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Where in the world Wednesday: the Grand NY/NJ/DC Tour

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(I like this vacillating between “Where in the world” and “wordless” on Wednesdays– mostly because it’s tricky for me to be wordless, but I don’t go on that many trips. So convenient!)

As June is the official start of “wedding season” (although, how meaningful is that distinction nowadays? I feel like weddings happen year-round), it was only fitting that our second trip east of 2011 was for the wedding of one of GP’s cousins. Like every trip that involves us visiting and staying with his family, there was the inevitable “fly into Newark, drive to New York, run back to New Jersey for any number of things, now back to New York, rinse and repeat” process (flights to Newark are most convenient for us, GP’s sister lives in Rockland County, the wedding was in Jersey, etc). The first thing that hits you when you step off a plane from SFO into a New Jersey summer morning? (We landed at 6:30 in the morning. Yay, red-eyes!) THE HUMIDITY. Pay attention, even though I’ll say it again: I don’t know how you east coast people do it. It’s like breathing through a wet towel, and I’m not a huge fan of being…clammy all the time.

After grabbing a couple hours of sleep in an attempt to recover from a sleep deficit that would only grow as the trip went on, we got to catch up with my sister-in-law and five month old niece (she has so much to say, you guys!), and head to the rehearsal and dinner. Below you will see the only picture of me, GP, my SIL, and her husband from the entire trip (the niece is absent because I was able to Baby-Whisper her into sleep in her stroller)…

That monkey totally disrupted the priest's blessing of the meal. GP and I tried to keep our silent-laughter-induced shaking to ourselves.

The wedding was the next day, and OMG LET ME  JUST TELL YOU ABOUT SOME HUMIDITY. Also, you know, lovely dress, a full-on mass (too long, says the heathen!), an amazingly filling cocktail hour, and…a lot of gin and tonics. It’s summer! (And, ah, I should be too old to overindulge like this. Bad job, me.)

After celebrating Father’s Day with my father-in-law and GP’s brother-in-law, we left the wonders of downtown Newark to take the non-Acela train down to DC. Train travel seems so charming when you’re used to being on planes– you can carry on whatever you like, no one treats you like a criminal when you’re in the process of boarding, and it’s much easier to get up and walk around. Alas, the train infrastructure around here is pretty lacking.

While in the DC area, we stayed with a college friend of GP’s in Alexandria, who kindly shared bus route information as well as recommendations for my day of lone touristing (GP was visiting Six Flags America), which basically consisted of art, humidity avoidance, and a constant loop of the West Wing theme song in my head. I mean, hello, do people get used to seeing stuff like this every day?

Paging Josh Lyman...

On this particular day, I managed to make it to the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden (which I had all to myself– so blissful!), the American History Museum (Julia Child’s kitchen, yay!), the Natural History Museum (too many kids! OVERSTIMULATION), lunch with a college friend at Zaytinya, the Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum (probably my favorite stop of the day), the National Building Museum (before they began charging admission for exhibits), the National Geographic Society (likely not worth the $8 I paid, especially given that everything else was free), drinks with another college friend at the Tabard Inn, and finally dinner with several other friends at Circa Dupont. Is anyone surprised that I was exhausted at the end of this trip? Because, damn. Oh! Also worth mentioning– we got to celebrate an engagement at our dinner that night, which was particularly wonderful because it was such a close friend with whom I might not have been able to celebrate until…what, her wedding? (Come on, you know that email isn’t the same as squeeing over the ring in person.)

On our last full day in the mid-Atlantic, we visited King’s Dominion, which included a fairly terrifying but still pretty great rollercoaster (one of many that day, to be sure), a metric crapton of humidity (told you I wouldn’t shut up about it!), and a blissful ice cream cone at the end of the day. Finally, on our last day, we managed to fit in one last sight– the Library of Congress! As a librarian, I was a little ashamed that I hadn’t visited before.

Do you think the docents are annoyed that they have to refer to National Treasure on tours now? I bet they are.

Oh– and before our flight from BWI left, I did manage to notch another food-related milestone: my first Crumbs Bake Shop cupcake! Enjoyed on the MARC train, the classiest imaginable setting for such a gourmet experience.

Thin Mint. This sucker was BIG, too. Like, almost scary big.

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About Megan

I read, I write, I drink wine while watching way too much tv. Let's be friends.

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