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A Spaniard in DC

Jul 27, 2010

A couple of weeks ago I got a phone call from my best friend's little sister, Kelly.

"Mary El?  I'm coming to see you."

I hear this a lot from people, and rarely do they follow through.  But this time was different.  Five days later Kelly arrived, fresh out of her first semester of theology school, which she began after spending a year in Spain working for Coca Cola.  I know -- this girl's all over the place!  But where she hasn't been is America.  I mean, she's an American citizen, but she hasn't seen much of her homeland.  So I took the opportunity to do a few touristy things with her.  This blog post will be told mostly through pictures, but they're good!  (Mainly because Kelly's hot and I finally have a tan.)

Day 1: Jazz in the Sculpture Garden

You never know who you'll meet at Jazz!  Notice I am not wearing shoes, because when I spotted him I took off running through the park barefoot. 

Not the first time this has happened:

Maulik Pancholy, aka "Jonathan," Jack's Assistant on 30 Rock (barefoot here too)

I will also risk hitting pedestrians on my bicycle to catch up with D-list celebrities on the sidewalk:

Justin Guarini and Me

Day 2: Bridal Shower for a friend and Bike Tour of Memorials

Kelly was a sport and helped me set up the apartment for a bridal shower Margaret and I were throwing for Sarah.  Doesn't the cake look amazing?!

I made this! (Actually, no. I did not. But I did decorate it and give Kelly the recipe!)

Afterwards we went on a bike tour of the memorials.

We stopped off at the Obamas first. 

Kelly tried to be funny in front of those guys but they just dipped their heads and kept walking. VERY embarrassing. 
(Caption by: Kelly's sister's roomie, Joo)

At the Lincoln Memorial. You wouldn't believe how many times I said, "Okay, now move your finger a smidge to the left.  Now a smidge to the right.  Now to the left again..."

Jefferson Memorial.  Notice how I propped my arm up on my hip -- that prevents one from getting fat arm in pictures.  It also makes one look kinda awkward!

At this point I was out of energy and really falling behind Kelly on our bikes.  I assumed it was because I sprained my ankle a month and a half ago, causing me to quit running, causing me to fall out of shape.  When we hit a hill (okay a slight incline) and I had to take a break, Kelly stopped and looked at my bike.  "Mary El, your tires are flat!"  I looked down and realized that they were in fact both flat.  Oh.

We stopped off at Old Ebbitt's for dinner (well, I needed a break really) and Kelly told me if it got too difficult she would ride my bike home.  After dinner we set off up 14th St.  I was lagging behind and about to take Kelly up on her offer when a knight in shining, yellow armor rode up behind us on his noble steed.

"Your tires are flat!" he said.  "Need some air?"

His name was Danny, he rode a pedicab, and he had a pump.  It was a joyous moment.

Day 3: ESPANA WINS WORLD CUP! (Like I care.)

Since much of Kelly's visit involved eating, I thought we should burn 1,000 calories in an hour and dragged her to an LA Boxing class. 

That's what we call amazing form. (Hey look! It's Kaoru behind me!)

Look at us burn those calories!

And lunge running?  We rock.

Um, do you think I'd actually do all this?  Oh no no no.  I pretended to.  If you notice on this last photo we are bringing in the rear.  And I'm just walking and swinging my arms, no lunges for me.  Kelly did as the instructor said; I made fun of everyone for following instructions.  These pictures make it look as if I am a rockstar, but no, the instructor called Kelly and me the "party girls" because he assumed we had been out all night.  Little did he know I'd been riding a bike with flat tires all over the city (not sure what Kelly's excuse was...).

(LA Boxing photos courtesy of  Read more about our boxing day here.)

Next up was Dupont for some relaxation, except we stumbled upon this:

Spaniards gettin' jiggy wit it.

Kelly explained that Spaniards find each other wherever they go, and it looked as if they all found each other in Dupont that afternoon.  The cops came...and watched.  We got non-low calorie fro yo to celebrate, because we had calories to spare.

Doesn't Kelly look like LC with that cute little braid?

Day 4: Date with Destiny

I took Kelly to Georgetown for some window shopping and Georgetown Cupcakes.  (While Georgetown Cupcakes aren't my favorite, we had to go because "DC Cupcakes" was premiering that Friday on TLC.)  We wanted lunch first, though, so we stopped into Bodega, a Spanish tapas place that Kelly said looked authentic.  She ordered for us -- I got some kind of lentil soup, shrimp, olives and cheese, and bacon wrapped dates.

Get it? DATE with destiny?  Hahahahahahahahahahaha. Ha.

Kelly explained Spanish food wasn't spicy because years ago a dictator wouldn't let the commoners have spices.  As I listened to her tell me about world history (Spain was ruled by a dictator? Where have I been?) I ate little slivers of roasted garlic in my shrimp.  Then I chewed a piece and the hottest spice of my life began spreading across my tongue, down my throat, into my esophagus, and outward into my bloodstream, probably because it burned a hole in my esophagus.  Of course Kelly didn't believe me because of what she had just told me.  So, after 15 minutes of eating ice and potatoes off of her plate, I waved a waiter over to us and asked, "What is that?" pointing to another little peppery looking thing. 

"A pepper from Portugal." 

So Bodega turned out to be not so authentic after all.  Still delicious, but don't feel compelled to eat everything on your plate as I did.

Next was cupcakes, yay!

Kelly with the TLC Cupcake. Our faves were Strawberry and Banana Honey.

Day 5: Chocolate Covered Bacon

On Kelly's last night I had to take her to Co Co. Sala, obviously.  And I had to make her try chocolate covered bacon, duh. 

She liked it!

The lovely people at Co Co. gave her a box of chocolates to take home, isn't that nice?  I want to live there.

So what did the wannabe Spaniard think of DC?

"I didn't know Europe existed in America!"

Please, we're not Europe, we're better!  We can eat as many cupcakes as we want and wear cute flats without being judged.  I love my city!  Maybe one day we'll see Kelly here as well?


  1. I've never thought much of DC, had this negative idea of it for no good reason at all, but this makes me want to visit :) It looks lovely! And running into D-list celebrities is always fun!

  2. I totally agree with you on the last comment: cute flats and not be judged. Anytime I'm in Europe, I feel whatever I'm wearing, it isn't good enough over there. Screw you frenchy, I'm comfortable and you look ridiculous in your skinny jeans.

  3. Sam, come visit! It's tons of fun!

    Smallwerld, I hate skinny jeans on guys. Not only are you comforttable, you don't look ridiculous. Yay America!

  4. Yay for my visit to DC! Reading that made me want to come back and do it all over again. Thanks again for showing me around my own nation's capital, it was a visit that was way overdue.

  5. LOL. Love this line: "We can eat as many cupcakes as we want and wear cute flats without being judged."

  6. What a fun post! Do all these celebrities live in DC? Who knew! And your friend DOES look like LC from The Hills! How come every time we go to Co Co Sala we get nothin'? :(

  7. Stefanie, you need to stick with me! Being the Foursquare mayor helps. :)

  8. Sharp tools make good work.

    Dartmouth College

  9. To be both a speaker of words and a doer of deeds.


  10. "Bringing up the rear"