Macarons, Monuments, and Mimosas – A Jaunt in Northern Virginia

In my opinion, the best kind of friends are the ones who you can be separated from for long periods of time, but once reunited, nothing has changed.  I had the opportunity to visit one of my friends from college two weekends ago and our reunion was just that!  The two days were filled with senseless giggling, complaints about guys, and bonding over our favorite beverages.  I not only had the chance to catch up with a friend but explore some of Northern Virginia and DC.  By the time I left, I was reconsidering where I would relocate after completing my current nursing program.

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The drive from Pittsburgh to Arlington was pretty simple.  I hate to admit it, but I actually enjoyed the time on the road with my thoughts accompanied by my obnoxious car singing and dancing.  As soon as I pulled onto the main street that runs through Arlington, I was immediately captivated by its charm, complete with a Sunday farmer’s market and unique storefronts.

After spending some time catching up, Christina and I discussed our plans for the two days.  She suggested we start in Georgetown, as she said I would fit in perfectly.  I must say she was right, as a place where the streets are lined with designer stores and the center of attention is a cupcake establishment, is my kind of place.

I was surprised by how crowded the sidewalks were, but I assumed it was due to students returning to Georgetown University, not to mention it was a gorgeous summer Sunday.  We started out with lunch (I’m kicking myself for not remembering the name of where we went because it was yummy).  The establishment was not as casual as we would have preferred, but in a pinch to suffice two hangry girls, it served its purpose.  We chatted over mimosas, and Christina enjoyed a caprese salad, which looked amazing.  I thoroughly enjoyed my shrimp caesar salad.

After browsing a few stores and making a few purchases, we came across a psychic shop.  Instantly, it was decided that palm reading would be in our future.  However, after waiting for some time, and getting some uncomfortable vibes from the shop, we decided to leave.  I was disappointed at the moment, but the two of us agreed to find a better place in DC, and this experience definitely made for some laughs and good inside jokes.  Before leaving, Christina wanted to take me to Olivia Macaron.

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I love, love, love macarons.  How could I not?  They’re gluten free, come in fun colors, are healthier than your average dessert, and are Blair Waldorf’s favorite treat.  These were some good macarons, and the shop was adorable.  We ended up creating our own box of 14.  My favorite flavors were almond, vanilla, and salted caramel.  I would highly recommend Olivia Macaron!

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Following our Georgetown adventure, the evening was spent in downtown Arlington, at one of Christina’s favorite places, William Jeffrey’s Tavern.  The Tavern instantly reminded me of where I work, as most of the clientele were regulars and the place felt like home.  The bartender even reminded me of our bar manager, cracking jokes and making us phenomenal surprise drinks.  The first drink we had was a strawberry cucumber mojito, which tasted great and looked even better.

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A few drinks deep, it seemed appropriate to order dinner.  I went with the Grilled Tuna Asian topped salad, which they made gluten-free.  The Ahi tuna was cooked perfectly!  Christina enjoyed her Cubano while I envied the gluten-filled bread her sandwich was on.

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We somehow ended up staying at the bar for hours, as a few of Christina’s work friends met us (they are awesome <3), and I was on a first name basis with all of the employees by the end of the night.  By the time we left, we switched to drinking the featured orange crush drink.  These were great and super refreshing with the consistency of a slushy.  The best part about this night was when we left, we only had a few minute walk back to Christina’s place.

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The next morning, our first move was to venture to DC to partake in the typical touristy sightseeing for which the city is well known.  All the major landmarks were covered including the Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial.  However, the sights were not complete without a few moments of people watching; we even made some new friends in the process.

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From the National Mall, we took an Uber to downtown DC.  Ubers are probably the most convenient way to get around the city, and they are reasonably priced.  Our destination was the Psychic shop.  We were lucky to squeeze in our palm readings as the shop was booked all day with appointments.

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I have always wanted to have my palm read or my cards read, but I already chickened out once during a trip to New Orleans.  I am so glad I didn’t this time, as it was a great experience.  The psychic was spot on identifying character traits I know I possess and even pointing out major events in my personal life, past and future.  She relayed information that I should be hopeful for and look forward to, but I don’t want to live my life ‘hoping’ for these things to occur, specifically in my relationships and career ventures.  One detail I will share is her sensing creative forces.  The psychic expressed she wants me to release all of my creative ideas through writing every night.  I thought that was perfect because that energy was what prompted me to start blogging in the first place.

One of our final stops would be Shirlington.  I loved this area filled with patio-front restaurants and shops.  My favorite part was taking Christina’s three pound morkie, Isla.  The area is so pet friendly, there are even dog bowls dispersed along the sidewalks.

We enjoyed a dinner at one of Christina’s favorite places, Guapos.  Our table was filled with chips and fresh salsa, queso, guacamole, and frozen margaritas, which was plenty for the two of us to share.  Isla definitely caught the attention of every single person who walked by as we ate.

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I’m so thankful for the time I got to spend with Christina, not just exploring Northern Virginia, but catching up over our favorite wine (Chateau Ste. Michelle riesling), macarons, and gossip girl.  As a friend, I am beyond proud of the life this chick has made for herself in a new city.  The two days of break I spent there were a reminder of how bitter-sweet life changes are.  Although our chats brought some nostalgia of college and the lost friendships, relationships, and pure carefree lifestyle, the sweet part was the new, different adventures we now encounter.  The best part is that even though some details in our lives can change as we transition through, the bigger things can stay the same, like certain friendships and bonds.  I’m looking forward to more adventures here!

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xoxo,

Jess

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