Day Trip – Washington, in Pictures

Once or twice a year I’m fortunate enough to swing a quick trip to Washington, DC for work. It’s one of my favourite places to visit for a variety of reasons (for one thing, it introduced me to someone rather awesome), and is full of great things to check out and some of the friendliest people you’ll meet. Last fall I had a bit of downtime from work commitments and spent an unusually warm late October day visiting a few memorials and popular attractions. Apologies to my shins for thinking I could keep up with the joggers who were running the Mall, although given the fast speeds they were going, I should really refer to them as gazelles.

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I’d argue that no one does memorials and monuments quite like Washington – on previous visits I’ve spent hours at the Martin Luther King Jr. and Jefferson memorials – and the Korean War Veterans Memorial is particularly chilling to observe. Park staff also offer hourly tours which I highly recommend attending.

After refuelling for lunch I popped over to the National Portrait Gallery on a whim (hat tip to my awesome someone for that suggestion). Best. Gallery. Ever.

National Portrait Gallery

Ladies (and artists) Love Cool James.
Kehinde Wiley. Ladies (and artists) Love Cool James.

I spent over an hour checking out their current exhibition, “Dancing the Dream”, which profiles those who have made significant contributions to American identity and culture through dance. I wandered the presidential portraits (neat!), the contemporary art section (weird and neat!) and was particularly fond of this:

Nam June Paik: Electronic Superhighway
Nam June Paik: Electronic Superhighway

In Electronic Superhighway, each TV plays something that the artist associates with that particular state (so for example, Kansas was playing The Wizard of Oz).

I was sad to have to cut my visit short, but will definitely check this gallery out again on future visits. Have you been to DC? Have any favourites I should add to my itinerary next time?

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In the City – Luminato

Luminato wrapped up on Sunday in Toronto after a week(ish) of celebrations surrounding creativity. On my way home from work on Friday I popped into Brookfield Place to check out Stockpile. Nine visual artists working together on one installation and a hilariously awesome one at that – a life-sized arcade-style claw machine filled with prizes! Not just any prizes, however, for these were all donated from the community.

Brookfield Place

The artists themselves were the claw, and for $2 you could have a go and try your darndest to win a prize. Unlike the smaller versions of the game, most went home very happy. Someone won a globe, people! Pretty sweet.

Human claw game

Did you check out any installations at Luminato this year?

Day Tripping – Marazion

Have you heard of Marazion?

If you live in the UK (or even closer, Cornwall), likely yes. If you live outside of it, like me, probably not. Which is a damn shame, because it’s a really lovely place.

Upon maneuvering ourselves out of town (you can read about that adventure here or visualize what it felt like here) we headed to Marazion for lunch and a wander. Here’s three things you can do in this wee gem of a town:

IMG_26901. Get Your Stroll On
Marazion is small and perfect for a wander. Along the winding main street you’ll find a few little shops and galleries, some of which cater more to tourists but are still worth a look. There’s also a nice path along the waterfront where you can gaze at St. Michael’s Mount or better yet, go across to it. When the tide is out you can follow a causeway across to it; the tide was unfortunately very much in when I was there, and we opted not to take a boat across and just look at it from afar.

2. Eat
I guarantee you the best lunch you will have in Cornwall at  Delicious: Marazion, a great little deli just on the far side of town. Get it? Deli? Delicious? I was sold by the fact that they were punny, and also had bunting. They could have sold nothing but ham and I probably still would have gone in. Parked in a window seat (good for spotting drivers trying to navigate around double decker buses on the small roads – seriously, what is with these roads?!) my Dad and I tucked into cheese and chutney sandwiches that were the biggest sandwiches I have ever seen, let alone consumed. Freshly grated Cornish cheddar with a mean bite, sweet and tangy chutney, fresh bread and coleslaw on the side. I opted for a gluten-free bun which was a wise decision as it helped to contain the downpour of cheese making a hasty escape – I wasn’t going to let any of that deliciousness go to waste! People often scoff at the idea that British food can be good, but everything is fresh, simple and reallyfreakingdelicious.

As an aside, I would be very interested to know where my cholesterol levels stood at the end of this trip, but that’s neither here nor there.

Following our sandwiches, we grabbed lattes and seriously the best hot chocolate of my life to go, and I was sad to leave. I dreamt of cheese that night…

IMG_27013. Beach Yourself
Maybe it was from the half-pound of cheese. Maybe it was the fact that the sun had finally come out and everything was warm and smelled like sea salt. Maybe we were tired from the stress of getting the car out of Mousehole that morning. Whatever the reason, we parked ourselves on the beach to look at St. Michael’s Mount and take in the views of the sea and promptly fell asleep. Families around us poked around in the sand and played, we snoozed through the whole thing. Choose your own adventure on that beach, it’s nice and peaceful.

Eight Hours in…Washington

I recently jetted to Washington, DC for a whirlwind blow-through-the-northeast for work. While most of my time was spent hopping between meetings and other work obligations, I was blessed with a morning and afternoon off and man did I make the best of my time. I definitely passed out on my train to Baltimore the next day (that trip is worth a post of its own for various reasons, most of them unpleasant at the time but hilarious now. Stay tuned).

And so, if you ever find yourself in Washington DC with a few hours to kill, I present to you Eight Hours in Washington.

Continue reading “Eight Hours in…Washington”