Tuesday, September 7, 2010

city mouse, country mouse

We have had ridiculous quantities of beautiful weather. I really don’t want to acknowledge that fall (ugh) and winter (UGGGGGGGH) are on their way but I am a big fan of 70s and 80s and breezes.

I enjoyed the lovely weather in both urban and rural settings.

On Saturday, I suggested to my Americorps pallys who are new in town that Georgetown is a rawther obvious destination for fun in DC.

We mixed it up and took the Metro to Rosslyn, which is over the river in Virginia, and then walked across the key bridge to DC. Whilst there, we admired a paddleboarder in the middle of the friggin Potomac. Crazy.


He’s the dot in the far left third of the picture.

Yes, I am an incredible photographer.

You know what’s in Georgetown? Baked and Wired! YAY!

When last I went with Maya and Sophia, I had just eaten a four course lunch. Which I mean was awesome. But what was not awesome was that I did not actually have an *appetite* for a baked good.

Fortunately, I arrived yesterday thoroughly hungry. And DISPATCHED this lovely thing:


That is a caramel pecan bar. I bit into it and went “oh my God. OH MY GOD.” etc. etc. in a When Harry Met Sally reminiscent way for several minutes.

It was really really really really really good.

Erin and Carolyn both had cupcakes- Erin went for the chai, Carolyn the mocha.


They were both lookin’ FIERCE due to just having gotten their hair cut. Think I will go to the same place next week cause Lord I hate my hair right now.

We strolled to Foggy Bottom, stopping to admire the fabulous setup that someone had in their front yard. Were we tempted to get in? Yes.


Our destination was the U Street corridor, otherwise known as Little Ethiopia.

DC is known for really great Ethiopian food. I am known for eating really large quantities of Ethiopian food. I wanted to get Carolyn and Erin, both new to town, to try it ASAP!

Our ultimate destination was as shiny and green as a spaceship from Planet Delicious (worst simile ever?)


We ended up at Queen Makeda, which I hadn’t been to before (I try to get off the beaten track!)


We ended up sitting in the cool upper level, which featured a DJ with the most *random* selection of music I have ever heard (just out of curiosity, is anyone familiar with a song called “Imaginary Playmates”?).

We sat at a cool low table.


Since we’d had hefty baked goods we weren’t crazy hungry. I suggested we get the veggie sampler: lots of variety and man oh man those Ethiopians know how to make vegetables finger lickin’ good! (Many of them are Orthodox- like me- and are use to going meatless for religious reasons for much of the year. Thus, they’ve figured out how to do amazing things with legumes!)

We asked the waiter whether it was reasonable for three people to start with just one vegetarian platter, and he said it’d probably be fine and we could always order more.

For the *princely* sum of $12 (that’s total, not each. This cost about as much as 3 McDonalds burgers), we got this CORNUCOPIA:


In the center, the famous lentils with the wonderful dark rich berbere spice to share. Then we all got individual portions of collard greens (wonderfully rich, and packing some serious heat with big chunks of chiles!); cabbage and carrots (something that sounds boring but isn’t); another lentil dish (the darker yellow- sweetish); and a pureed dish of what I think was yellow split peas.


Served atop wonderful spongy injera, with more on the side:


I think all utensils should be replaced with bread!

A lovely dinner. Then it was time for some nightlife whoooooooo.

So in high school, when my best friend and I got together, 90% of the time we would end up watching Cruel Intentions in my basement, eating Ben and Jerry’s Karmel Sutra ice cream (I highly recommend both!)

But nonetheless, every time her dad dropped her off, he’d make numerous jokes about the wild and crazy things we were planning and say “Have fun smoking ecstasy in Adams Morgan!”

Can one smoke ecstasy?

Anyway, we went to Adams Morgan.

There were drinks and dancing at Reef, which started fun and got a little weird. But then we went to Tryst and wow j’adore! It’s a coffee shop meets lounge. In other words, you can order a fun and fancy cocktail… or a delicious cup of tea!


Why aren’t more things served with animal crackers?!

I bounced home at around 2:30 and hit the hay.

Sunday was decidedly low key :D

Today, however, I decided I wanted to romp about in some sort of outdoor setting. Joining me on this endeavor were my dad and my little stepcousin Jewel.

I arrived at my dad’s house and Jewel immediately showed me the CRAB she personally caught yesterday. Jealous! I want to go crabbing!

 jewel edited

We hopped in the car and drove west. I’m always amazed when we do this, because though I am very close to a very dense and crowded city, you get on 66 and drive for 20 minutes and you’re already out amongst the cows. This is where all my farmer’s market goodness is from!

Looks like a sweet life.


And so we arrived at our destination a mere hour later (though admittedly my speed demon father was at the wheel), the lovely Sky Meadows State Park.


I scampered up the trail, soaking up the late summer goodness, enjoying the fresh air, the exercise, the smells, the sights…


I perhaps was slightly less attentive to my lazy family, as I realized when I paused to take the above picture and realized I was rawther ahead of them on a steep stretch:

lazy family

BUT this woman was coming down and asked me in a weirdly nonchalant voice if I “knew CPR or anything?”

Well, um yes! I was recertified for work a mere four days ago!

A bit further ahead on the trail there was a lady who had been walking downhill and suddenly had shortness of breath and was afraid she’d pass out. She was drinking a sports drink and feeling a lot better but I still waited for her a bit while the park people came (and my lazy family caught up) and told her that she should probably see a doctor.

Ladies- if you have problems with a sudden onset, see a doctor. We women are more tolerant of pain (due to our bodies being prepared for that whole childbirth thing) and heart symptoms can manifest themselves differently in women, including things like shortness of breath and not necessarily chest and arm pain!

So. Minor excitement dealt with, we went onward.

A monarch butterfly having a nice pollen snacksie!


Many many beauteous trees!

Old and wise and gnarled…


Young and sun dappled…


Overhead in a canopy…


Our hike completed, we returned to the parking lot to revisit the APPLE TREE we’d seen on our way up.


There was no fruit close to the ground :(

But….. in a moment of daring/stupidity, positively monkey-like, I scaled it!

Lo and behold, perfect ripe apple! It don’t get more local than that (Jewel wanted to make sure to be included in the picture hahahaha.


And so we returned to the ‘burbs.

The dog panted for roughly half an hour (he never gets any exercise, which is one of numerous reasons he is so annoying)


Starving, I requested a stop for the most healthful fast food option, which turned out to be Subway. I got a chicken sandwich. I felt guilty about the chicken’s miserable life, but since I literally go to Subway once a year (I’m serious, I think I stopped at this exact same one the last time I went to Sky Meadows in May of 2009).

I got it with tons of veg- green pepper, banana pepper, olives, lettuce, and tomato. It was goooooood.


Hiking definitely worked up an appetite, so I went a little crazy on the trail mix on the hike. Then I noticed these two fun things in the fridge:


Ingredients to make rockin’ shaved ice, my faaaaavorite Asian dessert!


Enjoyed deckside, in the sun, yum yum yum.

I stole some of my dad’s batch of home grown tomatoes…


And came home, to prep for my first real (non-training, with the kids!) week of Americorps. Wish me luck!


Heather (Where's the Beach) said...

I am totally with you on finding restaurants off the beaten path when possible. They can be some of the best. And I refuse to admit summer is over...

Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen said...

Good luck!

Tina said...

Yea that bar certainly does look good! LOL

And I really love fall weather. Here in GA though it doesnt get too cool. So fall is in the 70s mostly.

fittingbackin said...

Great pictures! Best of luck!

I would like to be at your low table right now - so cute - or in that hammock! LOL

Joanne said...

I can't believe you are doing Americorps! Power to you lady!

I'm glad to see you enjoyed your last weekend before it starts. I've been meaning to get down to DC for Ethiopian food...I hear it's mindblowing.

Anonymous said...

I really want to know how they make those vegetables taste so great! It's so true how good they are - and the spongy bread just makes it better...

katecooks said...

so many fun adventures! i've never had Ethiopian food but i've always wanted to try it; i guess i am waiting to go with someone who knows what's best to order!!

also, tryst...yum, right?? i used to go there in college to study. i would always get the grilled cheese with tomatoes. MMM. i want one RIGHT now!!