Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Vegan at a Wedding!

My family and I just returned from a quick trip to the Washington, D.C. area for my husband's brother's wedding. It had been many years since we had been to that part of the country, but the three of us who have memories of living there felt quite nostalgic. Many formative years of our lives have been spent in the D.C. area. It was great to see so many family members and friends. I would have loved to have stayed longer.

Check out the menu for the wedding -- a VEGAN entree!!  So exciting! Heather and Sol, I don't know if you did this just for me, or if you had other vegan guests, but I loved it -- thanks! Besides the "Espinacas a la Catalana", I also enjoyed some lovely hors douvres (little shot glasses of gazpacho with avocado, eggplant tapenade and olive tapenade) some bread and I even had a little spoonful of the paella without the chicken or chorizo (I know, chicken/clam broth, but it didn't hurt me just this once.) It was all delicious! The wedding was lovely and fun for all.

Besides the fabulous Spanish-style wedding menu, I had plenty of amazing vegan food over the few days we were in the area.

At the rehearsal dinner at my mother-in-law's house in Maryland, we were all too busy catching up with friends and family and, as it turned out, didn't eat enough. When we returned to our hotel room we got room service -- pizza and quesadillas for the kids and beans and hummus for me. (my husband fell fast asleep as soon as he got to the room, so he ate nothing) These platefuls were enormous, but luckily we had a little fridge in the room so the leftovers were part of my breakfast the next day.

We were able to stay with my parents in Virginia the day we arrived, and also the evening before we left to come home. At my parents' house, there is always a delicious feast. This time, my sweet parents made so many vegan dishes! They also provided vegan condiments -- the little bowl by my water glass has canola mayonaisse for the avocado. In addition to my food, of which most of us partook, they also served steaks and pizzas, covering all their bases.

This plateful is only round one of one of my parents' feasts -- it features, quinoa with onion, a bean salad with plenty of fresh parsley, a tomato and basil salad, and a steamed artichoke. I also loved the green salad with organic vinaigrette, the abundant fruit bowl and more, plus seconds. Everything was so good! Thanks, Mom and Dad! I should have taken photos of the feast the night before we left too, but I was all tuckered out from such a busy weekend, and it never crossed my mind.

Speaking of the busy weekend, the day after the wedding we decided to take a little tour of D.C. for the kids. Wynne didn't remember living there at all, since she was a toddler at the time, but I used to drive the kids into town about once a week to see the museums and ride the carousel, etc. This time, we started off at Arlington National Cemetery so we could lay a flower on my grandfather's stone. The kids were very impressed with the place. We went to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and to the Eternal Flame at Kennedy's grave, of course.

Next, we went to everyone's favorite, the Air and Space Museum. The food service at the museum is handled by McDonald's, so I wasn't too excited, but look what I got:

It wasn't exactly "fast" food -- I had to wait almost 15 minutes since the food is actually made in the basement of the museum and only assembled at the serving counter -- but I definitely had the freshest salad in the joint. This is a southwest salad without cheese or chicken. It had a wedge of lime and was very agreeable. I filled in the gaps in my tummy with a couple of fries and a handful of trail mix.

After our time with the airplanes and rockets, we enjoyed the beautiful weather, a little warm, but not Sahara-hot like Atlanta, and walked around the Mall and up to the the Capitol Building. I loved seeing my old place of employment, the U.S. Holocaust Museum, from the outside (very nostalgic now) and resolved to plan better next time, getting the tickets in advance as one needs to do (though they are free like the other museums) and allowing enough time for the solemn visit. I wonder if anyone who still works there remembers me.

After wandering all over the Mall grounds, we hopped into our rental car and drove the few blocks to the White House. Everything is different now, of course, after 9/11. I used to drive right in front of the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, which is now closed to traffic. The other roads around Lafayette Square are also closed. One thing is the same though. The homeless lady with a tent on the edge of Lafayette Square who protests against nuclear weapons is still there. My husband says she is the very same woman who he first noticed in that spot thirty years ago! This blew the minds of my kids.

My 17 year old was very much impressed with D.C., as was I. We were both full of nostalgia and felt at home there. My husband doesn't like the traffic, and while my 13 year old daughter enjoyed D.C., it wasn't home for her. She's a Georgia girl. But the best part of our whirlwind trip was the time spent with those dear to our hearts.


  1. Oh I LOVE this post! So many snippets of so many people and places I love! Wow, did Sol get married? The menu looks lovely...and SOOOO lovely (as always) your parents. :)

    What a great trip you must've had! We'll have to find a way to have the masses meet next time you head this way!

    Love you!

  2. I know! You were very much on my mind as we landed in Richmond, which is easier and cheaper for Fredericksburg, where my parents live, than one of the D.C. airports. I wish the trip had been longer. I missed seeing Aunt Gayle and family and my Grandma in Richmond too.

    Yes, Sol is married! It was a rough few years for all, but the kids are all happy, and Karen is happy now too. Everyone is doing well.

    Miss you so!

  3. What a beautiful occasion! I love the photos Cheryl - and so exciting that there was a vegan entree - that's awesome!

  4. Congrats to your hubby's brother!
    I love the DC area.
    We spent our last Thanksgiving there just for fun.
    My kids really loved it too.
    And yes, I found plenty of vegan food, but all of the food in your photos looks yum, yum, yum!

  5. I'm a little late, but I'm glad you enjoyed your trip to my neck of the woods! I like DC very much, though it's a pain to get there from where we are (I refuse to drive and the Metro has its limitations, but we make it work). Love all the food pics and touristy fun!

  6. Thanks Burnout! -- That's right, you are in the Baltimore area, aren't you? I'm glad you get to make it to D.C. occassionally. I couldn't believe how crazy the driving is up there now. Traffic has always been bad there, but seriously, the drivers are nuts now. When I was young and single, and working at the Museum, I only budgeted $4.50 per day for transportation, so I took a bus to the Pentagon, then took another bus to the Museum. Worked like a charm!