Friday was my “unabashedly tourist-y” day. I messed around the apartment for a bit, tidying up and sorting Jeff’s laundry. Then I headed out to Bethesda for some yarn shopping.
(Digression #1: Jeff didn’t bring a car to DC because we knew it would be so wholly unnecessary, so we got around exclusively through Metro, with a couple bus rides and the (very) occasional cab thrown in for good measure. DC’s Metro is awesome. So clean and efficient, and really intuitive. I had no problem going everywhere from Bethesda, to Silver Spring, to Arlington. Love the Metro.)
The only bad thing about the Metro is these freaking escalators.
Apparently, I have a hitherto unknown fear of massive escalators – which I quickly realized as soon as I got in on Wednesday night. So for the rest of my trip, I survived by a)taking the elevator b)walking up a stationary escalator or (last resort) c)staring directly into Jeff’s eyes and clutching his arm for dear life. Once I almost had to ask a homeless person if he’d let me clutch his arm for dear life, but I managed to abstain.
In case you were wondering, there are 143 steps to get up the Dupont Circle escalator. I counted. Multiple times.
I visited Knit and Stitch = Bliss on Friday morning:
And I have to say: I love this shop! Everyone there was super nice, and they have a wonderful inventory. They didn’t even laugh at me when I walked around stroking a skein of sock yarn! I liked it so well that I went back the following week (which is when I took this picture). If/when we move to DC, I could *so* see this becoming my LYS.
Here’s what I found there:
Some Tosh Sock (I know, I know. I have a problem. But isn’t this colorway lovely?)
AND some Habu Wool/Steel and Silk/Steel!
I gotta admit, I didn’t really think this was my thing until I saw a shop sample knitted up – just one strand of each, held together and knitted in garter stitch on US8 needles. A vaguely witchy-looking little scarf resulted, and I was smitten. I’ve already cast on. (Knitters – this will look sort of like the Kusha Kusha scarf that the Yarn Harlot loves so much, but more web-y and less soft. It’ll be awesome.)
I left the yarn shop and was headed back to the Metro, when I saw a little farmer’s market!
(This is what I love about DC. There’s hidden awesome stuff everywhere you go.)
I sorta wandered through the outdoor stalls, but didn’t buy anything. I headed inside to look at the produce and live plants, but was soon led astray by the smell of delicious Indian food at a stall in the back. I couldn’t resist. So I got a little dish of rice + something, and a Diet Coke, and sat on a nearby concrete bench to eat it and people-watch.
The most delicious random little lunch ever:
I have no idea what that was. It was rich but not greasy, and had spinach and eggplant and those little spicy things I can never remember the name of. No cheese, so not paneer. It was vegetarian, and seriously nomlicious.
There was, randomly, a Pioneer Mothers statue in Bethesda:
I don’t know about you, but when I think of westward expansion, the Oregon Trail, and “poopface has died of diphtheria”, I always think of eastern Maryland.
After eating, I headed back down to DC proper, to go to the National Portrait Gallery.
On a side note, here’s the moment when I really regretted leaving my big camera back at Jeff’s place:
My phone camera’s lens may be good, but it’s definitely not wide-angle 😉
I totally geeked out here, I must confess. I spent the next 5 hours quietly wandering around, just taking it all in. It was heaven!
The museum’s whole Civil War exhibit was especially fantastic, and all the description cards (in all exhibits) were crazy comprehensive and informative.
This was one of my favorites, of General Grant, by Ole Peter Hansen Balling:
Wanna know why that was my favorite, though? Because of this:
Once an editor, always an editor (I mean, still an editor). Does anyone know if that misspelling of Mississippi was historically acceptable, or deliberate? I tried a couple quick Google searches and didn’t come up with anything…
Love this one of Hunter S. Thompson:
OH! And guess what I saw?
Unf. I just died of amazingness. This was seriously awesome.
My absolute favorite, though – even more than the Hope painting – was Lincoln:
I love Lincoln. LOVE. And getting to see one of my favorite portraits in person? Amazing.
But this was even more amazing:
Those are two life masks of Lincoln, and one of his hands (head: 1861 at left, 1865 at right. Hands are 1861.) I must’ve stared at these for 15 minutes, just taking it in. Absolutely amazing.
I was glad to see one of my favorite anecdotes included in the hands’ placard:
“Lincoln’s right hand grasps a section of broom handle that he obligingly fetched from a shed when the artist suggested he hold on to something. When Lincoln began smoothing the edges of the sawed piece, Volk told him that it really was unnecessary, to which Lincoln replied, ‘I thought I would like to have it nice.'”
After a while, though, my feet got tired. (That’s an understatement. I truly thought they were going to fall off.) So I decided to relax with a ginger ale in the museum’s atrium, and wait to meet Jeff for dinner.
This was a really great space – if I lived closer, I’d seriously hang out here all the time. Somehow they managed to make “cavernous” and “cozy” co-exist. Perfect for people-watching and knitting.
Jeff took me here for dinner:
OMG. So cool. They have an awesome ever-changing beer list, and their pizzas have that sweet-salty, super-yeasty crust that I love.
I wish I remembered what this was, so I could tell you to try it:
It may have been a Hefeweisen (brewed by who? I don’t know.). It was delicious.
IRREFUTABLE PROOF that I’m not just making this up:
That is your tired but contented heroine.
And her partner in life, and in crime!
Cutie pie. (I love the expressions of both people in the background there, too)
(They didn’t have anything vegetarian on the menu, so I did a “build your own” with mushrooms and eggplant. Just look at that! Oh it was nom.)
Jeff’s was markedly less “light” than mine:
Oh! And look at the ceiling!
HAHA, I just stole your crust while you were staring at the pretty ceiling! Idiot.
Friday night we just went home and chilled – we watched some IT Crowd, ate reduced-fat Oreos, and were asleep by about 10pm. Yes, we sure know how to “live it up”, as the youths say.