D.C. Trip + Travel Giveaway

Hey Babes!

I don't know what kind of thoughts you all have worked up in your head about how cool I am, since I only have a one-sided online dating relationship with most of you... But you need to know something really important about me... Our trip to D.C. is THE COOLEST thing I've ever done!!!!!  And I'm dying to share it all with you!!!

This was our first big trip!  It was Blake's first flight, and mine since I was 8!!  We ate so much good food, walked 10,000 steps EVERYday, touristed our hearts out, and did some shopping, of course!!!

 You can shop all D.C. looks at the very bottom of this post!

You can shop all D.C. looks at the very bottom of this post!

We flew out of ATL on July 25th really late.  It was late enough that I was really disappointed that we couldn't see the stars really well on the flight.  The Atlanta Airport was SO. MASSIVE, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much easier it was to navigate than I thought it would be!!  We flew Southwest Air and it was a good flight!  ESPECIALLY for the price and customer service!!

We staid in an Airbnb!  We LOVE Airbnb!!  We haven't staid in a hotel on a vaca in over 2 years... Airbnb is our jam now!!!  We staid 4 miles from the National Mall (which I would consider "Downtown D.C.") and we Ubered to and from downtown twice a day (once for touristing and then again for dinner).  I feel like as a blogger, I would be committing a sin if I didn't tell you how much our Uber bills totaled by the end of the week, so that you'll have your eyes wide open when you're planning out the finances of your own trip...  We spent $293 total on Uber in 6 days, just so you know... OMG!!

 You can shop all D.C. looks at the very bottom of this post!

You can shop all D.C. looks at the very bottom of this post!

Our first full day there was our actual anniversary, so we spent that day a little leisurely... We slept in, went to Unwind Wellness Center for a little pampering, shopped, napped, and then went to an AMAZING dinner!  The spa was really the highlight of the day - 3 hours of pure spoiling.  We came in to champagne waiting for us in our room.  We splurged on their 90 minute couples massage with special emphases on our backs and feet!  After that, we spent some time in their sauna!  That part was actually a little bit of an adventure because I only have about 80% lung function, so the steam made it really hard for me to breathe and it was super weird to get used to!!  If you've never been in one, I can now tell you from experience, it is not like the movies, LOL!  But it's still something I got to try for the first time with my hubby!!!  The massage therapists were great and knew what they were doing!  And the customer service was excellent!!  We will definitely return there if we are ever in D.C. again!! 

Unwind Wellness Center D.C. Spa | Demure Fashion Blog

After that, we spent the next 4 days seeing EVERYTHING there was to see in the National Mall!  The Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean, Vietnam, and both World War Memorials, most of the Smithsonian's (including the National Air & Space Museum, the Botanical Gardens, and both National Galleries of Art), we did the Holocaust Museum, saw The Capital & The White House, and also Arlington Cemetery!

The Washington Monument | Demure Fashion Blog
The Lincoln Memorial | Demure Fashion Blog
The Reflection Pond in Washington D.C. | Demure Fashion Blog

Did I *learn* anything? NO!  But it still felt like such a privilege to see it all!!!  We took pictures of almost everything, but I only scattered a SMALL portion of them through this post... Blake said if I shared them all that you'd get bored LOL!!  If you're REALLY interested in seeing them ALL (oh my goodness), I've added them to my "Subscribers Only Content" tab, so you'll need the password that's at the bottom of your email every week to see them :)

The United States Capital | Demure Fashion Blog
The Changing of The Guard at Arlington Cemetery | Demure Fashion Blog
 You can shop all D.C. looks at the very bottom of this post!

You can shop all D.C. looks at the very bottom of this post!

NOW, for the part that I've had over a dozen personal requests for... THE FOOD!!!

Disclaimers: 1. I'm only listing our favorites... I don't want to tell you to go spend a bunch of money at places we didn't absolutely LOVE!  2. We only ate brunch and dinner each day, so I have no specifically "lunch" places for you.  3. When Blake and I go on vacation, its FOR the food, so we spared no expense... Some of the dinner places are *VERY* pricey!  We spent $115 - $295 per night on dinner (including tip)... So, please keep that in mind!  Of the ones I'm listing, I will list out by cheapest to most expensive:

Brunch

Big Bear - This was a great little grab-and-go place!  There is VERY limited seating and it was pretty cramped in the wait-for-your-food-to-go space too, but if your schedule needs a quick breakfast one morning, the food is AMAZING and worth dropping by!  And I bet it would be even more enjoyable for you since you'll know to get it to-go and not sit in an old rickety chair that snags your pants..............

 You can shop all D.C. looks at the very bottom of this post!

You can shop all D.C. looks at the very bottom of this post!

Founding Farmers - This was one of the few places that was suggested to use and it was incredible!!  The atmosphere was SO GORGEOUS!  and the food was even BETTER!!  Seriously, if you go, you have to get the Bourbon Battered French Toast!!  And, you HAVE to get a reservation!

 You can shop all D.C. looks at the very bottom of this post!

You can shop all D.C. looks at the very bottom of this post!

Ted's Bulletin -  Now that I'm looking back on our trip, I'm sort of happy that we went to this restaurant on our last day, because if we had gone there first, we would have only gone for the rest of the week!!!  Favorite by far, but you still need to go to Founding Farmers too!  They are very similar in price, but we personally spent so much more money here because we bought a dozen of their homemade Pop Tarts to take back home with us!!!  And their's was the best Avocado Toast I've ever had!!!  PLEASE GO!!!!

 You can shop all D.C. looks at the very bottom of this post!

You can shop all D.C. looks at the very bottom of this post!

Dinner

SEI - This was the cheapest of the dinner restaurants, but we also only ordered one drink each, LOL!  We considered this restaurant "fancy Asian."  We ordered so much sushi!!!  It's a must-go if you're a sushi fan!!  

 You can shop all D.C. looks at the very bottom of this post!

You can shop all D.C. looks at the very bottom of this post!

Zaytinya - Our most favorite dinner of the week!  This restaurant was Mediterranean food (Turkish, more specifically)...  I was so skeptical at first, because I don't really like to branch out... I'm not very brave when it comes to food, but everything was AMAZING!!!!  I'm so glad I put Blake in charge of planning this trip, because I never would have chosen this one for myself, but I'm so glad that we went!!!  They serve topas-style so you get to try more food in smaller portions, so we ate so much great food!!!!  And honestly, the experience of trying new food for the first time together, and the atmosphere was just as great!

 You can shop all D.C. looks at the very bottom of this post!

You can shop all D.C. looks at the very bottom of this post!

Farmers & Distillers - This restaurant is owned by the same group of Farmers that own Founding Farmers.  The food was AMAZING of course (or I wouldn't be sharing it)!  Everything is farm-to-table, handmade in-house, and they have even jumped on the no plastic straws initiative!!  But we did actually have one small complaint here... This was one of our more expensive meals because we spent over $60 on alcohol alone... It was our last night, we were Ubering, and we wanted to drink a lot, LOL... But we left not even a little tipsy.... After spending THAT MUCH MONEY ON ALCOHOL!!!  So, go there, have amazing food, but even though they distill their own whiskey & vodka and you want to try it, don't buy much alcohol there!  The drinks are incredibly weak and a waste of money, in our opinion.

 You can shop all D.C. looks at the very bottom of this post!

You can shop all D.C. looks at the very bottom of this post!

Jack Rose Dining Saloon - This was the most expensive of our evening excursions because its a world famous Bourbon Bar!  They have the largest Whiskey & Bourbon selection in the Western Hemisphere!!!  This was the only other restaurant that we went to on the suggestion of others, and we were not unimpressed!!!  I will say, I didn't bring my ID, and they card at the door because of the type of establishment that they are, so I didn't get to drink ANYTHING, but I can speak very highly of the whole menu... I ate my feelings.  And you can imagine how much money Blake spent on Bourbon (for those of you that don't know, he and my Dad are collectors, so its an understatement to say that Bourbon is Blake's *thing*!!  And PLEASE GO to this establishment, even if you don't drink, its a place you should SEE and be able to say you've been!

 You can shop all D.C. looks at the very bottom of this post!

You can shop all D.C. looks at the very bottom of this post!

Other Random Things: 1. We shopped in Georgetown & the Pentagon City Mall.  The Pentagon City Mall had Nordstrom, but Georgetown had the most amazing shopping I've ever done...  Madewell, Tory Burch, Kate Spade, oh my!!!  All places I've only gotten to shop at online before now!!!!  2. We didn't just Uber, we also used Bike Share and The Metro - they were both so fun to experience!  But we only did them each once, LOL!  3. We also went to an ice cream shop in Georgetown called Thomas Sweet.  I've had this list for a couple years, of the top 51 ice cream shops in the country (1 for each state + D.C.).  We have SLOWLY, but surely been marking them off of our bucket list, and Thomas Sweet was D.C.'s.  The service sucked, and the bathrooms were out of order, but the ice cream was fantastic!!!

So now, for something REALLY SPECIAL!!  To conclude my FIRST EVER travel {blogger} post, I teamed up with a group of awesome bloggers to give away a FREE TRIP!!!  Y'all have to enter and at least give winning a try!!!  I'm so excited about this one :)

Details:

August is here and summer vacations are starting to come to a close. If you're like me, you haven't had your fill of sunshine quite yet though! We decided to keep the warm weather fun going this year and give away a tropical getaway to one lucky winner.

Hearts of Gold Blog | Tekwani Travels | Lifestyles by Lauren

Felly Bee | It’s Our Fab Fash Life | A Pretty Penny | DTKAustin

Blue Mountain Belle | Cup of Charisma | Posh in Progress

To Thine Own Style Be True | RD's Obsessions | The Daiquiri Diaries

Effortlessly Sophisticated | The Style Weekender | Dawn P. Darnell

Nourish Your Glow | A Lily Love Affair | Oh Hello, Jackie | Phyrra

My Beauty Bunny | Street Style Squad | Sylvie in the Sky | Jenn Loyd Life + Style

The Middle Page | SheShe Show | So Heather | Megan Marie

A Demure Life | Madam Andrews | Over Exposed

One lucky person will win a tropical getaway to enjoy some fun in the sun! The winner will get to choose from among 3-5 different vacation packages, so they can select the trip that most perfectly fits their travel goals. Some currently available packages include: Malta, Mexico, Thailand, Costa Rica and more (options may change and will be subject to availability at close of contest, most options include approximately 4-6 nights at a 4 or 5 star hotel and flight options from the U.S.).

This tropical giveaway is brought to you by the wonderful influencers above, be sure to check out their websites for style inspiration when you start planning your next vacation! Enter by performing the actions listed in the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

Make sure to do the actions in the Rafflecopter before marking they are done! Marking done doesn’t automatically perform the action. Good luck! Winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter on this blog post.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway runs from August 6, 2018 to August 20, 2018 (concludes at 11:59 PM on the last day). Open internationally (please note flight options are typically out of specific cities in the U.S.-if you are international & can't fly out of the U.S. then we can offer packages that include higher value hotel only packages without flight). Void where prohibited. By entering you are agreeing that you are performing the actions in the Rafflecopter that you have marked as done. By entering you acknowledge that you are agreeing to the newsletter subscriptions, are over 18 years old and all other terms & conditions of the giveaway. More giveaway details can be read in the terms & conditions here. Winner will be announced within 14 days of the conclusion of the giveaway and entries will be verified by the hosts. Thanks for participating, I can’t wait for you to check out these amazing bloggers!

Ok y'all, that's pretty much all I have for you for this trip... If you want to know more specifics (like the address of our Airbnb, how we found our restaurants, or pricing on airlines, etc.) please email me!  I'd be happy to help!!

XOXO - Rachel