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Friday, April 27, 2012

Last day in DC

Last night was a dinner to put in the books. I'm a geek, yes it's true. I love reality TV. One of my favorites is Top Chef. I watch it faithfully each week early in the morning after a workout. My girlfriend and I meet for coffee at my house, and watch the taped show from the night before.

Whenever I'm traveling in a new town, I do a check for Top chef restaurants, and the one that piqued my curiosity was in Frederick, Maryland. VOLT owned by one of the Voltiagino brothers who competed in 2009. Bryan didn't win, his brother did, but after eating his food, I have no idea how he did NOT win! I've had the privilege of dining in some wonderful restaurants, but this one was so amazing I will dream about it for years. I took a couple of photos and then felt like too much of a fool to continue, and by then the wine was flowing, and well....you know the rest. Photos go south with good wine, so just as well I put it away!

Beet salad that was better tasting than it was looking, and I think visuallly it's gorgeous!

Halibut that was so light I thought it wouldn't stay on the plate

I did get invited back to the kitchen when the waiter learned we were all the way from Oregon. I got to meet Bryan, shake his hand visit a bit, and took a quick pic on the hubs phone. It was fun. It was decadent, it was amazing. Not everyday you get an experience like this one.

 Today was our last day in DC. We've got the metro down. Travel like locals, even stopping to help a tourist or two. It feels good. The city has been good to us. The weather has cooperated, and we have taken in so much history and need time to reflect on all that we've learned.  Today was Arlington Cemetery.

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This was the view from John F. Kennedy's final resting place. In his will he stated he wanted to be buried at the family burial plot in Massachusetts. While visiting Arlington House, he was overheard saying, " I could see staying here forever" That was repeated to Jacqueline after he died, and she decided he belonged to the people, and was buried at Arlington with the eternal flame.  His wife is next to him, and two children, a still born daughter, and son Patrick that lived two days. 

His brothers Robert and Ted are nearby with simple wooden crosses to mark their place. I was very moved by the simplicity of their markers. These were men of considerable wealth, and power and that they chose something so simple was very profound to me. Admittedly I had a thing for Robert. As a young girl, he came to Salem. I was on the street corner across from what now is Macy's when a sedan back window opened up, and Robert Kennedy hung out the window. He greeted us, asked us what we were doing, and invited us to the Courthouse to listen to him speak. I was mesmerized by his message. It was very horrible to me when he was assassinated. So young, so vibrant, so handsome, and such vision.
We stopped at the tomb of the unknown soldier. We have seen this ceremony before, but today we were to be witness to a very special ceremony. The above guard was serving his final day at this post. We watched as a special good bye was given to the tomb from a soldier who stood guard over it for 29 months. It was very moving.

 To be a guard at the tomb is a real honor. Only the best, with the most perfect record can have this job. They are held in high esteem for their entire lives, their names left on the roster as those who served at this post. To witness a soldier leaving the post was a very special honor for us.

After the exchange, the new guard went and stood to the side. This soldier removed his sunglasses and gloves, saluted the tomb, and carried red roses out to honor the unknown soldiers that are buried there.

After this, he walked over and left with the same pomp and circumstance with a woman on his arm, that I can only guess was his wife.

11,000 acres and tombstones for as far as the eye can see. Starting with the civil war, up until now. There were five funerals going on while we were there. A very beautiful sad place. Rich in history, one that we should remember.

It was now getting close to two in the afternoon and lunch was on our minds. Hopping back on the metro, I had one more top chef stop at capital hill.  Another top chef contestant has a sandwich shop. President Obama and wife have both stopped there and it's a favorite of those working close by.  Burgers, and greasy fries. The kind you know you shouldn't eat, but are so good, you can't stop!

For any top chef fans, this is Spike's restaurant. Busy, loud, and oh so yummy. If you like burgers, this is a great spot!

OK, this has been a LOT, sorry.  If you're hanging in there, here are a couple of things that I love about this area. Love the houses/apartments whatever they are. They make me happy.

This one sang to me. Sorry, the photo doesn't do it justice. There were cars on the street, and this was the best I could do. It was amazing!

We leave at dark o'thirty for Ohio. Hopefully a little baseball if the rain holds off and then the hubs is meeting business folks.


LadyD said...

What a beautiful tribute to the Kennedy family and soldiers. Your photos are lovely in this series; food looks marvelous. Great post!

Angie said...

WOW! That beet salad looks incredibly YUMMY! And the halibut?! Mmmm!!!:)

Great captures, all of them! I think you did better than best capturing them all! xo

The Artful Diva said...

Washington DC is an amazing place. Thank you for sharing these photos.

Melanie said...

Wow. Such beautiful pictures & words to go along. I'm speechless, & you know that doesn't happen often! Haha. LOVELY post MG!

On a lighter note... GUESS who placed 2nd in Finalge a Foto...?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hmmmmm...?

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