Monday, February 06, 2012

Fun with a Capital F

Capital, because I'm talking about our visit to Washington, DC. Which, aside from being my place of birth, is also the capitol of the US. And a place where we spent a few days on our travels round the globe.

I posted two on-the-run posts about DC while we were travelling, marvelling at the delicious and plentiful vegan options. I stand by that assertion - it seems like every restaurant we passed had easily veganisable options. And let's just remember back to the vegan pizza I got from z.Pizza, a non-vegan chain, and the vegan white velvet cupcake from a non-vegan cupcakery.

We stayed outside of DC, in another AirBnB place in Alexandria. It was a little out of the way, a 20 minute train ride to the end of the line followed by a 20 minute bus ride into the deep heart of American Suburbia. On our first evening, we got frighteningly lost after we got off the bus - it felt a little like the twilight zone, because we turned down roads that deposited us right back where we started. And in the suburbs, no one is around to ask for directions, especially not after 8pm. 45 minutes later we found our way, and the next day we made sure to bring a map.

It wasn't too bad, but just meant that we spent our days out and cooked dinner at the house and went to bed early. And our host was just the loveliest person you could ask for.
The leaves were changing when we were there, which was also lovely.

On our first full day in DC, we got off the train in the heart of Alexandria and went to Whole Foods, stocking up on bread, vegan hot dogs, vegan mac&cheese, and pasta. These sustained us in the evenings. We had morning tea one morning via an excellent Latina grocery store near the Huntington train station - these pineapple turnovers were fully vegan, and sweet and excellent, to boot.

Grocery stores and restaurants aside, we spent some time looking at monuments and memorials.

But mainly, it was raining, so we spent a whole lot of time in museums. Not once did we pretend to be Ben Stiller and Amy Adams.

The Smithsonians are all free, and not in that "By donation but we'll guilt you if you don't give us half your life savings" way that some museums are free (dirty look directed at the Natural History Museum in NYC).

In the American history museum we went to the exhibit on contraceptives, and I laughed out loud and pointed at this badge...

Which prompted a young (11years old?) girl nearby to look closely and then declare, "That's disgusting, mom." I felt judged.

We looked at rocket ships.

And dinosaurs.

And intricately beaded artwork.

In between the rain, we also saw the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and, similarly, Occupy DC.

And China Town.

And the reflection pool, under construction so I couldn't pretend to be Jenny Gump and run across it.

And the White House. We weren't invited in, which is just rude.

All up - DC is a great place to get your fix of learnings for freeee, surrounded by easy to find vegan food.


Louise said...

Last time I was in DC (for the Obama inauguration) we went in search for a vegan soul food joint that turned out to be in the middle of one of the scariest neighbourhoods I've ever been in...the ATMs said "CA$H MONEY" on them and would dispense as little as $1!

Hannah said...

Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou. I'm sick with wanderlust right now, and needed this so badly. Thank you.

P.S. High five for Whole Foods being the first stop! That's me in a nutshell :D

Kari said...

I gave a snorting giggle when I read about that badge / 11-year-old girl experience :) How funny. And your DC experiences sound rather brilliant all around! Definitely on my list of places to get to, one day.

(PS. I like your new profile picture :) ).

Bianca said...

I'd love to go back to DC as a vegan. I've heard such great things about its vegan-friendliness, but I haven't been since high school (when I was a junk food vegetarian).

Carrie™ said...

I took a high school trip to Washington DC in 1979! (gasp! I'm THAT old?) I remember Jimmy Carter was the president at the time. I remember the Smithsonian being just incredible and we got to go to the top of the Washington monument. I remember some pretty sketchy neighbourhoods too.
BTW, pineapple turnovers? OMG!! I have never heard of these, but would love to have one.

Sally Kitten said...

Your adventures look like so much fun! I'm hopefully heading over to the USA in July. Can't wait!