Weekend Adventures: Washington D.C.

This weekend I took a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend Teach for America’s 25th Anniversary Summit. I arranged my trip so I had about some extra time to explore and enjoy the city. D.C. is a great city to visit with access to so many free cultural experiences and great dining experiences. Here are a few highlights from the trip, along with recommendations for a few spots to seek out next time you’re in town.
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Lincoln Monument Washington DC Weekend Adventures Travel National Monument Julia Malinowski South by Northwest BlogI arrived Thursday late afternoon. After checking into my Airbnb apartment, I decided to do a night tour of the monuments. I’d never done this before and really enjoyed seeing the the famous monuments lit up against the night sky. The Lincoln Memorial was peaceful although about a dozen tourists seemed to have the same idea as me.
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Museum of National History Washington DC Weekend Adventures Travel Julia Malinowski South by Northwest BlogThe next day I swung by the Smithsonian National Museum of National History, which is always enjoyable. You can easily pick and choose which exhibits to see, so you don’t need to cram everything in during one visit. I like to stop by to see the dinosaur bones and just love the beautiful entrance.
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Holocaust Museum Washington DC Weekend Adventures South by Northwest Blog Julia Malinowski TravelI explored the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for the first time and was throughly impressed. The curation and exhibits are incredible. The subject is somber, so be prepared to possibly cry in public. I know I did.
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Holocaust Museum Washington DC Weekend Adventures Travel Top Sites to See Julia MalinowskiThe shoe display was particularly striking. It’s a collection of 4,000 shoes confiscated from victims at concentration camps.
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The quote reads “We are the shoes, we are the last witnesses. We are shoes from grandchildren and grandfathers, From Prague, Paris, and Amsterdam, And because we are only made of fabric and leather, And not of blood and flesh, each one of us avoided the hellfire.” Moses Shulstein.
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slipstream washington dc weekend adventures travel coffee shopAnd now for a few restaurant recommendations. The apartment was located close to Slipstream, a great little coffee shop that also does brunch on the weekends. They make their own cashew/almond milk in house, so I indulged in daily chai lattes. It’s a little pricey, but the atmosphere was cozy and they have free wifi which is harder to track down in DC than expected.
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Daikaya Ramen Washington DC weekend adventures travel Thursday night I did dinner at Daikaya, a combination Izakaya bar and ramen shop in the Chinatown area. The space is small, so the average wait time can run 30-45 minutes for a party of 2-4. Since I was flying solo that night, I was lucky and got in pretty quickly. I ordered the Shoyu with the pork belly add-in and was not disappointed. The broth was rich and satisfying and the noodles had the perfect bite.
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rural society washington dc weekend adventures travelFriday night a group of friends got together for dinner at Rural Society, an Argentinian restaurant. Argentinian restaurants are typically known for their steak and this place is no different. Their walls featured photos of prize winning bulls! However my favorite dishes were the vegetable sides. The grilled wild mushrooms with truffle and roasted brussels sprouts with chestnut cream and pomegranate seeds were fantastic. I was stuffed and couldn’t stop eating them.
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Washington DC Teach for America 25th Anniversary SummitThe girls after dinner. Not the best picture of the group, but had to throw it in! I taught with Veronica and Erica who are on my left.
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Janelle monae washington dc teach for americaSaturday night, the Teach for America conference closed out with a performance by Janelle Monáe. She’s an “Electric Lady” both on and off the stage, so it was definitely a fun show.
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One of the perks of moving to the East Coast is that more weekend trips to DC may be in my future! Have you visited the nation’s capital? Any favorite restaurants or sites of your own? Mil’s good friend Sarah used to live in the city and she worked at The Kennedy Center, which hosts incredible arts programming.
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XOXO,
Jules

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Photo credit: Teach for America

 

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Christmas in New York

Christmas in New York City
This past weekend I paid a visit to my former stomping grounds: New York City. Christmas is my favorite time of year in New York. The city really does it up right. Festive window displays, ice skating rinks practically on every corner, the giant tree at Rockefeller Center, and my favorite: hot roasted nuts. The sticky sweet smell of the street cart vendors triggers waves of nostalgia every time. Although they’re not actually as good as they smell…

I try to visit the city every few years. This year I was able to squeeze in a combination of classic Christmas activities along with some new adventures. For part of the time I stayed in Brooklyn with my good friend Veronica and her fiancé Alex. Veronica and I met in Teach for America and actually co-taught our first year. They recently bought an apartment in Prospect Heights, so it was fun exploring their neighborhood. The rest of the time I spent in the city with my friend Nuni, whom I met in college while studying abroad in Turkey (so many stories there).
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The weather was freakishly warm this year. It was nice being able to stroll the streets without fear of frostbite, but at the same time it was a little weird to see the city without its usual layer of December snow.
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Christmas in New York City

I spent a lot of time in the lower portion of the city. I stumbled on the Christmas tree in Madison Square Park on my way to one of my favorite bookstores: Rizzoli.

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Christmas in New York City at New York Library

I’ve always loved the New York City Public Library. At Christmas the signature lions are all decked out for the season.

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Christmas in New York City

Nuni humored me and spent a day strolling the city visiting all the lights and storefronts. There is something magical about Christmas lights!

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Saks 5th Avenue New York City at Christmas

Saks 5th Avenue’s Winter Palace themed windows were stunning, but not as stunning as the light show they’re doing this year. Cops were blocking off the street to control the crowds. It felt like Disneyland.

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Christmas in New York City at Bryant Park

There are so many skating rinks in the city, but Bryant Park is still my favorite. The cute shops that surround it are fun to browse and it’s not nearly as crowded as Rockefeller Center.

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Whitney Museum Christmas in New York Frank Stella

Beyond the standard holiday activities, I also explored a couple new-to-me destinations. Since I left New York, the Whitney Museum has relocated to Chelsea in a gorgeous new building by the water. I stopped by to check out their Frank Stella exhibit which was incredible.

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Whitney Museum New York City at Christmas

The Whitney’s new building is also a work of art in itself. Everything from the outdoor vistas to the staircase were intentionally designed and just beautiful.

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Highline Park New York City Christmas Chelsea Market

I walked the expanded section of the High Line after grabbing a coffee from a new-to-me coffee roaster: Blue Bottle. Smiling in spite of the blisters on my feet. I should have known better than to bring new boots.

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brooklynlibrary

Veronica and I stopped by the Brooklyn Library for a quick visit. The entryway is majestic with its gold columns. I’m jealous this is where she checks out her books every week.

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Brooklyn Botanical Garden at Christmas

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden are nestled right on the edge of Prospect Park, one of Brooklyn’s most loved public parks. The gardens are free to visit on Saturdays before noon, so we took advantage of the weather and went for a stroll.

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Brooklyn Botanical Garden

The greenhouses at the gardens were great. I particularly enjoyed the display of bonsai trees. They’re so little and cute!

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Brooklyn Bridge New York City at Christmas

Of course I had to walk the Brooklyn Bridge before I left. Classic bridge shot.

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Mil and I will be taking the week between Christmas and New Year’s off, so this is our last post before 2016! Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you and your families. See you in the new year!
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XOXO,
Jules

Weekend Adventures: Beat the Blerch

running seattle half marathon beat the blerch julia malinowski

This past Sunday I ran my first half marathon in more than three years! I was nervous, but it actually ended up being my best race experience yet. Beat the Blerch is a race offering 5k, half-marathon, and marathon distances. The race experience is themed around an Oatmeal comic about running, written by local author Matthew Inman. The comic theme brought a sense of humor and fun to the event that sometimes feels missing from other races. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the race.

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running seattle half marathon beat the blerch julia malinowski

The starting line tells it like it is. Let there be agony and in my case copious amounts of knee pain.

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running seattle half marathon beat the blerch julia malinowski

The course had people in Blerch costumes running around and lounging on couches. Hilarious. Also, “motivational” signage was posted along the course. Why yes, I would like a nap. Thanks for asking.

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running seattle half marathon beat the blerch julia malinowski

The pre-race refreshment spread included Poptarts, bacon covered marshmallows, and all your Halloween candy favorites. Zappos sponsored the treats and they did a bang up job.

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running seattle half marathon beat the blerch julia malinowski

The course itself was beautiful. The route was along a tree-shaded trail, which would have been greatly appreciated had the sun been out. Unfortunately it rained the whole time. What else can you expected when running a race in Seattle?

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running seattle half marathon beat the blerch julia malinowski

Costumes and accessories were strongly encouraged. The bacon and hot dog at the back of this pack were two of my favorites. The group carrying the American flag was part of a military affiliate group. It was kind of inspiring to see their flags waving along the course.

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running seattle half marathon beat the blerch julia malinowski

Refueling after pushing through all 13.1 miles. I showed some restraint by not gorging myself, but did enjoy a couple bites of birthday cake and a Nutella sandwich. That icing was banging.

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running seattle half marathon beat the blerch julia malinowski

Check out the finisher medal. Definitely as cool as the Tinkerbell medal I’ve been eyeing. This is for sure going on this year’s Christmas tree.

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Do you have any races planned for this fall? If you’ve never run a race, I strongly encourage checking out Beat the Blerch. The environment was fun and very accepting of ever ability level. They actually offer the race in a couple locations across the country. Check here to see if  there’s a race planned near you.
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The next race on my list is one of the Disney half marathons, as evidenced by my medal research. The course goes through the park and Disney characters make guest appearances along the route. So fun!
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XOXO,
Jules

Meeting Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere

Jules and I had big plans this weekend to attend the Bite of Seattle with our friend Asa, but when we heard that the fabulous Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere was doing a meet and greet at the flagship Nordstrom to promote her new clothing line, the three of us had no choice but to alter our itinerary. We’ve been fans of Emily and her blog for years, and we were absolutely thrilled to meet her in person! It was a major fangirl moment.

Meeting Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and CashmereFor someone who has achieved such incredible levels of success, Emily is remarkably sweet and down-to-earth (and just as stylish as you would expect). In addition to signing autographs, she was kind enough to take a few minutes to chat with everyone who came to the event, as well as pose for pictures.

Meeting Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere

We’ve said it before and we’ll likely say it again, but Emily is a serious source of inspiration for us. She has navigated the blogging world and handled the evolution of her brand with style, class, and enviable vision. Now that we’ve met her in real life, we love her even more!

Meeting Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere

If you could meet one of your role models, who would it be?

♥ Mil

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