Do you like getting away for the weekend? Someplace close to home but far enough that it calls for a night at a hotel? The weekend before last, Bonaparte decided that an overnight trip to D.C. was long overdue. We dropped Chippy off at the doggie day care for a sleep over with his canine buddies. We spent a leisurely morning packing and we were off to make our way through traffic on I-95.
I still get a feeling of pride when I am in our Nation’s Capital. The Washington Monument is always a splendor to see!
We hadn’t been to our Nation’s Capital in a while. It’s our favorite place for a quick overnight—and I was so happy to be going there that I wasn’t even thinking about the politics. Both of us just wanted to have a good evening and enjoy the rest of the weekend. Close to home, the drive rarely takes more than three hours unless we hit a major traffic jam.
Oh yes. My little emoji uses the same language that I do! But an overnight trip truly is “Fan-f@!#ing-Tastic!
It isn’t as expensive as an overnight in New York and we always have a good time.
We regularly stay at the Marriott in Falls Church. It’s on the outskirts and not in D.C. proper. The location is incredibly convenient because the drive is 20 minutes away from downtown D.C. And the price point is incredibly reasonable.
Our old haunt, Bistro Français on M Street in Georgetown sadly went out of business. It’s a shame because this little place had been around for over 40 years and was consistently good but the chef and owner decided to retire.
Bonaparte was devastated. And in his stubborn French way, vowed to “discover” another French restaurant. He did and he found a winner– La Chaumière.
If you think the outside is adorable, just wait till you see the inside!
We got to the hotel, relaxed for a bit then got ready for our dinner. I do not know what I was thinking but I wore a pair of very high heels. I absolutely love the shoes and wear them to work quite often. But I didn’t think ahead about walking up and down M Street on the uneven pavement in such dangerous footwear.
These were the beauties I wore. They are lovely for the office but just don’t work for walking on city sidewalks or in city streets! Personally, I don’t know how streetwalkers do it. I admire them!
I couldn’t walk. Bonaparte was thrilled because the fact that I was unable to walk meant one thing–I couldn’t go into my favorite stores—among them J. Crew and TJ Maxx. The fact I couldn’t go into the stores because I couldn’t walk on the sidewalk to get to the stores made him merrier! And so, my Frenchman was thrilled because not being able to walk meant I could not spend any money!
No shopping aside, we ended up having a great, great dinner. La Chaumière’s interior has a rustic elegance. It’s comfortable and not intimidating. It’s larger than I pictured and as we left the restaurant after dinner, there was a line of people waiting to get in.
The interior is really very charming and cozy too!
Bonaparte started off with a pâté—which he said was delicious. I had a pike quenelle. Let me tell you something. I love quenelles. The best way I can describe a quenelle is that it’s a lighter-than-air dumpling and it’s like biting into a cloud of flavor. And the lobster sauce that the quenelle was floating was a sea of flavor!
The morsel that Bonaparte SHARED with me was absolutely delicious. Lots of good flavor but not overpowering…
This quenelle–was so incredibly light and heavenly that I HAVE to find a recipe. This is my new project!
As usual, Bonaparte went with steak and frites. I ordered the Magret de Canard—duck breast, in a black currant sauce. I love comparing the duck I order in restaurants to the duck I make at home and this was heavenly.
I really should not be posting photos of food like this while I’m back on Weight Watchers. I’m hungry now. Anyway, this is the Magret de Canard. OMG. It WAS better than mine. I love duck!
I don’t know what it is about red wine, but if it is a “good” one, I can drink it without suffering from a headache or heartburn. The wine we had was really good.
Do you like a good red wine? Try this. It was REALLY, REALLY good!
Coffee and dessert and we were let loose into the night.
Yes. We are a very wild couple. Our idea of D.C. nightlife is driving through the City and enjoying the sites. One of the things I absolutely love about Georgetown is that it is filled with young people. It’s just fun to see them out and enjoying life!
Yeah. Driving around Washington D.C. late at night is our idea of fun!
The next morning, was brisk and sunny. And after a hearty breakfast and a quick pack, we were off to the National Gallery of Art.
While Bonaparte enjoys eggs, and bacon, and sausage, and toast, I stick to my usual–a big bowl of oatmeal with dried fruit. Oatmeal–I could eat it anytime!
Oh. And I dressed for comfort the heels were packed away!
The National Gallery is one of my favorite places in D.C. I cannot even tell you how many times we’ve been here. And the secret on a Sunday morning is to get there early before it opens at 11 AM. We try to arrive before 10:30 AM
NOTE: The earlier you arrive, the better your chances of getting a parking space. And on Sunday morning parking is easy to come by. Park the car, walk around for a bit, people watch—it’s all part of the enjoyment!
A gloriously sunny day when the weather is still cold is the best time to visit a museum!
The fountain surrounded by flowers in the rotunda always gives me a good feeling..
Here’s some flowers I picked just for you!
So, this is one of the great things about the Gallery—you never know what kind of great exhibit you will come across. This visit it was the Della Robbia exhibit. Have you ever heard of Luca or Andrea Della Robbia? I hadn’t. And I like to think I’m pretty well-educated in the arts. I’m so pretentious! Oh well, you learn something new every day!
Come and look at some of the exhibit with me:
I was fascinated by the lemons and pinecones mixed with the greenery! I need to find replicas of these things to hang at home!
I want to know the secret of keeping these colors so vivid after centuries and centuries. I can’t even keep a pair of black pants from fading after one season!
I love a great Madonna–and this one is beautiful!
This was almost creepy because IRL it looked like she was looking right through you!
This yellow, green, blue color combination is doing something to me. I want to wear these colors!
It was so kind of the Della Robbia’s to sculpt a bust of Francis I of France!
A beautiful Pieta–Della Robbia style.
And we end with a couple of Saints!
After the exhibit, we roamed around looking at paintings. Now—my favorite artists are the French. I love the Impressionists but I also love Delacroix and Courbet. This time around we spent a good amount of the day admiring the Flemish and Dutch painters. You know, I forgot how much I like the Flemish/Dutch painters.
Here’s a bit of what we saw. And you know, when I look at a painting sometimes I think of things that I’m sure others don’t. I’ll explain:
I love Rembrandt’s portraits. I love the dark/light thing he has going on. But most of all, I dig the hat. Why can’t I find a hat like that?
“A Young Man in a Large Hat” by Frans Hals is one of my favorite paintings of all time. This young guy looks totally wasted. WHAT was he drinking? I’ll bet from the expression on his face that he was thinking of some girl he met the night before he posed for this. And the hat. The hat! I LOVE that hat. I want that large hat. It’s so much better than that dopey hat Pharrell wore in that Happy song video. And look at Young Man’s outfit. I would totally wear that.
Here’s another outfit I would wear. I am coveting that tan coat. It’s beautiful. The hat? Not so much–I would wear Young Man’s hat with that coat. But those boots with the red lining are to-die for. It isn’t fair that men got to have the good clothes back then..
…While the women looked like this? That hat is awful. It looks like a wig cap–believe me, I KNOW wig caps! And that thing around her neck. I guess its the way women hid turkey neck back then! Can we put some make up on this woman please?
I’m not crazy about the red hat on this Vermeer girl. I like the earrings in his other painting.
This guy looks miserable because I’ll be that turban weighs a good 25 pounds!
“Agrippina & Germanicus” by Sir Peter Paul Rubens. If I were Germanicus, I would want a refund from Sir Rubens for giving me that huge double chin. I don’t think they had chin lifts back then but he could have given her a better profile! Her hair is beautiful!
I see still life paintings like this and think “dinner”! I’m still hungry!
See what I mean? I put more thought on the clothing. Why don’t they make hats like they used to? Here are more paintings and sculptures from our little visit:
This gentleman’s neck thing is so much nicer than the woman a few paintings above. His is softer fuller, prettier. I would wear this one to hide my turkey neck!
I love the dress but she looks so depressed! Oh wait. She’s getting ready to stab herself. Or maybe since tweezers weren’t invented yet, she’s getting ready to cut some lady whiskers off her chin.
I’m bewildered by the fact that men, even young men dressed so beautifully. If a young man dressed like that today, he would be banned from using the men’s room!
..and why can’t a lingerie company make a bra that could give us the same “lift” as this woman-and they didn’t have padded bras in those days. Bring back boning in dresses!
This is a Spanish painting but I can’t remember the artist. I LOVE this painting. The women are so cute. I love the look on the woman with the little coral bow and I love how you can tell the other woman is probably laughing behind that fabric!
I love a tricorn hat and I wish that they were still sold for regular use. I would definitely wear one. The rest of the ensemble does nothing for me. I think the over-the-chin look is just wrong!
I’m amazed at how I’m naturally drawn to French painters. This is another one of my all-time favorites. “Elizabeth Throckmorton Canoness of the Order of the Dames Augustines” by Nicolas de Largilliere. I love nuns. And this painting is so beautiful-I swear if you stand close enough, you can get a waft of that powdery scent nuns are known for. One of my faves!
I LOVE the Art Nouveau period in painting and this is one of the details in a series of paintings about Joan of Arc by Louis-Maurice Boutet de Monvel. He is best known for his illustrations in children’s books but I love the clean lines and the basic simplicity.
Here we are in the Rodin section. Let me tell you something. I can’t stand Rodin. As a person. He was a tool. And if you ever get the chance, watch the film “Camille Claudel” starring Isabelle Adjani. I can bet that Rodin took credit for this sculpture when Camille Claudel is the one who sculpted it…
This one too. It has Claudel written all over it!
And as we exit, we bid farewell to France’s greatest king, Louis XIV, the Sun King!
I hope you enjoyed our little weekend trip! You don’t have to go far away to take a little trip. Sometimes the best way to chill and regroup is a little getaway during the weekend!
This has been played more than once on this blog but I can’t help it. Every time I go to a museum this enters my mind: Mussorgsky “Pictures at an Exhibition”.