This weekend was a big one: we celebrated 7 years of marriage (12 years in love!) and took our first couple’s trip away from our darling toddler.
We’ve both traveled away from Mazen individually, but this was our first time leaving him in someone else’s care. My friend Sarah and Mazen’s BFF Sylvia took care of him for a little over 24 hours. All of Sarah’s reports said he was happy as a clam!
When we brainstormed a night away, we first thought of going to a B&B for the night. But at the recommendation of a friend, we settled on Old Town Alexandria, which ended up being the perfect destination! Other than being in the heart of a million shopping and dining options, what sealed the deal was a luxurious 2-hour train ride where we kicked back, relaxed and kept our eyes off the road. Three episodes of Survivor later, we were a world away from everyday life.
We stayed at The Lorien Hotel, a Kimpton Hotel that was a steal at $144 a night. It was a short 2 blocks from the Amtrak station and right on King Street where all the action is. Our room was gorgeous – from the modern decor to the glass-door shower!!
After checking into our room, we set out to find lunch. The best part of traveling without a baby was that there was no schedule to follow. If we wanted to eat lunch at 2pm and sleep till 9am we could. And we did!
Our two requirements for lunch were outdoor dining and seafood. We eventually found The Wharf, which had both.
On full-out vacation mode, we ordered a glass of white from the Russian River along with a cup of She Crab Soup that was perfectly prepared.
We split an order of crab and shrimp fritters…
Followed by a split salmon and tomato salad. Perfect!
Because everyone needs an ice cream cone on a hot afternoon in June, we had ice cream for dessert.
We walked the streets for a while longer and then meandered back to the hotel to change for dinner.
We stopped into the hotel’s complimentary wine hour before heading back out.
I bought this new dress at Langford Market in Cville last week – it sure was colorful!!
We ended up meeting my high school friend Matt Compton and his wife Abby for drinks at The Majestic. It was great to catch up with these two!
I had a Napa Valley Cooler – a sophisticated version of a wine cooler.
Matt had a Mint Julep!
We had browsed menus all afternoon, and the one with the entrees and ambiance that called to us most was Notting Hill. A tempting menu and tables set up in a courtyard created a romantic spot for an anniversary dinner.
Two glasses of red – more Sonoma! We are loyal
To start we had a composed asparagus salad packed with beets and goat cheese. It was INcredible and our favorite dish of the weekend. The herby goat cheese with a pistachio sauce underneath tied in so well with the fresh asparagus and beets.
I had salmon in a Dijon-chocolate sauce for my entree. It was delicious – especially the perfect sear on the salmon. The sauce was chocolaty but not sweet dessert chocolate – just notes of cocoa.
Matt’s trout was out of this world thanks to a delicious tangy white sauce on top.
While we would have liked to stay out late partying, most places were closed on a Sunday night, so we ended up back at the hotel at a reasonable hour to enjoy the cupcake from Alexandria Cupcake we had picked up earlier that day. Anniversary weekends require lots of buttercream – in honor of the wedding cake of course.
Sunday morning we slept in, sipped coffee in bed and then had this snack from the mini bar (where we had a $10 credit) before we set out on an exploratory run.
We covered between 4 and 5 miles along the waterfront. DC has such great places to run!
After showers and packing, we headed back out to find brunch. At 11am on a Monday our options were a bit limited, but we were excited to return to Le Pain Quotidien, which I had first visited while visiting Emily a few years back.
There were a million menu options that sounded good so we ended up ordering waaaayyy too much food!
A bread basket to complement the house spreads.
Cheese to go with
A warm goat cheese salad
An avocado and veggie tartine with hemp seeds and cucumber
With the leftovers, we made sandwiches to go and had them for dinner on the train that evening!
After lunch we went back to the hotel for some spa treatments. I had a heavenly facial while Matt enjoyed a massage. Such a treat!!
We spent our last hours shopping. We had passed this store 5 times already and I kept wanting to stop.
Of course the only thing we actually bought were gifts for Mazen. You know you’re missing your toddler when you point to a horse and say "NEIGH!" or ducks and say "QUACK!" out of instinct.
Our final stop was to Lavender Moon Cupcake where we bought yet another buttercream dessert. When I told the girl behind the counter we were celebrating our anniversary she gave us the cupcake on the house. So sweet!
Vanilla Bean + Lemon Curd
Our ride home was just as relaxing as the ride there – with a big Mazen hug at the finish!