Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Roadtrip (Part II)

Dear y'all,

I hope you enjoyed "The Roadtrip (Part I)". If not, you can click HERE to catch up before reading on.

Ok, everyone caught up now? Great!

So we left off where Jen and I died at 4:00 a.m. after drinking 2 bottles of wine. Once we finally woke up, I think around 10-ish (?), we decided to walk down to the Avenue, have some brunch and do a little bit of local shopping. Leisurely strolls down avenues full of locally-owned businesses is where I love to be when visiting another town. I mean OH. MY. GOD. there was art and gourmet/couture pet shops and chocolate and cheese and wine and pizza and card/paper shops and the Fall leaves falling like snow all around us and a few trick-or-treaters thrown in for good measure and some locals hanging out and dogs being taken for their walks.

I think I quivered a few times.

Anyway, our first stop was Cheesetique, that Jen frequents quite often, I understand.

Y'all the sweet, pungent odor of the cheese just got me all excited the second we opened the door. A wonderful mix of cheese and happiness. Ms. Cheese Lady has cheese from all over the world. I am not even kidding. We sat in the back, at the cafe'/wine bar area, and ordered a cheese sampler along with a sample of the cured meat. Oh good Lord, that stuff was good! After that, I had a very decadent and smooth bowl of tomato/lobster bisque and a spring mix salad with balsamic vinegarette. I can't tell you what Jen had because I was too busy stuffing my face with all that heaven-ness.

We also grabbed a few cheeses to go, along with some marinated mushrooms and some Italian salami for later.

Then it was on to other stores. About the time that we got going good, she steered me towards a beautiful, and very tiny stand alone store called Barkley Square Gourmet Dog Bakery And Boutique.

Is it not the cutest thing you've ever seen?

I swear to God, I squealed like Perez Hilton when he first laid eyes on Ricky Martin. This was THE cutest place. Ever. They had clothes and toys and all kinds of stuff for pets. And the best part? Gourmet puppy treats! Oh yes, Tater and Mia are gonna love them! The treats they made for pets looked so delicious. "The Girls" (as we call them) are getting some peanut butter cookies as well as some cheese cookies. They will heart me even more now.

Once we were done with the shopping, we headed back to her place to sit on the balcony with a glass of wine, because 2 bottles the night before apparently did not teach us a lesson. And while I'm talking about her balcony, let me just tell you about the view: There is a beautiful view of the city, the Potomac River, Ronald Reagan International Airport (without hearing the planes), the edge of Maryland, AND THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT! The views at night were especially spectacular. I suspected that her balcony (which I swear was the longest one I've ever seen - the entire length of her apartment!) was the place to be on July 4th for the D.C. fireworks and she confirmed - it is.

(Partial night view from the balcony - cell phone shot. Now, you can't tell it in this pic, but the Washington Monument is there. See the zoomed-in version below in the daylight. Hard to see as it was a gloomy day outside, but it's there and on a clear day, it's an awesome sight! You can see it right in the middle of the shot - behind the tree line - just to the left of the's tryin' to blend in with the clouds/gloom. Whatever. It's there.)

She also made mention that, on occasion, she has seen Marine One take off from The White House. How cool is that???

While we were out on the balcony, we saw a bald eagle fly by. Seriously. How much more patriotic can you get than to see a bald eagle fly by not 100 feet from you, with THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT IN THE BACKGROUND???

I'm just sayin'.

We also kept getting a whiff of something being cooked with tons of garlic. I thought maybe a neighbor, but then she reminded me about the gourmet pizza place on the 1st floor of her complex. After about 20 minutes, we decided that it was a night for pizza....and of course, more wine.

After ordering a large thin crust, we sat back and enjoyed the pizza and wine and got caught up on more of our life's events. Because we were getting up early for brunch in D.C., followed by a little sight-seeing, we thought it best to lay low on the wine, and just head to bead a little early.

And here's where I halt this post because it's getting wayyyy too long and there is lots more to tell and I don't want you getting bored because the fun part comes in Part III. I mean, not that it wasn't fun up to this point - it was awesome. But, Part III? Oh, you're gonna love that one!

With that, I will close here and say that I hope you have enjoyed taking this roadtrip to VA with me, so far!

Sparkles 'n kisses!

(P.S.: If you are on Twitter and would like to follow any of the shops that I mentioned, you can follow Cheesetique at "cheese_lady" and Barkley Square at "BarkleyPets".)



  1. (Regretfully, I must note that the round building downstage from the monument is the Alexandria Water Treatment Plant. Summers can get a little...pungent.)

    The Cheese Lady would LOVE that pic--well done!

    The cheeses were the Tomme de Ma Grand-Mere, a soft, sweet goat cheese (the one I bought to eat at home, as well) and the Lionza, I think. The cured meat was Bresaola (TJ's carries some, but it won't be as fresh--check a local deli). I had the mushroom quiche, which was...well, lovely, but not as good as their tomato soup.

    The other cheeses I brought home were Drunken Goat (which I think is more widely available now) and a caramelized onion cheddar...which my Cheesetique Cheese Log would show are my absolute favorites. :)

    Thank you for not telling your readers that I un-fabulously burned the shit out of my tongue with hot chocolate on that stroll...

  2. The dog bakery is freakin adorable! How cute!!!!


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