For someone who prides themselves on seeking new learning opportunities, traveling, and fully immersing in all the cultural experiences the world has to offer, there are a couple embarrassingly obvious places I have yet to visit. I've always figured, if I'm going on vacation, I might as well go somewhere exotic—Iceland or Rome or Cairo—but that mindset has kept me from visiting some pretty key landmarks much closer to home. There's Las Vegas (although I will get a chance at the lights and glamour in May when I attend the highly anticipated whirlwind tradeshow that is HD Expo) and, until last week, there was Washington, DC. I took the train from Penn Station to DC on Tuesday for a CitySCENE event at the St. Regis, and despite the mild motion-sickness I suffered as a result of sitting backwards in the car, I was excited to take in some of the local sights.
Not having much time, I peeked in on the White House, wandered around amidst the tourists and the cherry blossom trees, and enjoyed a quiet yet lovely meal at The Federalist (www.federalistdc.com) in the Madison hotel, which was recently renovated into a spacious, clean, and sophisticated eatery that pays homage to the hotel's historic character by incorporating elements of 18th-century American cuisine and design.
We stayed at Hotel Rouge (www.rougehotel.com), a Kimpton hotel that recently underwent a renovation of its guestrooms. I loved the sexy vibe of the red tufted headboard and the kissy-face pillows; the thick, richly-hued drapes; and the modern artwork and sculptural pieces in guestroom entranceways.
The CitySCENE event, my first, was a success with over 140 attendees and lots of smiling faces—more and more of whom I'm starting to recognize; I feel less like a newbie every day!—and lively conversation. I'll be back to Washington, to see the Capitol Building and get a bit closer to the Washington Monument, but also to check out the neighborhoods off the beaten path—the ones with the fabulous restaurants and bars just out of reach of the general tourist population. After all, you can find a little touch of the exotic anywhere you go—and a quick trip to Washington is much easier on the wallet than Rome.