Reuniting is Always the Best Feeling


Last Saturday, my best friend from high school flew into DC to visit me for 4 days. And let me tell you, it was the most eventful, jam-packed, fun 4 days of this truly was a major highlight of my experience here. We don't get to see each other much because she goes to UC Berkeley (I know, smarty pants) and I attend UC Irvine, but occasionally, if she's home for the holidays or if I make a trip up north, we catch up for a couple of hours. So you can imagine how excited I was to spend 4 whole days with my best friend...I had an itinerary set and ready to go.

On Saturday, we went out to dinner at Pasha which is a Mediterranean restaurant. Then, we went around town Saturday night with my two roommates, Andrea and Emma. The night was ok but we were all so exhausted, we called it quits kind of early and made our way back to the apartment to get a good night's rest.

On Sunday, Eli and I covered most of DC. With lots of walking and energy from God knows where, we made our way to the Smithsonian museums (National Museum of Natural History and National Gallery of Art), Chinatown, the Washington Monument, the Mall, the Lincoln Memorial and the White House, in that order too. In Chinatown, we took a break and watched "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2," which I might add, was a much-needed break. A couple of hours of sobbing and resting our pounding feet gave us somewhat of a second wind...

(Eli holding a grasshopper and Mexican cockroach at the National Museum of Natural History)

(Yay! for the National Mall)

(The Washington Monument)

(Lincoln Memorial; Eli tried so desperately to keep the kids out...oh well)

(Korean War Memorial)

(The White House; Eli: "The White House is so....white!!!")

As you can see, we did quite a lot in one day. And the funny thing is, we had a similar day planned for the next; we were going to New York at 7:15 am! We made our way back at around 8ish and kept it mellow on Sunday night. We wanted to get a good night's rest so we stayed in and watched the Olympics.

The next morning, we woke up at 6:30 am to get ready for New York. We made it to the pick-up location at 7:00 am. With 4 hours on the bus, we decided to catch up on some extra snoozing time since we were going to have another exhausting day. We arrived at Penn Station at 11:45 am, so first thing we did was check into our hostel, drop our bags off, and get some food. We decided to get gyros and falafels from a street vendor in Times Square. It was definitely chaotic but such a New York tourist-y thing to do :-) After that, we walked around Times Square, stopping at a few shops, and of course, taking advantage of many photo ops.

After Times Square, we walked over to Empire State Building. On our way, we saw the New York Public Library where a scene from the Sex and the City movie was shot. In fact, this was where Big and Carrie's wedding was and the dramatic scene on the street in front of it.

After that, we went to the Empire State Building (which was HUGE); however, the line was an hour and a half wait, plus a $20 entrance fee, so we made a game-time decision to forgo the top of the tower idea and spend our time more usefully by doing something else just as touristy and fun. But of course, we needed a couple pictures in the Empire State Building so that we could technically say "we went to the Empire State Building" ;-)

Since we had an extra 90 minutes, we walked the Brooklyn Bridge. It was such an amazing site to see and tons of fun. The bridge is absolutely beautiful and just across the way, you can see Manhattan Bridge too.

After walking only half of the bridge (because the other half was the same...duh), we walked back and made our way to Ground Zero. The site in itself wasn't that great, but it still brought back painful memories and chills down our spines. In fact, St. Paul Church, which was located right in front of it, had a tiny memorial of the 9/11 attacks. The had a tree trunk with a rusted pipe from Tower One stuck in it from the attacks. They also said that because of the trees in front of the church, none of the windows miraculously broke from the towers, even though they are located only 100 feet from where the towers used to be. Pretty neat, huh? The site itself looks like a construction zone now but you could still see how humongous the area was around it...

After reminiscing on the 9/11 attacks, we decided to relax a little bit by going to Central Park. We were exhausted by this time because we had done soooo much walking, but the extra walking through Central Park was well worth it. The green was so refreshing and nice to walk through.

(Eli trying to feed a squirrel)

Since our hostel was right next to Central Park, we decided to head back to freshen up before dinner. For dinner, we went to this amazing Italian restaurant in Little Italy. Then, we walked around SoHo. We made it another early night since we were exhausted. However, we were completely satisfied with our amazing trip.

The next day, we left New York at 11:45 am and got back to DC at about 4:30ish. The trip was so amazing and tons of was great to see Eli and spend time like this with her. We decided to plan our next trip--she will visit me when I'm in France studying abroad next Fall (2009). Now, we can add to our list of trips: Korea, DC, New York and soon France :-)

She left Wednesday morning and almost instantly, time was crawling. Everyone was still working and I had nothing to do so I just sat there, unproductively, in my apartment. However, today is Nick and Eric's last day so after today, I'll have partners to do stuff during the day. And then, on Sunday, I'm off to New York to see Mark and his family! I am very excited...we are planning to see a few shows and it's going to be amazing to see Mark for the first time in 10 weeks! Yay!

Until next time...ciao ;-)

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