Monday, May 28, 2012

Doing A 180 Travels

I'm not trying to turn Doing A 180 into a travelogue but that's what I've been doing in the month of May.  Please bear with me as I document my latest trip to meet up with old Sparkpeople friends, meet a blogging friend and have some time with Little Helen.  These posts will be photo heavy so that's good as I've never been a very good writer. Do yourself a favor and click on the photos so you can see them larger.

It seems appropriate that my latest trip was to our nation's capital where there are many, many memorials and reminders that freedom isn't free and we owe a debt of gratitude to those who have given their lives to give us our lives.


I knew that Laurie (who used to blog at Feeling Good Inside and Out) lived in the greater DC area so I contacted her and asked if she could meet.  Little Helen recommended a particular coffee house in Arlington, VA as a good place to be able to sit and and chat so literally 1 1/2 hours after I got off the plane, I was cleaned up and off to meet Laurie! The time together certainly was not long enough but I figured out that Laurie doesn't have time to blog much anymore - she's college hunting with her oldest child, running the other two around to other activities and has opened her own business.  Not only was I happy to meet her in real life, but I was thrilled to find out that she is a genuine, sweet human being.   Hopefully someday soon we'll be able to meet again!

After that meetup, Little Helen came to get me and we went to the Italian Store, also in Arlington.  She took me there the first time I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in 2004 and it has become a must go to place for us.  Not only is it chock full of Italian products but they have a sandwich counter that makes the meanest Italian sandwiches you could ever want.  My mouth was literally watering at the thought of having one (hey - it's been four years)!

After we dropped the items we'd purchased, we headed out to walk off our sandwiches and do a bit of sightseeing.  Lots of photos here and I think you can tell what most of these things are, so I won't go into detail but if you have questions, ask in the comments!

We walked along the Potomoc to go back towards the Smithsonians.

 Looked down and this mama duck and her babies were swimming along - so cute!

The Museum of American History is probably my most favorite, with the National Art Gallery running a close second.

The museum has a display of our First Ladies' clothing dating back very early.  It was interesting to notice how tiny in stature the first First Ladies were.  They were positively petite.

Mrs. Obama's Inaugural Ball Gown!  

There was also a display about Thomas Jefferson and slavery.  He really was against slavery but couldn't seem to figure out how to stop participating.  The ancestors of that time, both his and the slaves, have kept this history alive and it was fascinating to see what happened to the slave families and where their descendants are today.

The wall behind the statue of Jefferson contains all the names of the slaves that he owned - over 600!  What made this so interesting is that so many of the slaves only had 1 name.

After all that sightseeing we went back to Little Helen's apartment and got cleaned up then walked to dinner to an adorable restaurant right around the corner from her place.

Their specialty is small plates of food and flights of wine.  The flights of wine consist of 3 glasses, which are really tastings that are probably the equivalent of one and half glasses of wine.  We ordered several things and it was super fun to share and get lots of tastes!

I loved how they brought the flight of wine!


Smoked salmon (Little Helen's - I don't eat it) with a potato cake with horseradish cream.  You can also see the truffled eggs we got, which are all the rage in the DC area right now.

Macaroni and cheese with smoked bacon.  Oh My YUM.

After all that sightseeing and all that delicious food, I slept like a log.  Can you believe that was only the first day?!

Happy Memorial Day!


  1. Great pics! That is such a cute shot of Laurie on the couch...she's doing exactly what I do at a place like that (shoes off, feet up, comfort level: high). Glad you two got to meet in person and I'm not the least bit jealous. NOPE.

  2. What an awesome first day! I love D.C. I lived in Virginia for a year, and would go up to Georgetown to hang out - so fun! Glad you got to have a blogger meet up AND spend time with Little Helen - enjoy your Memorial day!

    Someday we'll meet - you too Shelley! :D

  3. Looks like a great getaway filled with good people, good food and good times. Enjoy this buffer day before the work week!

  4. What a fun trip! Nothing wrong with a travelogue, love reading about travels.

  5. Oh Helen, how wonderful. I've loved reading all of your travel posts. Thank you for sharing your adventures with us.

  6. What a great first day of your trip. Look forward to the next days.


    Loving the travel posts....

  8. I enjoyed visiting the mall with you. The display of the innagural gowns is my fave, of course! The food looks good! Can't wait to hear more!
    I love to travel with my fave bloggy peeps!

  9. What a great day! Thanks for sharing it with us. I love travel blogs!

  10. Love the photo tour, feel like I was there without having to spring for airfare. Awesome!

  11. Great photos of a wonderful place! I never tire of going to D.C., and I still have things to see. So glad you had this time with a friend and with Little Helen. I also especially love the Museum of American History. Have a great week!

  12. I forgot how cool that place was, and just looking at the pictures reminds me of what a nice time we had (and added bonus: I got to meet Little Helen). So glad you had a good trip, thanks so much for reaching out to me.