Washington, DC: First Impressions

I haven’t had time to blog in the last few months thanks to my full-time job, being more than full-time in graduate school, and my usual crazy fall travel schedule. One additional thing has been adding to my stress recently though–our move to Washington, DC. Thanks to the military, we finally realized our dream of living in the nation’s capital! We’ve been here one full week today, so I figured it’s time to write down my first impressions. When we’re getting ready to leave here in 5+ years, I can look back and see how much my opinions have changed!

First, the good:

  • I love our neighborhood. There is a grocery store downstairs in the same building as our apartment. There are restaurants on our block and in every direction for 4-5 blocks. This is a newer area that is still adding retail and restaurants, so we have lots of “coming soon” signs as well. I’m really looking forward to the spring and summer, which is supposed to be prime time for our neighborhood’s activities like movies and concerts in the park.
  • Our apartment is awesome. It’s tiny and that will take some getting used to, but it really fits our needs. Our furniture isn’t here yet, so we still have many boxes to unpack, but I think we’re going to make it work. Organization and smart furniture choices are key. Tomorrow we get our dining room shelves and living room shelves, as well as our drop-leaf table that will act as a console table when not in use. Saturday we get our new storage bed from IKEA and storage cabinets for the bathroom. Once those things are here, we can finally find a permanent home for everything and unpack those boxes! My desk comes Monday/Tuesday and that will be the finishing touch on cleaning up the disarray.
  • The people. Everyone seems very friendly so far. Our front desk staff at the apartment, the cashiers at the grocery store, employees at the counter service restaurants, and waiters at the sit-down places have all been super friendly. I thought within the first week we might have met a few of our neighbors, but no luck just yet. Our building hosts a lot of events, so maybe we’ll meet some people soon.
  • The food. Oh my gosh. We are going to have to set strict limits on eating out once we get everything unpacked and situated or we’ll go broke eating all the amazing food here. I’m so excited that the restaurants nearby have menus focused on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. We haven’t even scratched the surface of what DC has to offer.
  • Friends! My best friend and her husband live here in DC, and I’m so excited to be close! They live just a few minutes away, and I’m looking forward to seeing them a whole lot more!

The meh, or not-so-good:

  • Traffic. Of course. Once we get settled, we won’t be driving much, but you know all those things you have to buy when you first move in somewhere and the 95 trips to Target you need to make? Well, we’ve been doing all that in DC traffic. No bueno.
  • Walking the dog in the rain/cold. Ah, apartment living. This is the part I haven’t missed. Our apartment doesn’t have a pet area, so I have to walk Pacey across the street at the very least (and preferably about 1.5 blocks away) for him to have any grass to do his business on. In a week’s time, he has pooped on the sidewalk no fewer than 4 times while we’re on our way to the grass. Lovely. Hopefully he’ll get used to this routine and with some positive reinforcement he’ll realize where he’s supposed to go.
  • People smoking pot. Really never cared about this much, but omg it smells terrible. Although our building is non-smoking, someone was ignoring this rule last night and the smell wafted into our apartment. Then again today when we were walking to get lunch, we walked near someone smoking and got hit in the face with that nasty smell. Not the most appetizing thing. Seems like a silly thing to complain about, but I’ve never really had to deal with that before!

That’s really it for the first week. We’ve been out and about some, but mainly just to furniture shop or pick up necessities at Target or the grocery store. Maybe this weekend we’ll be able to get over to the Smithsonian or do something fun. There’s an event a block from our apartment Saturday in the park, so we’re planning on stopping by there and maybe grabbing dinner. Sunday is supposed to be warmer and sunny, so we may have to go exploring while the weather is nicer.

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Our living room on move-in day! Boxes everywhere!

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