Traveling and Reading with Giulia

I write about my trips and the books and food I love!

Why living in the DMV area is awesome!

Second post I’m writing in a week! I guess I’m on a roll or I really have a lot of time on my hands. Instead of worrying about the pandemic and getting stressed about getting a vaccine appointment and my job I thought I’d write about living in the DMV area ( for the people who don’t know it stands for DC/Maryland/Virginia, the metropolitan area around DC).

For the people who don’t know me, I moved from Italy to Bethesda in May 2019. Bethesda is a town about 15/20 minutes from downtown DC , it’s a suburban residential area but it is full of life! My neighborood is similar to the ones you see in the movies, families with children and lots of dogs with porches and white picket fences ( not that is relevant to the story but still) .

The thing that I love about Bethesda is the fact that the metro is super close and it’s the line that takes you directly into Downtown and there is FREE parking on the weekends. It is also full of little boutique shops and restaurants. Local shop owners are so nice! One of my favorite places to go is called Yogitopi. They serve frozen yogurt, they have multiple flavors including flavors of the day and every topping you can imagine. Like for real from fruit to gummy bears to rainbow sprinkles. I could literally spend a day writing about all of them but you should find out when you get there! It also goes by weight so be aware of how much do you put in! I usually get the original flavor, the chocolate one, the vanilla one, and the oreo one. I usually put yogurt chips, chocolate sprinkles, whipped cream, gummy bears or gummy worms, and chocolate syrup. It is delicious!

Another place I love is called Fish Taco, it has a margarita to die for and the best fish tacos/burritos I’ve ever had! It is also fairly cheap. It has indoor and outdoor seating and perfect for a summer dinner with friends and drinks ( post-pandemic of course). Fish Taco has different locations but my favorite is the one in downtown Bethesda on Woodmont Ave but there are several in Maryland/Virginia.

Another thing I love about Bethesda is that is an urban area but there is so much nature accessible. One of my personal favorites is the C&O canal, from where I live you have two options you can go downstream and all the way to Georgetown or upstream all the way to Great Falls. In reality, it goes from Georgetown to Cumberland, MD for a total of 184.5 miles. Along the way, there are campgrounds and places to eat or rest. Biking through it it’s definitely an experience. I only did the part from Georgetown to Great falls but definitely worth it. The path follows the canal and it has some parts that run parallel to the Potomac River, one of my favorite spots it’s actually between Lock 7 and 8, there is a little island with magnificent views of the Potomac River and it’s my quiet place. I go there when I want to think or read plus my dog absolutely loves getting in the water there!

Another great hike is the Cabin John Trail, I like to park on Bradley Blvd and then go downstream. I like to just find little ebooks where I can sit and enjoy the water.

Another of my favorite places is called Kramer Books, which is in DC, specifically in Dupont Circle. It is an independent book store that also happens to be a great brunch spot with an additional indoor cafe. They recently started a subscription of books and wine! You take a survey of books and types of wine you like and they do the pairings. They offer delivery and curbside pick-up! Pandemic wise they also have heated outdoor seating and little bubbles where you can eat inside ( on door stays open so air can circulate and then the heater lamp is on, bring your blankets! )

DC in general has so much to offer! Keep in mind that all the Smithsonian Museums are FREE. Yes, FREE! At the moment they are closed because of the pandemic but when they reopen is worth just popping in. My favorites include the Botanic Garden which is very humid but is fun! The Air and Space Museum and the National Portrait Gallery ( you can see Barack Obama portraiture here!) and the Freer Gallery ( both wings honestly) you can literally get lost in there! Another one is the National Postal Museum which might sound weird but it’s actually super interesting. It shows how USPS came to be and they have SO many stamps!

Another amazing place was the Newseum that unfortunately closed last December due to the high costs of the building. Besides the Spy Museum ( another great one) it was the only other museum that didn’t have free access.

Part 2 will be coming soon with specifics on the museums!!!


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