Anniversary Trip To Old Town Alexandria

June 4, 2014

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.

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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.

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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!!

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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!

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Our two requirements for lunch were outdoor dining and seafood. We eventually found The Wharf, which had both.

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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.

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We split an order of crab and shrimp fritters…

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Followed by a split salmon and tomato salad. Perfect!

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Because everyone needs an ice cream cone on a hot afternoon in June, we had ice cream for dessert.

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We walked the streets for a while longer and then meandered back to the hotel to change for dinner.

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We stopped into the hotel’s complimentary wine hour before heading back out.

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I bought this new dress at Langford Market in Cville last week – it sure was colorful!!

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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!

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I had a Napa Valley Cooler – a sophisticated version of a wine cooler.

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Matt had a Mint Julep!

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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.

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Two glasses of red – more Sonoma! We are loyal :)

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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.

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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.

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Matt’s trout was out of this world thanks to a delicious tangy white sauce on top.

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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.

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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.

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We covered between 4 and 5 miles along the waterfront. DC has such great places to run!

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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.

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There were a million menu options that sounded good so we ended up ordering waaaayyy too much food!

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A bread basket to complement the house spreads.

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Cheese to go with

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A warm goat cheese salad

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An avocado and veggie tartine with hemp seeds and cucumber

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With the leftovers, we made sandwiches to go and had them for dinner on the train that evening!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Vanilla Bean + Lemon Curd

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Our ride home was just as relaxing as the ride there – with a big Mazen hug at the finish!

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{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Christa June 4, 2014 at 7:17 am

Hi! I’ve been a reader for several years now. I knew I saw you guys in Alexandria on Monday! I was walking back from work and saw you and Matt strolling around King St! I feel like I spotted a celebrity ;) Happy anniversary!

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2 KathEats June 4, 2014 at 7:35 am

Haha awesome! You should have said hi :)

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3 Angelica June 4, 2014 at 7:19 am

Happy Anniversary! I LOVE the shirt with the navy stripes, and the one with gray is cute, too! Where are they from?

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4 KathEats June 4, 2014 at 7:34 am

Blue and white from Langford Market and gray is Banana Rep Factory!

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5 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More June 4, 2014 at 7:38 am

What a fun little getaway! I LOVE old town Alexandria! When my sister was in college (in DC), we’d stay in Alexandria and I just loved it down there. :)

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6 Jackie June 4, 2014 at 7:46 am

Happy anniversary! What a wonderful trip! It looks like such a charming town!

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7 Anele @ Success Along the Weigh June 4, 2014 at 7:46 am

Those fritters! Squee!!!! That dress! Snazzy! What a great color on you.

Glad you guys got a nice little couples getaway. Looks like a fun time!

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8 simple green moms June 4, 2014 at 7:50 am

Love the bright colorful pictures and dress! Looks like you two lovebirds had a great time = )

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9 Elizabeth {Positively Healthy} June 4, 2014 at 8:13 am

Your trip looks wonderful! I am loving all of your clothes and the food!

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10 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats June 4, 2014 at 8:16 am

Happy Anniversary! And what a cute little place for a weekend away! I’m sure you missed Mazen, but I bet that was so nice to just have a couple days to yourselves!

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11 Gauri June 4, 2014 at 8:25 am

Happy Anniversary! You are looking your best in these pictures – so fit! Such an inspiration for new moms.

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12 Rosee June 4, 2014 at 8:32 am

Happy Anniversary! You guys are the cutest and I’ve been a dedicated reader since before your wedding! What kind of running sneakers were you wearing in your pic with Matt? They look so cute with great support which I need! Thanks!

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13 KathEats June 4, 2014 at 8:35 am

Many years friends!

They are Asiacs 2170. My fourth pair. Got em on Amazon for like $70

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14 MayV June 4, 2014 at 12:58 pm

ASICS.

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15 Shel@PeachyPalate June 4, 2014 at 8:36 am

You managed to fit in so much…and of course incredible food as always!!! The beet salad sounds really good! Great that Mazen was ok with you’s overnight, least you know you can do it again without worrying!

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16 Ashley June 4, 2014 at 9:00 am

My daughter is just about a week older than Mazen, and I totally do that too! Except it’s pretty much anything that she can say, if I see it, I say it like she does. “Big tree,” “School bus,” “Little toes,” etc etc etc. It’s just so cute the way the pronounce things! Glad you guys had a good weekend :)

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17 Livi June 4, 2014 at 9:22 am

You look beautiful– I love that striped shirt!

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18 Emma June 4, 2014 at 9:33 am

What a fun, relaxing trip – just the kind my husband and I would love, too! And you guys both look so cute and happy in the pictures. Congratulations, and many more happy anniversaries to come!

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19 Marisa @ Uproot from Oregon June 4, 2014 at 9:34 am

I love old town! I went to school in DC and it was such a fun place for a getaway. Such good running too along there! Happy you guys got some alone time to figure out your own schedules instead of Mazen dictating your eating times :) I am sure you are happy to be back with his bouncy self though! Congrats on your great shape, love seeing your fabulous eats and knowing that there is a way to find great balance.

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20 Florence June 4, 2014 at 9:40 am

This looks like an amazing getaway with fantastic food! Congrats to both of you (and what beautiful pictures!)

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21 Gwen June 4, 2014 at 9:41 am

Old Town really is the perfect getaway – you forget that when you live and work here! Meanwhile, I’ve never heard of Notting Hill, so I will have to check it out. I think you all would enjoy Virtue on a future visit as well. Sounds like a great way to celebrate!

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22 Candice Dreyer June 4, 2014 at 10:27 am

Happy Anniversary! Looks like you had a wonderful time. I, too, am loyal to Sonoma wines (my sis lives there, so we are biased).

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23 KathEats June 4, 2014 at 12:50 pm

What’s her (your?) favorite wineries!? We’re going back in Sept!

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24 Lori June 4, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Hi Kath,
Have you been to Hop Kiln on any of your Sonoma trips? It’s my family’s favorite. I think you guys would love it, what with a history in hops! Look it up!

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25 KathEats June 4, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Yes!! Went on our honeymoon. Really cool!

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26 Candice Dreyer June 5, 2014 at 12:32 pm

I always have suggestions!!
Love St. Francis, esp the food and wine pairing. Heard their chef is opening up a restaurant in the Square. Other good wines are De Loimier and Hanna. For visting, Coppola, Preston and Quivira. Larson is fun, they have games outdoors and animals. I’ve heard great things about Robert Hunter. Super small, make a reservation, and its few hours of tasting and touring his gardens. It’s on my list for next visit. Domaine Carneros for bubbles (but is on Napa border).
Food: wine country chocolates, sunflower cafe, LaSalette, St Francis pairing is always fantastic
Have fun!!!!!!

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27 KathEats June 5, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Thanks! We loved St. Francis on our honeymoon. It was our first stop! Hoping to return- love their chard!

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28 Alex @ Kenzie Life June 4, 2014 at 10:45 am

Happy anniversary! It sounds like a great trip and the food looks amazing! I loved using the trains when I lived on the East Coast. I lived in Philly and used to take weekend trips to NYC to visit friends and family and it was so nice to not worry about a quart size bag or airplane hassle and I could just get work done on my way up! Glad you had a good time!

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29 Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run June 4, 2014 at 10:49 am

you look super cute in the hot pink dress and that veggie avo cuc tartine looks so good!

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30 Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) June 4, 2014 at 11:02 am

Oh my goodness! The food looks incredible and so do the drinks!

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31 Tonya June 4, 2014 at 11:04 am

You were in the DMV! I was just in Old Town weekend before last. A friend of mine told me Notting Hill was great, too. Now I’m craving those spreads from Le Pain!

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32 Laura June 4, 2014 at 11:15 am

Beautiful post and happy anniversary!

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33 Coco June 4, 2014 at 11:35 am

Kimpton hotels are the best!!

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34 Lauren @ Focused To Be Fit June 4, 2014 at 11:46 am

What a nice looking trip! You look lovely – I adore that navy striped top and totally liking the long hair! Glad you had a nice time away!

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35 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner June 4, 2014 at 12:26 pm

What a wonderful getaway! The first time my sister left my niece with me for only four hours to go out with her beau, she wrote me a two page note, ha ha. Looks like you had a wonderful getaway!

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36 Lynn @ The Actor’s Diet June 4, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Happy happy anniversary! Now that I live up the street from a Le Pain Quotidien I never go…I always forget!

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37 Ash Bear June 4, 2014 at 1:38 pm

You look radiant in every one of these pictures! I love that navy and white top on you as well. Where’d you find it? I’m so glad you had a wonderful night away!

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38 Tiffany June 4, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Happy Anniversary Kath and Matt!!

Kath, you look stunning in every picture!! I hope you don’t mind but in the 5th picture of you where is your stripped top, neckless and earnings from? I love them all!!

Also, is the neckless you are wearing with your pink dress different from the one you are wearing with your stripped top?

I have loved reading your blog and watching your family grow. Mazen is an absolute darling. xoxo

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39 KathEats June 4, 2014 at 2:17 pm

The blue and white top is from Langford Market (same as the dress). The necklace is from Girls Day Out (etsy shop). The necklace is the same. And the earrings are Stitch Fix!

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40 Elisabeth June 4, 2014 at 2:13 pm

I love the Alexandria (and DC!) area & that hotel ;)

Happy Anniversary!!

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41 Lori June 4, 2014 at 2:38 pm

I love this post! What a great trip! So much beautiful food. What’s better than a great patio and fresh seafood? Love it!

I NEED the combo of beets, asparagus, and herbed goat cheese now!!

I love how much you guys love Sonoma. My family has a cabin near the Russian River and I got married in the backyard of a vacation home on the Russian River. Love it up there so much. I always look for Alexander Valley and Dry Creek Valley wines.

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42 KathEats June 4, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Wow that’s so cool!

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43 Kelsey @ SoMuchLifeToLive June 4, 2014 at 3:45 pm

What a great trip!!! Now I’m craving a buttercream frosted cupcake:)

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!

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44 Polly @ Tasty Food Project June 4, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Happy anniversary! Looks like you both had a wonderful time! That salmon looks delicious!

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45 Elyse June 4, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Love everything about this post! Happy anniversary!

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46 Kori June 4, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Happy anniversary! You both look fantastic, & it looks like it was a fun trip!

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47 Jeanie June 4, 2014 at 5:04 pm

Happy anniversary! So great that you were able to get away, and it looks like a mah-velous time was had.

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48 Sarah June 4, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Happy Anniversary!! My husband picked out that same hotel and location for my 32nd birthday/the weekend we got engaged! It was fab.

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49 Jeri June 4, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Happy Anniversary!

I was wondering when you go out to eat and split a meal, do they just bring out two plates or bring out two plates and let you do it yourself? I want to start doing that with my daughter, but I’ve seen some places that say no splitting meals.

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50 KathEats June 4, 2014 at 7:40 pm

We never ask for them to split it – we are happy sharing a plate. But I’d say 50% of the time they bring it out on two plates, which is always really nice. I think when they say “no splitting” they mean they won’t put it on two plates (which is fine because that’s more work) but there shouldn’t be rules that you can’t just use two forks :)

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51 Elizabeth June 5, 2014 at 4:04 pm

I think when a place says no splitting it’s to discourage a practice that is often tough on their bottom line. Lots of fine dining restaurants operate on razor thin margins and need to make a certain amount per table to be profitable.

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52 KathEats June 5, 2014 at 8:47 pm

Yeah but splitting and sharing are different. When I share I order more courses so it makes up for it a bit

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53 Amy June 4, 2014 at 6:40 pm

Did you get a fit bit?! I’m pretty sure I spotted it in some pics ;)

Looks like a great trip. I’ve been to Pain Quotidien once and LOVED it. Especially the spreads!

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54 KathEats June 4, 2014 at 7:38 pm

Yeah I’m borrowing Theodora’s! We “stepped” 9 miles on Monday (including our run)!!

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55 Carrie June 4, 2014 at 8:03 pm

why are you using it?

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56 KathEats June 5, 2014 at 6:39 am

For fun? Motivation?

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57 elizabeth June 4, 2014 at 6:45 pm

Looks like a great trip.
I like your running shorts, what kind are they?

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58 KathEats June 4, 2014 at 7:38 pm

GAP Body

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59 Lindsey June 4, 2014 at 8:18 pm

Hey Kath! Looks like I picked the perfect time to catch up with you. What a wonderful trip! Happy anniversary:) Hope all else is well with you!

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60 KathEats June 5, 2014 at 6:40 am

Hi Lindsay!

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61 Katie June 4, 2014 at 9:50 pm

Looks like you had a great trip! :) I love the bright dress.

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62 Cheri @ Overactive Blogger June 4, 2014 at 10:28 pm

Omg, this is making me want to get to 7 years (or 12 years of love) with my sweetie!

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63 Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork June 5, 2014 at 6:28 am

Looks like a great little getaway! You guys sure do know how to have a good time! I love that first b&w picture of the three of you!

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64 Leah June 5, 2014 at 6:45 am

How did you watch TV episodes on the train? Did you buy them/download on itunes or was there wifi and you were able to just stream? I ask because I’m taking amtrak tomorrow, and I’m thinking about what I want to do with my time!

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65 KathEats June 5, 2014 at 6:54 am

An app called vudu. You have to buy them ($10 for a season) but you can download for offline.

Anyone know if hulu plus has offline?

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66 Jo June 5, 2014 at 7:36 am

I used to live in Northern Va. and loved going to Old Town to browse through the shops and eat seafood on the waterfront! Looks like a fabulous weekend!

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67 Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties June 5, 2014 at 8:32 am

love old town alexandria! I grew up right around there. Such a cute place to visit and wander the streets :)

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68 Alexandra Caspero June 5, 2014 at 9:30 am

Congrats Kath! I love Old Town Alexandria, your post totally makes me miss home! :) Love that bright dress, that color is gorgeous on you! Have a great weekend, Alex

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69 Megan June 5, 2014 at 11:53 am

I just moved from Alexandria and your beautiful pictures of Old Town are making me miss it! It’s truly such an active place with so much history. Glad you guys were able to have your first couple’s getaway!

The photos of your awesome lunch at Le Pain Quotidien are making me hungry! Happy Anniversary!

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70 Emily @ Life on Food June 5, 2014 at 8:15 pm

What a fun weekend! I love that area.

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71 Amelia @ Eating Made Easy June 5, 2014 at 11:33 pm

Looks like a heavenly getaway – happy anniversary!

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72 Danielle June 6, 2014 at 6:05 am

Great pics as always! Question- what percentage of photos in general do you take in auto vs. manual mode? it’s tricky for me to find that balance with my regular home pics

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73 KathEats June 6, 2014 at 6:08 am

I take them all in AV mode – aperture priority.

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74 Kylie @ immaeatthat June 6, 2014 at 9:04 am

Looks like a great trip!! I think that picture of you and Matt in the mirror before your run is just the cutest!

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75 jen June 7, 2014 at 3:26 pm

They stopped making the Asics 2170s! The 2000s aren’t cutting it for me. Next time if you are in Alexandria, pop over to Del Ray (neighborhood across from the Target) and eat at Taqueria Poplano and the homemade custard shop.

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76 The Healthy Apple June 7, 2014 at 10:18 pm

YOU look beautiful!!! I miss you so much.
xoox
Glad you had fun.
MUAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
xooxx

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