A Weekend Adventure

This past weekend was the perfect amount of busy. Does that make sense?! I had plans but I also had plenty of time to relax. Part of that feeling probably comes from the fact that I finished all of my summer class work for the week on Friday, so the weekend really was all mine. 😉

However, among all my weekend adventures, my favorite adventure is one I went on all by myself. If you haven’t heard (because I feel like I mention it all the time), I moved to Maryland last August for grad school. I live 7 miles from Washington D.C. and I love going out and about because I still feel like I’m new to this area and there is so much to do! But at first, this “I want to go out and about” feeling was kind of intimidating, because I don’t know if you know this, but when you move to a city where you know absolutely no one, you have no friends. And you have to talk to people and go make friends. And that’s hard. Ha! It’s reality saying: welcome to the real world, you’re not in college surrounded by thousands of people just like you anymore. 😉 But it’s been a great experience so far and GUESS WHAT, I HAVE MADE FRIENDS!

Moving on –> I still went on an adventure by myself on Saturday because sometimes that just sounds like a good idea. After I volunteered at church, I drove to Alexandria, Virginia, which was about a 9 mile drive from where I was in D.C. Not too bad! (P.S. I have a Metro card, but I am a very big fan of driving. Even amongst the traffic. It’s just who I am. Hahaha)

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I was in kind of the town center so it was bustling with residents and tourists alike. My first impression: it looks very historic (and it is) but it feels modern and it is VERY walkable. My hometown requires me to drive mostly everywhere, which is probably why I like driving so much, but I loved that I was able to park my car and walk wherever I wanted to go. You could also hop on The King Street Trolley for FREE (I love free things) to go from place to place or get to the metro. I really feel like I could go back and spend another whole day in Old Town and do all completely new things!

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I started with what I know…which is shopping. There are popular store names that we all know…Banana Republic, H&M, Lululemon…and then there are antique shops and small businesses like Mint Condition, The Hour, and The Christmas Attic. All were equally fun to go into because sometimes it’s nice to know what to expect, and sometimes it’s nice to be surprised!

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This just made me happy.

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And this made me laugh. 🙂

When I started to get hungry, I just kept walking and finally I found myself at Vermilion. I wanted an omelette and it didn’t seem like any restaurants or cafes I was passing would be able to meet my request! Apparently I had tunnel vision because I noticed so many cute cafes on the way back to my car that I would have LOVED to eat at! However, Vermilion was very nice. I sat by the window which I loved because then I could people watch and I ordered the Farmer’s Vegetable Omelette so I was a happy girl. They serve “modern American cooking” and I learned, as I was sitting at my table on Google, that it was one of Washington’s Top 100 Restaurants in 2013, so I was glad to know I picked a good place. 😉

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This is my very favorite breakfast of all breakfasts. I didn’t know what to expect of the omelette because there wasn’t a description, but it was filled with fresh zucchini and some kind of cheese that I didn’t recognize, but certainly liked!

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I had a choice of pork: sausage or bacon. I like neither. This is the photo I sent my youngest brother who could eat bacon for all three meals and be the happiest person alive. I ate a bite in his honor. 🙂

Then I headed out for some more exploring…I went in a handmade jewelry store, a bookstore, a designer consignment shop, and then I got lost in Gap. And I only ended up buying one item! Ha! I also bought my brothers Levi sunglasses. I went into Alexandria Cupcake and SOMEHOW refrained from purchasing the peanut butter and jelly cupcake. Who wants to go back with me and share?!

I found a coffee shop called Misha’s

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…and it was the coolest. One room had a large table with a bunch of customers sitting around talking, then of course there were a few smaller tables, and the rest of the shop looked like the inside of someone’s kitchen. It was a very home-y feel with vintage refrigerators and cool paintings on the walls!

About five blocks south of the shops is the waterfront. Near the waterfront are more restaurants, stores, and a park, so I moved my car from a busy street to a neighborhood street…

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…and headed for the water.

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There’s a three mile path in this part of town, so I walked a little bit, sat on a bench for a little bit, and then went to the busier part of the waterfront. King Street really seemed like it had a lot going on and I would love to “start” there the next time I visit the town! There was an equally long line at Ben and Jerry’s and Pop’s Ice Cream, but I’m thinking the local shop might be the spot to go to first. Whoever volunteered to eat cupcakes with me should also prepare to eat ice cream. 🙂

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I was hanging out on a bench watching boats come in and out and watching a clown blow up balloons. Doesn’t that sound nice and relaxing? It was 95* and there was no wind so I needed some air conditioning. I went into the building behind me…which turned out to be the Torpedo Factory Art Center. The places I stumbled upon in this town were so random but that’s why I loved it! I would probably never say “let’s go to an art museum” but this place was different. It’s full of working artist studios so you can talk to the artists, see them working, and sometimes even have the opportunity to create something yourself!

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I loved the peacefulness of the rooms with art hanging on the walls…I loved the paper mache animals in the hallway…

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I loved the art studios with jewelry…

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…and I loved the little features that you might not otherwise notice like this little exhibit inside a stair! I was walking past a staircase and saw this:

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Little figurines that you certainly wouldn’t notice when you were walking UP the steps!

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Back to the park because I didn’t want to leave just yet…

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…and gazing at beautiful townhomes that I probably definitely cannot afford.

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I didn’t notice until AFTER I got home that my heels kind of felt like they had blisters, but that must be a sign of a day well spent, right? Adventuring by yourself can seem weird but doing whatever I wanted all day was pretty great and now I have a big list of things to see and do when I take my friends and family back to Old Town!

So tell me…do you like doing things by yourself? Try it!!!

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12 thoughts on “A Weekend Adventure

  1. Seriously though, I’m right there with you. Going out and doing things on your own is super intimidating, but I’m learning to embrace and enjoy it. And there is just so much to do here that can be done with both friends or alone! I’ll have to put “explore Alexandria” on my list.

    But girl, kudos for driving! I normally love it, but this is the first big city I’ve lived in, so I am definitely out of my element.

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