Nora Goes to Washington

16 Jul

Once a year I get to travel to the Mecca of all Conferences for people in my line of work; it moves from city to city each year. (Previous cities include Denver, Houston, New Orleans and this year, Washington DC.) In addition to attending high-level meetings, networking, brainstorming sessions, keynotes, happy hours and other various parties that I’m required to attend, I try to get in a bit of sight seeing as well.

After meeting yet another fabulous group of blogging buds, I got down to the business of geeking out because, you see, I love things related to political science and history, of which there is plenty of here in DC. During my time here, I amassed some interesting knowledge based on my experiences:

* Don’t take a big purse or backpack into *any* of the museums. The guards will hound you to hold the purse/backpack in front of your body to avoid damage to the artwork, artificacts and statues.

* 33% of DC residents work for the Feds, with their average commute time a total of seven minutes.

* It’s nearly impossible to eat dinner in Georgetown for less than $30 a per person. It is, however appropriate to take photos of the food and introduce your friends to the concept of “food porn:”

{Antipasto tray at Fino’s, with a Campari & Orange Juice in the background}

{Tiramisu, also from Fino’s}

* It’s perfectly okay to spend $20 on a pair of Jackie O. style sunglasses at the National Portrait Gallery.

* If you go to a drug store (and presumably other grocery stores?) you will be charged if you use/take a plastic bag.

* It is perfectly acceptable to party on the Potomac River docks on a Sunday evening. Boats pull up dockside, blast music, movies, share drinks, tie themselves to other boats and the restaurants on the River? Jampacked. People watching is at it’s prime here and the entire area buzzes with energy which made my Sunday evening slightly less awful.

* DC is an active city; running/jogging/biking paths abound and every single time I was out and about, I saw a jogger & biker, no matter what time it was. On top of that the great sights to see are very spread out so do a bus tour or bring your walking shoes.

* For some amazing Italian food with authentic taste via Rome, make sure to check out Fino’s. The owner is onsite and will gladly speak to you in Italian if you know the language. Add to that the food is delicious, not mainstream and perfect portion size, it’s a lovely spot for a date or working dinner.

* Half the fun of taking pictures in front of monuments is doing silly (yet respectful) poses in front of them, like this:

* After seeing countless navy & white striped skirts, it’s evident I need to buy one. They look so timeless, classy, chic.

* If you’re interested in a tour of the White House, book it six months in advance. Yes, they really do fill up that quickly. I also suggest scheduling ample time for museums and other monuments/points of interest.

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20 Responses to “Nora Goes to Washington”

  1. Becky July 16, 2010 at 7:11 am #

    Yay – so glad you had a good time – good tips too! Love that pic of you in front of the Washington Monument!

  2. Amber from Girl with the Red Hair July 16, 2010 at 7:51 am #

    Aww that’s a cute pic!! Glad to hear you had such a good time :)

  3. mandy July 16, 2010 at 8:15 am #

    I’m so glad that you had such a fantastic time! I love DC and it really is such a fun city. I’m glad that even with all the work for the conference you were able to run around and get some sightseeing in. That food looks delicious.

  4. Lisa from Lisa's Yarns July 16, 2010 at 9:10 am #

    Sounds like an amazing trip! Wow, the food platter in that first pic looks amazing! Yum!

    This just makes me want to visit DC so badly. I just found out that one of my good friends is moving there this summer for a job, so I really need to make it a destination for 2011!

  5. Ally July 16, 2010 at 9:15 am #

    I’m always amazed at the number of bikers and runners. There really are a ton of paths and they’re not too shy to use them.

    That photo is priceless! Glad you had a fun visit.

  6. Mel July 16, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    Oh, that tirimisu looks so amazing. Glad you got to see as many sites as you did even though you were there for work! :D

  7. Amanda July 16, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    I love DC :) my uncle’s farmers market is there and I worked at it for a summer. SO much fun. I really need to go visit my family so I can go back!

  8. Kyla Roma July 16, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    lol You are too adorable, I love that picture of you :)

  9. Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks July 16, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    Awww, I used to go to Washington DC every year – my parents grew up there and my grandparents lived there throughout my childhood. And, my grandmother was a docent at the Portrait Gallery, so I spent many a childhood hour there. Glad you made the most of your time in our capital!

  10. OG July 16, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    That’s a great photo, one of those that’s kind of embarassing to take, but you’ll be glad you have later. That food looks amazing too. Washington is a great city, I’m glad you had so much fun.

  11. katelin July 16, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    love that last pic, so cute. glad you had such a fun trip, i love dc.

  12. Suburban Sweetheart July 16, 2010 at 6:52 pm #

    Love the touristy Washington Monument photo – and have never heard of Fino’s but now want to try it! And yes, $.05 for every plastic bag at any place that sells food – even Best Buy, because they’ve got candy bars at the front register.

    Ugh. So bummed we didn’t meet.

  13. Doniree July 16, 2010 at 11:43 pm #

    Awesome tips! So awesome, in fact that I’d love to have some more info on the food part of that trip on my food blog.

    Also, food porn? Always appropriate.

  14. Maddy July 17, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    Just came back from a work conference in Princeton too! I try to soak in as much of the local scenery as I can too, but Princeton is a small town. At least DC is a major city with lots of things to do! Thanks for the tips! DC is in my to-do list for a quick road trip. Haven’t been there in a few years and I’m ready to check out the museums and monuments. Glad you enjoyed your stay!

  15. oh July 17, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    When people ask what I did there and I say “museums,” then they say, “ah, you got some culture.” ????
    Ah, but it’s so much more than that, as you know, and so fluently included in your list.
    Also, recommend staying at a hotel with great pillows and great soap and shampoo.
    Glad you loved it, and look forward to seeing your blue and white striped skirt, Georgetown Girl!

  16. AuburnKat July 17, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    Sounds like you had a fun yet exhausting time!

  17. Stephany July 18, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    This post really makes me want to go to DC, and I’m not even a poli/sci geek! There really is so much to do & see there! Looks like a fun, fun trip.

  18. E.P. July 18, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    Aww, it sounds like you had an AMAZING time this past week! So glad it was a lovely vacation/conference!

  19. sleepyjane July 19, 2010 at 6:53 am #

    It all sounds so amazing. I had the lamest lunch just now and the food pictures are making me DROOL!

  20. clairesuzanne July 21, 2010 at 8:13 pm #

    Sounds fabulous! I’m in the middle of planning a week long vacation to Washington, DC with my bf at the end of the summer. I’m so excited to see all the sites and tour all the museums! I’ve never been before.

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