|The Topaz Bar has recently been revamped as a "Moroccan-inspired retreat."|
The bar’s signature cocktail menu features drinks based on the astrological signs. I tried the Aries, a spicy mix of jalepeno-infused tequila and orange juice, while Tina went with the Aquarius. Mine was well balanced, the heat playing off the sweetness of the juice and alcohol without being bitter. Tina’s Aquarius, on the otherhand, was not altogether unpleasant, but required getting the brain to ignore the drink’s strange, neon blue color. I stuck with my drink, but Tina decided to ordered the Gemini - a sweet cocktail made with pomegranate juice and sparkling. It was a good 2nd choice. We shut the bar down (at 10:30, mind you, but still!) and decided to call it an early night to prepare for the busy day ahead.
Saturday was our tourist day. We had mid-morning plans to tour the Capitol, so lept out of bed to enjoy breakfast before making the 2 mile hike down there. It was a short tour, packed with interesting tidbits of info (you get to see where John Quincy Adams sat when in the House of Reps and walk right by the Speaker’s office chambers). Nate took dozens of photos of the area around the Mall.
More interesting to us was the National Museum of American History. We stomped through for hours, exploring different bits of our national history. Tina was enthralled by the Star Spangled Banner, but was appalled that the original owners cut pieces away to give as gifts. It’s still in pretty good shape after more than 200 years. I enjoyed an historic house, which the museum has tracked through 200 years of owners and renovations. But the best part was lunch. Apparently the Smithsonian has made a point of bringing good food into their cafeterias, and we took advantage of the fresh BBQ and craft beer during a casual meal. Both the pulled pork and North Carolina style chicken were juicy and flavorful, the sweet potatoes were crispy on the outside and soft and moist on the inside, and the coleslaw was juicy, but not too runny. For a simple meal, convenient to the Museum, we couldn’t really ask for more.
To be continued. . . .!