Early this morning, I flew into Washington, DC for a short visit with my sister. I arrived in the wee hours, and as my lovely sister Katie had been generous enough to pick me up at such an early hour on her day off, we both went back to sleep for a few hours once we got back to the house. Fast-forward 4 hours, and my sister, my brother-in-law, and I were sitting in the kitchen drinking coffee, catching up, and discussing what types of events the day should hold.
Katie had heard of some world-renowned gardens in Georgetown on a beautiful estate, called Dumbarton Oaks. We tend to be a very laid-back group of people, so this hearsay was the only motivation we needed to head out the door and onward toward my favorite DC neighborhood.
We arrived too early to be admitted into the gardens, so we walked into downtown Georgetown, looking for somewhere to eat lunch while we waited.
I am so bummed, but unfortunately, most of the photos from today have little smudges appearing on them. I don't think my camera appreciated the humidity....
We settled on a cute little corner restaurant called, Paolo's. I think we were ultimately sold by the charming outdoor seating area and the tantalizing smell of garlic wafting from the entrance. Once we saw the menu, we were even more happy with our decision. Everything looked fantastic!
Spinach Spring Salad with Avocado, Feta, and Strawberries
Espresso and Cayenne Seasoned Steak Salad
This is the visual definition of "happy camper," or "awkwardly transferring a fork from one hand to the other."
Finally, after leaving Paolo's with our bellies full to the brim, we walked up the hill to the estate one last time. Upon entering the front gates, we all took a moment of silence to appreciate the beauty of the property. The estate was gorgeous, the grounds were perfectly manicured, and there were beautiful visual surprises around every corner of the winding walking trails.
The Arborium was one of my favorite spots on the entire property. The ancient vines twisted and curled their ways up to the sunlight coming through the roof....
..and there were also those that had begun to crawl toward the ground...
The stonework throughout the property was absolutely stunning!
I took this photo because I wanted to send it to my dad as inspiration for shaping his grape vines. I love the way the metal and the vines are coiled together.
How crazy is this bench? My family should have used it at our dining room table growing up...
I'm not sure if food and drink is allowed on property, but I kept thinking that it would be the perfect place to bring a picnic blanket and a bottle wine. If you'd like more information about park admission, you can visit the website here. There is a small admission fee, but it's a small price to pay for such a relaxing experience!