Monday, July 27, 2015

white out

Top and skirt: Jonathan Simkhai (on loan); Shoes: Henri Lepore Dezert; Clutch: Charlotte Olympia; Sunglasses: Celine

As much as I harped on making sure to visit the monuments in D.C. at night, there's something special to be said about roaming around a new city early in the morning. Before the commuters start filling the streets, before your email notifications start to buzz, heck, maybe even before your coffee has kicked in. It's quiet, serene and you're left alone with your thoughts in a city you can truly see with fresh eyes. 

Lately, I've been getting in the habit of going for early morning runs on my travels. I've found it's a great way to experience a city just as it's starting to wake up and stretch for the day. And for 30 minutes or so, you instantly belong, no questions asked, with a handful of locals (strangers to you really) running alongside you, all of them preparing for the day ahead. It then makes you wonder, if I lived here, what would my go-to route be? Where would I stop and stretch each morning? What coffee shop would be my ritual stop afterward? Who would be the guy I would secretly look forward to "bumping" into around mile 3?

It's like a sister life that you'll never really visit aside from little daydreams here and there. keep running.  

Friday, July 24, 2015

postcards from d.c.

Stay tuned for more of this outfit next week! Snapped by Laura Metzler

If you've been following along on Instagram and Snapchat, you've probably noticed I've been doing more than my fair share of traveling lately for work. Not that I'm complaining by any means, as it's been a great excuse to visit some of the cities that have been on my bucket list for sometime now (hello, Boston and Chicago!). And this past weekend was no exception, when I hopped on down to our nation's capital to play tourist for a few days.

While cruising around D.C., it struck me more than ever just how expansive this country really is and how little I've actually seen of it. Admittedly, I get the travel bug pretty often -- especially around this time of year -- but I typically have my sights set on other countries, tropical beaches or jumping out of airplanes on the other side of the world. All of which is nothing to bemoan or take for granted. And yet, when I was looking out over the reflection pool, with the Vietnam Memorial to my left and the Korean War Memorial to my right and Lincoln staring directly at my back, I felt so honored to call this country my home. Memorials that I had only seen photos and clips in movies of were suddenly giving me chills (in 95 degree weather no less!) and I quickly felt so small, in the most beautifully, humbling way. It was a great reminder of just how much majesty we have right here in our very own backyard. 

As for the trip itself, I'm happy to report that my good friend, Meg, was such a trooper for hitting up all the main monuments with me (I say trooper mainly because the humidity we were dealing with was no laughing matter!). When prepping for the trip, I knew we were going to be covering a lot of ground by foot, so I opted to skip out on my regular Canon DSLR and instead rely on just a camera phone. Given that I have to be pretty well versed in both iOS and Android platforms for work, I was excited when the folks over at Asus asked me to try out their latest device, the ZenFone 2, which is said to have a killer camera and post-editing tools. I definitely wasn't disappointed. I put the zoom to test at the White House and the low-light enhancement nailed the perfect shot of Lincoln, which is said to be best at night (and I will attest to this -- definitely go at 11pm when it's less crowded). 

Plus, I just loved how easy and nimble it made sightseeing and traveling around town in general. No fussing with a lot of manual settings or lugging around my neck -- just grab, point, shoot and on to the next.

So what did we do exactly? Read on for some trip highlights and tips for your own DC excursion!

Go See:
1. Definitely give yourself at least a full day to walk around the National Mall. You'll hit up all the main monuments pretty much at once (Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, White House, several different war memorials, Reflection Pool etc.) Plus the grounds are just breathtaking -- tree lined paths and fountains everywhere you turn.
2. Get tickets for a show at the Kennedy Center. Unfortunately, Meg and I weren't able to snag anything in time, but we did stop by after a run just to visit the building, which is absolutely beautiful inside and out.
3. Speaking of runs, head to the Potomac River running path in the early AM. Great way to start the day as the locals do!
4. Root the Nationals on! I'm a sucker for baseball though, so this was a given. 
5. Opt for the Lincoln Memorial at night. It's less crowded and he's completely illuminated from below, which made for some stunning photos (scroll down to see mine). 
6. Walk around Georgetown. So many charming, ivy covered homes and historic little churches everywhere you turn. Plus, the bakeries were incredibly tempting...

Go Eat & Drink:
1. POV rooftop bar at the W Hotel: You can pretty much see it all from here! The White House, the Washington Monument, the Reflection Pool! It doesn't hurt that they serve up a mean Moscow Mule either.
2. 2 Amys: This came highly recommended by both Meg and Naomi of Love Taza and I have to say, neither of these ladies were overselling it. Some of the best pizza I've had outside of Italy. 
3. Baked and Wired: I fell for this place the minute I saw their custom "Elvis" cupcake (with peanut butter and banana). Thank you very much. 
4. Barcelona: We popped into here right after 2 Amys and it made for the perfect night cap, out on their sidewalk patio. 
5. Le Diplomate: This came highly recommended on Instagram (thank you again for all your recs by the way!). I loved the Parisian vibe but probably not as much as I loved their chocolate hazelnut tart dessert, which I'm still daydreaming about. 

Go Stay:
1. The Jefferson Hotel: While I didn't stay here for my trip, we did host our work event here and I immediately fell in love with the decor. It's always a treat when such a historic building gets converted to a modern day boutique hotel, while still remaining true to a lot of the original character and history of the property. The Jefferson nails this impeccably.
2. St. Regis: It's hard to go wrong with a St. Regis anywhere, but I especially loved this location as it was so central to all of the monuments. It made sight seeing at night a breeze.

This post was in collaboration with Asus. As always, all opinions and styling are my own. Thank you for supporting all This Time Tomorrow collaborations! 
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