Ms. Cleaver goes to Washington (Day 1)

White House South Lawn

As mentioned in the last post, I've just returned from a weekend in D.C. for a work conference. It was my first trip to the Nation's Capitol and I tried to cram in as much as I could in the day and a half of freetime I had. My edited photo batch from this trip contained 94 photos, so I'm going to break up covering the trip into two, maybe three posts.  Read on!!

Dupont Hotel

I landed in DC around 2pm on Saturday afternoon and headed to Dupont Circle to check into my hotel. I stayed at the Dupont Hotel, located just on the circle.

Dupont Hotel

My hotel was selected by one of my co-workers, a former DC resident. The hotel itself it was sleek and modern and the bed was super comfy. But I really appreciated his choice because of the neighborhood. Dupont Circle is a bustling area with lots of shops and restaurants. It was very walkable and since it is close to George Washington University, there were lots of 20-somethings milling around, both of which made me feel very safe (a huge plus when you're traveling alone).

Curry Gold Wrap at Sweetgrass

For a late lunch, I stopped into Sweetgreen for undoubtedly healthiest meal of my trip.

Sweetgreen focuses on salads, salads as wraps, and frozen yogurt. They're very eco-friendly (literally everything is compostable) and they use local ingredients. It's a quick eat, the service line is similar to a subway, and there are communal tables for eating.  I selected the Curry Gold salad and had it as a wrap and it hit the spot - the curry flavoring had a nice warmth to it and the cucumbers and beets gave it a nice cool crunch.

Since I was meeting my coworker for dinner later that evening, I decided to explore the neighborhood some. I continued up Connecticut Ave, poking my head in a shop or two when I came across a sign for a yarn shop. Bingo!!

Looped Yarn Works

Looped Yarn Works is an adorable, friendly, and well-stocked shop in a second floor former apartment. The store is well stock with a variety of yarn and covers most of the major brands, including Cascade, elsebeth lavold, Malabrigo and more.  While I was in the store, there was a learn to knit class happily cruising along, and a few ladies knitting on the sofas. It was such a happy shop - the kind of place I'd choose as my go-to shop if I lived in the area. Of course, I picked up a few skeins of "souvenir yarn." :)

There were signs for a textile museum nearby, but it was too nice of a day to be inside for long, so I skipped it.

Looped Yarn Works

As if yarn wasn't enough, after I went back to the circle and crossed to the other side of Connecticut Ave, I stopped into Hello Cupcake for a bite of dessert.

Hello Cupcake "Lucy"

I wanted to try about five different flavors, but I limited myself to one (probably a good choice considering how much I ate over the weekend). Something light and pink seemed appropriate for a lovely (if cool) spring day, so I opted for the "Lucy" cupcake, which is lemon with raspberry frosting. The cake portion was serviceable, but the raspberry frosting was divine and clearly used real raspberries in it. I definitely want to try my hand at recreating something similar.

White House

Continuing southward on Connecticut, I walked a little under a mile until I reached Layfayette Park and the backyard of the White House. It's kinda amazing how, from this direction, it just appears out of a fairly normal looking neighborhood. It even seemed a little smaller than I imagined, but that may have more do with the distance between the fence where I stood and the White House itself.

Crowd at White House

There were a fair number of tourist and security everywhere. I quickly learned that in the National Mall area of DC there are blockades and barriers everywhere - a physical tribute to the security changes instituted post 9-11, and the ongoing upgrades and construction underway. Both of which meant that there were no direct routes to anything.

Renwick Gallery

Just off to the West of Layfayette park is the small Renwick Gallery of American Craft, part of the Smithsonian Museums. Since all the Smithsonian Museums are free, I popped in.

Glass Dress

The collection at Renwick is small, you could go through the museum in about 15 -20 minutes, but there are a few cool piece - especially glasswork.

Magnolia Blossoms

After Renwick, I toured around to the front of the White House  trying to spot Mrs. Obama's veggie garden, which I never saw, before heading back around to the park and taking my daily outfit shot because Lent doesn't take a break, even for DC.

Me and the Magnolias

Blazer: J. Crew Outlet

Shawl Collar Sweatshirt: Banana Republic Outlet

Denim Skirt: Old

Magenta Tights: Target

Boots: Naturalizers

For dinner, I met up with my coworker and some of his friends for dinner at Acadiana, a upscale take on Lousiana-style food. I had the duck, which had a delicious glaze on it. We ate and laughed and made friends with the Birthday party at the next table and I made it back to my hotel at about 11:45 - tired and full.

I'll cover the other two days of my trip later, but if you're interested, I've made a Google Map of my Trip, with all the locations mentioned here and *spoiler alert* on the other two days of my stay.

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