Forget Rice-a-Roni, dim sum is the real San Francisco treat. Plenty of fried food–and it comes around to your table on carts. Can’t go wrong. Chinatown is also a great place to pick up gifts, fresh spices, a wide variety of teas, and all sorts of Asian food to add to your pantry.
- Stroll through Muir Woods. Home to the tallest trees in the world, Muir Woods is a sight to be seen. Whether you’re up for a day of hiking or a casual stroll on the paved path, you can’t miss out on the giant redwoods.
- Wander through downtown Sausalito. Whether you get there by car, ferry, or bike, downtown Sausalito is a quaint little strip with plenty of cute cafes and art galleries along the water. If you’re in town, Fish is a great restaurant for some local seafood.
- Go wine tasting. Duh. You can’t go to the Bay Area without taking a trip to Napa/Sonoma/St. Helena to go wine tasting. I went to Schramsberg Vineyards for a fabulous sparking wine tour.
- Shop on Union Street. You’ll find a lot of great boutiques on Union Street (in San Francisco)–and also some fun people watching.
There is so much more to do (Haight-Ashbury, burritos in the Mission, Coit Tower, the Marina, North Beach, Napa Valley dining…), but hopefully this list is a good starting point for anyone who is planning a Bay Area vacation.
One of the problems with food in DC these days (and it’s a good problem to have) is that there are too many new and delicious places hopping up–that sometimes you can feel like you’re running on a hamster wheel as you try to keep up and try everything. I love hearing from my friends about the new places they’ve tried and their favorite DC spots for various types of meals and experiences.
After mentioning Sundevich to a friend during a conversation about DC sandwich shops, he jokingly said that I needed to put together a list of my DC must-eat spots so that he’d know where he should go. Well, I took him up on his suggestion and produced my List for Kevin. It’s certainly not exhaustive, but a few of my favorite spots and favorite dishes.
- Sundevich – awesome sandwiches
- Blue Duck Tavern – great brunch, but their bone marrow at dinner is a must
- VOLT – amazing dining experience, including superb service; tuna tartare and sweetbreads are awesome
- Art & Soul – great patio and tasty cocktails
- Acqua al 2 – Italian; get the pasta sampler
- Birch & Barley – best chicken and waffles in town on their brunch menu
- Granville Moore’s – H street mussels
- Ripple – hidden gem in Cleveland Park with all locally sourced food (and now ice cream sandwiches)
- Ashby Inn – out in Paris, VA; but an amazing meal
- Rasika – palak chaat (crispy spinach)
- Vinoteca – possibly the best eggs benedict in the city (+ $11 all you can drink mimosas)
- Estadio – brussel sprouts are killer
- Taqueria DF – random spot on 14th in Columbia Heights with good tacos
I promise that I’ll be back on the blog more frequently! There’s no way I’ll be a daily poster (and no one really needs to hear from me that often), but I’m going to make a concerted effort to post more recipes, reviews, and randomness!