October 13, 2016
This past weekend, I went to visit my SHBFF (SH = State House), Surber. The weekend went by so fast and I always love catching up with Surber in person while visiting a few of my favorite places. I took Friday and Monday off work since federal government employees (Surber works on the Hill) celebrate Columbus Day.
I arrived in DC around lunchtime and hopped on the Metro towards Capitol Hill South. If you fly into Reagan National, there is a Metro stop at the airport and it could not be easier. I spent the afternoon reminiscing at the Rayburn House Office building where I interned and distracting Surber from doing actual work. She hooked us up with floor passes and we made our way to the House floor for some nerd time.
I gave tours to constituents as a Hill intern and while eight years have passed, I still remember a few facts from the tour. The American flag behind the rostrum (a fancy word for podium) is supposed to be wrinkled to represent America’s strife and struggles. There’s still a bullet lodged in the ceiling above the House floor from when Puerto Rican nationalists fired onto the House Chamber in 1954.
We stopped by the famous stairs with the blood stains from Charles Kincaid, a reporter, who shot Congressman William Taulbee of Kentucky in 1890.
Next, we hit up Eastern Market and my favorite bookstore, Capitol Hill Books. This place is an institution and the owner displays a list of words that considers to be mind-numbingly bad. After I used the word ‘perfect,’ he pointed to the sign by the cash register. I bought a canvas tote for a coworker and a Hunter S Thompson book for a friend.
After exploring the Hill all afternoon, we headed to Arlington where Surber calls home. On Saturday, we met friends for brunch at The Hamilton. We did a quick run through the Renwick Gallery, located directly across from the WH and EEOB.
That night we had dinner at Teddy and the Bully followed by DC Improv. Teddy and the Bully was new to me and I loved the Teddy Roosevelt theme. We shared Brussel sprouts and the Teddy burger, with a side of PBR because America.
On Sunday, we went to the White House for the Garden Tour. Last year I went in the spring and I liked it in the fall even better. We took it easy the rest of the day – lunch at Hawk and Dove on the Hill and then we watched the presidential debate and yelled at the television like old people.
On Monday, we explored Alexandria, Virginia. Surber has a car, which is a novelty in DC, so we had the freedom to explore without relying on the Metro. I loved the history and the character of the old houses. I also found my dram car from What About Bob? parked along a side street.
My farewell meal was at Good Stuff, one of my favorite burger places. Time with Surber was good for the soul and I’m lucky to always have a reason to visit.