My birthday was the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend and it was supposed to be super rad. But, as my luck goes, it wasn’t. You can read more of the backstory if you want, but the most important part is that Shannon ended up having to go out of town at the last minute and ended up missing my birthday and Regionals.
It was dumb.
She got back the day after my birthday and surprised me with tickets to a Saturday night performance by the National Symphony Orchestra and a hotel room in the city for the same night, which happened to be this past Saturday. A few days prior to receiving the tickets I’d be voluntold I was competing in a team at Flex On The Mall on the same day as the symphony, and since I had to be down at the National Mall early for registration and athlete check-in on Saturday morning, we decided to book a room for Friday night, too, and make a belated birthday weekend out of it.
We stayed at a trendy hotel in Dupont Circle that we thought would be super rad but ended up not being super rad. I won’t go into detail here (mostly because I’m already going to bitch enough about the weekend in this post without adding all that shit in), but we weren’t impressed. AT ALL. Like, we definitely won’t be going back there for our next staycation. The atmosphere was cool (I guess) but they totally sacrificed customer service and attentiveness for ambiance, which killed the entire experience. It was annoying and disappointing BUT the silver lining is that we now know exactly what is important to us and we learned what we don’t want from a hotel stay. And that’s a big win because we absolutely plan on making these staycations a quasi-frequent thing. Next time will be better, I’m sure of it.
We planned to arrive in the city and check-in early afternoon on Friday. We were going to dump our stuff in our room, then hit the streets and make the mile or so walk to Georgetown. We were going to stop at the Reebok CrossFit store, check out a few home decor shops, and watch the sunset from an undisclosed, surprise location Shannon had in mind. But, as shit seems to go for us, nothing went according to plan. Go figure, right?
We ended up not getting into the city until 6:00 pm. We knew Saturday was going to be hot and long/full of competition, so we knew our Friday night couldn’t be too wild or too late. Not getting to the hotel until 6:00 pm put a huge damper on our plans. We tried to make the best of it, though, and after we dumped our stuff in our room, we walked to Dupont Circle proper to find a place to get a drink together (no time for Georgetown at this point). We stopped at The Sports Page (what a unique name, right?) and shared a big plate of chips + dip and a few drinks al fresco. It was cute and adorable and basically perfect, except for the part where we had to be done drinking by 7:30-ish, and the part where we didn’t have any time to do a single thing that we’d planned. DUMB.
However, during our bathroom pitstop on the way out of the bar, we did encounter some super drunk college girls who didn’t know each other but went to the same school and were a year (or two?) apart that were hilarious to listen to, so that kind of made up for things. A little bit. It made up for it even more 15 minutes after we paid our bill and left, and ended up in the middle of Dupont Circle right next to them taking drunken/awkward photos with each other and their boyfriends.
We hung out in the middle of Dupont Circle — like, we literally sat on a bench in the middle of Dupont Circle — and listened to a super amazing street band perform while we watched a storm roll in. And roll in it did. QUICK. It started raining so we started hurrying back to our hotel, and along the way some homeless dude professed his love for Shannon to her, which was both creepy and hilarious. By the time we got back to the hotel it was 9:00 pm. Maybe. Super exciting Friday night in the city, y’all.
The next day we had to be down at the Mall by 9:00 am. That’s not actually all that early, except for the fact that the weekend was supposed to be my birthday weekend alone with Shannon and we were supposed to be able to do whatever we wanted to do, whenever we wanted to do it. We likely would’ve been out of bed well before 9:00 even if I hadn’t been competing, but we would’ve been doing something super cool, like drinking bottomless mimosas over brunch at the adorable little hole-in-the-wall next to our hotel. What we definitely would not have been doing was heading down at the National Mall.
Needless to say, I was zero percent excited to have to spend THE ENTIRE FUCKING DAY on Saturday competing in a competition that I didn’t want to be competing in in the first place, and I was very vocal about it. If I were southern I’d probably say some shit like, “Bless her heart,” about Shannon and her putting up with all my bitching
on Saturday the entire weekend (and the entire two weeks prior). But I’m not. So I won’t. Besides, I already apologized to her a billion times for being a whiny pain in the ass. In case you were wondering.
The first WOD was too easy. Some deadlifts, some pull-ups, and OH walking lunges. We owned it.
The second WOD was too easy, too. Burpees, box jumps, and kettlebell snatches. We did alright on this one, but needed to have moved just a liiiiiittle bit faster.
The final WOD was strength. Tami and Jeff (the two on the left in the photo below) had to find their 3 RM hang clean, while Mike and I had to find our 10 RM hang clean. 10 FUCKING-REP-MAX? It. Was. Brutal.
The day was long and not without a few obstacles (WODs were re-ordered, weights were changed, standards/judging were questioned, blahblahblah), but we ended performing really well. We went into the competition doing this strictly “for fun” (aka — just for shits and giggles), and ended up placing 4th overall. So. You know. That was pretty rad. It would’ve been awesome to make the podium and score some extra cash, but we were all happy to do as well as we did (we OWNED the first WOD and the Championship WOD), and we were all really happy for the day to finally be over. Especially me.
Also — not gonna lie — how fucking cool is it to WOD in a competition on the Mall? I mean, either way you look you’re surrounded by amazing monuments and history. The weather was perfect (not humid at all) and the view/scenery was quite literally picturesque. I fucking love living here, all the exorbitant expenses associated with it aside.
Shannon and I got back to the hotel around 6:15 pm, which gave us just about an hour to shower, change, and get ready for the symphony. There was no time for exploring the city or eating dinner — or even for taking a goddamn breather — and by the time the performance started we were both exhausted. But the performance was incredible (it received a standing ovation), and it was indescribably nice to do such a “grown up”, “real” date-ish…thing…with Shannon. No RJ. No kids. No phones or other distractions. Just us inside that auditorium, cuddled into eachother in our seats, watching and listening to a phenomenal performance of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8.
The performance was held at the Kennedy Center, which neither of us had been to before and which both of us were impressed by. I mean, guys. That structure is much bigger than it appears from a distance. Monumental, even (no pun intended). It’s such a simple design — very plain — yet classically elegant. We arrived early enough to spend a bit of time out back on the patio (?) that runs along the river. It was gorgeous and I wish I’d brought my DSLR along to take photos, because my iPhone just doesn’t do it justice. And also because my iPhone ran out of memory and I couldn’t take more than like, 2 photos. Poor planning on my part. Womp.
Oh, and did I mention that the Kennedy Center is right next door to the Watergate buildings? GAH! THIS CITY IS SO COOL!
It was really nice to have a weekend away (see also: a weekend without the kids), but it was a big bummer that Birthday Weekend was “interrupted” by the Flex on the Mall competition, and it was a big bummer that our experience at the place we stayed was so shitty. Even so, I had an amazing time overall and I appreciate everything that Shannon did to make the weekend possible. She spent a lot of time planning it; a lot of money making it happen; and I’m sure she had to jump through a few hoops at home to get away for basically 3 consecutive days.
We’ve already decided that we want to make this a somewhat regular occurrence (maybe one weekend every two or three months), so fingers crossed that next time we get it all the way right (no double booking the weekend and overcommitting!).