For our anniversary, Stef and I wanted to go somewhere we hadn’t visited before. We were originally thinking about going to Mount Vernon and picnicking, but the weather really wasn’t so great for that. Instead, we decided to head over to Old Town Alexandria to do some walking around.
Old Town Alexandria is the eastern/southeastern area of Alexandria on the Potomac river and is one of the last remaining “colonial-style” towns in America and there’s so much history to it! Not only did Robert E. Lee grow up there, there is also a church that used to be attended by him, as well as George Washington (not at the same time, obviously)!
The market square in town is one of the oldest continuously operating markets in the U.S. – it has been in use since 1753. It used to serve as one of the largest slave markets in America, but now it’s home to the Saturday farmer’s market in town.
The town itself is very quaint and has a very colonial feel. Having grown up on the West coast, this was all very new and exciting to me and makes me want to travel to Boston even more than I already did! Near the end of King Street (the main drag), there was a busker who was playing Bach with water glasses! It was incredible – he managed to get such rich tones from the glasses.
Behind him was the stop for the Old Town Trolley – a free bus that goes up towards the King St. metro stop and then back down to the waterfront. We ended up walking all over town, but it was nice that complimentary transportation was available for people who needed it.
We arrived in town around 1:30 and hadn’t eaten lunch yet. Since he knows I turn into a majorly cranky girl when I’m hungry, Stef suggested that we grab some lunch before we started exploring in earnest. The restaurants in Old Town can be on the pricey side so, because we already had fancy dinner plans for the evening, we decided on a pretty simple lunch at a sports tavern called Bugsy’s. The restaurant is owned and operated by former NHL player Bryan Watson and his wife Lindy and the space is definitely set up for prime sports viewing.
I ordered the roasted veggie sandwich on focaccia bread and it came with roasted peppers, onions, mushrooms, Provolone cheese with tarragon mayonnaise. I asked them to hold the mayo because, for whatever reason, I can’t stand the taste/sight/smell of it.
After lunch, we spent the afternoon walking all the way up King Street and then back down to our car. The street is so cute and I couldn’t get enough of the beautiful homes and storefronts.
I was tempted to go into the candy store, but I refrained. I couldn’t stop myself from walking into the used bookstore, however. I ended up picking up Ask Me Why I Hurt, Ciao America, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and a James Patterson novel – all for $20! I don’t think I have ever left a used bookstore empty handed.
We had a great time walking through town, window shopping (mostly), and enjoying the change of scenery. We didn’t do any of the historical tours, though my inner Civil War buff is dying to see Robert E. Lee’s house, so we’ve saved that for another trip. Apparently, the town has a big parade and celebration in honor of George Washington’s birthday next month, so hopefully we can make it out there for the festivities.
Though we drove to Alexandria (it was a probably a 20-minute drive from DC), the town is Metro accessible, which makes it even more convenient for a fun day trip. It’s amazing how different the vibe is from DC, even though it is only a few miles away.
One of the things Stef and I are hoping to do during our time in DC is take advantage of its proximity to other cities and explore. Washington State (and the whole West coast, really) is so spread out that it is difficult to travel to other cities with ease. Because the East coast is so much more compact, I hope that means that some trips to Philadelphia, New York, and other places are on the horizon.
Speaking of Washington State, I woke up to some very Seattle weather this morning – lots of grey and mist. The weather hasn’t become too cold yet, though I’ve got my new jacket to keep me warm!
Stay dry and have a happy Tuesday, everybody.