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September in Review: Savoring the End of Summer & Traveling to DC!

Scenes from Washington, DC!
Flowers in Washington, DC

As the end of summer always does, September flew by in a mix of travel, work, meetings, and important appointments, leaving behind a number of positive changes. The standout of September was my trip to DC for a dear friend’s wedding.

Washington, DC

Scenes from Washington, DC! Scenes from Washington, DC!
The US Capitol Building; Duck at Capitol Reflecting Pool

September started off strong with a trip to DC for my friend’s wedding.  Never one to miss an opportunity to travel, I planned my trip to maximize my time wandering around DC and its museums.  As it turned out, the weather was hot, humid, and sunny for much of the weekend, leading to strategic stops to cool off before continuing on my way.

Scenes from Washington, DC! Scenes from Washington, DC!
American Flags in DC; Washington Monument on a Sunny Day

I’ve visited DC several times before, so I didn’t have many plans in mind, except to get some nice photographs of our capital city.  The sky and clouds cooperated, allowing me to get some nice shots of the city’s distinctive buildings as I wandered around.

Scenes from Washington, DC!
Scenes from Washington, DC Scenes from Washington, DC!
Dolci Gelato Outside International Spy Museum; Ethiopian Food; Lunch at Teaism

Visiting any city is an excuse to eat delicious food. I enjoyed this $6 pistachio and chocolate gelato calling my name from its food truck as I stepped out of the International Spy Museum.  For dinner, we headed to Ethiopic, as DC is especially known for its plentiful and delicious Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine, which is always veggie-friendly.  The next day, I ate lunch at Teaism, treating myself to a soba noodle salad with ginger limeade.  I couldn’t even finish the Salty Oats cookie and had to take it home with me!

That said, the food standout this weekend was the catering at my friend’s wedding – they decided to serve breakfast for dinner, matching the fun-loving attitude of the special couple, and I enjoyed it immensely! 🙂

Scenes from Washington, DC! Posing at a Wedding in DC! Scenes from Washington, DC!
DC Buildings; Posing at My Friend’s Wedding; View of the Capitol from the Newseum

My weekend in DC was a combination of walking the streets and taking in the towering buildings, enjoying all three wedding-related events, and spending time at the International Spy Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Newseum.  After spending so much time in Cambridge, Somerville, and Brighton over the past few months, DC really struck me with its towering buildings, organized streets laid out on a grid, and its buttoned up character.

Scenes from Washington, DC! Scenes from Washington, DC!
Scenes from Washington, DC! Scenes from Washington, DC!
White House; Digital Art at the Corcoran Gallery of Art; Bike Paths in DC; Sculpture Garden Fountain

Even though DC an easily walkable city, the distances seem massive in the brutal sun.  I wanted to rent a bike and take advantage of DC’s well-marked bike paths, but there just wasn’t enough time.  At the end of my trip, I realized that I enjoy visiting DC every year or two but I am glad I never ended up moving there.  That said, I had an awesome time visiting with college friends at the wedding and it was a great escape from Boston.

Currently

Eating

Farmer's Market Haul in September Peach Golden Cake
Summer and Fall Farmer’s Market Fruit; Peach Golden Cake

September is an awesome month for fruit-lovers, with berries, peaches, and watermelon finishing their season, grapes finally making an appearance, and apples and Asian pears starting to reach their peak.  I couldn’t eat enough fruit in September, particularly blackberries and peaches, my favorites.  I especially love baking this peach golden cake every year, a simple and delicious celebration of the end of summer.

Ginger Peach CocktailI also decided to try peaches in a bourbon-based cocktail.  Here’s how to make my ginger peach cocktail:

Muddle about 1/2 peeled peach with the juice of 1/2 lime at the bottom of a cocktail shaker.  Fill the cocktail shaker with ice and add 1.5 oz bourbon (I prefer Woodford Reserve), .5 oz ginger liqueur, 1.5-2 oz water, and maple syrup to taste.  Shake for at least 10 seconds.  Fill a old-fashioned glass with ice and strain the peach while pouring. (Alternatively, you can add the muddled peach for extra flavor!)  Garnish with a peach slice and enjoy!

Professionally

September was the month that my freelance work with English with Kim really took off, enough that I was able to cut back on hours at my part-time job!  In October, I want to start recording a weekly podcast and recruit a few more students.

Additionally, September brought other new opportunities, which I am excited to talk about in more detail in the coming months!

Sunset over Cambridge
Sunset over Cambridge, as seen from my kitchen window!

Personal Projects

As you may have noticed, I set a goal to write eight blog posts over the month of September, and I achieved it!  I really enjoyed remembering my travels through Chile in 2013, and soon I want to finish writing about my trip to Rapa Nui in 2012.  There are over 60 posts I want to write about my travels throughout Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Ecuador, so I plan to write every other day so that I can finish by the end of the year.  I’m really enjoying the practice.

This month, I didn’t focus on my Boston bucket list, but I did make it over to the What the Fluff? Festival in Union Square in Somerville. The unseasonably warm weather may have contributed to the gorgeous sunset, which I watched with some friends from the Prospect Hill Monument. As it turns out, this was the site where the first American flag was raised, and it provides a gorgeous vantage point to look out over the city.

Sunset over Somerville Sunset over Somerville
Sunset over Somerville

September was an exciting month, and I need the momentum from the summer to carry me through the fall.  I can already feel my body responding to the cooler weather and shorter days by requiring more food and less activity, but I’m making an effort to keep up with my biking, salsa dancing, and yoga.  I haven’t experienced a real fall in years, so I need to make the most of it!