Over Labor Day weekend, Mark and I took our first official vacation, excluding out-of-state trips to visit family. Since it’s only about a four hour drive from our house, we decided to visit DC. I’d driven through the city once before and stopped for dinner, but this would be my first proper visit to the city.
We were greeted with rain on our first day. It wasn’t the weather we’d hoped for since we’d planned to do a lot of walking, but we grabbed an umbrella and set off. The city was dead on Saturday with congress out of session and lots of places closed or operating on shorter holiday hours. Some of the areas we walked through were practically ghost towns–very different from a normal day in DC, I’m sure.
After my first DC metro ride, where I did my best to look like a native and read a book on my phone’s Kindle app (All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders, if anyone is interested) we started our day with breakfast at Open City. I had an ice coffee and one of the best omelets I’ve ever eaten. Eggs + broccoli = heaven.
We took the train back to Union Station and, since it was pouring rain when we got off, headed to the closest of our planned stops: the Post Office Museum.
Our next stop was the Library of Congress. We toured the exhibits, went to the balcony overlooking the main reading room to snap some pictures, and then checked off one of my bucket list items–got a LoC library card!
Our cards granted us access to the reading room, where we browsed the library’s book collection. We perused several sections. I found a book listing synopses of science fiction short stories that had been accepted for magazine publication dating back as far as the 1930s. Anyone who knows me can imagine how much fun I was having by being in the belly the world’s largest collection of books.
It was early afternoon when I suggested, reluctantly, we leave the library and go find somewhere to eat. However, before we left, Mark had something else he wanted to share with me.
In the Library of Congress,with all the books as witness, Mark asked me to marry him.
I said yes.
Tears of happiness were shed.
The room where it happened
Before we left the library, we stopped at the gift shop and bought souvenirs to commemorate the occasion. On the steps of the library, I took a picture of us.
We had lunch at Pizzeria Paradiso. Afterwards, we explored two nearby bookshops.
Tired from all the walking, we headed back to the hotel for a nap before going to dinner at Ping Pong, a dim sum restaurant in Chinatown.
We stopped for gelato at Dolcezza Gelato and walked around Chinatown before going back to the hotel room and collapsed from exhaustion.