March 26, 2011 – The 2011 Cherry Blossom season began today, which meant that we again headed to the trusty Franconia-Springfield metro stop. However, this time we mixed it up a bit by getting breakfast at County Fare in Stafford. We highly recommend the food, especially the freshly baked, still warm cinnamon roll (big enough to share, but why would you want to?), home fries (think: thick-cut potato chips), and corned beef hash. The coffee is also good, fresh and hot. Next time we might try some of the fluffy pancakes.
The first highlight of the trip was seeing a bald eagle fly over highway on our way to the metro. This weekend the metro stop wasn’t too crowded; granted, it was a bit chilly outside, but not bad.
We hopped off at the Arlington stop and took bridge from Arlington towards Lincoln memorial. Cherry blossoms were out in full force in the park along the Potomac. Our walk towards the Jefferson monument detoured to look at the cherry blossoms by the FDR memorial. Continuing along around the Jefferson monument, we kept going towards the Potbelly Sandwich Co. for a great lunch.
We were once again fortified, but chose to avoid the crowds along the mall and instead explored the Enid Haupt Memorial Gardens. These gardens are always nicely landscaped, and have pretty flowers and some of the nicest blossoms we’ve seen. Later that night, our dinner was the traditional post-DC Five Guys burger, fries, and pop date.
April 3, 2011 – That was not the end of our DC journey – enter week 2 of the cherry blossom festival. Like last week, we stopped at County Fare for breakfast and then continued to the usual metro stop. It was definitely more crowded this time, and many people couldn’t figure out whether to get all-day passes (which we highly recommend). Despite the crowds, we still got our passes, caught the first available train and made it into the city. This time we took the Roslyn exit so we could explore Theodore Roosevelt Island. Our walk took us through the woods, along a boardwalk (and through a mini 2-tree cypress swamp!), and along a little creek. We saw an immature great blue heron fishing, a small female Downy woodpecker, and also had some nice views of the river. The walk ended with an exploration of the Teddy Roosevelt Island, and a demonstration of stupid human tricks.
Our next stop was Georgetown. Lunch was a great fish place, Tackle Box. We recommend the fried shrimp (incredibly fresh), hand cut fries, hush puppies, and the clam chowder (large pieces of clam, potatoes, and a bit of bacon in a creamy broth). Dessert was Baked and Wired – iced mocha and the Razzmanian Devil cupcake – a lemon cupcake with raspberry filling and lemon butter cream frosting. The mocha was great, nice and strong and not too sweet; the cupcake was also fabulous!
After enjoying our snack we headed towards embassy row. The architecture is old and lovely, and makes the walk to the National Cathedral go quickly. One word of warning – there are virtually no restaurants (or rest rooms) along Massacheusetts Ave. By “virtually” I mean “none.” Consider yourself warned.
There was an organ recital at the National Cathedral, which is how we know the building has good acoustics. We also walked by the Hagia Sophia Greek Orthodox cathedral on our way back down Embassy Row, through a pretty section of Georgetown (with brick sidewalks, driveways, beautiful homes and mini-landscaping), and back to Baked and Wired. This time we split a black coffee, and a Jolt brownie (dark, fudge-y, dense without being heavy) with espresso-cream cheese swirl (swoon) and the Pretty Bitchin’ cupcake (dark chocolate – yum – with crunchy peanut butter icing – double yum).
Dinner was, as usual, a Five Guys’ date.