Monday, April 29, 2013

Our Drive In & The Expo

Disclaimer: I'm breaking this post into 3 parts because it would be an extremely long post if I tried to cram it all into one!

On Friday morning we left our house at 5:30 - a choice that Eric was less than thrilled about. It let us keep Ella asleep for about 2 1/2 hours though, and then we stopped for breakfast at McDonald's. I was not the one who picked this stop, but Eric hates Dunkin' Donuts bagels & he was the driver, so I got overruled. I had the pleasure of changing Ella in the strangest bathroom I've ever been in, and then we continued on our way. At this point, I hopped into the backseat to keep the peanut happy and we were able to pound out another 3 hours, which brought us to Arundel Mills in Maryland.

I am sad to report that I did not get to do any shopping. We were simply there to meet up with my parents and leave our car so that we could ride the rest of the way in with my parents. Ella gets ridiculously excited when she sees my dad, so from this point on she pretty much wanted nothing to do with Eric & I... it was all about Grandpa.  

Once everything was loaded into the van, we grabbed some lunch at Panera. I was far happier with this dining choice, and had a panini with soup that tasted like Filet Mingon because I was so hungry! Eric had a Fuji Apple Salad, that I have to admit looked delicious. I simply could not pass up brocolli cheddar soup though...

Our drive into Washington went pretty smoothly. We were able to make it to our hotel by 2 p.m. which was ahead of schedule. I have to tell you though, we were unpleasantly surprised by our hotel room. We had booked an executive suite & it was small. I would hate to see what a normal room looks like, because we never would've made it through the weekend. Apparently small rooms are the norm in D.C. though, and our room was nice, so I'd recommend the Capital Hilton to anyone that asked me.

After we dropped off our bags and Eric the diva had a shower, it was time to head to the expo! We took the metro to Foggy Bottom & then walked about half a mile into Georgetown. I had never been to Georgetown before & I LOVED it. It reminded me of a street in NYC, but cleaner. There were tons of shops & restaurants. It'd be the perfect place to spend a Saturday parusing.

As we rounded the corner to the expo, I saw the wall of names for the race! My whole family was searching for mine, and I finally found it. (Eric had a serious blonde moment here, and was looking for "Brianne Bliss" instead of my married name - aka his name.)

We headed down to packet pickup next, and it ran seemlessly. I was in & out within 3 minutes. The expo wasn't overly crowded & was located right on the harbor. It was a gorgeous day, so you couldn't help but linger awhile. They were sampling Nuun (which I fell in love with!) and also giving away freebies from Paul Mitchell & Bare Minerals. We were able to make signs & grab tons of Luna Bars too. Now this is my first expo, but I'm pretty sure it's different than normal. Mainly because they weren't selling merchandise at the expo & it was only sponsors that were there. It was all Nike focussed and from what I've read, if you go to other races they have a variety of companies featured. But since it was the Nike Women's Half Marathon, I went in expecting this.

After the expo, we spent some time by the harbor relaxing so Ella could have a bottle. Like I said, it was a beautiful day & the sunshine felt heavenly.

After about 30 mintues of "sunbathing" we walked to the Nike Georgetown Store so that I could get a race t-shirt. I had carefully budgeted to get a new zip up pullover, but when I went to pay for it, my mom bought it for me! She's so sweet :)

After we were finished with our expo activities, we decided to explore Georgetown. We stopped into Kate Spade & Coach, before we stumbled upon Lululemon. My mother (a shop-a-holic with the bank account to support her habits) had never been there before, but immediately fell in love with all of the mint hoodies & yoga jackets. She ended up buying one, while I simply drooled over everything in sight.

Eventually we tired of shopping & decided to eat. We found a BBQ joint called Old Glory & decided to stop there. I had a baked potato the size of a football piled high with pulled pork. It was SO good! I hate corn bread, but Eric wanted me to let you all know that they also have mini cornbread muffins that you can dip in honey butter. He ate about 10 of them, so I take it they're delicious.

By this point, we were all on the brink of exhaustion so we boarded the metro back to DC & tucked ourselves into bed in preparation for a funfilled day at the zoo on Saturday! Be sure to stop by tomorrow & read all about it!

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