Soaking Up Fall in DC

Hey guys! I hope my American readers are gearing up for fun Thanksgiving celebrations tomorrow! In case you missed it, here are my Best Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes on the blog if you need some inspiration – and check out my post on How to Have a Stress-Free Holiday Eating Experience too. :)

I’ve been having a great week so far! On Monday, I kicked off my week with an early morning workout with my girls Kathleen and Chelsea. My favorite way to start the day – our workouts always leave me in the best mood! Endorphin high + fun catch up time with friends = the best. We hit up Urban Athletic Club via ClassPass again. :) It was hard but awesome as always!

urban athletic club morning boot camp

After our workout I raced home to shower, eat, and get some work done, because one of my best friends from college, Kris, was coming into town for a visit late morning! Kris lives in Paris but was in the U.S. for a conference and turned it into a longer trip to see family and friends for the holiday.


I was so excited to see her! (We missed you this year, Turner!) She took the train down from Philadelphia, so I met her at Union Station at 11 and we grabbed lattes and started to stroll towards the Capitol. It was cold and windy out but the trees were so gorgeous against the bright blue sky!

fall DC colors capitol

By the time we made it around the Capitol and down towards the National Mall we were ready to warm up, so we popped into the U.S. Botanic Garden. It’s so lovely if you haven’t been before – and totally free, too! These replicas of the monuments are made entirely out of plants – amazing. They were also in the middle of putting up their Christmas decorations which are always gorgeous!

us botanical garden monument replica

From there, we walked down the National Mall and then headed up a side street towards Metro Center for our lunch destination, my old fave Oyamel! I think this is the best Mexican place in DC – and I figured Kris would be up for Mexican since that’s something you don’t get much of in Europe. I was right! :)

Since this was a special occasion, we decided cocktails were in order. Yep, Monday at lunchtime cocktails. You only live once, friends! And this place has awesome and creative margaritas! Our fave was the cucumber one.

oyamel cocktails dc

As for food, we got a million things and shared! They had a lunch special where you could get two small plates and one taco, so we each did that and shared everything. It was all delicious!

oyamel dc lunch

Post-lunch we headed back out for more strolling and monument viewing! We walked all the way down the mall to the Lincoln Memorial, then walked over to the White House before warming up with some tea at Teaism. :) My iphone’s built in activity tracker said we walked 7 miles – whoa! 

washington monument flags

world war 2 memorial water

world war 2 memorial dc

After our tea break Kris headed back to Union Station to meet a couple others for dinner before heading back to Philadelphia. It was such a fun day with a good friend. I miss you already, Kris! Until next time. :)

I came home after the fun and caught up on work for a couple hours before enjoying a Sun Basket (<—affiliate link for 3 free meals) dinner with Matt. This tomato and coconut shrimp dish was probably my favorite meal from them so far – the flavors were so good! I added some quinoa to the mix, though, because it needed some more carbs. (It was one of their paleo offerings.) I definitely want to make this one again ASAP!

coconut curry shrimp stir fry

As for yesterday, I had another fun workout date: a run with my friend Karen! It was windy and cold again but with the sun it actually ended up being a really nice day for running. We met up late morning since we were both working from home and had some flexibility, so I worked for a couple hours before meeting her in Georgetown for some miles. Perfect!


We did a chatty 5 miles. I always love running with Karen – now that the weather isn’t hot and gross anymore I expect we’ll be doing more run dates again which makes me happy! :)

washington monument fresh grass

Post-run we weren’t ready to say goodbye and were still chatting up a storm so we walked to my new favorite Compass Coffee and enjoyed some pumpkin spice lattes. :)

When I got home I threw together one of my favorite lunches – and one of Zara’s favorite lunches since it involved canned tuna (she always gets a little)! :) Mixed greens + canned tuna mixed with mashed avocado + sauerkraut + green pepper + 90 second plain brown rice + a homemade vinaigrette (oil + red wine vinegar + lemon juice + dijon mustard). I don’t know what it is about this combo but it’s sooooo good. Try it!

easy tuna sauerkraut salad bowl

The rest of yesterday was a normal workday, and Matt and I enjoyed another Sun Basket last night that I forgot to get a picture of. :) Instead, here is a funny photo of Zara – there are some leaves stuck right outside this window that she’s obsessed with because they blow in the breeze. Too funny!

cat in window

Matt and I are both working from home today and his parents are arriving in the early evening for the holiday festivities! In addition to wrapping up work we need to hit the store. Tonight we’re making my Salmon with Lemon Mustard Dill Sauce for everyone, and we need to get ingredients for tomorrow’s feast, too! I’m in charge of the non-potato veggie sides (my brother is doing the mashed potatoes), and I’m making my homemade cranberry sauce, lemon garlic string beans, and brussels sprouts with delicata squash, currants, and hazelnuts (we were able to swap out one of our Sun Basket dinners this week for the ingredients to make that side dish instead – it’s enough for 8 to 10 people. awesome!) I might do some sort of a salad, too, just for fun – we’ll see! We will probably have way too much food but leftovers are always a good thing. My mom is roasting a turkey and Matt and his dad are frying a turkey for us too. So excited!

Before the madness begins, I’m taking myself to a nice lunchtime yoga class at Edge Yoga today, which I’m already looking forward to. :) As for tomorrow pre-feast, we’re doing our local favorite – the Alexandria 5 mile turkey trot! We love this race and have done it a bunch of times now – anytime we’re in the DC area for Thanksgiving! It’s a fun one. :)

I’ll leave you with a note that today is randomly National Espresso Day! Clearly I got on board with a double shot latte with whole milk (grassmillk!) this morning. To celebrate, I highly recommend you put a Nespresso machine and this milk frother on your holiday wish list. They are THE BEST.

national espresso day

Have a fabulous holiday guys! Spread some love and joy and enjoy some really delicious food. I’ll see you back here Friday with a recap!

Please note there are affiliate links in this post.


  1. 1

    Yay! Great recap! That was so fun! I can’t believe we walked 7 miles in that freezing wind! Very thankful for the sunny and clear skies though :) Thanks for the DC tour!! :D

  2. 4

    happy thanksgiving!!!
    I love the salad bowl you made… and the wood bowl , where did you get it? it’s perfect size for a salad meal.

  3. 6

    Have a very happy and delicious thanksgiving!!

  4. 7

    I love photos of autumn/fall on the east coast of the USA! We don’t get a proper autumn here in Australia and it’s my favourite time of year – all those gorgeous leaves! Sounds like you had a great start to the Thanksgiving week :) Have a wonderful time at the Turkey Trot and a fantastic Thanksgiving with your family :)

  5. 8

    Looks like great fall excursions!

  6. 9
    Gaye McGrath says

    Two turkeys? OMG! Thanx for the DC tour, the best when I’m not there to see it.

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