I was thinking about where I would rather be today and I while exotic and new places continue to excite me, today I'd love to be somewhere old and familiar and that place for me will always be Washington, D.C. Let me tell you a bit about how I came to love this city and it wasn't love at first sight! In the early 1990s, my sister decided to go to American University in Washington, D.C. and I didn't understand why. When I use to go and visit her, I always found the city to be for a lack of a better word - 'ghetto.'
It wasn't until 1997 when I took a road trip with a teacher and 3 friends down to D.C. one Saturday afternoon during high school that I started to even like the city. We walked around the monuments and ended the day watching a live show in a small restaurant in Adams Morgan and it was PERFECT!! Unfortunately, by that time I was already set on going northward to Boston where I attended college.
Fast-forward 4 years and upon graduation I was absolutely confused as to what I would do next. My best friend Dana was moving back to her home state of Maryland and I decide 'why not?' So off to Maryland I went. I got a job in D.C. and also decided to sign up for French lessons at Alliance Francaise. I became fast friends with another student who lived in D.C. and over the following months, she would take me out for drinks and parties along with her other friends and it was just so fun. Watching street hockey near the white house, getting very happy at favorite bars...it was all so good that I was VERY excited when I learned I had been accepted into American University for my graduate degree. Of course, it wasn't lost on me at the time that I was going to the same city and even the same university that I had frowned upon during my younger years. Just when I was looking for an apartment the summer before school started, my friend told me she was moving out of her old place to attend grad school in New York so it was the easiest handover.
Over the next two years, I literally had the best time in D.C. going to American University was the perfect move for me because for the first time, I was surrounded by people just like me! Everyone either had lived abroad, was from abroad, or couldn't wait to move abroad. I made great friends and got to explore so much of the city. My god-sister also lived a few minutes from my house and we would get together for dinner and a movie every Sunday after I did my laundry at her house. It was also close enough to New York so my sister and other friends could come and visit me on weekends. All of this was paired with the fact that I had my own apartment which was like a dream come true for me - NO SHARING!!! It was my cosy little version of heaven.
While I have lived in many many places, D.C. always holds a very special place in my heart and I know that one of my many roads will always lead back to this place!
An obvious classic, the Mall and the monuments use to be a few blocks from my old apartment so I would go running down there in the mornings and it was always an easy trip for friends and family wanting to see a little bit of D.C. when they can for a visit. It's also a perfect area when the cherry blossoms are in bloom because the whole place is covered in these trees.
The National Cathedral has a beautiful garden where you can smell the flows and just lay in the grass and BE....
Dupont Circle is one of the center areas of the city and a perfect meeting spot. There is a great tea house a block away, not to mention my favorite bead shop, AND one of my favorite diners for brunch.
Preppy hood! With adorable million dollar homes, this once historically black neighborhood is full of cute shops, great restaurants and Georgetown students who have basically taken over. I spent many hours studying at one of the Starbucks during my grad school days.
This is one of my favorite places. I was introduced to Great Falls on a date and just fell in love with it. It's such a beautiful place right on the Potomac River with great hiking trails and only a few minutes away from the city....I absolutely love it!