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Me, Old? It’s Official!

April 15th, 2009

The other day I was looking out my kitchen window and I saw the bat house that Mr Chiot’s hung up on our garage.
Then I thought about all of the birdhouses that he made and we hung up on the back of the garage for the wrens. Then I laughed because I thought about a vacation we have planned for later this spring to Washington D.C. and I thought to myself, “We’re OLD!!!” Now Mr Chiot’s and I are still in our early 30’s, but I think that when you plan a vacation to a historical site and are excited about it, you’re officially OLD! Not that I mind, or that there’s anything wrong with being old, I kind of like getting older.
The reason for mentioning our upcoming vacation, I was hoping some of you would have some great tips for places to go, things to see and delicious places to eat. We’re particularly looking for neat little places that only belong to D.C. (so not chain eateries, unless it’s a D.C. chain).

So any advice from all my well-traveled (I won’t say old) readers that have been to D.C.?

17 Comments to “Me, Old? It’s Official!”
  1. Julia on April 15, 2009 at 6:19 am

    I grew up in DC… and go back on a somewhat regular basis because my parents still live there.

    As a native… I would recommend AVOIDING georgetown. That’s where the tourists go. Check out the U Street Corridor. Next Door to Ben’s Chili Bowl is run by the winner of Top Chef. GREAT fried chicken.

    DC has some great southern influences… you can check them out at Marvin’s (which is now packed since the new administration came in), Vidalias, Georgia Brown.

    Kinkeads and Obelisk are my favorites… definitely special occasions.

    Cashion’s Eat Place is good.

    And you can visit the first restaurant I worked in: Restaurant Nora. The first certified Organic restaurant in the US. When I worked there, Bill Clinton just got into office and came in several times for dinner. So did Al Gore, Donna Shulala, and the rest of the Clinton cabinet. It was a fun time to be there. The food is still good today!

    Julia’s last blog post.. Good Photography

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  2. Julia on April 15, 2009 at 6:20 am

    P.S. Check out a National’s Baseball game. The team is like the bad-news bears, but the stadium is located on the Anocastia River with great views — and if the Nats hit a homerun, they shoot of fireworks.

    Julia’s last blog post.. Good Photography

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    • Susy on April 15, 2009 at 6:55 am

      Thanks for the tips! We’ll definitely be trying some of these restaurants!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Mangochild on April 15, 2009 at 7:00 am

    :-) I guess I’m old too, even though I’m younger than you, since I get really excited about traveling to sites like that and just seeing all that took place/made the area memorable. I’ve only been to D.C. a handful of times though, so no real tips on that front. Though I do agree, Georgetown might be a place to spend minimal time – it gets a little “created” if that makes sense…

    Mangochild’s last blog post.. Seedling Update: Transplanting and New “Adoptees”

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  4. Eric on April 15, 2009 at 7:14 am

    Plan your stops to minimize your walking…even if you’re a fit walker…then when you have a plan, cut it in half…you will feel better at the end of your vacation than if you try to squeeze it all in and you feel fatigued.

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  5. Heather on April 15, 2009 at 10:04 am

    Jill was in DC for a month last year and we went over a long weekend to visit her. She stayed just outside of DC in Silver Spring, MD. We went to a restaurant in in Silver Spring called Mrs. K’s Tollhouse Restaurant. It looks like a regular house from the street, but the food is FABULOUS! My mom asked them for their recipe for crab cakes because they are so good, but hasn’t been able to get it yet. We are keeping our fingers crossed. So, if you feel like a short drive it’s well worth it! Here’s the website:


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    • Susy on April 15, 2009 at 10:10 am

      Thanks, we’re going with some friends and one of them is a crab cakes lover, we’ll have to check this place out!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. Maureen on April 15, 2009 at 11:09 am

    We went a few years ago to attend a Veterans service so I would definitely recommend the Viet Nam War Memorial….quite moving. Don’t miss (we almost did) the flag that flew at the Pentagon after 9/11 and the Francis Scott Key flag; both are in the Simthsonians National Museum of American History.

    Also, two dining spots that I would highly suggest checking out ….’Clydes’ of Georgetown and ‘Stars’ Bistro (used to be called Mimis, guess they changed it because of the chain). Clydes has a ‘Cheers’-like atmosphere and would be great for lunch or dinner and Stars has singing waiters and waitresses (and great food)…fun!

    Stars –
    Clydes – (tho I guess this one is ‘sort of’ a chain, there are several in the area…still, our family loved it)

    Maureen’s last blog post.. Pantry Replacement Item #3

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  7. Tonya on April 15, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Hi Susy. When Doug and I were in DC a couple years ago, we made a short drive to Dutch’s Daughter restaurant in Frederick, MD. It was WONDERFUL! The crab cakes were phenomenal, and the blackened tuna Doug ordered was amazing. People were dressed in clothing ranging from casual to dressy, so you can wear whatever you feel comfortable in. If you have the opportunity, I would highly suggest it! Here is a link to their website:

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    • Susy on April 15, 2009 at 11:57 am

      Thanks Tonya, I’m a big fan of tuna and pretty much any kind of seafood. Thanks for the website link as well! PS, we loved the bee song you sent:)

      Reply to Susy's comment

  8. Jennifer on April 15, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Kinkeads can get really busy during the week at lunch, and everyone will be in power suits there. I lived a block from there for several years, and a few blocks further for several more. Ben’s Chili Bowl is a lark, but that’s about it and when I lived there U street wasn’t really a great section of town.
    I wouldn’t miss the mall, the monuments or the Smithsonian, but as far as restaurants, I don’t have any real recommendations, as most of the places I used to go are now closed. :(

    DC is irresistible in the springtime.

    Jennifer’s last blog post.. Seedlings Started

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  9. Pam on April 15, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Hi Susy,
    I love making day trips to DC. I try not to plan too many things into one trip. On each trip, we do one Smithsonian completely, then some monuments. Definitely go to the Lincoln Memorial (inspirational), Korean Memorial (understated and chilling as you imagine the young men slugging through the terrain, almost ghosts of themselves), WW II Memorial (newest and amazing…as a WWII vet, my dad would have loved it), Viet Nam Memorial (moving beyond words), the smaller Viet Nam Women’s Memorial (just as moving, but totally different), and the FDR Memorial (great lesson in history). All are within walking distance from each other. That being said, my favorite monument in DC is the Albert Einstein Memorial. It is across Constitution Avenue from the Viet Nam Memorial close to the Lincoln Memorial. Most people know nothing about it. It is a wonderful picture opportunity and a fun place to go. If you go, be sure to try to ‘echo’ your voice back to yourself while standing in the center of the cosmos at your feet, right in front of Albert. Then climb on his lap for pictures. Although we have done this each year for a couple decades, I still cannot believe we can climb on his huge lap! It is always a smile. The monument will be thirty years old on April 22, 2009. It is in front of the National Science Foundation and sculpted by the Robert Berk, the same artist who did the Kennedy bust in the Kennedy Center. The document he is holding is his famous equation e=mc2. The artist’s depiction of Einstein, leaving the clumps of clay without smoothing it, is inspiring and so perfect for Einstein. He was a man who knew our answers were incomplete and a work in progress. Enjoy our nation’s capitol.

    Pam’s last blog post.. Spring Flower

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  10. DeeDee on April 15, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    i don’t have any advice b/c i’ve only been there once, but i’ve heard it’s beautiful in the spring… i’m jealous that you get to go! we are probably going to cinci for a long weekend for vacation this year b/c we don’t have time to go anywhere further :) talk about bringing back memories!

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  11. Meg on April 16, 2009 at 7:33 am

    I went to DC briefly a few years back with two goals in mind….to go to the Smithsonian and to see a particular old film from 1930 which they were playing at the Mary Pickford Theater at the LOC, so I guess that probably qualifies me as “old”, eh? ;) We were there for only 48 hours and ate at a great place, totally found at random, but as I didn’t write down the name, it totally escapes me (another sign of my age!). Sorry, no suggestions on that front, but a trip to DC sounds wicked awesome! Enjoy your trip!

    Meg’s last blog post.. Happy Gotcha Day Miss Bow!!

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  12. Lynn on April 16, 2009 at 9:01 am

    I’ve only been to DC briefly, but if you want to feel young and intriguing again ;) go to have a cocktail at Zola, the restaurant next door to the International Museum of the Spy! At sunset hour, the room is gorgeous. The menu looked great, too, for a special night out. And I would definitely GO to Georgetown–there may be tourists, but there’s a lot of color and history, too. We ate at a bakery/market sort of place right on the canal, but can’t remember it’s name

    Lynn’s last blog post.. Docent Days 7: How to lead a tour

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  13. Chris on April 16, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Here are a few suggestions:

    If you do go to Georgetown, I would suggest walking along the C&O Canal as part of your trip. When I lived there, it was part of my favorite bike ride. The trail goes on for a long ways — all the way to Great Falls Park — Living in the west, vacations must include enjoying water with all of the senses.

    Go to the National Museum of the American Indian for lunch. The mitsitim cafe is busy, but offers “Native foods found throughout the Western Hemisphere, including the Northern Woodlands, South America, the Northwest Coast, Meso America and the Great Plains.” Buy two plates and share.

    The Kennedy Center has free performances each day on the Millennium Stage — Every night will not necessarily be for everyone, but it is free. Even if you don’t go to a performance, go to the roof of the Kennedy Center — a view on each corner.

    The National Cathedral sometimes gets missed since it takes an extra effort to get to, if you stick to walking and the Metro. I think we took a cab and then walked to DuPont Circle.

    Finally, relax. You cannot see everything. Enjoy what you can and plan to return.

    I enjoy your site. Thank you.

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  14. andrea on April 16, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Lived in the area for about 8 years and even though Julia recommended against Georgetown (yes it is touristy), I love Zed’s, a little ethiopian restaurant located there. I’m drooling just thinking about it: Mmmmm….

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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