Friday, July 22, 2011

Mar(r)yland: A Wedding Post

I recently returned home from an amazing trip to the Washington DC area, hence the posting hiatus. I was more than a little excited for several reasons:

1. Cousins that I hadn't seen in EONS were going to be there (and one was the groom!).
2. The weather promised to be the opposite of Seattle's 78 minute summer.
3. It was the first trip I've ever taken with just my mom! (and she is really awesome).
4. On my list of sites to see were the stairs that were filmed in The Exorcist!

So, this post is going to be a little longer than most. I considered splitting it up into two, but then I thought NO! It's mostly pictures anyway. And it's Friday; take a break, read a longish blog post.

We stayed in the resort town of National Harbor, Maryland and although it was not exactly a mecca for vegan dining, it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.

The atrium roof in our hotel.

Statue (or is it?!?) on the waterfront.
Our hotel as we approach--in style--on the water taxi.
In spite of the resort-y -ness (yes, it's word, now) of National Harbor, there were two restaurants that hit the spot! We were also lucky that much of the food served for the wedding festivities was Indian and therefore extremely vegan friendly.

So, without further adieu, I bring you:

Ellen's Tour of Vegan DC Land! (No, it's not catchy and I don't really mind.)

Our first stop on the tour is Grace's Mandarin.

Grace's offered a menu centered around Asian fusion. This meant that my mom and I had NO TROUBLE finding food. I wish I had taken more pictures of the decor; there were amazing statues everywhere you looked and the most beautiful colors! (The following photos courtesy of Grace's Mandarin website).

Similar in size to the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man

Have you ever had that experience where you go on vacation and you magically feel like a completely different person? Grace's made me feel like I was a long lost Princess finally returning home but not realizing that I was princess until Brandon, our stupendous bartender and server, brought out our appetizers and drinks and knelt before me and said, "Your majesty, welcome home. May I present to you, your gimlet and edamame."

Sigh. I really miss that feeling.

In addition to the edamame, we ordered fried spring rolls and vegetable dumplings. The dumplings were my favorite. As far as cocktails? Yeah, I had a couple and they were outstanding. Big Greenthumb's up to Grace's Mandarin for your food and drink, but mostly for making me feel like a Disney Princess.

Part of the wedding jamboree included an evening cruise on The Odyssey. The cruise was catered and our options were limitless. I was so overwhelmed! It was my intention to start small and then just keep going back (that's what buffet's are for!) but after round 1, I opted to partake in the carnival of activities that surrounded me. I felt less like a princess on the cruise (which is fine because, well the bride was there and she practically IS a princess) and more like I was on Gossip Girl but without the gossip. And people were nice.

The Odyssey
Falafel, hummus, pita et. al. 

Completed Mehndi

The Bride and Groom (my cousin!)
I would like to live in Resort Town, USA, please. I could start a vegan restaurant!
The following day was the Baraat and wedding ceremony. There was a lot to look forward to, but we needed sustenance. Luckily, my mom and I were able to find the OTHER Asian restaurant in National Harbor, The Thai Pavilion! I ordered green curry with tofu. It was SPICY but excellent.

There was the Baraat, the ceremony, cocktail hour and then a reception. It was not unlike being in an amazing movie where everyone is beautiful and colors seem more vivid. I felt like I could eat the sky! Does that make any sense?

Baraat Procession! 
Baraat Procession

Cocktail Hour with cousins.

I didn't get any pictures of the reception or the phenomenal reception food because my camera started shaking due to the heat. Seriously, shaking. Here is an example of what many of my pictures looked like because of the constant vibrations:

Flowers. Can you tell?!
Sunday was our final day in the DC area. There was only one more thing left to do: The Exorcist Stairs. We hopped on the water taxi, transferred in Alexandria and floated out to Georgetown.

Photo by My Mom - SO FANTASTIC!

And then it was time for a Bloody Mary. We wandered the streets of Georgetown until we stumbled upon The Rhino. We had a drink and headed into the afternoon to look for more fun and exciting things. We found a museum. lots of shops and then, 4+ miles later we found The Asylum

The Asylum was the place I had been looking for the whole trip! Vegan bar food, interesting neighborhood, and an inviting atmosphere! An Oasis.

But seriously, it was inviting. The service was great and my burger was fantastic. Sorry! I didn't get a picture of it. I was famished after the long walk in crappy flip-flops and my camera had started shaking again. 

So that, my friends, was my brief tour of vegan DC with some of the wedding fun thrown in. I must say, it was one of the best weekends of ALL TIME. Of course, tomorrow is another barbecue at my house and this one involves a kiddie pool, so we'll see. 


1 comment:

  1. Outstanding pictures, Beautiful photography. Love love these snaps. You and your mummy looks Fab..!!! Love you both.
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