Gotta Getaway: {The Perfect Day in D.C.}

If you only had a day to explore a city, what would you do? How would you narrow things down to the best of the best in a mere 24 hours?! Well, you may remember when The Luxury Collection* invited us to Washington, D.C. a few months back. Bianca had the pleasure of dropping in our nation’s capital with one of our blog crushes, Kate from Wit and Delight and Andrea from One Kings Lane, to experience “The Perfect Day in DC.” They set out to expereince 24 hours of travel bliss and I’m pretty sure they were successful! But I’ll let Bianca tell you the full story {I must admit, I was pretty dang jealous about this one!}. — Erin

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When you head to Washington, D.C. your expectations are kind of set, right? Certainly you’re going to visit The White House, The Capitol and other major landmarks. And it would make my year, no, my life, if maybe, just maybe Obama decided to take a stroll in the park and we’d meet the president of the United States {crossed all toes and fingers on the plane ride there!.}. But in fact, that was not what was in store for me at all! The obvious tourist destinations weren’t on our itinerary. When I found out we were going to experience a side of DC that I never even knew existed: charming mansions {oxymoron?}, covetable design shops, lively jazz bars and popular local D.C. institutions- like Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street- I was super excited!

We were put up in The Fairfax on Embassy Row, thusly named for all of the gorgeous embassies that line the street. The area was a great location for exploring- just walking distance from popular 14th and U Street Corridor, Dupont Circle and the cutest parts of town that tourists stuck on the National Mall don’t often see. With time ticking and beautiful weather on our side, we set out for our full morning!

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First up was the Woodrow Wilson house {fun fact: he was the only president to stay in DC after his term!}. Deceivingly huge, the house is still home to the President Wilson’s furniture, art, country gifts and the original kitchen stove- a fun way to experience the political side of DC without experiencing the political side of DC! Perfection indeed. Afterwards, we made our way to Hank’s Oyster Bar, a great spot to enjoy cold oysters and a refreshing glass of rose. The bar is Instagram worthy for sure, and we had a great time enjoying the warm day with a side of lobster roll and clams- who wouldn’t?!

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For shopping, we hit design stores that you can only find in DC. I regret not buying anything at Brass Knob- a store packed with every piece of antique hardware that ever existed. And Darryl Carter is a design haven. With no online shop {you can order over the phone}, you better buy whatever you can pack in your suitcase at this store. It’s ah-mazing and was the highlight of the trip.

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DC is full of great nightlife {make sense: work hard, play harder!} and 14th Street is the place to be. It’s lined with cool bars and the area is packed with people until the wee hours of the morning. We headed there to an underground jazz club. Literally, underground, the dark cave was moody and clearly a DC favorite. A couple of blocks away is Ben’s Chili Bowl where we had a blast. Kate learned to make their deliciously good shake and we laughed the whole time- the perfect way to the end the day!

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The Perfect Day Full Itinerary:
> Woodrow Wilson House Tour {experience politics + design in one!}
> Spanish Steps {experience the history of the city in this picturesque neighborhood!}
> Hank’s Oyster Bar {oysters outside + juicy lobster rolls + rose = perfect!}
> Bohemian Caves {jazz lovers, stroll down U Street- it’s happenin’ at night!}
> Ben’s Chili Bowl {D.C.’s famous chili house- where you might see Bill Cosby or The President!}
> Brass Knob {grab a unique, one of a kind souvenir from this antique shop!}
> Darryl Carter Design Store {4 levels of amazing- a must visit!}

Kate and I were lucky enough to have a little extra time after our “perfect day” to explore the city even more. DC is a great place to just walk around- everywhere you look there’s something pretty to be seen. I think my favorite thing was simply strolling down random streets and house lusting. And there definitely isn’t a shortage of great restaurants. Here are some places we stumbled upon that you’ll want to add to your next trip if you have time:

> Barcelona {great restaurant with amazing service and outdoor patio}
> Dolcezza {famous gelato + churros- try to go to their new headquarters for a tour!}
> La Colombe {the best coffee in DC!}
> Rose’s Luxury {a gorgeous restaurant for dinner- don’t miss it!}
> Le Diplomate {popular brunch spot- order the poached eggs + polenta, yum!}
> Georgetown {for some good shopping}
> Wydown Coffee Bar {great design + coffee}

Do you have any DC hot spots that are your favorites?? Do add to our list because we most certainly will go back. And if you only had 24 hours in any city in the world, where would you spend it- come on dish!

Bianca

images c/o The Luxury Collection // photography by Sarah Culver // some snaps by Bianca Sotelo

*This experience was sponsored by The Luxury Collection.

Hello August + Beach Month

We were so inspired by Erin’s beautiful post on Hawaii {and we need to talk about this…was that a perm we spied?!!} that we wanted to keep the good feelings rollin’. For the rest of the month, we’ll be sharing the best of the beach…because we could all use some proper rest and relaxation!

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We have tons of last-minute fun under the sun posts coming your way. Stay tuned!

Flying 101: Travel Essentials You Never Want to Jet Set Without

While vacations are pretty dang wonderful, there is always one thing that can totally put a damper on the whole experience: the dreaded plane ride there! Being stuck in a can, no matter how quick the flight, is always anxiety ridden. Just thinking about the chances of being sat within a 5-row-radius of the screaming baby or behind the guy who immediately leans his seat all the way back is enough to make the most experienced traveller seriously distressed. Fortunately, through our misfortunes of forgetting the noise cancelling ear buds or leaving our lovingly pre-made snacks in the fridge, we’ve identified the six things you should never get on an airplane without!

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> This is post-plane ride, but sprinting to the carousel to claim your baggage before someone else mistakes the identical black wheelie for theirs? Totally not fun. We’d like to be hopeful and think with the deterrent of this cheeky luggage tag, no one is going to touch your stuff!

> If you’re not in first class, then you’re still enjoying the same comforts as people in cabin “A”. NOT. You’re in the world’s most uncomfortably designed seat, ever. Catching zzzz’s is a nightmare in said chair, so don’t forget to pack this adorable palm printed neck pillow. Nothing says “be quiet- i’m dreaming of vacation” better!

> Would it kill flight attendants to serve a little more water than a mere half-plastic-cup full? We think not, but since water seems to be a premium up in the air, bring this stylishly designed Sagaform glass water bottle with you. Fill it up over and over again and avoid the drain dehydration can cause!

> Start making memories fast. Snap silly photos in the airport and print them instantly with this Fujifilm instax mini camera. We love that it’s so compact and can easily replace the iPhone in your purse if you’re worried about the risk of losing your phone. The instant prints will make for the cutest scrapbook {remember those!!}

> Vacationing is all about pampering yourself so why do we always settle for the cheap shampoo sets in the hotel? Instead, keep this Aesop travel pack in your carryon to save you from two potentially horrible grooming situations: a.) losing your luggage with all of your preening tools or b.) having a layover/missed flight that requires you to stay in a disgusting, grungy airport hotel that thank gawd, at least has running water. Get the Aesop kit, I’m telling you.

> You can count on never forgetting your ear buds at home or worrying about purchasing headphones on the flight {first snacks get the cut, now headphones?!} with these babes. Come to mama! Make a statement with these gorgeous floral Frends “Taylor” headphones and know that listening to music or watching last year’s blockbusters has never looked cuter.

And with these jet setting essentials, you’ll have the easiest, breeziest flight to your dream destination. Just don’t forget your passport and I.D. Talk about major traveling fail! —Bianca

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Get Your Shop On:

> “My Clothes Won’t Fit You” Luggage Tag
> Objects Without Meaning Travel Pillow {on sale!}
> Glass Water Bottle 
> Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Camera 
> Aesop Jet Set Kit 
> Frends x We Are Handsome “Taylor” Headphones