I posted a blog back in March titled “Thirty Things Before 30” – a bucket list to complete before I turn 30 on July 29, 2017. I recently completed a few of those things… and it wouldn’t be fun if I didn’t write a blog about them!
#23: Go on a road trip with a friend. On Wednesday October 21st, I met my friend in Ann Arbor to start our week long road trip to the east coast. We traveled for over 14 hours that day to reach our first destination on the trip – Virginia Beach, VA. We arrived, tired and ready for bed, but excited as we heard the waves crashing on the beach outside of our hotel. The next morning we were greeted by the sunrise from our balcony as we got ready for our day. We spent three days in Virginia Beach attending Adult Weight Management training. While we were there, we caught up with a high school friend of mine who lives there. She took us to First Landing State Park for a hike and then out to a restaurant called The Back Deck. We ran 4 miles along the boardwalk in the early hours of the morning before the sun had even come up, followed by delicious pumpkin pecan pancakes at Pocahontas Pancakes. We “snuck” onto a navy base to see the Cape Henry lighthouse and enjoyed fresh fish at at Surf Club Ocean Grille. The weather was absolutely beautiful and we could not get enough of the ocean waves crashing on the beach!
On Saturday October 24th, we left Virginia Beach and headed towards Williamsburg, VA. We stopped in Yorktown, VA to see some of the historical landmarks. In Williamsburg, we explored the campus of the College of William and Mary. It was absolutely breathtaking, especially in the fall! We walked around downtown, checked out some of the colonial parts of town, and then headed back to grab dinner at a restaurant recommended by one of my online friends. I tried crepes for the first time in my life at the Blue Talon Bistro. We also had their “historic tap water”. One of the other diners asked what made the tap water historic… the waiter replied, “It’s a really old building”. I also by this point discovered that I have a new favorite white wine – sauvignon blanc!
After we finished our delicious meal at Blue Talon Bistro we got back on the road and headed towards Silver Spring, MD, where we were staying outside of DC. We did not have the best experience at the hotel in Silver Spring, but oh well – it was just a place to sleep in order to go check out Washington, D.C. We woke up on Sunday morning and jumped on the Metro train to head into town. It was a rainy day unfortunately, but that wasn’t stopping us! We spent the whole day in D.C. – walking the National Mall to see all of the memorials (World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Lincoln memorial, Washington Monument, etc.), spent hours at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, and even got to see fellow runners racing in the Marine Corps Marathon. We headed back to the hotel to recuperate after a long day of walking, then headed back into town to Dupont Circle near Georgetown for dinner. Our dinner was definitely interesting – there was a very drunk woman there with her male companion who apparently ran the marathon – but extremely tasty! I finally tried a crab cake sandwich, apparently something you should not leave the east coast without trying.
Monday morning we walked to a cute little breakfast restaurant near our hotel called Eggspectation. It was so delish! I had eggs benedict for the first time in years and enjoyed every single bite. After breakfast we headed to the National Museum of Health and Medicine where we saw lots of cool, gross things, and even got to see bits of Abraham Lincoln’s skull and the bullet that took his life.
#15 Visit Pittsburgh. We were lucky enough to have the time to stop in Pittsburgh, PA on our way back home to visit my best friend, her husband, and her two kids. After we finished up at the museum on Monday, we got back on the road again and headed to Pittsburgh. My best friend’s husband made us a delicious dinner of salmon with pesto pasta. After dinner, her husband took us to downtown Pittsburgh where we had a few drinks at a few bars. We met some fellow travelers who amazed us with their psychoanalysis of us. Since my friend’s kids were sleeping at home, we were supposed to take the train back to her neighborhood. She had never taken the train before, but we had just mastered the Metro in DC, so we were pretty confident that we could figure it out.
Yeah. We were wrong. We ended up getting on the wrong train, and then we couldn’t figure out how to get off of the train to switch lines! We got off at a stop and my best friend suggested we could walk home from there. I did not plan my wardrobe for the trip well – I had seen the highs being in the 60s, 70s, and even 80s during the trip, but didn’t consider how cold it might get at night! So I had no coat, and it was 40 degrees, and I really had to pee. And for those of you who don’t know, Pittsburgh is extremely hilly. We were going to get an Uber to come pick us up, but it was going to take a long time for them to get there, and we weren’t really so keen on the idea of getting an Uber at the wee hours of the morning. We kept ourselves entertained by playing 20 questions. Finally after an hour of walking, we reached my best friend’s house. It was 2am… way past all of our bedtimes! It was definitely a night and an experience I will never forget!
The next morning my best friend took us to Mount Washington, a great vantage point nearby her house where you can see downtown Pittsburgh. We took pictures and then grabbed lunch at a nearby sub shop. I had an awesome philly sub and an even more awesome chocolate chip cookie! Not long after we got back to my friend’s house, we were on the road again, headed back to the mitten.
The trip was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity that I will never forget! We saw places we had never seen, revisited ones that we had, experienced some kinda crazy moments, ate incredible food, and learned a lot at our conference. I am so glad that we were able to take this trip! Two awesome experiences to knock off the Thirty Things Before 30 list!