August 5, 2013

Adventures in Washington D.C. (The Conference)

Two weeks ago I headed to Washington D.C. to attend the National Alliance to End Homeless Conference.  This is a massive conference held annually in the nation's capitol that brings together organizations working toward and advocating for the end of homelessness.  I arrived on a Sunday, the conference ran through Wednesday and it was held at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown D.C. (located near Chinatown).  I attended the conference as apart of my 'professional development' so while some of my colleagues presenting at the conference I was able to relax and enjoy as many sessions as possible.

National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference in D.C.!
Judy Woodruff of PBS was the keynote speaker at lunch the second day - love her!
The conference was great!  I learned so much and it was great to see so many SOAR representatives from the states I work with.  It was almost like a mini-SOAR reunion; every time I turned around it felt like I saw someone I knew from one of my trips or someone was talking to me about SOAR.
When the conference ended instead of flying home I had an entirely new trip to look forward to.  Adam and Elise were driving down to meet me the next day!  Our plan was to visit and stay with Adam's cousins (Seth & Shannon) for a couple of nights while also being 'tourists' around D.C.  Then on Saturday we would head up to Baltimore, MD to meet up with my parents, walk around Baltimore and go to the Red Sox vs. Orioles game!
But since the conference ended on Wednesday and they were not arriving until Thursday afternoon I had a night and almost an entire day to myself in D.C.!  After I switched hotels (I chose a Hampton Inn just a couple blocks from the White House, that I got for FREE with Hilton Honors points) I met up with my boss (who was also staying on in D.C. that night) for dinner at The Pig.  When we first arrived I was expecting it to be somewhat of a 'hole in the wall BBQ place', I ended up being completely wrong!  The meal we had was unlike anything I had ever had before; nearly everything on the menu pork or bacon based and the chef came up with some crazy innovative dishes.  Delicious!
The Pig in Washington D.C.!  I would recommend it to anyone who is in the area. 
It is definitely an experience!
First up - bacon wrapped peaches with blueberries, blue cheese and a honey drizzle. 
The combination may sound a bit odd but they were SO good!
The 'main course' - spicy pulled pork butt BBQ and mac and cheese with truffle oil!
This doesn't even need an explanation - it was out of this world!
Southern spoon bread!  Surprisingly probably my favorite dish of the entire meal, it was delicious!
(Not pictured was an order of swiss chard)
Dessert was homemade vanilla and strawberry gelato!
After dinner I decided I needed to walk, a lot, so walked over to the White House to take some pictures.  I have seen the White House numerous times but it was always from the National Mall side, never the side where you can be 'closer'.
The White House!
Statue of Andrew Jackson on horseback in Lafayette Square outside of the White House.
After an awesome dinner and a long walk I headed back to my hotel for the night.  The next day I would work remotely until noon and then head to the National Zoo!

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