Sunset on the National Museum of African American History

2023 Washington DC Trip Part 2

posted in: Personal Essay, Photography, Travel | 0

Continued from Part 1…

The next morning started out at Open City with somewhat less healthy options, as least for me. Holly had a breakfast burrito but substituted egg whites for the eggs and avocado for the meat. I went with the chicken and waffles.

After our busy, rain soaked first full day, we were not in any rush to get anywhere. We had planned more museums but weren’t feeling up for those.

Instead, we took a leisurely walk down Connecticut Avenue to browse Jenni Bick Custom Journals, a fabulous stationery store. I ended up not buying anything partly because there was too much to choose from.

We kept with the stationery theme and next walked to Fahrney’s Pens. I also didn’t buy anything there mostly because it’s more of an upscale pen shop without much in my price range. Or, at least, the things that appealed were out of my price range.

Since we were wandering by foot, I had the opportunity to take more general photos of the city.

As I mentioned in Part 1, I relied on my Nikon Z fc and my 28mm f/2.8 lens for this trip.

After our little stationery tour, we went to Zaytinya for lunch. Unlike the previous restaurants we had been too, Zaytinya was very crowded. It’s closer to the museums and the National Mall which may explain the crowd. It’s also a José Andrés restaurant so it’s well-known.

We had been there once before and looked forward to going back. We enjoyed it the 2nd time as well. Zaytinya mainly serves small plates meant for sharing which works for us since we typically share whatever we order.

The one museum we did get to was the National Museum of African American History and Culture, another place I had been to before but Holly hadn’t. We had timed tickets so we were committed to going that afternoon. The other museums we went to as well as the Botanic Garden didn’t require tickets. I hoped that timed tickets meant the NMAAHC would be less crowded but that wasn’t the case. It was absolutely packed which was a shame since we didn’t get as much out the experience as we could have.

Parts of the museum were too dark for photos. The entire museum was too crowded too easily take photos. And it was hot which undermined my enthusiasm for taking photos.

On our way back to our hotel, there was a lovely sunset, much appreciated after the prior gloomy day. I took a few photos of the sunlight on buildings, including some last Christmas photos.

Dinner that night was a special treat. We returned to Tail Up Goat. We went there on our previous DC visit, but Holly was in town for a work conference and had a presentation to give the following morning so it wasn’t an entirely relaxing meal.

This time, we made reservations at the bar and were glad we did since the bartenders were excellent guides for our special meal and, presumably, were more present and available than other wait staff would have been if we sat at a table.

We opted for the fixed price dinner and went with the recommended wine pairings. There were 2 to chose from. I went with the more European-centric traditional pairing and Holly went with the more adventurous pairing that included wines from various parts of the world.

It was too dark for picture taking, but I did manage one of the menu for that night.

We enjoyed the opening round of snacks (celeriac and cheese tart, pear pate de fruit, and red fife focaccia). For the first course, I got the smoked black cod, and Holly got the yellowfin tuna curdo. We both got the same second and third courses: the seared scallops and the seared halibut. For dessert, I got the madeira custard, and Holly got the malt cake. Everything was fantastic and the wine pairings were perfect.

It was one of the best meals of the year, if not the best. Tail Up Goat is certainly one of our favorite restaurants despite having been there only twice. I’m sure we’ll go back anytime we’re in DC.

Thankfully, it is also close to our hotel since we quickly wore ourselves out on our short trip. Having an easy walk back to our room was appreciated.

The next morning started again with Open City. We both got breakfast burritos. Holly’s was similar to what she got the day before. I stuck to the menu version which meant scrambled eggs, chorizo, shredded potatoes, and cheddar in a flour tortilla.

It was hard to believe that our trip was just about over. We had some time before needing to leave for our train so we took a lovely walk along Rock Creek Park Trail which runs right behind the Omni.

We took a Lyft back to Union Station and made it in plenty of time to catch our train. The one upside to the Red Line being unavailable was that we got to see more of the city as we traveled on foot and by car. Despite having been to DC several times before, I feel like I have a better sense of its geography after this visit.

We didn’t take the Acela back but took the Northeast Regional. As I mentioned before, although the trip is only about a half-an-hour longer that extra time is quite noticeable.

Once we got home and dropped off our bags, we went to SouthGate which is a Korean restaurant really close to our apartment building. We often go there after a trip for some neighborhood comfort food.

Even though we tried doing too much and were exhausted from our trip, I’m really glad we got a change of scenery over our winter break. I’m not sure if this will be something we’ll do routinely, but it’s now on the table as an option.


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