I hope your week is off to a great start. I spent unpacking yesterday, doing laundry, grocery shopping, food prepping, working out, and getting back on track after a weekend out of town. I can’t sit and write if things around me are out of whack. Now that everything is taken care of, I get to share all of my photos from my D.C. trip with you!
Becca and I wanted a relaxing weekend away from Charlotte, and I thought it would be cool to surprise my brother for his birthday, so we decided to take a last-minute road trip up to D.C. for the weekend.
We didn’t have plans to see anything specific; we just wanted new scenery.
Karlee, Becca, and I walked down King Street in Alexandria to grab breakfast. We love going to Le Pain Quotidien (The Daily Bread) because the food is so healthy and fresh, + their coffee is perfect.
I ordered an egg-white omelet with veggies. It came with a salad and homemade bread. One of the best parts about Le Pain Quotidien is that the table is filled with delicious spreads and jams. They’re so fun to try. They have hazelnut, chocolate, cinnamon, apricot, raspberry, white chocolate, and more. I bought the cinnamon one to take home because it tasted like little Teddy Grahams.
We ran some errands after breakfast and stopped at some shops. I bought some cute little dog treats to bring Kona. Becca and I are usually quick to go out and explore D.C., but we just wanted a “chill” day (totally not like us.) I decided to go for a run because it was gorgeous out. It’s nice running without humidity. I went four miles while Becca walked the graveyard (goodness, that sounds creepy.)
We stopped to get snacks and headed up to the rooftop to sit by the pool for a couple of hours. It was so peaceful up there, and I ended up falling asleep for a good hour in a little cabana chair.
I stopped at CVS to grab some gift cards, wine, and a birthday card for my brother. I’m all about that last-minute convenience.
We all headed to Chinatown for T.C.’s birthday!
Drake was right across the street. NBD.
Everything was packed and almost impossible to get into because it was the weekend and restaurant week in D.C., + Drake was in town. The manager at Daikaya(Izakaya) was amazing. I reached out to him early morning, and he got back to me within an hour with an opening for us.
Our waiter was phenomenal, and he made the whole restaurant week experience so much fun. You could tell he loved his job and was passionate about the food.
It was only $35 for a six-course meal per person. We decided to all order different meals off of the special menu to try and share. We doubled up on the favorites.
Tater Tots Okonomiyaki style. These tots take gold.
Sautéed edamame Puttanesca style with olives and capers.
Grilled oysters with miso butter.
Fried Brussel sprouts with tofu ranch dressing. I was shocked how much the tofu ranch tasted like real milk ranch dressing.
Grilled okra with preserved lemon salt. I added okra to my grocery list after trying this! “Swedish” Tsukune Japanese-style chicken meatballs with Chintan-based gravy and lingonberry jam.
Grilled avocado with house-made ponzu, fresh wasabi, and nori salt. (recreating immediately)
Corn rice with butter, soy sauce, and mentaiko.
Grated Yamaimo with egg yolk.
Fried Shishito peppers with fried egg & baby kale Ohashi with spicy sesame oil and garlic.
Grilled cucumber salad with sesame soy dressing.
Miso salmon with carrot puree. I loved the flavors and presentation of this dish.
Mochi ice cream. One was green tea, and I think the other was plain. This was my first time trying Mochi, and it was such an unexpected and unique experience. It tasted like dough on the outside with a delicious ice cream filling. The outside is made from pounded sticky rice.
Fried Nasu (eggplant) with Vanilla ice cream and honey. This was my favorite of the desserts.
This is definitely a spot you will want to add to your D.C. stops. It was so different from ANY food eat. I’m a pretty basic person in food, and I really enjoyed stepping out of the box with this one.
We were standing around listening to an amazing singer (Kenny Sway), and we had one of those movie moments (things that never happen to you, but only in the movies.) He pointed at me and asked if he could sing a song to me. I didn’t think he was talking to me at first. I did the whole turn around to see if he’s talking to the person behind me thing, followed by a finger pointed at myself with a light, “me?” He sang a beautiful Ed Sheeran song, and it’s a moment I’ll never forget. His voice is so good, and you can really feel the connection through his voice. That made my night.
We headed back to my brothers to have a homemade lemon cake Karlee made! I took this opportunity to try the Halo Top Birthday Cake Ice Cream!
I’m terrified of this cat. The cuts and bites all over my arms will explain why. He’s nuts. If it was champagne on the counter that he wanted…it was champagne on the counter he was going to get. He has a slap stronger than a ten-year-old boy and a bit bigger than a snake.
The lemon cake was so good!
Becca and I went on a walk after cake to walk some of it off before bed. I was so full and didn’t want to sleep on a full stomach.
We threw our gym clothes on, grabbed coffee, and took the metro to the Arlington Cemetery for a ten-mile walk.
You can read all about the Arlington National Cemetery in my previous trip’s post.
We found a juice bar we wanted to go to for coffee, water, and juice after our ten miles! We were fueling off of a protein bar and coffee.The juice bar was unfortunately closed, so we walked to the next closest restaurant. I wasn’t mad about it because I LOVE Potbelly’s. We split a Mediterranean veggie salad. We also downed tons of ice water!
We took the metro back to Alexandria to grab coffee and clothes.
I ordered a flatliner with skim and topped it with nutmeg. I am SO obsessed with this little nutmeg grinder. I bought one immediately after. I can’t wait to use it for fresh nutmeg in my baking this fall.
The walk back was so gorgeous. We really lucked out with a beautiful weekend.
I quickly showered, got dressed, and did my hair to visit with Kona and Shauna! I loved seeing these two! They’re moving to Hawaii in a couple of months, and I’m going to be so sad when they leave. I won’t be sad visiting them, though! Kona LOVED his dog treat I got him. He stole the bag and ran around with it.
We had some snacks before going out to walk the monuments at Whole Foods.
It’s kind of nice having no set plans.
Ice Cream before dinner is acceptable when you’re an adult.
After walking over four miles around all the monuments, we met Karlee at the metro station so she could grab a late-night dinner with us.
We were STARVING, so we headed over to TGIFs to grab ice water and small bites while waiting on our reservation at Founding Farmers.
We started with the Whirley Pop kettle corn pot. It was so good and glazed! I had one bite and decided to have it at the end of my meal because it was sweet.
For dinner, I had the Founding Farmer’s salad with medium-rare steak. It had romaine, spinach, croutons, dates, almonds, tomato, and grapes.
Table farm bread with prosciutto, fig, mascarpone, and balsamic. (ANOTHER DISH THAT MUST BE RECREATED.)
Becca had the fish n chips!
Current obsession. I love how tasty this juice is, and it’s not full of sugar! It was ONE serving per bottle and not the misleading “2 servings.” It also has the right amount of ginger.
While everyone was sleeping in on Sunday, I made it down to see Kona and Shaughna for coffee before taking off.
Becca and I walked down to Le Pain Quotidien one last time for a good breakfast before heading out on the road.
I knew they had really good oatmeal, and that’s what I was in the mood for.
My oatmeal had strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, honey, and walnuts on top.
I ordered some muffins to take home for Kyle. (we tried them, and they were really, really good)
We said our goodbyes and headed home!
I stopped at Panera bread and ordered a salad for lunch. It had pineapple, watermelon, apple slices, egg, strawberries, blueberries, pecans, chicken, romaine, tomatoes, and kale with poppy seed dressing.
I’m currently so obsessed with these “No Cow Bars.” They are basically the vegan version of the Quest Bars, but I like the taste better. They have 20-22 grams of protein, 20 grams of fiber, less than a gram of sugar, less than 5g net carbs, and only around 160 calories.
I always hit rain on my drives home. I can’t name a road trip that I haven’t had to drive back in a storm. I’m used to it by now!
What a beautiful Charlotte sky! It felt good to be home, but the weekend away was much needed!
Questions for you!
- Do you ever go on last-minute trips to change up the scenery?
- Have you ever gone to the same restaurant twice because you loved it so much?
- What did you do this weekend?