Monday, June 18, 2012

WAIT. . . Is that the White House?

Titanic. A spontaneous wine tasting. Chili dogs. Glimpses of the White House. Random run-intos. Talk about a fab afternoon. A couple of weeks ago, my cousin, Bridget, and I decided to morph into our tourist-selves. We strapped on our giant cameras, whipped out our maps, laced up our bright white sneakers, applied copious amounts of sunblock, snapped on our fanny packs, and took the metro into DC......ok ok, we didn't really do all that - come on people, that would just be embarrassing. But, we really did hit up the National Geographic Museum, do a wine tasting, and eat at the infamous Ben's Chili Bowl! 

After a suggestion from my wonderful mother, Bridget and I decided that there was no better museum to meander through on a hot Saturday afternoon than one with a Titanic exhibit. The National Geographic Museum only had two exhibits, but both were fantastic - and just happened to be free that day! Lucky us, right? The first was an interesting exhibit about the history of samurais, which was pretty cool, but would have been way cooler if we had been allowed to try on their crazy outfits of armor and possibly have a sword fight with each other, but hey, let's not get greedy. Next, we wandered through Titanic land. This exhibit had pieces of the set from the Titanic movie, as well as a few items from the actual ship! It was pretty awesome. I've always had a fascination with Titanic ever since... well, let's be honest...Jack & Rose made their debut on the big screen when I was 11. To this day, I can't NOT watch Titanic when it is on TV. It's one of my favorites! And always gets my emotions going. ALWAYS. That scene at the very end when she ascends the stairwell to Jack? Ah swoooooon. Also, I love the third-class irish party scene. Why? Because I want to go to a party like that. I'm pretty sure it doesn't get much better than dancing, irish music, rowdy men, pints of beer, and arm wrestling. 

After we had decided it was time to let go of our Titanic fascination (get it, get it?! muaha), we began the walk to our linner location, Ben's Chili Bowl. For those who cannot put two and two together, linner is LUNCH + DINNER, and is typically eaten in the mid to late afternoon. On our walk there, the White House kept peaking out at us through the DC streets. I swear, it was following us. This, however, could be directly related to the fact that we really are tourists and, because of that fact, we kept losing our way and going in circles. But it's way more likely that the White House was following us. 

When we finally got our bearings, we strolled the streets, took in the sights and occasionally tripped on the uneven sidewalks. Famished and dying of thirst, we saw a sidewalk sign for a wine tasting. It was 3:30PM, the wine tasting was from 3-7PM, we needed a little, hello, obviously we took advantage of this opportunity. Can I just say how impressed I was by Bridget's inner wine connoisseur? Sheesh! She was detecting smoky flavors left and right. After tasting 6 or 7 delicious wines, we settled on a nice little white wine from Argentina. MMmm! 

FINALLY, we made it to Ben's Chili Bowl. We obviously took the obligatory tourist photo out front, then headed inside, which was pretty much a blast from the 70s. Because we had made the wise choice to eat linner at Ben's Chili Bowl, we didn't have to wait at all AND we got a table right out front, which was pretty cool and pretty awesome for people watching. I'm not going to lie, I was really excited to be there because so many famous people had been there in the past. I was particularly happy about the fact that my favorite Travel Channel stars, Anthony Bourdain and Adam Richman, had deemed Ben's Chili Bowl worthy of their stomachs.

We each ordered the most popular menu item - CHILI DOGS!! 
Doesn't look like much, but really, it's amazing.

Here's Bridget - SO happy her chili didn't have beans in it! Weeeee! 

With food in our bellies, we felt re-energized and began the long walk back to the metro. On the way back, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, I see one of my favorite people ever just wandering down the sidewalk - Javi! Javier and I went to UF together, where we bonded over our dislike of certain advertising major requirements and the ridiculousness of some of our classmates. This was so exciting, because I hadn't seen him in forever and I love him! It was pa-retty cool.

On the way back, we saw so many cool things that I couldn't resist taking pictures of this building that looks like it was taken right from the streets of Paris! 

...and this spiked wrought iron gate on a cute little side street! 

All in all, we had a lot of fun as DC tourists that afternoon. I can't wait for our next adventure! PS - When we finally got back home, guess what was on TV? Needless to say, I did not move from that couch for a good 3 hours. 

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