To Learn is to Love

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Washington D.C. ~ Day 2

After the previously exhausting and wet day, we woke up on the earlier side compared to the time I usually wake up. Got dressed and were ready to start the day. In our lobby there was an Einstein Bros Bagels, which is what we had for breakfast before we jumped on the subway to the Gallery Place, Chinatown stop. Now while it was interesting to walk through Chinatown, that wasn't our destination. Our real destination was... Drum Roll Please.... The International Spy Museum! This was the place I wanted to go the most. And let me just say I LOVED it. The Spy Museum is fun and interactive, all the while informative on the history of spying. Definitely a great place to go, even if you're not that into museums.

Also while we were there they had a special James Bond exhibit which was pretty cool. Just as interactive and made me wish I had seen at least one James Bond movie. Still really cool though!

The museum all told took about 2 and a half hours, which means we were hungry and ready for lunch when we finished. A couple of buildings down was a Shake Shack, which serves apparently pretty good burgers. Being that I don't eat burgers, I had a vanilla milkshake and french fries, which were good, but not good enough that I would recommend that everyone eat there. My brother on the other hand thought that his burger was delicious. When I asked how he would describe the eatery his exact words were "Good food, long wait." I can agree with the wait being long, not to mention it was insanely crowded. 

On our way to the Mall and the Smithsonian Museums we passed by Ford's Theater and many little shops and restaurants. Once we got to the Mall, we weren't entirely sure what we wanted to do. And unfortunately the Mall's grounds were under construction, which took away some of it's normal beauty. Same thing with the Capitol Building... It's still under reconstruction.

Eventually we decided on the American History Smithsonian Museum, which even though I've only been there once before, I would say it's my favorite. The last time I went, I was unable to see everything and some exhibits were not yet open. This time there were a few exhibits I had yet to see and some that are more interactive than a regular history museum. The First Ladies' dresses were gorgeous and something you can never see too many times. There was also a special exhibit that was like a preview to the upcoming Smithsonian, the National Museum of African American history and Culture. One of my favorite things in the exhibit was one of the costumes from the popular Broadway musical The Wiz: The Super Soul Musical "Wonderful Wizard of  Oz."
I couldn't get my camera to focus for anything in the world...
This was one of my favorite parts of the museum and got me even more excited for the new Smithsonian. After almost three hours there, we decided it was time to go home only to walk outside and have it start raining... Instead of finding the nearest metro station and taking that back to the hotel, we hailed a cab, who drove us back. 
This dress belonged to Jacqueline Kennedy.
For dinner we went to We, The Pizza again. I order the same slice of pizza and their freshly made Lemon Loves Lime soda that my brother had ordered the night before. Afterwords, we walked down the street to the Cold Stone Creamery.

With the day coming to end, I could say that I was exhausted and could happily check the Spy Museum off my never-ending list of places I would like to go.

With Love, 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Washington D.C. ~ Day 1

A few days ago I had the pleasure of spending a few days in Washington D.C., the capitol of the United States of America. While it was my third time visiting I have come to love the city and jump at any chance I have to travel to the city. I was there for a total of five days and had a blast. So please sit back and relax as I share the joys of my trip...

We (referring to my family and I) left early in the morning and flew into the Ronald Reagan National Airport around 11:30 AM and rode in the shuttle to the hotel we were staying at. Located in Crystal City, the hotel was nice and conveniently had access to the Crystal City Shops and the Metro, which was our main way of transportation during our stay. After dropping off our bags in our room, we headed downstairs and ate at Noodles & Company, then to take the metro to our first main stop - the Pentagon.

While we did not tour the Pentagon, we did visit the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial located beside it. Although the set-up of the memorial was confusing at first, we began to understand the significance of the design after looking it up on our phones. Rather a unique design if I do say so myself...

For an explanation about the design, click here.

After exploring the memorial, we got back onto the Metro and headed to the Arlington National Cemetery. Because we were exhausted, we paid for a tour around the cemetery rather than walking. While the tour did spread light on some new information I had never heard, it did start raining and we did not get off the bus at any of the stops. And by raining - I mean the kind of rain that you stand in for only a minute and are drenched to the bone... I however managed to stay almost completely dry, unlike my family. 

Sorry, I was on a moving bus...

After our wet experience at Arlington Cemetery, we headed back to the hotel before walking through the Crystal City Shops to We, The Pizza. While the restaurant is on the smaller side, the slice of pizza I had was rather large. The pizza is made fresh and reheated before given to you. With that being said, I do prefer my pizza crust to be on the thicker side, which the crust was not. Oops! I almost forgot to tell you which pizza I ordered! I ordered a slice of Fresh Buffalo Mozz & Roasted Tomato Pie and besides my issues with the crust, IT WAS DELICIOUS! The pizza had slices (actually they were more like chunks) of tomato with fresh basil, pizza sauce and basil. Best. Pizza. Ever. My brother on the other hand didn't like the oregano that was on his pepperoni pizza.

Our evening after that was fairly relaxed, which is short for we didn't do anything else.

     With Love,

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Almond Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

This is a recipe I got from Ingrid Nilsen's Vlogmas Day 6. I wrote out the recipe and made the cookies for myself!
2 cups Almond Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
6 tbsp coconut oil *melt before measured*
1/4 cup Honey
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
2 tbsp Water
1/2 cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

Mix dry ingredients (excluding chocolate chips) in a large bowl. Combine the liquid ingredients in one bowl as well. Add the liquid ingredients into the bowl containing the dry ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips. Lay out cookies on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Ingrid suggests flattening them out a little so they are not a ball.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the oven is heated, bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.

My notes:
The time she gave was a little too long, I found 8 minutes to be just about right.
Also, this could be because I forgot to add it in, but the cookies I've tried right after they cooled tasted better without the almond extract.

My opinion:
These are definitely a healthier chocolate chip cookie - but it was a kind of different from my normal chocolate chip cookies, that I wouldn't make these all the time. I did not include shredded coconut like Ingrid did, but that was my decision - I do not know if that would have made a difference.