This trip to our nation's capital wasn't my first. Previously I had been in the spring of 1996 during my junior year of high school as part of a program called Close-Up. The goal of that trip was to witness government in action. We were able to meet with our senators, sit in on congressional meetings and generally wander the hallways of the capital building, plus the senate and congressional office buildings to just take it all in - something that after 9/11 I'm certain doesn't happen anymore, or at least not in the way we were able to experience it.
No, this trip had quite a different agenda. Along with my college roommate Aaron, we were in town to take in the memorials and museums as much as we could, but our main goal was sports. To celebrate both of our 40th birthdays which had just occurred, our wives planned this trip for us so that we could take in both a NFL game and a NHL game in the same long weekend. And for good measure, once we arrived and realized that we could also catch a NBA game too, we did.
We called it #EpicSportsWeekend as we celebrated #ThisIs40.
Four days and three nights we spent in DC and we managed to cram in three professional sporting events. Simply crazy. Credit to our wives though for piecing together that it could be done. They had a whole spreadsheet of cities where this would be possible during the Fall/Winter, and luckily they decided on DC...because the other choices where not exactly what I would call fun destinations.
The other notable highlight of the trip (aside from hanging out with a good friend who lives far too far away) was the food. We had some great meals throughout the trip. Even the hotel breakfast was outstanding. (Side note: I not only miss traveling, but I also miss the "free" breakfast bars at hotels. I know they're not free, but I still miss them). The best meal might have been the most unlikely combination of food I've ever had though - fried chicken and donuts.
Astro Fried Chicken and Donuts on G Street NW in DC was a gem of a find. And it wasn't one we went looking for either. We were searching on Google Maps for something else and that's when we saw it. It is one of the smallest places I've ever been (enough room for maybe four guests to stand and order). The chicken was cooked in the basement and sent up to the counter via a dumbwaiter. And the wait for our food was incredibly long. But was it worth it?
Without a doubt, yes. The chicken was amazing, and the donut was glorious.
And as a bonus, even though there as no place to sit inside, it didn't matter. It was January 1, 2019, and it should have been cold, or at least colder than it was. Instead it was mostly sunny and in the mid 50s, which made eating fried chicken and donuts on the steps of the National Portrait Gallery that much more of an enjoyable experience.
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