Travel

What I Ate & Did In D.C.

Somehow the last time I posted was on August 7, and it’s already August 20. I have no idea how that happened. Blame it on my summer brain.

At the end of July, I went to visit my good friend Kaitlyn, who was interning and living in D.C. for most of the summer. I’d been to D.C. multiple times for school trips and stuff but never really just to have fun and get to know the city aside from the monuments.

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Well, I never said I didn’t stop by to say hello to Lincoln and Washington. That’s, like, a must.

After we worked up an appetite by walking all over Chinatown (we saw Ford’s Theater there, it was pretty crazy!) and by the monuments, we walked to our dinner reservations at a restaurant called Oyamel, which I first heard about on How Sweet It Is (if you’re unaware, I’m obsessed with Jessica and will without a doubt be going to one of her Pittsburgh book signings in the coming months, so naturally I had to eat here because she raved about their tableside-made guacamole).

So yeah, Oyamel was a must-do. It’s a Mexican tapas restaurant/bar and is apparently very popular. It was packed! But luckily we made those reservations, so we didn’t wait long. Kaitlyn and I both started off with margaritas topped with SALT AIR. Yes. Salt air foam, I should say. I have no idea how much science goes into make salt air foam, but it was grand.

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And naturally we had chips, salsa and guacamole. The guacamole was, no lie, the best I’ll ever have in my life, I’m sure of it. The avocados were so fresh and the flavor was just tangy enough. I can’t recommend this place enough for the guac alone.

Then we had our tapas! From Top left, down, and back up to the dessert in the top right: margs, guac and salsa; plantain, carrot and black bean fritters with a chipotle sauce (very different but delish nonetheless); quesadillas; this amazing sauté of swiss chard, cabbage, hazelnuts, cranberries, raisins, and an apricot purée; coffee flavored ice cream with caramelized bananas and the best carmel chocolate sauce I’ve ever tasted.

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I was satisfied with this meal, to say the least, but not until I licked the salt foam out of my empty margarita (which, I have to add, were a little bit pricy for their size but also worth it because… do I need to mention the salt foam again?).

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Then we went back to Kaitlyn’s apartment and crashed because we were so full and tired. The next morning, we walked over to Georgetown to try out a class at corepower yoga. Kaitlyn knows I love hot yoga, and she wanted me to try this yoga, strength and cardio fusion class that she’d been frequenting all summer. Well. HOLY CANNOLI. I actually almost fainted in the class and had to step out for a minute because it was in a heated room and really, really intense, even for someone who is not knew to hot yoga. I would call it more bootcamp in a heated class than yoga fusion. The instructor was kind of a drill sergeant, too. Overall, it was a good, sweaty workout that got me moving, but I wouldn’t take the class again.

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After that, we showered up and headed back for a day shopping in Georgetown, which is definitely one of the biggest shopping meccas I’ve ever seen. They had any and every store you need. We stopped in the mid-afternoon for a lunch dessert at Baked & Wired, which Kaitlyn claimed was more delicious than Georgetown Cupcakes (from that TV show). I believe her, because my chocolate cupcake was rocking.

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That night, we went out to a couple different bars unexpectedly. I really loved D.C’s nightlife scene. We were having so much fun that we almost forgot to eat dinner, but we quickly remedied that by heading to Burger Tap & Shake (BTS) for burgers… and a spiked vanilla shake (that I probably, definitely didn’t need, but it was quite tasty). Yay America.

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On Sunday morning, we had reservations for Farmers, Fishers, Bakers, which is a super popular brunch spot. The restaurant has a buffet on Sundays, which is in very high demand. We had reservations, and we still were forced to wait almost an hour. I was a little salty about this after the fact … but I’ll tell you why in a minute.

Here’s what I had to eat (top left, to bottom, to top right): every table gets a cinnamon roll and a biscuit plate (with enough for each person to have one of each); a random assortment of shredded beef, chips and guac, kale salad, watermelon mint salad, meatball, and squash; fried dough with chocolate sauce (I wanted it to be filled with something & sadly it wasn’t… I didn’t finish it); two different kinds of sushi (they walk around with sushi to each table which was cool!); and chocolate French toast with berry sauce, egg white scramble, broiled grapefruit and Canadian bacon.

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The first thing I’ll say is the biscuits and cinnamon rolls were great. I ate all of both of mine, which was probably my biggest downfall, especially since I don’t eat a ton of white bread products usually. It did a number on my stomach that I couldn’t undo. Since I had a ton of bread before the meal, I stuck to less bready things on the buffet, minus the French toast. I’m glad I got the French toast because it was fantastic. Everything else, honestly, was just okay. The sushi was very good, but it was a weird mix of types of food.

I really wanted this brunch to be amazing, but it just didn’t hit the mark for me. I was less than impressed with the service, and I think I’m just not a buffet person because I get too full and feel sick afterward. I was glad I gave it a shot because I’d heard a lot of hype – it just didn’t live up to the hype, in my opinion. I think you could find a better brunch in DC elsewhere.

Then the day went up! We visited Arlington Cemetery in the afternoon, which was humbling and beautiful as always. That took a while, what with all the walking, but we still didn’t work up an appetite. We had plans later in the evening, so we just rested and had a quick snack before we headed out at night…

… to see my favorite band ever, The Kooks. I did plan for that weekend specifically because The Kooks would be in town, and their show didn’t disappoint. They played at the 9:30 Club, which is a great concert venue. It’s just small enough so that you will have a great view. We opted to steer clear of the crazy screaming teens (I mean, I was a crazy screaming 20 something but whatever) and stand on the balcony, where we could see better than if we’d been on the floor. I don’t think I stopped smiling for the entire show.

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D.C. is a beautiful and historic city. I loved getting to see parts of the town that I hadn’t before, and I’m totally convinced that I would live there one day if the opportunity presented itself.

If you’re ever in the D.C. area, I hope you enjoy the food and sights as much as I did!

Thanks, Jenn, for hosting WIAW!


Questions of the Day:
>> Have you ever been to D.C.?
>> What other cities have great food scenes?
>> What’s your opinion of buffets?

More places to find me:
Twitter: @angiggy
Facebook: nuttylifeang
Instagram:@angiggy
Pinterest: Ang @ Nutty for Life
Email: nuttylifeang@gmail.com

What I Ate In West Virginia

Yesterday I gave you a short recap of my family’s trip to the Stonewall Resort in West Virginia.

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Today… it’s all about the food.

Linking up with Jenn and all the other cool cats who participate in WIAW.Being the food-obsessed girl that I am, I was more than happy when my dad informed me that our room rate also included access to the breakfast buffet every.single.morning. I’m not super into having a heavy breakfast everyday, but I knew that the Stonewall’s buffet included oatmeal and TONS of fresh fruit. It was music to my ears.

My breakfasts looked something like this for the entire week:

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Every day I would have a round of oatmeal and fruit. Then, I would go back for a second round of eggs over easy or a spinach omelette, plus fruit. ALL THE FRUIT. The pineapple was outta this world.

Usually, on vacations, my stomach gets pretty messed up. I knew that as long as I started every day like this, I would have a better chance of tummy normalcy. It definitely paid off. Is it bad that my favorite part of every day was breakfast? Aside from the super creamy oatmeal, it was the most relaxing and leisurely time of the day. Also, my dad tends to be funny and hyped up in the morning, which is always great.

All week I snacked on these bites. I call them Chunky Monkey bites. They’re so simple, but I think I’m going to post the recipe on here soon because they really held over my appetite.

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My lunches during the week consisted of either chicken salad or a hummus plate. Lunch was my time to get in lots of veggies. The resort has three different restaurants on its premises. For lunch, we usually ate at the “pub” called TJ Muskies. I had to order double side salads and add chicken, but they didn’t think I was too crazy. And the hummus plates rocked! They had tons of vegetables and some pita chips with roasted red pepper hummus for dipping. Oh! And feta cheese! Can’t forget that.

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We tried a different restaurant each night for dinner. The first night, we actually just ate at TJ Muskies, so I had a hummus plate. The second night, we tried out the “fancier” restaurant, called Stillwaters. That was where they had the breakfast buffet, as well. I decided to order the grilled tuna steaks with sun-dried tomato risotto. The risotto was absolutely outstanding.

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Dinner the next evening brought us to the third restaurant, Lightburns. The view from Lightburns is so beautiful. It’s up on a hill, and its lower floor acts as the golf shop (the resort has an Arnold Palmer course… apparently very difficult and classy). I ordered grilled salmon and polenta. As a side note, my dad pronounced it “poe-lawn-ta.” He’s so cultured.

I loved the way the salmon was cooked… so perfect!

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Since we’d then exhausted ourselves with all of the on-site restaurants, we ventured into the town of Weston on Wednesday night. My brother loves, loves, loves Chinese food (I don’t know why… I think American Chinese restaurants are just okay… and they make my stomach hurt), but good sister that I am, I obliged to go to to one. I went with the safe/non-sodium filled bet, steamed chicken and vegetables. I ate the whole dang plate because that was the day I busted my ass hiking and paddleboarding.

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The final night of the trip brought us back to Weston again after exploring the towns surrounding the resort all day (spoiler alert: there really wasn’t much around). We did find a cute little winery, so I was fairly happy. Anyway, I did find a restaurant called Thyme Bistro that looked nice, so we tried it out. I think I would have liked the place better for dinner, but we went during lunch hours. They didn’t have what I ordered at first, so I ended up getting the only thing that wasn’t a huge sandwich – a Greek hummus plate. Honestly, this hummus was the best I’ve ever had in my life. I was so pleasantly surprised!

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And then we came home! I really loved everything about our trip, but the food especially left a good taste in my mouth. Pun intended.

Questions of the Day:
>> Do you like hummus? 
>> What’s your favorite thing to get on a breakfast buffet?
>> Are you as nutty about food as I am?

More places to find me:
Twitter: @angiggy
Facebook: nuttylifeang
Instagram:@angiggy
Pinterest: Ang @ Nutty for Life
Email: nuttylifeang@gmail.com

Wild & Wonderful Family Vacation

You might remember two weeks ago when I took a designated break from the blog and had some wonderful ladies guest post for me. During that time, my family took a little vacay not too far away from home just outside of Weston, WV at the Stonewall Resort.

It was honestly one of my favorite trips my family has ever taken, even though it was more low-key than our usual vacations – just what we needed right now, truthfully. The Stonewall Resort is located right on the Stonewall Jackson lake, and they have some really great deals when you stay there, too. Plus, almost all of their outdoor gear (i.e. kayaks, paddleboards, etc.) is included in your room price. The resort is surrounded by tons of hiking trails, too. I was never bored, to say the least!

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The week was filled with lots of activity. I stuck to hiking and lounging by the pool, mostly. One day, my dad and I went on an awesome 5 mile hike that culminated in a super steep incline. We walked Cairns trail; the appeal of the trail was that there were random perfectly stacked rock piles along the route. No one is sure why the cairns are there, but they were supposedly built by Native Americans. My theory is aliens, but whatever. Dad was a great hiking buddy.

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My mom and I also spent some time at the resort spa (I got my first massage ever! It was wonderful), and while we did our thang the boys made use of the kayaks! I wanted to go kayaking on the day we were leaving, but unfortunately it was raining.

Of course, I had to make sure to use the paddleboards, since stand up paddleboarding was on my summer bucket list! I discovered that I need a little work on my paddling directions. It was way easier to balance than I expected, and I had a blast.

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This trip was a little different for us not only because we didn’t travel as far but also I felt that we were way more active than usual (think a bunch of lazy bums on the beach 😉 ). I had so much fun getting outside and moving with my family – it was exactly what I was craving!

Questions of the Day:
>> Have you ever been to a huge lake/lake resort like this?
>> Ever paddleboarded?! 
>> What’s your favorite place to hike?

More places to find me:
Twitter: @angiggy
Facebook: nuttylifeang
Instagram:@angiggy
Pinterest: Ang @ Nutty for Life
Email: nuttylifeang@gmail.com