Washington DC: Day 1

On Friday, I left the hotel in Silver Springs and took the Metro downtown to the Library of Congress. I decided to spend the morning doing research at the LOC before heading out to Old Town Alexandria for some shopping and LYS hunting.

Madison Building at the Library of Congress

To most people the Library of Congress is the Jefferson Building, with it impressive dome and grand reading room. But the Library is actually made up of several buildings. The Breckinridge Family Papers – the collection that houses Katherine Breckinridge’s letters – is part of the Manuscript Collection. The Manuscript Reading Room is located in the James Madison Building on Independence Ave. (across from the US Capitol). I spent 2 and 1/2 hours looking at some of Katherine’s letters and other family members papers that I just didn’t get a chance to look at when I was researching my thesis. More details about what I discovered will have to come in another post. Researching at the Library of Congress is pure joy for me. It is a rare treat these days and I enjoyed every second of it. But I didn’t want to spend too much time there (I could spend weeks) because I wanted to do something non-academic as well.

Capitol South Metro Stop

So underground I went to the Metro and off to Old Town Alexandria. I love using the Metro. Maybe it is because I live in a town without a subway system and wish at times that public transportation was more usable in Little Rock. I love being able to “commute” in Dc without having to drive. I love being able to knit or read during a commute. I would get so much knitting done if I didn’t have to drive myself to work each day. I know what you’re thinking – if I had to do it everyday, the fun would wear off. I don’t know if it would or not. But I love it when I’m there.

fibre space LYS

I had heard about Old Town Alexandria but had never been there. It seemed that on other trips to DC, I always ended up in Georgetown. But this time I was on a mission to go to fibre space. This wonderful, funky yarn shop is just a 10 minute walk from the Metro stop along the brick paved sidewalks of Old Town. The shop was everything you want in a LYS – friendly, knowledgeable staff; the perfect selection of various yarn weights, fibers and colors. Local yarns were identified with special tags and all yarns were labeled on the shelf as well as the skein. They had yarns and patterns that I had heard of but never touched/seen before. Like Spud & Chole. And Mirasol. They had t-shirts and tote bags for sale with the shop logo. And if you spent a certain amount, you got a free drawstring bag. Don’t know what the amount was but I spent it because I got a bag. The shop was wonderfully merchandised and there were 3 or 4 knitters sitting and knitting in the front of the shop (in the middle of the day on Friday!)

I ended up with a long sleeve t-shirt (the short sleeve looked like the sleeves were super short), a couple of small muslin project bags (LOVE!) and a package of new Hiya-Hiya darning needles. As for yarn, I snatched up some Mirasol  Lachiwa and Sweet Georgia. The store clerks encouraged me to stay and sit and knit but I was hungry and looking for lunch. The clerks and the customers recommended a number of places but I ended up at a Lebanese place called Layla’s. I had a wonderful Chicken Shawarma Sandwich and a glass of wine (yes, at lunch in the middle of the day). After lunch I started back toward the Metro – shopping along the way. I was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.

Then it was back on the Metro and up to Maryland to get my DH from his training sessions. We took a taxi to our hotel – the Capital Hill Suites. If you are looking for a wonderful hotel in the heart of the District but don’t want to feel like a tourist, then Capital Hill Suites is for you. It is my favorite hotel in all of DC and it is tucked in a residential area just a block off Independence Ave. and next door to the Library of Congress. A change of clothes and we were off to Georgia Brown’s. DH made reservations and we were seated immediately. Skirt steak with home fries and spinach – delicious!!! DH had Rainbow Trout and you couldn’t see the trout for all the shrimp on top. Dessert was Key Lime Pie for me and Pecan Pie (really Chocolate Pecan Pie) for DH. After that meal we needed to walk some of those calories off, so across Lafayette Square and to the White House. In all my trips to DC, I had never been to the White House. Tourists everywhere and 3 Libyans, holding Libyan flags, silently asking President Obama to help. It was a surreal scene.

A walk back to the hotel and rest for the day to come.

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