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Weekend away in Washington DC just for the girlfriends - no buffalo wings or Redskins games here!
OK, so you and the girls have arrived in the nation's Capital and need a luxe (but not too pricey) place to stay? Check out this Ritz, right across the river. It's less expensive than its downtown or Georgetown counterparts and equally as convenient. Attached to the best mall in the DC Metro area (more on that soon enough, ladies!) and with the Metro right outside the door of your hotel, you really can't go wrong with this 5-star gem or its location. The Ritz Carlton website often boasts packages that include breakfast and/or valet parking. Do get one of those if you can, because, obviously, the breakfast buffet at the Ritz is not your typical breakfast buffet! Bring your bathing suit as they have a nice indoor pool and hot tub as well.
So, you and the girls have checked into your classy digs and are itching to,,,well, what else? SHOP! Well, you've chosen the right place to stay because right outside an interior door of the Ritz lies one of the DC area's ritziest shopping experiences! The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City is a girls dream come true (especially sans strollers and husbands!) Start off with a new demi bag from Coach, move onto some serious shoe shopping at Nordstroms, buy that shiny new lipgloss you've been wanting at Sephora, pick yourself up a cute little bauble at Bailey's, indulge in that "must-have" shirt at Bebe for your upcoming night out on the town...and then, take a breather (because, truthfully, those bags are getting heavy!) Go back through that interior door to the peaceful sanctuary of the Ritz and drop your shopping bags off in your triple Frette-sheeted room. And stop feeling guilty that, for one minute, you didn't even consider stopping at Gymboree to buy something for your little darlings. This is purely BIG GIRL time!
After all that shopping, you're really in need of some downtime with the girls. What better and more civilized way to do that than indulging in afternoon tea at the Four Seasons in Georgetown? Hop on the Metro and head into downtown DC. Get off at Foggy Bottom and enjoy the 5 minute walk down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Four Seasons. There, you will find happiness you never thought feasible in the indoor garden of the appropriately named Garden Terrace Lounge at the Four Seasons. Relax and take in the beauty of the C&O Canal and order your afternoon tea. The little sandwiches are made from such yummies as shrimp and mango salad on toasted cherry brioche, the lemon verbena panna cotta is to die for, the tea is oh-so-so soothing and because you're with the girls, you simply must have a glass or two of that Louis Roederer champagne. FYI, the FS serves tea everyday between 2-5 pm and reservations are required.
Well, you are in DC - and you should really do something museum-oriented, right? After all, the Smithsonian museums are free! Head over to the Museum of Natural History and check out - what else - the gemstone collection with the girls. Admire the biggest rock of them all - the Hope Diamond. You'll be tempted to head right back to Bailey's for something sparkly after seeing THAT diamond!
It's time for happy hour on the Hill. Want to relive those college days with your best girlfriends? Head over to Kelly's Irish Times (or "The Times," as it is more commonly known as) - and have a cocktail or four (since you and the girls aren't driving anywhere tonight.) If you stay late enough (well after happy hour), they feature some variation of a live Irish performer that kicks the scene up another notch. Or if the mood really hits you, head downstairs where pop music booms. Dance and party like you did all the way back in the 90's.
Well, when you're with the girls, you must go to those places that the husbands would grumble about - enter DC Coast over on K Street. Unless your guy is of the metrosexual persuasion, he'll find this place way too trendy - which means all of your girlfriends wil just love it. The restaurant is housed in a great space, a former bank with high ceilings, there is a lively bar scene and excellent food. Start off with stellar coconut-curry lobster bisque and move right into the entrees - the double cut pork chops with whipped yams will keep you full for at least a day and anything seafood, especially the Chinese-style smoked lobster, is divine.
Wake up the next morning and get ready for a day of indulgence - Spa Day! Head over to the Spa at the Mandarin Oriental for some of the best treatments in the DC area and leave the real world behind. They provide complimentary "heat experiences" with all spa treatments, so do arrive an hour prior to your scheduled treatment and indulge in the Amthyst Crystal Steam Room, the Zen Relaxation Room with magazines, seasonal water and fresh fruit and the Vitality Pool and Ice Fountain. All this before your Aromatherapy massage and Luxury Facial. Yes, it's pricey and requires advance reservations, but you will leave feeling so very, VERY good.
After your spa experiences at the Mandarin, you should really eat lightly - and sushi would be appropriate, now wouldn't it? Head over to Raku on Q street in the Dupont Circle area and get some of the best California rolls that DC has to offer. They also do some really great lunch bento boxes as well.
Still craving just a TAD more shopping? Head over to M Street and the very attractive Shops at Georgetown Park. Just large enough to keep you occupied for a few hours without overwhelming. Here you'll find the likes of Ann Taylor, Express, J Crew, Talbots and Victoria's Secret, amongst others. Chances are you won't leave empty-handed!
Head back to the Ritz, change for dinner, have a drink in the lobby and then head over to Adams Morgan for an Ethopian dinner at Meskerem. This is a very unique dining experience.
Chairs? You won't find them here. Sure, you need to sit on the floor on pillows, but that just adds to the overall experience. Oh, wait -- no utensils? Don't worry - every entree comes with injera, the traditional Ethopian bread. Break it up and use it to pick up one of the delicious lamb or shrimp dishes they serve. Wash it down with an Ethopian beer or order a carafe of wine. Really tasty food at a reasonable price. And the best part? You won't have to hear it from your husband about how he had to pay for dinner out while sitting on the floor and they didn't even give him a fork.
Head back over to Georgetown for your last night out on the town. You don't want to miss Third Edition. Yep, this was the main bar featured in the 80's classic, St. Elmo's Fire. Great DJ's and drinks. It's been a Georgetown tradition for over 3 decades.
Sad about leaving your girlfriends behind? Have one last meal together (and all VOW to work it off at the gym during the week!) How about brunch at the Old Ebbitt Grill? It's really the DC political scene in full swing and the food is delicious. The upside-down French toast is just the thing to get you back to the husband and kids. If you're not driving home, indulge in a mimosa and dish about what to do for Girls Weekend - same time, next year.