If her weekend getaways to Ojai are any indication, Heather Taylor of LA in Bloom likes her vacations to be beautiful, engaging, and peppered with cozy snacks. Here, she gives us the lowdown on her recent excursion to our nation's capital.
Just back from: Washington, D.C.
Was it your first time? Yes.
How long were you there? Three full days.
Who were you there with? My business partner, who also happens to be my husband. My best friend took a train from NY and spent 24 hours with us.
What's the #1 tip you'd give a friend who wanted to go? Bring the most comfortable shoes you own.
What did you do? We worked for the first day helping our artist get ready for his opening. Once our work obligations were done, we visited the National Museum of American History, where I shed my first DC tear in front of Michelle Obama's Inaugural Ball Dress, designed by Jason Wu. The rest of the trip was filled with sightseeing, including a visit to The White House, the Vietnam Memorial, and the U.S. Botanic Garden, just to name a few.
Were you there for the right amount of time? I think so. It's amazing how much culture and history (and food!) we packed into three days.
This was especially great: We spent our first full day walking the mall from beginning to end, from Library of Congress to Lincoln Memorial. Along the way we stopped for incredible museums and spent time viewing each monument. After six hours on our feet, we landed at Jose Andres' Oyamel for margaritas and chips with guacamole, made tableside. Exactly what we needed at that moment.
But this wasn't: Losing steam by hour three, knowing that there was so much more to see. We stopped for water and snacks at the Smithsonian Institution Building, otherwise knows as the The Castle.
Speed round of favorites.
1. Meal: A romantic dinner of crabcakes and white wine on the patio of the charming Tabard Inn.
2. Neighborhood to explore: We spent our first morning stopping in and out of cafes, stores, and galleries in the Georgetown area. As native Angeleno, I couldn't get over how quaint this area is.
3. Site/place/thing you did: Spending two hours walking through the Holocaust Museum was the trip's highlight. One of the most powerful experiences I have ever had.
What's the local speciality? Homemade pop tarts. Not sure what the official local specialty is, but the trip's culinary highlights include homemade brown sugar and cinnamon pop tarts eaten for breakfast at Ted's Bulletin.
Site you didn't get to visit, but wanted to: The National Portrait Gallery. One of several good reasons to book another trip.
Let's talk about stuff.
1. Glad you packed: Sneakers and lots of energy.
2. Wish you'd packed: More comfortable clothes for days spent seeing sites.
3. Didn't need: High-heeled Prada ankle boots are simply not required for a three-day sightseeing trip in DC.
4. Brought back: A desire to learn more about American history.
Would you go back? If so, what would you do differently? Yes. Nothing. The trip was perfection.
Any surprises? My friend Melissa said we had to visit the Peacock Room at the Freer Gallery, featuring 250 Asian ceramics elaborately displayed. It is on view though Spring 2013 and not to be missed. Another surprise was the Newseum, recommended to us by a DC resident. This multi-story space presents the history of news in an interactive, compelling, and moving way.
What was your Kodak moment? Arriving at the Lincoln Memorial was such a powerful experience. It felt straight out of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and we took lots of photos to prove it.
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