Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More Touristy Stuff in DC!

So, I have had a few friends visit me in the last couple weeks, so I have been able to do even more  touristy type things! It´s quite funny how things work out some times...

My friend Mollie, who I´ve known since we were locker partners freshman year of High School, is studying in Baltimor and spent the day with me. We went to the National Zoo, then toured around the National Portrait Gallery, Woodley Park and Chinatown.

Here is an adorable little (ok, not so little) panda having his breakfast at the zoo. We saw lots of animals, including some lions that acted just like large house cats taking naps! I was super glad it was slightly overcast that day, which made walking around a little more bearable. At the Portrait Gallery, there was a temporary exhibit made entirely of Norman Rockwell pieces. It was really interesting to see prints that had appeared in the newspaper contrasted with later paintings of the same scene. We should have spent less time viewing some guy´s aluminum foil 14 year in his basement masterpiece, because we didn´t get to see all of the Rockwell exhibit before the gallery closed for the evening. Still, it was all quite interesting.

This past weekend, Katiuska and Noel came to visit me, which was a surprise and a real treat! Because of all the goings on in DC  this past weekend, they were unable to get a hotel for Friday through Sunday nights. Luckily, I have been ordering all sorts of sheets, pillows, towels and the like, so I had plenty of things to furnish them with when they stayed in my apartment instead!

They visited most things downtown while I was in Spanish class, but we were also able to go drive by the monuments at night for a change of view. On the weekend, we walked all around Georgetown and Old Alexandria. The boat tour from Alexandria to Georgetown was very refreshing because the breeze provided us with some lovely relief and rest while we floated by DC landmarks.

Since I will be leaving the beginning of October, I'm glad I have been taking advantage of staying here in DC longer. The only Smithsonian I have yet to go to is the Air and Space Museum. I might just go on a Wednesday afternoon in the next couple weeks in an attempt to avoid massive amounts of people. We shall see....

Until next time, I will continue to study away. I even created a blog so that I can keep up with my daily Spanish writing: Jessie's Daily Spanish Musings . Take a look if you have time, and want to read some Spanish!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

In D.C. for a little longer...

Hello all! So, my departure date has been pushed back to October 6. In the meantime, I will be taking Spanish language classes in Virginia. Classes are going well so far, and I can really see the progress when I am in classes every day.

To pass the time, I am going to more D.C. landmarks. Today, I walked down to Ray's Hell Burgers, right down Wilson Boulevard from where I live. It's an awesome place (even President Obama eats there), and I can totally see why! I went pretty much as soon as it opened so I didn't have to stand in line. They've got a map with pins showing the different places customers have been from. The burgers were *awesome* as well. I got the "soul" burger with sauteed onions and mushrooms, bacon, swiss cheese, and it was probably the best burger I've ever eaten. Also, if anyone wants to go there, it's cash only, totally worth the wait if you have to, and be sure to go on a pretty empty stomach because the burgers are huge.

I brought along my camera and did the incredibly silly tourist thing of taking photos of the food. But, look at the picture. Was it worth it? Oh yea!

Despite the fame, the place hasn't suffered from the increase in customers and demand. The burger patties were freshly made and cooked to perfection (mine was a perfect medium). So, if anyone gets a chance to walk around in Arlington (it's right in the middle between Rosslyn and Courthouse metro stations), I highly recommend it. Yum!