Tuesday, October 18, 2011

D.C. Vacation

It was so nice to spend the weekend up in Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia. As much as I still think about my old stomping grounds, I had forgotten how much I truly missed it there and just how beautiful it is this time of year. We couldn't have gone at a better time to see the vibrant Fall leaves, and we were lucky enough to have sunny weather at 70 degrees the entire time.

I still have family in the area, some of who we met up with our first night in town. I loved going back to my hometown of Woodbridge to my Aunt and Uncle's house for dinner, and I couldn't help but swing by two of my old houses nearby. I was happy to see that almost everything looked exactly the same, except I think  even prettier than I remembered! I feel lucky to have grown up in such a lovely place.

We stayed with Steve's cousin Melissa, who he had never actually met in person! Thanks to the internet, they were able to get to know each other over the past year or so. We all hit it off great.
We packed a lot into the weekend, including a road trip to Charlottesville, Virginia where we enjoyed a picnic lunch and wine tasting at Blenheim Vineyards, and I loved taking Steve to one of my favorite historical sites, Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. The drive down was absolutely gorgeous, too.

We spent our final day in D.C. exploring the Smithsonian at the Natural History and American History Museums. Steve was excited to see real dinosaur bones for the first time, and I always get a kick out of seeing historical pop culture items, such as Judy Garland's ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz. I think we were all fully exhausted by the end of the day!

I tried to remember to take plenty of photos, but thankfully, Melissa is a photographer and helped supplement when my little camera phone failed (usually due to bad light). You can check out more of her work, as well as her brand new blog at: heartsparkphotography.com
It's a super cute site!

Meanwhile, I think the rest of my weekend story can be told best through photos:

Landing at Dulles Airport. We sat next to a cute little German lady on the flight.
I regret that I didn't remember to take anymore photos this first night, when we spent time with my family and saw my old neighborhoods!

Croissants and french vanilla coffee, fuel before heading to Charlottesville for the day.

On the road to Charlotteville! First stop, the vineyard...

Wine tasting and strolling around Blenheim Vineyards (Hm...I thought I seemed a bit more tipsy than anyone else... Just kidding).

 Grape tomatoes growing on the property.

 The wine glasses were ours to keep.

 The wine theme continued at Monticello. Loved this quote. ;)

Thomas Jefferson's grave, surrounded by many other family members. It is still used as a Jefferson family cemetery to this day.

35 cent candy sticks from the gift shop are a must. Tuti-fruiti and Cherry Coke flavors!

 A little afternoon snack after touring TJ's house, which I also regret not getting any photos of! (By the way, I love that I discovered these Honest Tea organic teas and juices. I've seen them since coming back to Texas, too. They have just a hint of sweetness, are all natural, and quite low calorie.)

In the car on the way to the Smithsonian the next morning.

Impressive ancient birds, giant sea turtles, and a gigantic sloth that looked like something out of Star Wars!

 Lunch break at the nearby sports tavern; Capitals and Redskins flags flying high. Delicious guacamole burgers here!

 Pretty building for a Starbucks.

At the entrance to the Revolutionary War exhibit at the American History Museum.

Steve made me extra glad I was wearing leggings this day....

 Energy boost at Red Mango, after a long day at the museums. As you can see, Steve made sure he got plenty in his cup. I made sure I tried as many toppings as possible. The winning combos? Blueberry frozen yogurt with dried cranberries, or the melon/coconut swirl with fresh mango slices. Yum!

The cats patiently awaited dinner outside the kitchen. We spent our final night sitting around the fire pit on the back deck, grilling hamburgers and corn on the cob, and enjoying some local wine and beer, which we purchased at Monticello.

Steve following me around with the camera. Comfy and warm on our last night! We left very early the next morning and caught our 8:30am flight back to Texas.

Driving home from the Austin airport. Steve wasn't very happy that the vacation was over so soon. I think that about sums everything up.

We had an excellent vacation, and I can't wait to get back up to that area as soon as we can!


  1. Looks like you guys had a great time! Love the pictures at the winery!

  2. Love the photos! I also love your blog always fun to read.

  3. Thanks a bunch! I'm so glad you enjoy it. :)