In the past couple of years, my mom and I have started a birthday/Christmas tradition (this is my gift from her and my dad on each of these occasions) of going to D.C./Georgetown for a day of shopping/eating at some of my favorite places. Now, since I just celebrated another year in this wonderful world we live in, we headed back into the city yesterday to enjoy another day of fun.
This year, we condensed our trip a bit, so we could be back in time for my sister's dance recital (her last one as the president of her current dance company; she'll be moving on to another school next semester). However, we still managed to make the best of every minute we had out together.
Our first stop was Teaism, one of my mother's favorites since I introduced it to her more than a year ago. There are three locations from which to choose. We selected the Dupont Circle one.
I first saw it featured on "$40 a Day," when I was on my Rachael Ray kick. At the time, I actually recreated many of the recipes she sampled on the show in my own kitchen, but it was a special treat to try them in the very same restaurants she highlights (my personal fave out of the places on the show would have to be Tommy's from the Cleveland episode; in my pre-raw days, I would rave about the Rice Dream shake I had from there).
My mom likes to follow in Rachael's footsteps by indulging in the ginger scones and Teaism chai, although opted for a iced green variety this time with the addition of some zhenzhou pearls (blueberry-size tapioca balls at the bottom of the tea).
Now, I know these "pearls" probably aren't raw, but I decided to treat myself to the experience just for the fun of it. You just can't over analyze everything you consume.
So, since this was my special day, I added some "bubbles" to my fruity rooibos tea, too. However, I did skip out on the scones (I made sure to fill up on my green smoothie and fruit before I left the house; these days, that's all I consume before noon).
When I got my tea, I was happy to see that the cup was compostable, although the straw probably wasn't. But, it was cool to see how this straw was designed specifically for the purpose of allowing the little tapioca balls to fit through it. My mom even snapped a picture of me drinking mine with it.
Our next stop was American Apparel. I wasn't allowed to take any pictures inside, so I got a few shots right outside the front entrance. Just look at those legs. I got a "kick" out of them. I just adore their socks, which I stock up on frequently. They are especially nice during the cold winter months, although I can still be caught wearing a pair of the athletic-style knee socks when my mom gets me out on the tennis court (she is quite the tennis fanatic).
Across the street was H&M, which we hit up next. Oops, I forgot to take pictures, so you'll just have to envision it yourself. Besides, I think most people have been to one before anyway.
I almost brought the camera into the dressing room with me, but I was afraid of what might be going through other people's heads when they would catch a glimpse of the flash going off behind the dressing room door. I wonder if anyone would try to stop me form taking pics in the store then.
Yikes, I suddenly realized we were running behind schedule, so we were off to Java Green, were I got the royal, no make that "rawyal" treatment.
Java Green has been one of my favorite places to eat for the past couple years, although there wasn't much to choose from for the raw foodie (I have to admit that I've sampled a few of the cafe's cooked vegan specialties, which are very good). I love it's commitment to the community and the environment.
But, all that is about to change (I'm referring to the raw options, not the commitment to the community and the environment), according to my Give It To Me Raw friend, D.J. As the owner of Java Green, as well as one of Dhru's buds (he told me about how Dhrumil of We Like It Raw introduced him to the whole raw lifestyle 3 years ago when he showed up at the restaurant with a huge container of agave), he has made the decision to expand the raw menu to include more meal options, drinks and even raw ice cream.
I would have gotten a seaweed salad (a staple on the usual menu) and some kombucha, but D.J. insisted I try the spinach salad with avocado and this lovely ginger dressing he created himself. It was intensely spicy and delicious. Can I get some more of that?
Instead of the kombucha, he also sold me on the raw chocolate milkshake, which was the perfect balance to help cool down my taste buds. My mom even thought it was fantastic, and suddenly didn't feel bad about serving me fruit for my birthday dessert while the rest of my family had the traditional birthday fare. This shake took the cake :-)
D.J. is such a sweet person, taking time out from his own meal and conversation (my apologies to the beautiful girl he was talking to at the time) to personally take my order, serve it to me with a smile, tell me more about the new raw side of Java Green and even pose for pic with yours truly.
The build-your-own raw smoothies, raw milkshakes and other drinks are already available on the menu, and more meal options should be officially added as of next week (Rawbin and I have to go back soon; I'll keep the rest of you updated). He also plans on adding some raw desserts as soon as he can find someone with some commercial kitchen space; Jeff, are you reading this?)
Before I left Java Green, I purchased one of the cafe's logo t-shirts and a necklace made out of acai seeds (all the proceeds go to various causes). I just love the vibe at this place; it puts a smile on my face :-)
At this point, it was around 2:45 p.m., and we still needed to go to Lush, Kiehl's and wherever else we had time to go to on the strip in Georgetown before catching the metro at the Foggy Bottom station at 4 p.m. So, we did some speed-walking from Java Green to end up at Lush by a little after 3 p.m. (it was a little further than expected, but was great exercise; I just wish it wasn't 80 degrees at the time).
To our surprise, I had time to get a quick hand treatment (my mom took this unflattering shot really quick, since you really aren't supposed to take pictures inside the store. I look like I have a double chin. Ha ha. I guess that's what you get for breaking the rules), which sold me on one of the products (for my hands, not the chin).
Then, we still had time to pick up everything we needed at Kiehl's, pose in front of this Barney's window that caught my eye, stop for a beverage to go and make the hike back to the metro station. We arrived there at 4:02 p.m., so we had to wait until 4:12 p.m. for the next train. Oh well, we still made it home in time to have ice cream cake and fruit (I had the fruit), in celebration of my b-day before heading off to my sister's dance recital.
She danced beautifully, although my hubby had trouble capturing it in the following shots (again with the rules; no flash photography, so he did his best without a flash), and the one she choreographed got the biggest applause. I'm so very proud of her :-)