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Beautiful Fall Weekend & Mount Vernon

Posted Sep 16 2013 9:39pm

*First of all, I want to say that I am horribly saddened by the lives lost today in the Navy Yard shooting. Although I live less than a mile from Washington DC and work in the middle of the city, everyone I know seems to be safe and relatively unaffected by this tragedy, thank God. I am saying a prayer for everyone involved and pray that they stay strong!*

Hello there! I hope your week is off to a good start!

Last week was quite a doozy for me at work; I worked lots of long hours and was go-go-go for days on end. It doesn’t look like this week is going to be much better, but at least I had a really nice weekend to balance things out!

Here’s a little recap of what I was up to this weekend. (Edited to add: Oops, this post wound up being quite long!)

Friday

After work on Friday, Fabio and I headed across the street to Rhodeside Grill to meet up with some of his former coworkers to celebrate the end of their summer kickball league. Originally I didn’t want to go out after having a horrible day at work, but it was literally about 50 steps from our apartment door and there was an open tab, so I couldn’t really resist. Ah, peer pressure at its finest ;)

When we got there, I was impressed to see that the free drinks weren’t just your average crappy rail drinks, they were actually really good!
rhodesidegrill

Every drink I tried was flavorful and fresh-tasting, often adorned with fresh fruit and/or herbs. Yum!

rhodesidegrill2

Since the drinks were free, I wound up having quite a few ;)

They also had beer pong tables lined up, and Fabio and I had a good time playing against our friend Rebecca as well as a couple new friends. It was a lot of fun!

A little later in the night they handed out kickball awards (who knew there was such a thing? They definitely didn’t have this in our spring kickball league ) and Fabio happily got an award! Not many players got one, so I was pretty proud of him.

He was awarded “the wall” because it’s so hard to get past him. Go Fabs!

kickballaward

I think he was pretty happy! :)

Soon after the awards were handed out, the DJ started up karaoke, which apparently happens almost every night at this particular bar. WHO KNEW!?!

I am actually pretty obsessed with karaoke (as any of my Sloppytown girlfriends can attest to) even though I’m not the world’s best singer. The multiple drinks I had didn’t hurt either!

Fabio, his ex-coworkers, and I spent the rest of the evening singing and dancing to fun songs like Don’t Stop Believing and Bye Bye Bye. Oh yea, nothin’ but the classics over here ;) Either way it was a blast, and I will definitely be heading back to Rhodeside Grill again soon.

Saturday

On Saturday morning Fabio and I took our time lounging around the apartment and drank plenty of water ;) I think you could say we were feeling all those drinks!

Around 11:30 we pulled ourselves together and headed over to Mount Vernon for the day, since they were having a reenactment festival!

mountvernon1

 Just me and George

For those of you who don’t know, Mount Vernon is the home of George and Martha Washington, and it’s located about 19 miles from our apartment. Fabio and I have always talked about going, but somehow we never got around to it until this past weekend. Fabio had never been at all, and I haven’t been since elementary school, so we were definitely overdue for a visit. What’s the point of living so close to an historical landmark and never going?

The reenactment festival gave us just the excuse we were looking for. The website promised “a glimpse of an 18th century fair” where you could watch “sword swallowers and fire eaters” and see “General Washington” practice his “Revolutionary War drills.” The website also mentioned the opportunity buy local crafts and watch shows by magicians and puppeteers.

It was a beautiful day out and we had nothing else to do, so we went for it!

mountvernonmarketplace

When we arrived we purchased our tickets (I think they were like $17) and then entered the festival! We saw lots of people dressed up in full costume, which was cool but also kind of weird haha. I know everyone has their own passions and interests, but how does one begin to get involved with this kind of thing? It’s a mystery to me, that’s for sure.

We were pretty hungry once we arrived, so we looked for the food tent where we found pulled pork sandwiches and Mount Vernon ale. Delicious! You know that saying about the hair of the dog…so we jumped right into a couple of these ;)

mountvernonale

Then we walked around to the various tents to hear about how things were done back in the 18th century! It was really cool, and the volunteers did a great job explaining their trade. This guy explained how to spin sheep’s wool and put it in a loom to do the weaving!

mountvernonloom

There was also a group of men (and a couple young boys! Yikes!) who would shoot off the cannon every now and then. It was really loud, and pretty cool to watch. After the cannon was fired, they would let the kids run in the field to try to find the cannon ball, which seemed like a lot of fun.

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At 3:00 it was our turn to see the mansion!
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The house itself was pretty cool, though smaller than I would have thought. I guess for the time it was gigantic, but in today’s time it was just pretty average. It did have a pretty spectacular view of the Potomac though!!

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I’m going to need my “forever home” to have a big back porch like this one. ‘Kay? ‘Kay. Haha.

After touring the house Fabio and I came back home and did some chores around the house. I also finished up the next module of my nutrition certification program (I’m on number 5!) and just relaxed. I wound up falling asleep around 8:30 pm!! Phew what a wild Saturday night ;)

Sunday

On Sunday morning Fabio and I headed out bright and early for our 11 mile run! It was another gorgeous day, and we had a new route mapped out that I was excited to try.

Our route looked like this:

Our apartment > Georgetown Waterfront > Rock Creek Parkway > Adam’s Morgan > DuPont Circle > Washington Circle (aka Foggy Bottom) > Pennsylvania Avenue > White House > Washington Monument > Lincoln Memorial > Arlington Memorial Bridge > Arlington Cemetery >Iwo Jima >Back home

Phew! It was a tour of pretty much the whole city!

I did manage to snap this picture of the White House mid-run. I’m surprised it didn’t come out blurry!

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I’m not going to lie, the run itself was not easy. Despite having gotten lots of sleep the night before and bringing plenty of water with us on the run, it just felt hard.

I think that because we tried a new route, I felt far from home the whole time we were running, which just played with my mind. Running long distances, after all, is more of a mind game than anything else. I think that because I kept thinking we were “all the way” in Adam’s Morgan by about mile five, it just seemed like we had so much further to go and it really made the run a challenge. Nonetheless, we pushed through!

Here were our splits:

  • Mile 1: 8:47
  • Mile 2: 9:23
  • Mile 3: 9:46
  • Mile 4: 9:27
  • Mile 5: 9:16
  • Mile 6: 9:13
  • Mile 7: 9:26
  • Mile 8: 9:14
  • Mile 9: 9:49
  • Mile 10: 9:40
  • Mile 11: 9:48

Our average pace was 9:26, and we stopped at a few red lights and paused for water breaks a couple times along the way. Not great, but not horrible either.

When we came home, we stretched, rested a bit, and cleaned ourselves up in time for the Redskins game!

Ahhh, there’s nothing better than feeling clean and rested after a long run, with a cold beer and a good football game to watch (even if my Skins did lose horribly).

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Later in the afternoon I got busy in the kitchen and made this buffalo chicken bread (YUM!)

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And these delicious pumpkin cookies :)

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The rest of the day included a lot of good old rest and relaxation.

All in all, it was a pretty perfect weekend!

Questions of the day: Do you like football? What team do you root for? Do you have any favorite football Sunday snacks?

Do you like history? Have you ever been to a reenactment festival?

What messes you up on long runs?

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