We rolled into Occoquan on Sunday afternoon and Erika and Danielle greeted me with cheese and cherries and Nutella (I love them). We all lazed around the apartment and took Bix and Erika's greyhound Millie on a walk until Daniel got home and we ate Mexican food with Erika's family, and then we rounded out the day by watching The DUFF. It was a lot like college, honestly, but without the homework.
Monday Bixby and I were mostly on our own, and I was dead set on visiting the heart of DC. Parking downtown is obviously kind of a nightmare, but some things you don't really appreciate until you experience them. Two of the garages I went to told me they'd valet park my car in the deck and therefore would need to keep my key, and this small town girl in a big city was not a fan of that idea, so I found a deck where I could park my own car and proceeded to leave my window completely open all day. Without getting robbed - high five, DC! We were getting lunch with my uncle's girlfriend (partner? she's basically my aunt, they've been together my whole life), so Bix and I took the morning to tour a neighborhoody area. We found a pet store, lots of dog dishes filled with water and ice, and a dead squirrel. That was probably the highlight of Bixby's trip. Donelle and I ate at a place called Lincoln which was ohmygosh good and also legit fancy. I've been watching too much Iron Chef, but the dishes were actually plated, and I was impressed. I had blueberry watermelon lemonade, a peach salad with blue cheese and pistachios, and buttermilk pie which didn't look much like a pie but came with sweet corn gelato (?!?) and more blueberries. Long story short: it was delicious and everyone was super great about Bix and the waiter gave us water for him to drink in a big old napkin holder.
With clear eyes and full bellies we headed for the monuments. I got slightly turned around, so our first stop was accidentally the White House. Hello, Obamas! Bix was a big fan of the pigeons. (Dogs = children in a whooole lotta ways.) We got back on track and saw the Washington Monument, the World War II memorial, the Reflecting Pool, and, of course, good old Abe Lincoln. Quick FYI to dog owners - we didn't have a problem at the WWII memorial or obviously the Washington Monument since we didn't try to go up in it, but a guard at the Lincoln Memorial did ask if Bixby was a service dog. Bix also tried to chase some ducklings through the pool, which seemed a little taboo, but maybe not, since I personally have walked through the pool (when they had emptied it), and so has Forrest Gump. I thought it was strange that we didn't see a single other dog around the monuments, but I guess most people don't bring their pets on vacation with them. Missing out, y'all.
We got to see a less touristy side of DC when we met my high school friend Jack at the Colonial Heights metro station. Bix rode an escalator! And he will probably never let me talk him into riding an escalator again. It was an experience. We had to dash a couple miles back to the car to get it out of the garage by 7 (6:55, PHEW) and then we toured Jack's new house, which is hella cool, and we set out to find a restaurant with outdoor seating. We wound up at Yamas on U Street, which was Greek food and very good. I had a gyro type thing, and Bixby ate his first falafel. Look at me, eating falafel! More importantly, it was so, so good to catch up with Jack. We hadn't seen each other in years (how??), but he's the kind of friend who you can pick up with right where you left off. As of sometime this month, we have been friends for ten years. Not sure how it's possible that I was 15 ten years ago, but there you go.
And then goodbyes, and back to Erika's, and the tail end of Sixteen Candles, and now we're just being lazy before our drive to Pennsylvania to see (drumroll please) Lauren! And Ryan! And Piper! We've got Netflix and wine on the menu for tonight, and maybe we'll check out Philly tomorrow, who knows!