East Coast Travel Snack: The D.C. Blog

I’ve seen a hellovalotta America this month, which has been awesome for that “do it while you can” mantra I’m trying to exercise, and mostly for making me feel like a rockstar traveler.

(Lol, just another reason to choose GPS)

After loading the car and covering the West, I quickly repacked my bags and headed for a McG family weekend with my sisters and parents in one of our favorite cities, Washington D.C. I was so excited for this reunion that before my massive road trip I even agreed to drive the distance with Mom and Dad. (Idk, maybe to be a good sport? Idk maybe because it sounded like I’d see cool things? Still not sure what I was thinking…) Well, needless to say, I am a diva, and quickly realized that was an objectively and mathematically terrible idea. Observe:

Travel time from Portland, Oregon to Waukee, Iowa by car: 25 hr, one way

Travel time from Waukee, Iowa to Washington, D.C. by car: 30 hr 42 min, round trip

Travel time from Waukee, Iowa to Washington, D.C. by car with parents: infinity

Travel time from my hand to my wallet to buy a plane ticket: .0000184 seconds

*cue me making plane noises: nnneeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrroooooooeeeeeeeeerrrrrooooo*

I took my first breath of D.C. air while tapping my phone for an Uber at Reagan National Airport, and gladly stayed the night the cozy basement apartment my middle sister is calling home while she studies at Georgetown. We drank wine with her roommate until 3 am. I think we can all agree this was a perfect way to break into D.C.

Through the weekend I spent time enjoying the shops, bars, and attraction on M Street. At the Mall, my mom and I finally got to sit down for the first cup of coffee we’d had together in nearly half a year. In Georgetown I got a peak into the exciting but challenging world of my sister on her new grad school adventure.  In DuPont Circle, I met up with an old friend from pageant-land who has a fascinating life as a political reporter. At the Pentagon, the family celebrated my sister and boyfriend completing the Army 10 Miler Race. The final hours of leisure were spent over a cocktail at the Hay-Adams famous bar Off the Record and with some silly selfies outside the White House. It was D.C. done right.

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If you gave me a one-way ticket to go tomorrow I would take it. The old stone buildings, the mass of cultures, the and, of course, the “smell of power” as one of our Uber drivers so accurately described it, were enough to make my big city butterflies are sneak up on me again…  I definitely didn’t get my fill of adventure out there yet. It was more like a snack before mealtime; it was just enough to keep me coming back for more.

Next adventure: Back to Iowa and being Maid of Honor in my best friend’s wedding. (Spoiler: it was a friggin’ beautiful day)

Cheers– to plane tickets and “the smell of power”!


Quick Diary: I’m in Iowa

I don’t have any crazy road-trip travel stories, thank God. The trip was a breeze. I’m am writing this from the comfort of home sweet Iowa after a safe and successful trip from Portland to Des Moines. Here is my account of the trip, laced in whimsy.

Less than 24 hours before, my buddy Brandon agreed to fill his backpack and co-pilot the Subaru. I realized this was probably a good idea when I drove to pick him up after my most teary farewell, and I was about 6 inches from being t-boned by a taxi cab in an intersection. Clearly I’m a blubbering idiot, and the passenger seat was a really good call in the invention of the automobile.

So it began. 1,800 miles of the Wild, Wild West moved around us in technicolor. We said “good-bye” to the signature green of the Columbia River Gorge as it turned into the triumphant, golden grass of the Eastern Oregon hills.  We met the moody purple mountains of Utah under an ominous grey sky. We stopped to take pictures of an electric orange sun spraying through the clouds over Salt Lake City. All of the instruments in the eye symphony were drawing near the climax through the red rock canyons and yellowing Aspens in the mountains of Colorado . The trees looked as if they had saved some of the bright yellow summer sun just for us. The tender resolve came over the fields of Central Nebraska, where a rainbow ushered two road-weary travelers into the heartland.

It was the kind of picture perfect that makes you want to roll your eyes and shut your locker.

Along the way we drank some beers, small-talked some strangers, sifted through radio static, and talked about our respective journeys. We stopped for a concert, took a day off for sightseeing, and flooded our instagrams. We saw my sister, and even crossed paths with an old friend.  We ate like everything was healthy. It was perfect.

After 48 hours to decompress in Iowa, I said “sayonara” to my traveling friend, and headed out for a family weekend in Washington, D.C.. No stopping yet! Another post for another day.

The feels are emoji “100”. I’m already a week behind in blogging, which is a good sign of a busy bee. I don’t feel “home” yet, but I do feel like I’m living in a hazy deja vu. I’m blushing with excitement for what is to come, and blinking away the nerves.

Holy ship, my life has just changed so much. 

Cheers! The hard part is over.