Seven Quick Takes No. 80 : The Charleston Travel Edition

It's Friday, so that means Seven Quick Takes! @emily_m_deardo

I.

So I’ve obviously talked a lot about Edel this week, but not so much about the city we were in, and what I did when I wasn’t bonding over crazy shoes and cocktails.

The Edel cocktail: Sweet tea vodka, lemonade, and mint.

The Edel cocktail: Sweet tea vodka, lemonade, and mint.

(Yes, I had my quasi-yearly cocktail at Edel. )

So let’s walk through this lovely city, shall we?

(Although walking when it’s over 100 degrees with the humidity….yeah. Not so much for this Midwestern girl.)

II.

We stayed at the gorgeous Francis Marion hotel at the intersection of King and Calhoun Streets.

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My room at the FM.

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View from my window. I’ll take that!

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This bed, people.

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My room had a vanity, a desk, an incredible bed, and a nice, deep tub for soaking (which I did just about every day, because you NEED to after being out in the heat. You feel so much more human after.). I called it a “princess room” and it’s exactly what it was. Blue is my favorite color and I’d love to  be able to paint my room at home this color. (I’ll have more on my room renovation plan later.)

The hotel did have some water problems during Edel, but it was rectified, and I always had water for my showers and baths. 🙂

The attached Starbucks and gift shop were also plusses, and the beautiful lobby was great for relaxing and talking with other Edel guests.

Also, the location right on King Street was great for shopping and catching the CARTA DASH bus (the free trolley that takes you around Charleston). There were three pick-up points within a block of the hotel, so win right there. And being across from Marion Square meant simple access to the Farmers Market on Saturday morning, where I got my sweetgrass basket.

III.

This is what you need to know about CARTA’s DASH trolleys: The “stops” on the map aren’t the real stops. You have to look for the signs that have the appropriate numbers. They stop a lot more than the map suggests they do. This isn’t a bad thing–it just means you have to be aware where the appropriate stops are for your bus. (Route 210, 211, or 213) Together, the three of them will take you to most of the city’s main areas. We took the trolley all over the city and since it’s free, it’s very economical. Your other options are walking, your own car, a pedi-cab, or a taxi.

A pedi-cab driver waiting outside the Francis Marion.

A pedi-cab driver waiting outside the Francis Marion.

While they usually ran pretty well, note that they don’t run much past 8 Sunday-Thursday, so plan accordingly. And also, the buses can stop at weird times/places for no apparent reason (we stopped at one point for no reason, and the bus driver just left us at the curb….it was tres strange.)

IV.

One can’t talk about Charleston without talking about food.

We went to a few restaurants, so let me break them down for you:

Hominy Grill: This was our stop on Friday for lunch. The shrimp and grits were amazing, as were the fried green tomatoes. For dessert, I had Carolina Jam Cake, and my parents had the Hummingbird Cake. The food more than made up for the fact that they don’t take lunch reservations, so you are probably going to have to wait outside. Fortunately, they have beverages so you don’t die of heat exhaustion, and there are benches. My advice? Get there EARLY, and make dinner reservations.

We're talking about Travels in Charleston, SC during Seven Quick Takes Today! @emily_m_deardo

But really, it’s all worth it for that food.

Poogan’s Porch: Anytime I walk into a restaurant and see “Hail to Pitt!” scrawled as part of an autograph, I get happy. Poogan’s, on Queen Street, has had a number of distinguished guests, including Bill Cowher, Jodie Foster, Jim Carey, Barbara Eden, Barbra Streisand, and Giada di Laurentiis. And let me tell you, the food and atmosphere tell you why immediately.

The biscuits are the best biscuits I have had in my entire life. I am not exaggerating. They are like clouds with delicious honey butter. I can’t even tell you have amazing they are.

Mom and I chose the buttermilk fried chicken for our brunch option, and this was also the most amazing fried chicken. It wasn’t greasy, it was crisp and crunchy, and it was so moist. It was basically amazing. Everything about this meal was magic. (Yes, I know, I used “amazing” a lot. I’m sorry. I can’t help it.)

Also–collards are spicy! I had no idea!

Talking Charleston travel on the blog today! @emily_m_deardo

Poogan’s buttermilk friend chicken, sage gravy, potatoes, and collards.

Queen Street Grocery was home to our first Charleston meal, and it also did not disappoint. I had cold-pressed coffee and a delicious crepe with ham, goat cheese, and dill. It’s very local and very friendly, and this was one heck of a crepe.

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Carolina Ale House was our last meal in Charleston (Sunday night). I wanted a burger by this point, and this was recommended by the hotel staff, so we went and enjoyed. They have a patio and since they’re three floors up, you’d have a lovely view of Marion Square and the surrounding King Street area. It’s a sports bar with a diverse menu and great burgers.

V.

Speaking of King Street–let’s talk about shopping, shall we? 🙂

We went up and down King Street a few times, and here are some of my favorite stores/places:

Blue Bicycle Books: used, new, and rare books, with a store cat (!) and lots of signed books by Southern authors, especially Pat Conroy. A small, but fun space, and a must for book lovers who want to indulge in some Southern Literature.

Croghan’s Jewel Box: Home of their Goldbug line (I bought their Goldbug Bee earrings, which I love!), this store stocks all sorts of beautiful jewelry and estate sale items.

Rewined Candles: You like wine? You like candles? Look no further. This local company takes used wine bottles, cuts them in half, and fills them with candles that smell like wine tastes. The sangria is so fragrant!

(A lot of the rest of my souvenir grabbing I did at Edel, and you can find my recommendations here for some great Catholic companies!)

VI.

If you’re looking for a place to go to Mass, The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is a beautiful choice, and they also have a great organ and organist.

The Charleston City Market was fun and was located near Poogan’s Porch. It’s one of the oldest city markets in the country, and parts of that are evident (no air conditioning except in one area), but it has some fun things.Are parts of it touristy? Well, yes. But some parts are also really neat. Definitely come and explore.

My parents also enjoyed visiting the parks by the waterfront, which they did while I was Edel-ing, and they took a carriage tour via Palmetto Carriage.

VII.
Yes, it’s true–the South is a very friendly place. I liked having doors held for me (even if no one called me ‘ma’am’ this trip, sadly!) All of our waitresses and the people in the hotel were super friendly and helpful, which made the trip that much more enjoyable. I enjoyed my time in Charleston and I hope I get to go back soon!

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Daybook No. 98

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Outside my window:: Sunny but also cloudy, if that makes sense. I guess the weatherman would call this “partly sunny”? Or “partly cloudy”? (I never did understand the distinction.)

In the CD player:: 1776 soundtrack.

Wearing:: My PJs. I know. So unexciting. But all my pretty clothes are packed away for vacation!

Reading:: Reclaiming Catholic Social TeachingThe Whole World Over; Mansfield Park; Lisette’s List. I also have a bunch of books packed for vacation, including Middlemarch, The Forsythe Saga, The Girl On A Train; A Memory of Violets; Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, and a few more.

Yes, I bring lots of books when I go on vacation. It’s often like this:

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Links you may have missed:: Jane Re-Read: Pride and Prejudice; Sketchbook Skool; The Declaration 

Crafting:: I”ve got some knitting packed for Edel, because there are going to be excellent knitters there, and I need someone to teach me to purl consistently! I’ve also got my scarf and washcloth still on the needles.

From the kitchen:: Not much, since we’re leaving soon! I’m looking forward to excellent Charleston food!

Keeping House:: Cleaning before I leave–making sure all the trash is out, and things are generally tidy, so when I come home it won’t be a disaster. And of course, packing.

Fitness: Today is a yoga day, and tomorrow is a gym day. I am packing gym clothes for vacation (the hotel has a gym), but I think the normal run of things might be enough! We’ll see, though. Better to be prepared, right?

Prayer:: Really trying to keep to my “horarium”, as I’m calling it. That means prayer in the morning (lauds) with some devotional reading; midday prayer (noon) if I don’t make it to Mass; Divine Mercy chaplet and Office of Readings at 3:00 (and rosary, if I have time); Vespers between 5 and 5:30 (with rosary after, if I didn’t get to it already), and compline between 7:45 and 8:45, depending on what’s going on. This is, actually, a copy of a few monastic schedules. It’s not every hour of the office, but it’s a majority of them (It’s four, and there’s seven hours of the office). As a Lay Dominican, lauds, vespers and rosary are required every day. But I really like the office of readings, and compline is special to Dominicans. And of course, Daily Mass when I can.

There will be an adoration chapel set up at Edel on Saturday, which makes me crazy happy.

This week:: Um, vacation? 🙂 Edel is Friday and Saturday. So excited for that. 10 Year Anniversary is on Saturday as well! Rejoice! 🙂

Some cuteness: Princess Charlotte and her family at her baptism yesterday. The baptism was held at St. Mary Magdalene church in Sandringham.

Daybook with Royal Baby Photos! @emily_m_deardo

Duchess Catherine and Princess Charlotte.

Royal Christening @emily_m_deardo

The Duke and Duchess, with Princess Charlotte in the pram, and Prince George checking on his sister. (“I want to make sure she’s in there…”)

Princess Charlotte at her christening @emily_m_deardo

Someone looks like her mommy.

Seven Quick Takes No. 79–A Trip to Pittsburgh

It's Friday, so that means Seven Quick Takes! @emily_m_deardo

I.

We spent last weekend and part of this week in Pittsburgh celebrating my grandma’s 85th birthday.

Me and Grandma

Me and Grandma

 We celebrated by taking a dinner cruise on the Gateway Clipper Fleet, which was a great meal and boat ride around the three rivers of Pittsburgh. We sailed by PNC Park, Heinz Field, the Point, and other Pittsburgh landmarks. Quite a bit of the family– though not all–was there, and it was a fun way to celebrate.

 

Dad and my cousin Diane's youngest child.

Dad and my cousin Diane’s youngest child.

II.

One of the best parts was seeing my cousin Diane, and especially meeting her newest baby (above with Dad). She has two older daughters, whom I’d met before, but I’d never met this little guy, who turns 1 in August.

Diane and I with her little guy.

Diane and I with her little guy.

III.

The next day we went to PNC Park to see the Pirates beat the Phillies in extra innings. I’d never been to a Pirates game where they won, so I was pretty excited about that! Dad taught me how to fill out the scorecard that was in the game program, so I feel very educated in the Ways of Baseball. (Sort of. I find baseball always has new ways to confuse me.)

Our seats were behind home plate and under the overhang of the upper deck, so we were in shade, which was great when it was 85+ degrees.

Pirates win and the Parrot takes the mound.

Pirates win and the Parrot takes the mound.

III.

 After the game we had another party at one of my aunt’s houses. She has a pool and her husband grilled, and there was, of course, jello marshmallow salad, because it’s not a family gathering on my mom’s side without jello marshmallow salad.

Kids like cookouts.

Kids like cookouts.

These kids....

These kids….

Grandma received cards and presents, and then there was Bethel Bakery cake, which is the Best Cake in the Universe. Not kidding. Our swimming was curtailed because of a huge thunderstorm that opened up, but that didn’t deter the youngest from having fun….

ballooooonnnnns!

ballooooonnnnns!

IV.

Diane’s oldest girl (seen above, in the pink glasses) and I:

Me: So, Susie, what’s your favorite movie?
Susie: Frozen.

Me: OK. What’s your favorite song?
Susie: (As if I am deeply, deeply stupid) “Let it Go.”
Me: Well, there are other songs in the movie.
Susie: No there aren’t.

V.

Monday we went to Kennywood, where I hadn’t been in over ten years, so it was nice to be back, and Diane’s husband had never been there at all. Susie and I had fun riding rides, but when I took Bridget on the carousel, she seemed a bit wary, until the ride starting going. She also really enjoyed the ice cream cone.

I had to rescue this ice cream from hitting the pavement more than once.

I had to rescue this ice cream from hitting the pavement more than once.

 VI.

Kennywood really does have things for everyone, which makes it fun, but my grandpa’s favorite ride was “The Restaurant”, so we had dinner there. It’s a large cafeteria style place and it has good food and, the real winning point, air conditioning. It was hot, so we got a lot of water rides under our belts, and then dried off with roller coasters.

VII.

Of course, some of us couldn’t handle all the excitement:

Being this cute takes a lot of work.

Being this cute takes a lot of work.

Daybook No. 97

(it’s back!)

daybook tag

Outside my window::

Sunny through thin white clouds. It’s not going to be very warm today–well, warm for June–so swimming is probably out, but that’s OK!

Wearing::

Jeans, a bright blue v-neck t-shirt, and flats.

Reading::

Working on Northanger Abbey. I finished Prodigal Summer yesterday, and man, I wish Barbara Kingsolver would write a sequel. It’s that kind of novel where you want to stay with the characters for a long time, even after the book is finished. I’m reading The One Thing is Three for my spiritual reading. The rest of the fiction pile includes The Forsyte Saga and A God In Ruins, and then I’ve got What Matters In Jane Austen and Jane Austen’s England. So a variety of things on the reading pile!

In the CD player::

The Light in the Piazza, celebrating Kelli O’Hara’s Tony win.

Writing::

This week I’m doing something different with LA–I’m going back to doing the link-ups/weekly features that I’ve sort of been neglecting amidst the new writing plan. So tomorrow is the Yarn Along, Thursday I’m talking about Sketchbook Skool, and then Friday we’ll have Quick Takes. I’m also going to get some things pre-written because I’ll be in Pittsburgh until Tuesday.

The Dominican section of the memoir continues apace. It’s sort of a complex section to write but the goal here is to get it down into a physical form on “paper” (or, in a Pages document). Then I can revise it. I’m hoping to have the section done by the end of the month so that in July, when I’m back from Charleston, I can start sending out queries and book proposals. (EEEEEK)

Creativity::

You’ll have to come back tomorrow and Thursday to read about that. 🙂 But really, it’s been really interesting in this area lately.

Health stuff::

So yesterday was my Annual Clinic Day of Testing for Transplant Guys. 🙂 Basically, all the yearly tests we do, I did yesterday. That involved lots of blood-letting, full PFTs (Pulmonary Function Tests–“full” meaning more than just the basic test I do every visit. We checked gas diffusions in my lungs and some other fun things), a CT scan of my lungs, bone density scan, and an abdominal ultrasound, which looks at my spleen, liver, kidneys, all that sort of stuff.

I lost five pounds “officially” in clinic (I told the dietician that I had lost 10 lbs at one point, but the loss doesn’t want to stay there, sadly), and the PFTs went up four points. So win to that correlation. Everyone’s happy with that. I haven’t gotten the results back yet from the other tests. (Other than things like my regular chest X-ray, which looked fine and dandy–we saw that in clinic.)

Today I’m going to see my ENT so he can check out my sinuses. I see him about every six months, and about every two years, we do the sinus surgery. This is because even though my lungs don’t have CF, the rest of my body does, so we still have to keep the sinuses happy. They tend to fill with the CF-quality mucus and that can be a huge breeding ground for infection. Fortunately, I don’t have nearly as many sinus issues as some other CF folks I know.

Pondering::

I normally don’t talk to many–if any–other patients when I’m at Children’s. Part of that is because I don’t really talk in waiting rooms, at all, and partially because a lot of the time, I’m alone. In clinic, I’m in my own room, and in radiology, the transplant/cancer patients sit in the radiology hallway itself, not in the general waiting room, because of concerns about sick people.

I’m really familiar with the radiology hallway. It used to be main radiology for the entire hospital, so I’ve come here as an ER patient, as a CF outpatient, and in the days after transplant, at 6 AM, before the hospital was really “up”, so I the chances of me running into a sick person (or anyone else) were really slim. I know all the radiology techs really well, and know some of them by name.

There are three chairs set up outside the main waiting room door for transplant/oncology patients. Sometimes it’s me and other transplant patients who are being seen that day (we all have the same routine–blood work, x-rays, clinic), but mostly it’s just me.

Yesterday there was a small family: a boy, a girl, and the mother. The kids looked to be in high school. I knew the boy was a transplant patient because 1) he was wearing a Dash for Donation shirt (it’s the annual Lifeline of Ohio race), and 2) he had a mask on. Most of us wear masks in the hospital. I hate wearing them so I generally don’t. (yeah, I’m a rebel.)

But the boy looked so sick. I couldn’t tell if he was pre or post-transplant. He was so thin I could see the ligaments in his legs around his knees, the tendons popping out. His shirt hung on his, and he was in a wheelchair. He didn’t really look anywhere, other than vaguely at his lap. His sister was plugging away at Facebook on her phone, but he just sat there, vaguely thinking about something.

I knew that look. I’d been there. It’s the look of not really having the brain power to do anything else but tend to the function of your body. Breathe, sit up. Breathe.

He went back for X-rays, and I talked briefly to his sister–small things, about the waiting area, her sparkly phone cover. Her brother came back quickly and they were gone, heading up to clinic.

The radiology technician called me to a room. “He’s rejecting,” she told me.

“How far out is he?”

“Five years.”

Ah, five years. Five is a magical number. About half make it to five years–it’s a little less than that, for girls. UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) doesn’t even have 10 year stats on their website, yet, for lung transplant patients. At hitting 10 years, I’m sort of a statistical anomaly. Five years is becoming more common, but 10 is still out there, and the people I know who are 15+ years have had two transplants.

I am extremely, extremely lucky. And it could all change, but right now, the fact that I’m this far out, and that I’ll be celebrating my 10 year mark in a month, is incredibly fortunate. am incredibly fortunate.

Plans for the Week::

I have a Summa Theologica class at church on Wednesday–this just started last week–which means I have to read Question 2 of Part 1 today so I’m ready to talk about it tomorrow. 🙂 On Friday I have another doctor appointment and then I leave for Pittsburgh on Saturday!

(note: that lovely photo of bluebells? Elizabeth Foss took that. 🙂 I hope she doesn’t mind that I borrowed it from her website! It’s just so gorgeous.)

Seven Quick Takes No. 78

It's Friday, so that means Seven Quick Takes! @emily_m_deardo

I.

mmmm. Summer Friday. Those are beautiful words in the English language, no? 🙂

II.

Since it’s summer, more people read. You can, of course, join the Jane Re-Read (Sense and Sensibility is what we’re talking right now). I’m still reading Prodigal Summer and Northanger Abbey. I just finished I Believe In Love, about St. Therese of Liseux and how she can lead us to a deeper spiritual life, and I really liked that one. There’s a lot to ponder and I’ll definitely be reading it again. (Who am I kidding. I read everything again….unless it’s Moby Dick or Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Shudder!)

I keep debating if I should read Girl on a Train. Yes? No? Thoughts?

III.

My 10 year transplant testing appointment is on Monday. To put this in perspective: UNOS (the United Network for Organ Sharing, which “does” transplants in the U.S.) doesn’t even have 10 year survival rates on their chart. The last one they have is 5 years out, and for women, that rate is 46.1%. I read somewhere that 10 year survival is around 30%, but I forget where.
So, for ONCE, the odds have been playing nicely with me. I rejoice in this. The actual 10 year date is in July, but we do the testing in June, usually.

IV.

I’ve discovered that a lot of women don’t know basic maintenance things. This sort of scares me, ladies. You should know to put gas in the car (and what kind of gas), how to jump a car battery, how to use tools, how to unclog a toilet. Even if you’re married, your husband isn’t aways around to fix things! I’m amazed at how many women I know who can’t do any of these things and I want to be like, girls. Come on now!

V.

My brother’s girlfriend sent me this photo of him at Disneyland, and I just love it:

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As Br. H said, “How many Evil Empires can you fit in one picture?”

VI.

I’ve started swimming again–yay! But man, the muscles feel it when you swim hard for the first time in a season. They rebel the next day. But it’s so good to be in swim season again, I do not mind at all.

VII.

Almost time for Edel 2015 in Charleston! I’m so excited!! I’ve never been to South Carolina and I can’t wait to meet all the amazing women who will be there!

Travelogue: Washington, D.C.

travelogue D.C. @emily_m_deardo

Two of my friends and I made a whirlwind trip to Washington, D.C. over the past weekend for Dominican ordinations. We were in town Thursday-Saturday afternoon, and a lot of that was spent with the Dominicans, so this isn’t a typical travel post, but, like the others, I do note where we stayed and what we did, so you can do the same when you’re in D.C., if you’re so inclined. (Every place I mention that’s bolded is linked at the bottom of the post)

First off, we had amazing weather. It was in the 70s and just perfect. No rain, no clouds–perfect. Which was good, because we did a lot of walking and being outside!

We stayed at the Doubletree Hotel on Scott Circle, near Embassy Row. This worked out really well because they had great valet parking, and we were very close to the Dominican House of Studies (DHS)which is where a lot of the weekend activities were going to be happening. Scott Circle is in the residential part of D.C. We were pretty far past the usual tourist places (the Capitol, the Smithsonians, the White House, etc.), so it was also fairly quiet and not touristy, which was nice. Also–chocolate chip cookies when you check in to the hotel. WIN. Our room was perfectly adequate for three people, even if the bathroom did get crowded in the mornings with three women using it. 🙂

On Thursday afternoon after checking in, we went to the DHS for the Office of Readings and Vespers, and then went to dinner at the Potbelly Sandwich Works on Monroe Avenue, down the street from the DHS. The DHS is across the street from the Catholic University of America and the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The last time I was in their neighborhood (11 years ago), it was sort of scary after dark, but now it’s become really beautiful and here and there are all sorts of little shops and restaurants that have sprung up. Potbelly is one of them. Dinner was quick because we had to get the friars back for holy hour, which was at 7:00, and then compline right after. So most of the first day was spent entirely at the DHS. We got back to the hotel around nine.

The next morning was actual ordination day. The ordinations were held at St. Dominic’s Church in D.C. which is (duh) run by Dominicans.

D.C travelogue @emily_m_deardo

One of the order’s mottoes in stained glass

DC travelogue @emily_m_deardo

The institution of the second and third orders (Love this!) at St. Dominic’s.

The church was packed. I counted several religious orders in attendance: the Missionaries of Charity (yeah, that got me excited. Mother Teresa’s nuns! In person!), a Benedictine monk and nun, a Norbertine, a Sister of Life, and of course Dominicans, including the extern sister from the Summit Dominicans, Sr. Mary Magdalene, and Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist (Ann Arbor). The Mass was beautiful and was presided over by the Apostolic Nuncio (ambassador) to Ireland.

After Mass, we headed back to the DHS for the first party of the day. Their cloister garden was beautiful and the perfect setting for this.

DC travelogue @emily_m_deardo

View from the House of Studies’ front door–that’s CUA in the foreground and the basilica behind.

D.C. travelogue @emily_m_deardo

Mary in the cloister garden.

D.C. travelogue @ emily_m_deardo

Aren’t these gorgeous?

After the lunch party, we headed to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conceptionwhich is the national church for the United States, and is just amazing. Here I visited the shops and got some gifts, as well as books for me. Because, yes, a good Dominican loves bookstores, especially religious ones! I also visited the sanctuary to pray and light candles for people.  It was also really cool to see the Jubilee Year doors (see below)–I’d never seen them in person before.

DC travelogue @emily_m_deardo

Our Lady of China inside the basilica

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Our Lady of Guadalupe

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Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

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Basilica interior

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The Jubilee Year doors for the Year of Mercy with the papal coat of arms above.

DC travelogue @emily_m_deardo

Outside the basilica, enjoying the gorgeous weather!

After the basilica, we had dinner at Busboys and Poets,which is basically my Dream Business. It’s a cafe and bookstore (the bookstore is stocked by Politics and Prose, which we visited the next day). The staff was super-friendly and the seating was eclectic (there were velvet chairs!) and comfortable. The food, by the way, was great. My burger was the Ideal Burger.

Dinner was followed by party two, which was less formal than the lunch party, at the DHS. The entertainment was provided by the student brothers’ jazz band, and drinks and h’ors d’oeuvres were served. The party went until 9:30, when Compline was said in the chapel, and I had a great time talking to one of the brothers about Jane and literature. Because that’s how I party, guys.

DC travelogue @emily_m_deardo

The student brothers’ band playing in the cloister garden.

DC travelogue @emily_m_deardo

The garden at twilight

Saturday started with lauds and Mass at the DHS, followed by breakfast at Busboys and Poets again. I’m glad to report that breakfast was just as good as dinner had been. If I lived in this neighborhood, I’d be here all the time. It was so fun. There were a bunch of fathers having breakfast with their daughters, which was also adorable. We stopped back up at the DHS to say good-bye to the brothers, then headed the Franciscan Monastery on Quincy Street.

Guys–their garden is amazing. Seriously, it’s going to need its own post, so I can just do all photos of the amazing flowers. Around the garden was a walkway which had all the mysteries of the rosary done in mosaic, accompanied by the Haily Mary in just about every language ever known to man, including:

DC travelogue @emily_m_deardo

The Hail Mary in Scottish Gaelic.

DC travelogue @emily_m_deardo

The Hail Mary in Yucatan hieroglypics. Really.

So–more on the Monastery later, I promise, because it was amazing. The garden alone made me want to be a Franciscan!

The monastery was followed by our final D.C. stop, Politics and Prose on Connecticut Ave., so I could sate my Independent Bookstore thirst. P&P is pretty famous in the D.C. area, and for good reason–it’s crazily well-stocked and has tons of author events (there was actually one going on when we were there), and has a book printing press, if you want to get your Great American Novel published. It’s two floors (with an elevator)–cafe, sale books, and kids’ books are on the lower level, and everything else is on the first floor. You will have to climb on the shelves to get certain books. It’s not a great place for short people, but the staff is very helpful! But I found two books about Jane, which made me very happy.

P&P was our last stop in D.C., and then we headed home. I told you–whirlwind trip. Not the typical travelogue for me.

Here are links to where we stayed, ate, shopped, and visited:

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