Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What's in a name?

 My full name is Allison, but ever since they brought me home from the hospital my family has called me Alli. I can clearly remember my mother asking me what I wanted to be called in school when she registered me for pre-kindergarten. For some reason, I told her Allison. Maybe it sounded more grown up to me. So for my grade school career I was known as Allison in class, but Alli to close friends and family. Erin is the only one in my family who consistently calls my by my full name, a result of her going to the same school as me. When I went to college, more and more people started calling me Alli. I think the major reason for this was Emily, my oldest sister, was around more, and people adopted it from her. I've always used Allison as my professional name, so I'm Allison on paper but Alli out loud. I never thought that I cared that much what people called me. I always gave them the choice.
Well, now that I've moved away from my friends and family, very few people call me Alli. I didn't realize how much I missed it until Sam came to visit this weekend, calling me (and introducing me as) Alli. It was a little piece of home.

Sam and my angry faces. I think we were cold.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Cotton in the big City

This past weekend Sam was in DC for the Cotton Council Meeting with her family. They are from a small town and are good "salt of the earth" people. I got to hang out and be a tourist with them. They really made it a fun weekend. 
We got to tour the Capitol - something I didn't put on my list, but now I'm adding it so I can cross it off.
Tyler came out to the Old Ebitt Grill for a drink and oysters with us. The Old Ebitt, est. in 1856, is the oldest dining saloon in DC.

We had Mojtos at the Round Robin Bar, a super classy joint right next to the White House.

The Mural inside the Capitol.

The whole herd on the Capitol steps. 

Sunday, February 1, 2009

DC bucket list

In Florida, if someone had a question about where to go, or what do to do, they would come to me. I don't want to sound uppity, but I know my Florida history and I'm very good at remembering facts. So several people dubbed me "Captain Florida" and "knowledgeable about pretty much everything" (which to me, means I know a little tiny bit about a whole lot of stuff and the result is that I look smart). I really like knowing what is going on in the community around me and being able to share my knowledge with people. So it's a challenge moving to a new place, especially one so LARGE, and with so much going on. I'm researching and asking people for ideas and in an effort to make it a little easier on myself, and to also encourage people to visit, I'm going to list all the things I want to do in my time here (however long that is). As my office is fond of saying, this is a 'living document,' meaning it is not complete and is still growing. If you see something on the list that looks awesome to you, claim it for your visit (I'm looking at you Em and Jodi!). 

1-12. Smithsonian museums - there are actually 12 museums in the Smithsonian collection. I've been to the Air & Space and the Hirshorn Art museum, but I haven't finished them. And of course they also have rotating exhibits. And it's all free. I'm really excited about the American history and natural history museums. 

13. Lincoln, Washington, Roosevelt, WWII, Korean,  other various monuments. I would love to have a picnic when the weather is warmer...

14. The Kennedy Center - There are free performances every day at 6pm, ranging from high school plays to choirs. 

15. National Arboretum - you can see the original pillars of the U.S. Capitol that was burned in the War of 1812. A co-worker also told me they do full moon tours - but you have to sign up months in advance. 

16. Great Falls Park - 800 acre park with waterfalls!

17. Mount Vernon

18. farmer's markets - the market in Old Town in Alexandria is supposedly the oldest continual market located in the same spot - Washington sold his produce from Mount Vernon here!

19. Ben's Chili Bowl - a diner that has survived a lot and has become an institution in DC. The chili dogs are supposed to be excellent!

20. Waterfront Fish market - This is right across the street from my work. At lunch, there is a crowd of working class people that gather around for crabs, seafood chowder, and crab cakes. It has what Dad and I would call ambience. Apparently it really smells like a fish market in the summer. I don't know what people expect.  I mainly want to go there because my coworkers seem really scared of it. But if it's good enough for the workers, it's good enough for me. And probably more affordable too. 

21. Busboys and Poets -a coffee shop/cafe/ bookstore/poetry lounge. meant to 'serve as a meeting place for the progressive social movement.' named after Langston Hughes - the poet busboy. 

22. old stone house - the last pre-revolutionary house in DC on it's original foundation.

23. the national geographic museum

24. The spy museum

25. The Holocaust museum

26. chinatown

27. Cherry Blossom Festival - March 28 - April 12

28. The Eastern Market - flea/farmer's market

29. Arlington Cemetry

30. Amish Country - Lancaster, PA is about 2.5 hours away

Well that's it for tonight. I will do more on VA and MD later.