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I'm not a hillbilly; I'm a hillwilliam.

OK! Three weeks ago I was in Nashville, DC and Baltimore (where my camera died) and it was awesome!

First I went to my second Nashville wedding of the year.  We were told that the venue was right next to Keith Urban’s house, but when I mentioned that to another guest, she rolled her eyes and said in a faint Tennessee twang, “Keith Urban must have houses all over Nashville, because everyone seems to live next door to him.”

Fair enough.

The wedding was lovely, and it was great to make some new friends (bourbon-soaked cherries accelerate the friend-making process) and see some extended family.  I got to check out the Vanderbilt campus and walked around the Hillsboro area a little, which is south of the university and kind of funky – cute coffee shops, a record store, etc.

I flew out of Nashville at 6 am on Sunday and made it to my friend Michael’s house by mid-day.  What I wanted to do was face-plant on his futon (hello, old friend!) but instead we headed out to a book fair on the National Mall, and then wandered around the various monuments (fyi, the reflecting pool is now a giant mud pit.  they’re fixing it, but in the short term, its just gone.  Its like going to Niagara the day they stop up the falls), through GW’s campus, and to dinner with friends in Dupont Circle.  The book fair was just ending as we got there, so it was kind of a bust, but it was a stunningly beautiful day.  The highlight was dinner with an old friend and two new ones in Dupont – dinner was delicious, even though Michael and I failed to pick up a bottle of wine (DC liquor laws = suck).  Also, it was there that I learned about the solar decathlon (want to learn about the solar decathlon? Scroll down!).

On Monday, Michael met me on the Mall and we explored DC all day.  We went to the Design Center and checked out a photography exhibit; wandered around wasting time; hung out in the Building Museum bookshop (its the best. museum. gift shop. EVER.); walked around Georgetown and took in the views (possibly my favorite part of the afternoon) and then met up with my friend Erin for dinner at the Liberty Tavern, where the waiter made fun of me for mispronouncing orecchiette.  Hater.  The food was really good, though.

And *finally* I went to Baltimore to visit my friends Adrea & Raghu and meet their dogs Toby and Felix.  Adrea and I made elaborate lemon meringue creams (and then I bought the cookbook), ate sandwiches from Trinacria’s, and then Adrea gave me the insider tour of Baltimore, with insights like “this is the really bougie part of Baltimore.”  We went and walked around Fells Point, which is a really fun little neighborhood, and looked across the water at the Dominor Sugar Factory.  I actually really liked it – we exhausted the fun stuff to do pretty quickly (since neither of us needed new shoes, a trampy dress, or alcohol) but it was a place I’d never been.

For dinner, I crashed Adrea and Raghu’s date at Woodberry Kitchen, one of the very best restaurants in Baltimore that emphasizes locally grown ingredients (yes please!).  The food was amazing (I had scallops) and so was the location: it was in an 1870s foundry that had very schmancy condos across the street and was located immediately adjacent to a glass-blowing studio.  My second-favorite part (after the food) were the adorable flannel-clad waiters.  So if you’re in the area, now you know what to do! You’re welcome.