Nine days before we were set to leave for Spain, Leandra grabbed our passports out of the safe to book our train tickets from Madrid to Valencia, causing her to discover that my passport had expired in 2021! Hers had been renewed in 2019 and because we hadn’t booked any international flights over the intervening two years we had completely forgotten about it. Thankfully, I was able to call the passport services office and get an emergency appointment (allowed within five days of our trip), so I filled out a bunch of paperwork, Leandra snapped my photo and we drove up to Washington DC.
Once we made it to the DC outskirts we stopped in Alexandria to try out Aslin Beer Company. I tried the Hankering for Hands, a sour with raspberry and blackberry, and Leandra ordered the Sans Imperial Stout. All the stouts were super strong, so no chance for multiple dark beers here! The bartenders were quite helpful, and the interior was fairly large and interesting. All in all it made for a good stop before continuing into downtown DC.
After parking the car in a garage we checked in to our hotel, then walked over to Immigrant Food for dinner. Leandra had Bahn Mi with a Jamaican influence and a South American red, while Eric went with the Cuban which had pickled onions and pineapple, a flavorful twist, plus a nice Torrontés.
After dinner we walked past the White House, which was nearly hidden due to temporary(?) fencing and lots of security. From there we walked toward the Washington monument, passing several kickball games on the mall, and then the reflecting pool for sunset.
Not quite ready to head back to the hotel, we opted for a glass of wine each at Old Ebbitt Grill bar, then back to the room after a long day.
On Friday morning we walked over to the passport office to drop off my paperwork, with Leandra visiting the small coffee shop next door. After about 45 minutes I was given a receipt to return later, so we met for a big breakfast at Founding Farmers. They were busy, but we were able to get an outdoor table in a sunny spot. I had the eggs and bacon with french toast and a hot chocolate while Leandra had the sausage Benedict with hashbrowns and a fancy coffee.
Leandra checked us out of the hotel at 1pm and walked over to the Lincoln Memorial and I met her there when my passport was ready 20 minutes later.
To beat the inevitable Friday traffic, we decided to get out of town sooner rather than later. Since Richmond is about halfway between DC and Durham, we stopped for a beer at Strangeways Brewing – one of our favorites in town. There were several sours to choose from, so I got sample pours of the sour cherry Berliner, Sea Spritz (cranberry Berliner), and the Duex Cents Peche. The Peche was the standout.
While the purpose of the trip was stressful, everything worked out fine and we even managed to sneak in a little fun.