When Jordan and I got married three years ago, I was really excited to move to Harlem, but I was sad to be leaving D.C., a city I loved, and the dear friends and family who lived there. Since that time, we’ve made trips to D.C., but often for very short periods of time and not as frequently as we would like, as life in NYC keeps us pretty busy.
So last week, we made plans for an extended stay in D.C. We rented this AirBnB apartment for four nights with a plan to catch up with loved ones we hadn’t seen in a long time and to introduce Jameson to some favorite places around the city.
On our first day in town, we stocked up on groceries, settled into our place, and made Ben’s Chili Bowl on H Street our first stop for dinner. A half smoke with chili, mustard, and onions had my name on it, and well, there’s no photo of said half smoke, because I devoured it pretty quickly. My bad.
The next day, we drove to Alexandria, VA to visit Danielle’s (Jordan’s late wife’s) mother. She had yet to meet Jameson, so it was a pretty special day. It was great to catch up with her, and she enjoyed Jameson, even as he tried to tear up everything on her coffee table. He’s one blessed little boy to have four sets of grandparents.That evening, we invited friends over to the apartment where we were staying and had a great time catching up and laughing. I loved looking around the room and seeing the assortment of amazing people — some who have been friends since college, others who became friends through work, others who are friends from grad school, and others who were friends of friends, but I now call my own.A bunch of these friends got to meet Jameson for the first time, and a few of them had children that we got to meet for the first time too. It was a sweet night. And again, I could have taken a bunch of photos, but I was way too busy running my mouth and refilling snacks. :-)
The following day was a bit of a detour from the trip — I decided that since I was four hours closer than I normally am when I’m in NYC, I would drive down to Lynchburg, VA to see my dad. It’s a 3.5 hour drive from D.C., so I headed out early in the morning and left Jordan and Jameson behind to explore the city. They had a great day out and about and even ran into two of our closest friends while in Union Station, which made a good day even better.
I had a nice, although short, visit with my Dad and was happy I was able to see where he lives, let him FaceTime with Jameson, and give him a big hug.After the long drive back, I met up with Jordan and Jameson at a neighborhood Indian spot called Indigo. This place wasn’t around when I lived in D.C., and I was eager to try it after hearing rave reviews from my friends and others online. They’ve got a great set up with colorful picnic tables on their front patio, and Jameson was his typical curious self checking everything out.And then the food arrived, and when I tell you this butter chicken was ev-er-y-thing, I mean it! Oh my.
On our last full day in town, we started off with breakfast at Ted’s Bulletin. I think they now have multiple locations in the city, but I used to live a few blocks from the original one on Barracks Row, and I couldn’t wait to get back for their food, the old-school vibe, and one of their homemade pop-tarts. You can see Jameson was eager to try them too (I love seeing his little hand in this pic!).After Jameson’s morning nap at the apartment, we made our way back to Barracks Row, this time to have lunch with friends at Cava Mezze — the restaurant where Jordan and I had our first date, almost four years ago.
We shared lots of laughs with our friends. And Jameson did a creepy stare-down of his Aunt Paula.And I did the pro parent move where you successfully have a conversation but still manage to make sure your child doesn’t fling his plate across the restaurant floor.Here’s Jordan and Jameson standing where Jordan and I sat in 2012 and talked for five hours — about life, loss, and grace. We had no idea we’d be where we are now, let alone have a little boy we can show all of this to (as uninterested as that little boy may be, ha!).With the remaining part of the afternoon, we took Jameson to see a few of the monuments, starting with one of my favorites — the Lincoln Memorial. In his mind, Jameson seriously thought he should be able to climb up onto Abe’s lap. And perhaps even more exciting than Lincoln were the ducks swimming in the reflecting pool.And here’s what it looks like to try to get good photos with your tired toddler…Oh, the misery on both of these faces!
We took that little guy home, put him to bed, and while his Godmother, Femi, came over to stay with him, we went out for dinner with one last set of friends at Lauriol Plaza — another D.C. institution that has afforded me with tons of memories over the years.