My Weekend in Virginia

It’s been a whirlwind of a weekend for me, but it was so much fun!  I was lucky enough to be sent to the Washington DC area for work last week.  I got into town around lunch time on Thursday and was ushered straight into meetings, but had a little bit of time for sight-seeing in the evening.

We first drove by the Washington Monument.  They said that you’re not allowed to go up it in the stairs, you have to take the elevator.  I think that would be fun to do some day!  Unfortunately, I did not get to take my new camera with me to DC because my camera bag has not arrived yet, and I didn’t want to take any risks.  So I was stuck with my iPhone camera and Nikon Coolpix.

When we drove by the Willard Hotel, our tour guide told us that this is where the term “lobbyist” originated.  According to the story, Ulysses S. Grant was known to go to this hotel for a drink.  As people found out that he would frequent the hotel, they began to show up and wait in the lobby, hoping for a chance to talk to him about their issues.

We also got to walk to the White House for a few pictures.

We also took a group picture in front of the White House.  I didn’t know it at the time, but the guy who took our picture is the new White House press secretary, Jay Carney!  He just walked up and offered to help with our picture.

We were in town just in time for the cherry blossom festival.  The trees were absolutely beautiful!

After dinner we headed to the Lincoln Memorial.  It was my first time there, and it was so awesome to see it at night.

It was majestic!  The spot where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous speech was marked on the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial.

After work on Friday, I took advantage of being so close to a friend who lives in Virginia, and took a train to Charlottesville.  It was my first time there, but after being a long time reader of Kath Eats, I was very excited to visit!

When I got into town, we went directly to dinner at Horse & Hound Gastropub.

I ordered chickpea patties, which came with summer squash and some kind of clear noodle.  I was expecting stronger flavors, but it was still very good.  It’s not pictured, but dessert was excellent.  We ordered a brownie/cookie with ice cream.  It was warm and gooey.  We ate it too fast for a picture!

After dinner we walked around downtown Charlottesville.  It was a cute area of town.  We stopped at the Downtown Grille for a drink. 

I ordered a fruity rum martini.  It said it came with a tropical foam… which tasted like pure alcohol.  Neither of us were able to finish our drinks, but they were pretty good.  It’s always so much fun to catch up with a good friend.

After dinner we drove through a little bit of the UVA campus.  We stopped at Edgar Allan Poe’s dorm room.  It was cool to see, and fun to imagine him living in that building.  The rooms around his dorm room are actually still used as dorms, but his room has been sealed off with a glass door.

Saturday morning we had big plans.  After making a stop by Bodo’s Bagels for breakfast and coffee on the go, we headed off to pick up another friend for a big day of shopping.  This friend lives in a gorgeous house in the middle of nowhere, but her backyard is amazing.  I kind of love the idea of living in the middle of these mountains.  It would be so peaceful.

After picking up the friend, we drove almost an hour to a J. Crew sample sale at one of their distribution centers.  I had no idea what we were getting into.  When we first arrived, there was an extremely long line.  We decided to first go to a different J. Crew sale, and come back a little later.  When we got back to the sample sale, the line was a little bit shorter, so we decided to wait.  It took a little over an hour to make it into the store.

I have never experienced anything quite like this sale.  When we walked in, they handed us a price sheet and a white garbage bag that was almost as tall as I am.  And then it was a free for all.  There were rows and rows of boxes, and there was no order to it at all.  Men’s clothes, women’s clothes, children’s clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc, all mixed in together.  This picture shows just one of the two rooms.

I quickly figured out how this works, and I began to pick up anything that I “might” want and stuff it into my garbage bag.  The bag got so heavy, I was literally dragging it around the store.  After almost two hours of sorting through the boxes (and not even making it through half of the boxes), we were running low on time.  I had a flight to catch out of Charlottesville that evening!  We began to quickly try items on over our clothes.  I sorted out what I actually wanted to buy, and tossed the rest back into the boxes.

I found some amazing deals.  I had only packed a small carry on, so I literally carried my white garbage bag of purchased items (along with my purse) through the airport as my second personal item.  I was nervous about doing this, but no one stopped me at the airport, so it worked!

I took pictures of some of the items once I got back home.  One of the best deals I found was these booties.  My friend actually spot them in both of our sizes.  They were originally $250, had been marked down to $50, and I bought them for $30.

I bought this headband for $1.  It’s not something I would normally wear, but for the price, I thought I would go for it!

Another great deal was this blazer.  I was told that these can retail up to $400 (it’s from the J. Crew Collection), and I bought it for $25.

I really loved these shorts.  I don’t wear shorts very often, even in the summer, but I will definitely wear these!

I love the pattern on this cardigan.

I bought 3 necklaces.  They’re all very similar, but just a little different.  I love any jewelry with pearls!

Not pictured were 2 dresses, 2 skirts, 3 pairs of jeans ($15 each for $100 jeans!), 4 more cardigans (each $8), and another blazer.  I might have gone overboard, but the prices were so good!  I don’t think I will see J. Crew this cheap ever again.  I was also a nice wife and bought a few shirts for the husband 🙂

I think we spent about 2.5 hours actually in the store, but we could have spent much longer if it wasn’t for my flight.  After rushing through the checkout, we were on our way to the airport.  My flight was delayed, so  I got there in plenty of time!  It was such a fun weekend, but after traveling by air, car, bus, taxi and train (over the three days), I was very much ready to be back at home with my husband and dog.

Do you have any travel plans this summer?


8 responses to “My Weekend in Virginia

  1. It was great seeing you! Come and visit again soon – I’ll let you know when the next warehouse sale is, and you can bring a gigantic suitcase to check ;-).

  2. What a great weekend. I’ve never been to Washington but it’s definitely on my bucket list.

    And what a great things you’ve bought. As a shoe lover I immediately fell in love with the shoes!

  3. That sample sale looks awesome. Glad you had a great weekend away.

  4. WOW! This whole post made me jealous 🙂

    DC and Virgina look like fun! I’ve never been there. Was DC crazy because of everything going on last week (Friday specifically) or could you even tell that something was up?

    I’m super, super, super jealous that you went to a J. Crew sample sale. Do they only do those in certain places? I’m going to have to check that out because you bought some REALLY cute clothes!

    • There was definitely a lot of talk about the potential for a government shut down on Friday. People staying in DC over the weekend were worried about not being able to do all the touristy things, like visiting the Smithsonian.

      I think they only do the J. Crew sample sales near the distribution centers (that one was near Lynchburg, VA), but I really hope to find something like that in the Houston area!

  5. I’m a huge history nerd, so Washington DC is my dream city! If I could afford to move there, I totally would. My mom used to live in Northern Virginia and my dad lived in Maryland, so both of them got to grow up near the city. I visited when I was 17 and would love to go back!

  6. D.C!!! That is AWESOME!! I have always wanted to go check out D.C.. Jason has been a few times, but we plan to make a trip someday. All of your pics turned out great and it looks like you had a great time even though it was a work trip!! I think it is so neat when bloggers meet up!

  7. Gosh I love sample sales!!!! I have plans to go to Miami for 3 days next weekend. Its a very short trip but I cannot wait to get away. Looks like you had a great time!

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