Washington, DC. Memorial Day weekend. Nuff said. Of course that is NOT how we roll on this here blog. There's always the standard story of going to DC and seeing the sights that I will spare you with because who needs to hear all that again?
At the end of a very long, hot day filled with extra people visiting DC, we were hoping to get dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, right up the road from our hotel. As we were walking to said restaurant, it started raining just enough to leave us pretty wet but not soaked by the time we got to the hostess stand. We were told there would be a two hour wait which was just not an option for us.
As we stood in the doorway trying to figure out where to go, the fire alarm went off. No one in the building was exiting but Ben was on exit patrol with our group. The girls had separated from us to look in the gift shop so there was a moment of panic while we were standing in the doorway trying to figure out whether we needed to exit (it was raining harder now) or stay in the building. The girls, having been trained for years to exit a building upon the first sound of an alarm, were standing outside in the rain next to a curb (see, public schools DO teach kids all kinds of things, like survival). We managed to find a building with a small overhang a bit up the block and stood under it while looking for another place to eat. Dad friend found a restaurant with no wait. Ironically, it was a restaurant literally next door to our hotel. We walked around the block to the restaurant, NOPA.
By the time we got there, we were completely drenched in our touristy clothing (read: t-shirts and shorts/capris/jeans), hair dripping wet. We were greeted by a host wearing a suit. He didn't bat an eye as he sat the six of us at a table near the entrance and center of the dining room. We were greeted by a waiter also wearing a suit and a person that I refer to as the water boy who filled our glasses after every sip (not an exaggeration).
I was really uncomfortable upon being seated as the restaurant was quite fancy for our dress, even if we had been dry. However, the waiter was fantastic - even getting information from the chef concerning a few dishes that we had questions about for dietary reasons. Once I got over the initial shock of feeling out of place, I moved on to just enjoying the experience.
Each of us ordered something different and we all tried each other's items, all of which were impeccably delicious! Little one had a side called potato air that she didn't share with anyone and I still think about that dish today. She shares everything so it had to be good and I have considered driving over there just to try it. The description is as follows, "Potato Air, Black Garlic Jus," something that sounds so incredibly simple but must be magical because I can't replicate it (of course, having not had a sampling, how could I?).
After dinner, we went back to the hotel and had dessert at their on site restaurant while the girls played in one of our two hotel rooms. What had originally started as a potentially disastrous experience turned into yet another fun moment in travel.