Today, Christina Saull tells us about her hometown Washington DC, USA! Christina keeps a well established blog about high-end to luxury travel as she travels in her precious time off from her job in PR. You will find blogs and photos from the Caribbean, Canada, USA and Europe along with a great 48 hours in… feature! To read more about Christina’s adventures abroad with her husband and her camera, see www.myviewfromthemiddleseat.com
Where are you living?
I live in Washington, DC – the capital of the United States! To be exact, I live a few miles south of Washington in northern Virginia but commute into DC every day for work.
Tell us about yourself.
I have lived in DC since 2005 when I moved out here to work for a U.S. Senator. It’s hard to believe that was 12 years ago because DC really feels like my home! I was married here in 2007 and my husband and I bought our small, 1930s rowhouse in 2012. I work full-time in public relations and also write a travel blog, My View from the Middle Seat.
What is your favorite thing about DC?
Many visitors from around the world come here to learn about our government, see our famous monuments and memorials and visit our world-class museums. But my favorite thing about living in DC are the unique neighborhoods and small town feel of this big city. Many of us work in jobs that are somehow tied to the government – and by extension serve the American people – and I don’t know a single person who is anything like the people negatively portrayed in movies and on TV. Washington, especially these days, is thought of negatively by many Americans, but the people who call it home are amazingly smart and creative people who want to do a good job.
DC’s dining scene has also greatly improved since I moved a decade ago. Gone are the steakhouses with lobbyists expensive, giant steaks and martinis at lunch. They have been replaced by cuisine from around the world, cooked by talented chefs with innovative concepts.
What is your favorite thing to do in DC on your day off?
In the summer, you can’t beat a morning on the Potomac River in a kayak. There are several places that rent kayaks along the river and there’s something magical about paddling past the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. In the afternoon, I love catching a baseball game at National Park – a vibrant neighborhood has sprung up around the ballpark, which makes it a great place to visit even if you’re not a baseball fan.
In the winter, I love to curl up at one of DC’s many coffee shops with a good book, or wander through one of the more off the beaten path Smithsonian Museums, such as the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum or the National Building Museum.
What, in your opinion, is the one thing visitors can’t miss when they visit DC?
All the guidebooks do a great job covering our museums, famous buildings and touristy restaurants. But I challenge all visitors to go beyond the guidebook and venture into DC’s great neighborhoods. My home neighborhood of Del Ray is just north of touristy Old Town and has a great Main Street USA feel (including a to-die-for frozen custard shop.) The Logan Circle neighborhood in DC is home to the vibrant 14th Street corridor, which has a collection of the best restaurants in DC. Even Capitol Hill has more to offer than just a visit to the U.S.’s famous legislative building.
Any top tips where to go on a rainy day?
We don’t have too many wash out days in DC, but when we do, visiting our local breweries is a great way to spend the day. In Alexandria, where I live, Port City Brewing is always doing creative things with their beer and I’m dying to try Portner Brewhouse, which is a new women-owned brewery that’s working to reestablish some very old Virginia brewing recipes. In the District (did you know D.C. stands for District of Columbia?), there’s DC Brau, their first brewery. If you just can’t decide where to go, Churchkey serves up a great selection of craft beers.
Where is your go-to restaurant and why is it so good?
My go-to special occasion place is Bourbon Steak in Georgetown. Their duck fat truffle fries are amazing and the interior courtyard is the perfect summer place to relax and have dinner. I also love Le Diplomate, a french bistro that feels like it was imported directly from Paris. Their steak frites is worth every calorie! Closer to my neighborhood, the country squash cakes at Junction Bakery are the perfect light dinner and their avocado toast (as cliché as it is these days) is served on their baked-in-house bread.
Where do you suggest going for a drink in the evening?
The cocktails at the rooftop bar of the W Hotel come with a view of the White House (and are priced accordingly). There’s also a speakeasy in a doughnut shop in Virginia called Captain Gregorys. Don’t order off the menu – just tell the bartender what you like and he’ll make you an amazing concoction!
Is there one thing not many people know about DC?
In a city filled with as much history as DC, fun facts and weird stories abound from those of us who live here. I love myth busting all the crazy stories tourists tell me. For instance, it’s commonly believed that there is no “J Street” (our streets go by letters and numbers) because Pierre L’Enfant, who designed the city, didn’t get along with Chief Justice John Jay. But in reality, it’s because the letter “J” looked too much like the letter “I” in colonial handwriting. I love sharing stories about my adopted hometown!
Follow Christina and her adventures at www.myviewfromthemiddleseat.com
If you enjoyed this post, keep your eyes peeled (or sign up for email updates on my homepage) for future Interviews with Locals! Plenty more coming your way – next up Paris! Please feel free to comment below, I always love hearing from you! Have you visited Washington? Or would you like to? Christina has certainly convinced me to put it on my bucket list!