Weekend Recap: Playing the Tourist

We’ve been doing a pretty great job of playing tourist this weekend. Ivan and I hadn’t had the opportunity to go exploring together yet, so it was nice to be able to spend some time together around the city.

On Saturday we walked down to the Mall. Good lord, we did a lot of walking. According to my vivosmart… almost 26,000 steps (nearly 8 miles in total). We didn’t make it too all the monuments, but we saw quite a few. Plus, we’ll be here until August, so we’ve got time. Here are some pics of what we did manage to get to:

Einstein Memorial
1 The Washington Momument 2 4 8 6 The Lincoln Memorial 5 The World War II Memorial 7 For lunch on Saturday we stopped at one of the 8,000 trucks parked at the Mall. I don’t think we made a good decision with our particular truck – the food wasn’t that great. We also stopped at a different truck for a small strawberry shake that ran me $7.40. I know things are expensive in DC, but that was highway robbery. I’m still in shock.

That night we headed over to Ben’s Chili Bowl. I’ve heard so much about this place, and I have to say it was fantastic. The chili had a nice kick to it and I cannot wait to go back. I’ll have a full review/recap of this one later this week.
1 IMG_7481 Yesterday we made the trip to the Holocaust Museum. I think like most people, I had a difficult time there. But, I feel like it’s one of those things you’ve got to do. You know it’s not going to be a pleasant experience, but it’s something that you must see. I’d certainly recommend going there if you’re in the area.

Workout Recaps:
Sunday: 15,292 steps
Monday: 12,388 steps
Tuesday: Running – 1.16 miles | 13,858 steps
Wednesday: 14,143 steps 
Thursday: 15,925 steps
Friday: Running – 1.33 miles | 9,196 steps
Saturday: 25,318 steps
Sunday: 9,770 steps

Books I Read:
Landry Park (Landry Park #1) by Bethany Hagen
The Taking (The Taking #1) by Kimberly Derting

We’re going to go down to the National Memorial Day Parade today, so I’m sure you’ll see some pictures of that on my instagram. How was your Memorial Day weekend?

Today I am linking up with:
Erin at Her Heartland Soul for Weekend Snapshots
Tara at Running N Reading for Weekend Update
Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in my Mondays

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H54F: Navigating DC Life

Guys, D.C. has been fantastic. I’ve spent most of my week meandering around the city and figuring my way around town. I’ve been a lot of walking – but I’ve also mastered the subway and sort of figured out how to drive in this craziness. Most of my time driving is spent getting yelled at by my GPS for missing my turns/exits, but oh well. I even get lost when I’m walking. I swear Apple Maps has no idea what it’s talking about. The other night I tried to pick Ivan up and it kept changing my destination. He then sent me his current location, and that kept changing on him. Very stressful. But anyways, on to my high 5.

1. The Library of Congress
The other day I decided that it was time I saw some tourist attractions. I’ve been trying to pace myself, because I know that Ivan wants to see them too. But.. I was itchy to get started and made the 1.5 mile walk down to the Library the other day. It was so fantastic. I cannot even describe the feeling I got walking it. You can get out all my pictures here.

2. Union Station
Another place that I saw this week was Union Station. I walked down their to get dinner the other night when Ivan was working late and was enamored with it. I did some people watching while I ate my dinner and I found it really entertaining. Just the difference between the tourists and the residents is hilarious. I cannot image getting so used to a place like that, that you don’t even look around. All of the locals just breezed by, eyes straight ahead. Have you guys ever been there? How do you not even look around? Craziness.
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3. The US Botanic Gardens
So on Wednesday, I went to the Library of Congress…. and Ivan got a little bit jealous. So I tried to find something on Thursday that he wouldn’t want to do. Which lead me to the Botanic Garden. It was drizzling and grey outside, so there weren’t many people around. I took the train in and then walked back home – it was about 1.7 miles. If you’re ever in DC, I’d recommend this place. It was like a wonderland. It’s right next to the Capitol, so it’s easy to get too and it’s free. I’ll have a complete post on this next week. Seriously, I can’t wait to share all of my pictures! 2 24

4. Dinner With Ivan’s Co-Workers & Bosses
On Monday night we went to dinner at Ivan’s bosses house. He’s got a clerkship with the Navy – that’s what brought us to Washington. It was his first day, so we didn’t really know anyone, so we made a lot of introductions. There were people there from all over the world; they are having some kind of conference right now, so everyone is in DC. We met people stationed in Italy, Guam and all sorts of places. All in all, it was a fun night.

5. Finally Had Some Down Time
Thursday night was the first time that Ivan was home at a reasonable time all week. He’s had afterwork commitments, so we haven’t really had much time together. Last night we got to go have dinner together. Nothing fancy – we just walked down to Five Guys, but it was nice to be abel to unwind together.

Today I am linking up with:
Tif at Bright on a Budget for High Five For Friday
The Farmer’s Wife for Oh, Hey Friday!
Fitting It All In for Five Things

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Lookbook: Exploring the Library of Congress

Today I decided to go explore the Library of Congress. Ivan is gone all day, so I’ve been finding fun solo activities to occupy my time. The Library of Congress is about a mile away from our apartment, so late this morning I set out in that direction.

Here are my favorite shots from the morning, the one below is of the archway as you enter the building. The next one down is the first view you get of the inside (after the welcome desk and metal detectors). I have to say, it’s absolutely incredible. I have a feeling I’ll be visiting again this summer. My favorite part of the library were the two statues holding torches that flank the stairs. 
2 3 13 11 10 9 8 6 5 4 1 And… let’s finish things off with a necessary tourist selfie. 7

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Getting Settled in D.C.

Well, we made it. On Saturday Ivan and I made the drive from Michigan to DC. We left at about 4:45 in the morning and arrived at the new apartment at precisely 4:11pm. We promptly unloaded the car and then ordered in Chinese food. Part of me wanted to go explore right away, but the rest of me just wanted to sleep. I did run down to the buildings workout room and ran a quick mile on the treadmill. After that long car ride, my legs needed a stretch, but I was so tired that I didn’t feel like doing much.

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First official meal in DC – Chinese Takeout

On Sunday we did all the practical things – went grocery shopping, checked out the route to the metro stop, figured out where Ivan had to report at the Pentagon, unpacked and then met one of my old friends for dinner. We went to this great Thai place by her apartment in Arlington called Swatadee. I just know we’ll be going back.

Yesterday was Ivan’s first day, so I had some free time to explore. I got my work done in the morning and then walked about a mile and a half to this cute thrift store… only to find out it was closed on Mondays. Whoops. My bad. I’ll have to try again later this week.

IMG_7171 Last night we drove out to Virginia for dinner at Ivan’s boss’ house. We made a lot of introductions and everyone was beyond friendly. I can tell he’s really excited about working with everyone and I’m ecstatic that he’s got this opportunity. It’s my first time living in a big city like this, but so far I’m loving it. I’ve been to Chicago many times, so I know my way around train systems, bus routes and things like that. It’s a bit muggy for my taste though. Very uncomfortable weather. Plus.. everyone tells me that this is only the beginning.

We really like the neighborhood – we’re about a 10-15 minute walk from Union Station and a 8 minute walk to NoMa. There is also a bike share rack outside our building as well as bus stops – so transportation has been super easy. Our apartment building is surrounded by row houses and mom and pop restaurants. There is also a grocery store about half a block away, so that’s fantastic. IMG_7155 All in all, I’m pretty happy with things so far. I’m excited for all the adventures we’ll have this summer!

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H54F: Last Couple Days in Michigan

1. Killing it with Running
So, no big deal or anything… but I ran for 30 minutes the other day. Straight. NO stopping. That’s crazy for me. I’ve always hated running and to think that I’ve made it that far… I’m so proud of myself. I ran 2.7 miles, which is almost a 5k. I cannot wait to keep progressing and see how far I can push myself.

2. Etsy Shop in Order
I had to reformat my etsy shop for purely digital orders. We’re going to D.C. for the summer and I didn’t want to have to deal with finding a reliable printing company/shipping/everything else that goes along with it. So, I’ve redone my listing and gone back to all digital. That’s the way it all started out and it makes things much simpler.

3. 95% Packed
As I write this (on thursday morning) I’m 95% packed. I’ve got all my clothes packed and just have to get the odds and ends together. I don’t even want to tell you about how much I struggled deciding what to take. 3 months is a long time, but it’s just short enough that you can’t bring everything.

4. Cleanin’ Out the Closet With Ebay
All that packing got me into cleaning mode. I just sold a ton of old clothing on ebay and it got me thinking. I’m going to have a lot of free time on my hands this summer and I might try and launch another side project. I’m obsessed with thrifting, so I was thinking about selling thrift store finds on ebay while I’m in DC. They have a ton of great stores and I just love the hunt for good pieces. We’ll see.

5. Goodbye Dinner
Last night we went out to dinner with my family. It was a goodbye dinner with everyone before we leave for DC. It was fantastic to see everyone together plus it involved a “bloomin onion”. Gotta love Outback.

Reading Challenge Update:

Books Finished This Week
Trapped (Iron Druid #5) by Kevin Hearne

Books Currently Reading
Ruby Red
(Ruby Red #1) by Kerstin Gier
Landry Park (Landry Park #1) by Bethany Hagen

Workout Update:

Friday: 2.14 Miles
Saturday: 2.10 Miles
Sunday: 1.11 Miles
Monday: 1.94 Miles
Tuesday: 2.35 Miles
Wednesday: 2.63 Miles
Thursday: 2.65 Miles

Today I am linking up with:
Tif at Bright on a Budget for High Five For Friday
The Farmer’s Wife for Oh, Hey Friday!
Fitting It All In for Five Things

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Sweaty Beats

A big part of working out for me is music. Whether I’m at the gym or jogging, I need to have my headphones plugged in. Without music, I get bored and end up giving in to ending my workout early.

I’m always on the lookout for new music to add to my playlists because after awhile songs get overused. You’ve got to keep changing it up to keep yourself on your toes.

So I’m wondering what you all listen to while working out. Here is my current playlist – I keep it on shuffle when I run. I’d love to hear what tracks help you get your determination on.

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