1. Ai Weiwei: Trace at Hirshhorn: by the end of last week I finally felt recovered enough from SDCC to do a fun DC activity, so I went to see this Ai Weiwei exhibit. The artist created an installation of 176 portraits of political dissidents…made entirely out of Legos. It’s very impressive and definitely worth seeing in person. To learn about each portrait’s subject you can either ask a museum worker or use one of the many touch screens located throughout the exhibit. Because I didn’t bother to explore the rest of the museum after seeing the infinity mirrors there this spring, I made it a point to check out the other floors this time around. It’s not a huge museum, but there’s some pretty cool stuff! I especially liked the sunrise, sunset mural by Nicolas Party.
I’ll admit this is not the most inspired Friday Five post; I’ve been taking it easy and resting my poor, tired feet a lot since returning from Comic-Con so I haven’t been out and about seeing cool stuff in DC as much as usual!
1. Double Rainbow: this week we’ve been having surprise evening storms (by “surprise” I mean that my iPhone weather app didn’t predict any rain), and last night brought us a doozy. But with it came the benefit of a stunningly bright double rainbow, which I was able to see quite a bit of from our deck! The rainbows lasted awhile, too—the main, brighter one you see in the below photo stuck around for about a half an hour. I don’t know if this is typical for double rainbows and it’s not something I’ve ever noticed before, but the colors of each one actually mirror that of the other. You can see that the second rainbow (the fainter one) has its reds along the underside, while its purples and blues run along the top. The first rainbow has the standard red on top, purple on the bottom. Pretty magical, right?!
Quick note: next week I’ll be at San Diego Comic-Con and most likely won’t have a chance to put together a Friday Five post, so if you don’t see one, that’s why!
1. The Red Hen: John and I celebrated our fourth anniversary a little early with dinner last Saturday at this amazing Italian joint in DC’s Bloomingdale neighborhood. The menu changes periodically to showcase seasonal ingredients and all pastas are handmade. We shared two appetizers (fresh burrata and cauliflower “Sicilian Style”) and two vegetarian pastas (ricotta cavatelli and bucatini cacio e pepe). They have a really interesting wine list and our server was also a sommelier so he had great suggestions. Everything was amazing, but the bucatini was out of this fucking world. I’m still thinking about it. WE HAVE TO GO BACK.
1. Happy Independence Day from Walter the Cat: this ridiculous image is brought to you by Instagram Stories and all of the silly/fun stickers you can slap on your photos and videos. My favorite thing about this pic is Walter’s incredibly unimpressed expression.
1. tarte cosmetics Tight & Bright Multi-Mask: If you read my blog regularly you know how much I love tarte and face masks. So when the brand released this dual mask I simply had to have it in my arsenal! The purple mask is for detoxifying, exfoliating, and purifying, and the gold mask is for hydrating and firming. You can use each one all over your face, or you can spot treat using both simultaneously (hence the term “multi-mask”). How fun!!
1. Wonder Woman: my husband and I went to see this movie last weekend and I totally loved it! I can’t say I knew much about the character going into the movie, but I’ve already ordered a couple comics and a book recommended by a friend who is a fan. Gal Gadot was absolute perfection in the role.* The movie was a lot funnier than I expected, which gave it more of a Marvel movie tone (I consider this to be a good thing). That scene—you know the one I’m talking about—the one where Wonder Woman appears on the battlefield in her full costume for the first time…was EPIC. Bad ass. Apparently that scene almost didn’t make it into the movie, and director Patty Jenkins had to fight for it to make the cut. WELL DONE!!
1. National Postal Museum: last Friday I visited this place, which is actually located pretty close to my apartment. The building was a US Post Office from 1914 to 1986, and this Smithsonian museum contains quite a significant stamp collection along with exhibits detailing the history of the United States Postal Service, the Pony Express, and more. I didn’t expect to be as enthralled with the stamps as I was! I had been a little bit interested in stamps as a kid, but seeing the stamp collection here sort of re-awakened that interest in me. I ended up buying a few sets of stamps plus a mystery bag of 500 global stamps at the gift shop, to start my own collection! Needless to say, I’ll be going back for more. 🙂
1. National Aquarium: on Memorial Day my husband and I got up and decided to take a spontaneous mini road trip to Baltimore to visit the aquarium. (Having a car makes it so easy to do stuff like this!) Baltimore is a quick 45-minute drive from DC so it’s a great little day trip. The aquarium was a little pricey ($39.59 for adults) but it was awesome! It’s really well laid out and the exhibits are very nice. We managed to see every exhibit in the place, but I think the jellyfish were my favorite. I always enjoy seeing sharks and turtles , too. And the rainforest exhibit! They have tamarins, sloths, and birds just hanging out in there! You can see more of my aquarium pics in my Instagram slide show.
1. Smithsonian Castle: I haven’t done any touristy DC stuff in a couple weeks, so yesterday morning I went to check out the gorgeous Smithsonian Castle for the first time. This was the Smithsonian Institution’s original building and it now serves as the main visitor center. There’s not a ton to see inside, but it’s pretty cool as a first stop if you want to learn a bit of history about the institution. It does contain a couple exhibits with pieces from the other Smithsonian museums, plus a cafe and a shop. Bonus: it’s surrounded by lovely gardens.
1. Nocking Point Wine Club: I signed up for this club months ago and received my first shipment in March, then completely forgot to post about it because I’ve had so many DC-related things to share each week! Nocking Point is Stephen Amell‘s winery (you might know him as Oliver Queen on Arrow*) and it offers a wine club shipment for $100 per quarter. So every three months, members receive a selection of the winery’s wines, plus NP coffee beans and gear. For my first shipment I received three wines (a sparkling, a Malbec, and a Sauvignon Blanc), a bag of coffee beans, and a wine bottle insulator. So far I’ve consumed the coffee (tasty), the Malbec (pretty good), and used the insulator a couple of times. The June box will have Nerd HQ-branded rosé…and I can’t wait!