Monday, April 20, 2009

DC Delights Me

At the moment, I am back in Manassas, VA doing some much-needed house-hunting. I'm having a surprising amount of luck, as I have already found two places that I liked, both of which were MUCH less than I was expecting to pay. I have a whole week of more house-hunting ahead of me, so I'm pretty confident that I'll be making an offer on a place by Friday.

On Saturday, following a few hours of house-hunting, we (my parents and I) went out to dinner with two of my friends from college, Matthew and Matt. We ate at Macaroni Grill, which I heartily recommend - the chicken cannelloni was the stuff dreams are made of! It was amazing and wonderful to see how, although college is a thing of the past, my college friends and I still get along every bit as well as we did when we were trembling freshman stumbling about in an enormous new world.

Yesterday, my parents and I decided to take a break from our search and spend the day in Washington with my good friend Matthew. We went to Capitol Hill Baptist Church for a very well-done sermon, and then wandered over to the Eastern Market for lunch. Eastern Market is a neat section of DC that I somehow never discovered in my previous travels up there (most likely because I usually went up there to visit the DAR library and museum). The street market was fun to walk through - they sell just about everything imaginable there - and we found a tasty little Mexican restaurant for lunch, where I had one of the best chicken tamales I have ever had.

Later in the afternoon, we decided to venture over to the mall area, where an Earth Day rally was in progress. The turnout was somewhat laughable, but it was still interesting to walk past. I really wanted to visit the Museum of the American Indian, which is one of the Smithsonian's many fantastic museums in DC. Somehow, I always neglected that one, which was definitely a mistake. That museum is stupendous! We only had time for the fourth floor, but I guarantee I'll be back again very soon to tackle the whole museum.

We completed our day with a delicious Chicago-style pizza at Uno's in Reston, which is another restaurant that gets the coveted "Stephanie-stamp-of-approval." After such a grand meal, we dropped of Matthew at his car, and headed back to our hotel for a much-needed early bedtime. Washington, DC is an exhilarating, beautiful, and fascinating city (it's my favorite city, actually), but a visit there always wears me out. I can't wait until I call this area home!

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"