posing as DC tourists (without the matching hats or t-shirts)

Around these parts, the summer season is FULL of tourists. They're everywhere: wandering aimlessly along King Street, trying to blend in at farmer's markets & parks, but fooling no one when it comes to the escalators at metro stations (unless you're intending to continue climbing the stairs or wish to face the wrath of a commuter, it's an unspoken rule that you keep to the right to allow others to pass). It's a season that makes us really glad we live in Virginia rather than the District where everything is ten times worse. 

However, every now and then the tourist bug bites us, too, so we play the part & galavant about seeing things we haven't in seen in awhile/ever & eating at restaurants we've been meaning to try since we moved here for months. 

A couple of months ago, we went so far as to pen a mega list of everything we've been meaning to see so that we'll finally make the effort to go. Some of the things on our list: actually seeing all of the Smithsonians, instead of just the popular ones, because frankly we don't have the excuse of only visiting for a week; having a "Lost Symbol Day" because we embrace the facts that a) we're Dan Brown nerds and b) we love that the book was based in the DC area; embarking on a ghost tour of Old Town Alexandria, thanks to the recommendation of my good friend, Sarah (Enrichment Thursday: Ghost Edition!); & hitting up some lesser frequented places like Dumbarton Oaks and the Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Garden.

Basically we got a list as long as Santa's, so recently we began checking things off. This time around we hit up the Botanical Gardens to see the corpse flower (yes, it's a real thing), the National Zoo (somehow I had never been?), the Natural History Museum, & took a few walks all around the National Mall.

^^Meet the corpse flower, which at its most alluring really does smell like rotting flesh so as to attract pollinators from miles around. We caught it on its last day of being in bloom, and as a point of reference it stood at 5' 2"^^
^^Em & I decided we might fit in quite nicely at the zoo (our husbands probably agree)^^
^^this is what resulted when I got pinned with a tail & asked to make an elephant sound. I clearly lost character fast.^^
^^However upon comparison, this guy at the Natural History museum looks far more regal than I ever could, so I've since traded in my ears & tail^^
^^reminds me of a certain Boston Terrier back home... Perhaps a relative? ;)^^
^^While trekking it to Good Stuff Eatery post-museum visit, we stumbled upon a peaceful oasis that we never knew was there (part of the Botanical Gardens). It should be understood that if I worked near the Hill, this would be my refuge from all the hulabaloo^^
^^still daydreaming about that cinnamon sugar pop tart from Ted's Bulletin^^
^^it's possible that the Washington Monument looks better with all that industrial scaffolding on it. Definitely is prettier at night from our viewpoint across the Potomac^^
^^impromptu pizza & concrete night. Our Shake Shack order probably wouldn't have resembled Frosty the Snowman on the first day of Spring had the waiter not put it under the name "Gordo"... Lizzie McGuire flashbacks, anyone?^^
^^A stroll about the Mall just isn't complete without seeing something weird. Yes, those are fish fashioned out of fruits & veggies mounted on top of cars^^
^^Yet another cupcake place beats out Georgetown Cupcake. Red Velvet in Chinatown- yum! (Baked & Wired is still our fave, though)^^
^^We couldn't pass up trying new things in Old Town, too. Killer ESP had some pretty tasty chocolate birthday cake gelato, while Haute Dogs was just so yummy. Ten points for guessing which was mine ;) #plainjane4life ^^