16 things I will miss about DC and NoVA

It's no secret that I am pretty excited to leave the DC area.  

I never realized how much I could not deal with noise and traffic until I was thrown into that very situation.  Virginia hills and country, here I come!

But there are a few things I will miss about living in the area, like

1.  The George Washington Memorial Parkway, especially early Sunday morning.  The light has just begun to cast a glow on the Potomac, a few people are running and biking, and DC is as still as I ever see it.

gw parkway, trees

2.  Elizabeth's Gone Raw.  It's a cool restaurant.

3.  Sweetgreen.  Ditto.

4.  My co-workers.  St. John's, the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, and the Georgetown students are pretty great.  I had amazing bosses who embraced creativity.

5.  Our house.  We bought our first house here, and we lovingly made it our own.  From refacing the fireplace to building the breakfast bar to changing every last light fixture to painting our front door green, we put a lot of sweat equity (and some dollars) into the place.

6.  Our neighbors.  We were finally getting to know our next-door neighbors and joining the cul-des-sac for Sunday afternoon drinks.  The renters that no one liked are leaving when we are.  How's that for timing?

7.  Feeling like I'm part of the Cool Club.  It's undeniably fun to go to work in the same place shows like Scandal and House of Cards take place, and I feel connected to the heartbeat of our nation--the politics anyway.

8.  How informed everyone is.  In the DC area, you are expected to know what is going on in the world.  People are engaged, intelligent, and ready to talk about the world's problems.

9.  Diversity.  Take my hair salon, for instance.  Last time I was there, the stylists who surrounded my chair were from Iran, England, China, and Malaysia.  This type of occurrence is not unocmmon.

10.  Having people come to me.  Out-of-town friends often find themselves in the DC area for some reason or another, and it is a wonderful treat to see them when they are here.

11.  Being centrally located--or easily accessible--to so much.  It's a quick plane ride, train ride, or car ride to most places in the country.

12.  The cherry blossoms.  No explanation needed.

cherry blossoms

13.  The energy.  The downside is that people aren't great about taking breaks, but I love that people care and have passion.  Very few people coast through life.  They are driven by something.

14.  Virginia Theological Seminary, which makes it easy to keep tabs on Episcopal church politics and thought.

15.  Liberal tendencies.  I have a feeling I will need to readjust some of my norms over the next few months.  DC's normal is not the rest of the country's normal.

16.  Random photo ops.  It never gets old driving by the Washington Monument (especially when it is lit up at night) or walking to a meeting and passing the National Cathedral.  The traffic surrounding these places gets old, but the buildings themselves never do.

washington monument

What's missing from this list?  

Oh, yes, the museums or monuments.  I love them, but I do not regularly visit any of them.  I tend to make my way down to the Mall only when we have out-of-town guests.   I find it much easier to take advantage of DC's many (free) opportunities as a visitor, not as a resident.  I suppose it is true what they say: when you can go any time, you go no time.

Emily Rowell Brown