Last Saturday, my friend, Neera, and her boyfriend, Shreyas, visited Jeff and I in DC for the day. Neera and I have been very good friends since the first few days at college (we lived next door in the same suite), but now that she lives in Urbana-Champagne, IL, I don't see her very often. In fact, in two years, I had never had the chance to meet her boyfriend.
Now Shreyas is doing a postdoc in Philadelphia, and Neera was in town visiting, so a visit finally seemed possible. They came in to Union Station around 9am, and we started the day by getting some coffee. We talked about the research each of us are doing (we're all in PhD programs, except Shreyas, who just finished his PhD). It was awesome to have time to just sit and chat!
From there we headed down to the Mall - it was the National Book Festival, so there were stands all over, author's speaking, and books for sale. We didn't stay to watch any of the speeches, but just wandered around.
We ended up walking all the way down to the Lincoln Memorial, when it started raining. Luckily for us it was just a light sprinkle.
We then walked to the White House, and from there to Gallery Place. Having put in quite a few miles on foot, we were ready to sit and eat lunch. We had pizza at Ella's, which Jeff's cousin had recommended we try. The food was great - we had a really tasty salad and shared a couple pizzas.
After a long lunch, we walked back to Jeff's and my apartment. Each year, Neera, Janet (another college friend), and I get together, just to make sure we see each other even though we live in different cities. This year, we decided to expand the trip to include our significant others, so that all six of us can hang out for the first time ever! We decided to do a long-weekend trip over New Year's Eve. We got Janet on the phone and decided on a location - Austin, TX - that we could all find reasonable flights to from our various cities. We bought tickets, so the plan is now set.
By the time we got that all figured out and drank some tea, it was time to go to dinner. We headed up to U Street. We ate at my favorite Ethiopian restaurant - Dukem. Neera's friend, Jason, met up with us there. As always, the food was amazing. (So much so, that we ate it all before we remembered to ask for a photo.)
With only a little more than an hour before Neera and Shreyas needed to catch their train, we headed a couple blocks over to Tabaq, which has a cute atrium bar and good mojitoes. Time flew by, and before long the day was over!