Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I think I kinda need a Segway

Last month I drove into the depths of the forest for a sister fun weekend in Durham, so this time around my sissy made the drive up for a weekend of history, Harry Potter, and happy times (I ♥ alliteration, I just can't help myself) here inside the Beltway. Thursday evening arrival = easing into the weekend with some tasty pizza at Ella's, a quick grocery store trip for breakfast provisions, and some Harry Potter prep with a viewing of #5. Oh, we really wanted to make scones for breakfast, but when every recipe we found called for copious amounts of both butter AND cream, we decided to not cut two years off of our respective lives and make this peach french toast bake instead. It's really, really tasty. You should make it. I'm thinking maybe with apples...or nectarines...or blueberries...or any fruit, really, because it's just good. Uh oh, there I go on this food thing again. Time to rein this in.

Or let me just talk about our next food item! Small burgers and Cajun fries at Five Guys, which provided the perfect sustenance for our very demanding...Segway tour!! Ok, it really wasn't that demanding at all because you just stand there while zooming through the city, which is kinda the coolest thing ever. But go ahead and load up on some protein and carbs before you start. It's ok. I am way overly ridiculously excited and SO HAPPY pumped that we did this Segway tour with City Segway Tours (apologies if I sound like a canned advertisement there - but this really was a pretty cool experience). My sis had never been to D.C. before, so we thought this would be a really good way to see a lot of the major sights in a nifty way.

We got there a little early to fill out necessary paperwork and waivers, pick out our way cool helmets (check out sissy in the pink - totally fun), and get scared silly by the safety video they show everyone before you even touch a Segway. I mean, after this ten minute disaster-filled video spot, we were both a little nervous about stepping aboard one of these things, even though the nice guy at the office reassured everyone that these were "worst case scenarios" and "not likely to happen" to any of us. Oh, thanks so much - that's very comforting as we have recurring visions of concussions and crushed limbs. With our fears only slightly calmed, we set out with our fellow group of travelers (eight of us to one guide, which was a great ratio - you get one on one time for training, can always hear what she's saying, etc. etc....geez, they really should get me to do some advertising) and spent a little time getting to know our Segways before setting out for our city adventure. Now, you really get the hang of the Segway pretty quickly. Wobbly at first, a little uncertain, but in no time I was zooming around, hitting max speed and executing turns like a...pro? Are there Segway pros? Anyway, it was so much fun. I'd already gotten a glimpse of pretty much everything we encountered on the tour, but it was coupled with fun facts from our awesome guide Karen AND zooming around on a Segway. If anyone coming to town has any interest (ahhh hmmm, Vaughns?), I'll totally do this again. We went by Ford's Theater and FBI Headquarters and the Department of Justice and the Capitol and the White House (where we had to stop for a motorcade!! Still no idea who it was, but it was someone important, I'm sure) and several museums along the Mall and the Treasury and all kinds of neato-Washingtonian things.

We rounded out our Friday evening with dinner at Teaism and some quality time at the movie theater taking in H.P. #6. I'm inspired to re-read #6 and #7 - forgotten so many of those little details that I'm sure are worth rediscovering. And I'd say go see the movie, but I think everyone who reads this who has any interest in seeing the movie has already done so and/or chatted/blog-commented with me about it. Oh, go see it anyway.

Saturday we had a lazy morning and then headed out for lunch at the National Museum of the American Indian, which has by far the best dining options of any of the Smithsonian museums. The café area works cafeteria-style and is divided into five areas based on regional Native American food...which is in sharp contrast to the other museums' culinary offerings of McDonald's and Pizza Hut. Sissy enjoyed a smoked salmon sandwich with a strawberry-mint tea while I, in a nod to the Great Plains dwellers of the Texas Panhandle, devoured a pulled-buffalo sandwich with chayote squash slaw and a pineapple-coconut agua fresca. Oh yum. We made an attempt at a tour of the Capitol, but realized it was a little late in the day to snag a spot, so we satisfied ourselves with stops at several museums: Natural History, American History, and Air & Space, along with a brief walk through the National Gallery of Art. There's just an absurd amount of awesome things to see in all of these museums, so we really tried to hit the highlights - giant whale, Hope Diamond and other shiny things at Natural History; Americana galore, flag that inspired the Star Spangled Banner, and First Lady finery at American History; and a little bit of everything at Air and Space, including the Spirit of St. Louis, Wright Flyer, ginormous missiles, and all kinds of cool outer space things.
We rounded out Friday evening with a Nats game and then hit up several memorials and monuments by night...and why isn't the Jefferson Memorial lit up at night? I thought I was losing my mind for a minute, but it was definitely where I thought it should just be...just very, very dark. A brief Google search yielded no relevant information there, so I'll continue to be confused until I invest a little more time into finding out. Oh, and if you walk around to the back of the Lincoln Memorial at night, the lights are wonderfully positioned to make some excellent shadow puppets.

Sunday brought Georgetown explorations, including a really tasty and delightfully affordable lunch at Tackle Box, some shopping (H&M! Is this ever going to show up anywhere in Texas, by the way?), ice cream from Thomas Sweet, and quality historical neighborhood explorations.

I'm so glad my sissy got to come into town for the weekend! We'll have to make this a recurring event...even if the traffic to and from the forest is a little more ridiculous than either of us would like.


Girl Interrupted said...

It's funny, I was only just watching a programme last night (Stephen Fry Travels America ... not sure if you know him over there?) and this guy was in DC riding around on one of those Segway doodads! It looked like a lot of fun and DC looks amazing, I've always wanted to see it because of all the great architecture and museums etc, and now, thanks to this post, I want to see it even more!

Glad you and your sister had such a good time.

Ps: Really liking your blog (LOVE the design!) and have added you to my google reader.

Erin said...

I've heard of Stephen Fry and his 50-state adventure! I highly recommend the Segway - remarkably efficient and just crazy fun. You should come on over to the good ol' US of A and check it all out!

Thanks for becoming a faithful follower and fan of this stripey-dotted-blue thing I have going on. =)

Belinda said...

When I come to see you in DC I want to rent Segways. I think it looks like a blast!

Girl Interrupted said...

I'd love to see the US some day, and DC is definitely at the top of the list of places to visit.

You're welcome! :) It's a fun blog.

Erin said...

Belinda, we can totally do Segways! I don't think I'll ever get tired of that experience, at least in the next year and a half or so. =) Time to plan those vacations!