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Rosa Loves… The perfect pair of flats for an afternoon at the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

The name of my blog says it all: I love DC. I truly believe that DC is such a beautiful city with a rich history and wonderful places to visit. Today’s post is the beginning of a series where I will take you on a mini tour of DC. A few weeks ago, Ann Taylor asked me to share three of my favorite places in the city and I thought it would be a fun project to do. I will also feature some of Ann Taylor’s fabulous pieces which happen to be perfect for exploring DC. I sincerely hope you enjoy my picks.

The National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum are on the top of my list of favorite places in DC. Both museums are located in downtown DC and share one of the city’s oldest buildings, which is a National Historic Landmark and once housed the U.S. Patent Office. The exhibitions offered by the museums never disappoint. Last year, I had the opportunity to see ‘A Democracy of Images’, an amazing collection that explored the evolution of photography in America. I enjoy the new exhibitions, but I often make time to visit the ‘America’s Presidents' permanent collection and the interesting display of modern and contemporary art in the Lincoln Gallery. A coffee break is always a good idea while spending time at the museums and Kogod Courtyard, which is also part of the building, is the perfect place to do so. The courtyard is filled with natural light and the wavy glass and steel canopy is just breathtaking. Since it is easy to lose track of time at this incredible place, a pair of comfortable flats is a must. I can honestly spend an entire afternoon walking around the exhibitions and admiring the building’s architecture.

In case you were wondering, yes, Lola decided to interrupt my photography session so I had to include the photo in the post. 

If you live outside DC but are planning to visit in the future, make sure to include the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in your itinerary. Non-flash photography is allowed throughout the building with a few exceptions and admission is free.

{Flats and clutch featured in this post were courtesy of Ann Taylor}

{Photos by RosaLovesDC}

Rosa Loves… Dine-N-Dash & World Central Kitchen.

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend Dine-N-Dash, a fabulous culinary tour some of the best restaurants and food trucks in Penn Quarter. DC foodies basically took over the streets of DC and enjoyed a night of food, drinks, and live music. The Dine-N-Dash event is truly special because all proceeds benefit World Central Kitchen, a humanitarian organization established by chef José Andrés with the purpose of providing sustainable solutions for hunger relief. Chef José Andrés was at the event and I have to tell you, his energy is contagious. I saw him at a few of the participating restaurants and he was always so cheerful while talking to other foodies and taking photos with fans. Amazing. It was my first Dine-N-Dash and I loved it. I was able to go and visit some of my favorite restaurants and learned about new ones. As you know from reading my blog, I love food photography so I was in heaven with all the delicious dishes to photograph (and eat) around me. Funny story, when I arrived at Cuba Libre, I realized that it was very dark inside for me to take photos. However, some folks came to the rescue and brought food and drinks outside for me to photograph. So there I was, snapping photos of some beautiful food at the volunteer table on the sidewalk. After I was done with the photos, the volunteers, which included the lovely Carmen, and I devoured the incredibly tasty food (thank you Cuba Libre!). I honestly cannot wait to do this again next year. Good food for a good cause, sign me up!

To learn more about World Central Kitchen and how you can help hunger relief, visit their site here.

Participating Restaurants:

Participating Food Trucks:

{Photos by RosaLovesDC}  

Rosa Loves…Vintage Jewelry.

Sunday afternoon was fabulous and filled with beautiful vintage jewelry. After brunch, Arlita, Erica, and I attended a ‘Spark Party’ featuring jewelry from Sweet & Spark and hosted by the lovely Brittney of Hosting and Toasting. I certainly have a weakness for accessories and Sweet & Spark is one of my favorite online places to find unique vintage pieces. The story behind this shop is really special: Jillian, the founder, and her dad started the business in 2012, and together, they travel around the country and visit local flea markets searching for vintage treasures. While sipping on champagne and eating cupcakes with my friends, we tried on the gorgeous pieces that Jillian and her dad have carefully curated for the shop. Just like everyone else at the party, I found the perfect sparkle to take home: a bracelet for me and a gorgeous pair of earrings for my sister.

{Photos by RosaLovesDC}

Rosa Loves… The perfect weather for a day in Georgetown.

After a few days of rain and incredibly high levels of humidity, which were responsible for my ‘crazy hair’ last week, we finally had gorgeous weather this weekend. I got up early on Sunday morning and after watching a couple of episodes of ‘Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown’ with my husband, I was on my way to Georgetown to meet Arlita of Rock and Sole for brunch. Since the metro is kind of unpredictable on the weekends, I ended up arriving earlier than expected to my destination. Luckily, Olivia Macaron was open so I stopped by to say hello to Ana Claudia, the owner of the shop, and to get some tasty macarons for a birthday gift. Once I met Arlita, we decided that since the weather was just perfect, a table outside at Peacock Cafe was a fabulous idea. Over cocktails and eggs Benedict, we had such a great conversation and we were able to learn a little more about each other. We then walked around Georgetown for a bit on our way to a Sweet & Spark Party and admired the beautiful houses in the neighborhood. 

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend too!

{Photos by RosaLovesDC}

Rosa Loves… Wine tasting with the girls. 

I love wine and my Sunday outing to some local wineries couldn’t be more perfect. Ashley, Julien, Maria, and Natalie planned an awesome wine tasting tour in Virginia for a fabulous group of ladies which included Alicia, Amanda, a second Amanda, Carmen, JoAnn, Katya, Kendall, Kristin, Marissa, Morgan, and Tammy

Our first stop was Stone Tower Winery. Mike Huber, the owner, was incredibly kind and gave us a private tour of the facilities and explained their wine making process. He also showed us the vineyards and I was able to snap a picture of the tiny baby grapes (second photo). The wine tasting at this place was also lovely. My favorite wine was their 2009 Wild Boar Blanc de Blancs. Yes, kind of predictable, I went for the sparkling wine. After spending a couple of hours at Stone Tower, we got on the bus and headed to Hillsborough Vineyards. Some of the ladies participated in the wine tastings while others, including myself, decided to get a couple of bottles of wine and enjoyed some of the snacks we all brought to share. I truly enjoyed their 2011 Chardonnay and it was perfect with the strawberries I had bought at the farmers market the day before. It was hard to go back home to be honest; we were just having such an amazing time. We all decided we need to go back soon. 

Thank you Ashley, Julien, Maria, and Natalie for organizing such a fun wine tasting outing. And make sure to check out the blogs of some of the ladies who came to the tour; there were a lot of ‘outfit of the day’ photos taken that day.

{Photos by RosaLovesDC. Photos 1-8 taken at Stone Tower Winery; photos 9-12 taken at Hillsborough Vineyards}

Rosa Loves… Saturday morning flowers.

I had made plans to spend time with friends on Sunday, so Saturday was a day to run errands. I had a doctor’s appointment in Rockville in the morning and since there’s a farmers market nearby, I decided to stop after I was done. I was able to pick up some yummy snacks for the outing we were planning on Sunday and a few veggies for myself. As I was paying for tomatoes at one of the vendor stands, I couldn’t stop looking at the pretty bouquets of flowers they had. While I wasn’t planning on buying flowers that morning, I couldn’t resist and I took a bouquet home.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

{Photos by RosaLovesDC, taken with her iPhone and processed with Instagram}