Bunked Next to the Capitol

A Capitol Idea

We spent the morning in Shenandoah. Departing the serenity of driving Skyline Drive, first for I-66 and then the more immediate environs of DC, were both rude transitions, one compounded upon the other. Fortunately, we persisted and with a bit of luck safely made it to our hotel or rather Yotel, as it is called. It is a bit of a departure from your normal hotel, part high-tech, part new age and part yet to be figured out by us, like our room’s lighting system. It is only blocks from the Capitol. The kind doorman shepherd us through the operation of the fully automated hotel check-in kiosk. Once checked and in our room, we dumped our bags and headed out to explore the town. Our first stop was the I. M. Pei wing of the National Gallery. Years ago, when I lived in DC the architecture of this museum was one of my mom’s favorites. Decades later, it has lost little of its avant-garde charm. We spent most of our time viewing a new exhibit there, Call to Create: Black Artists of the American South. The works displayed were from Gee’s Bend, AL. Anne was already quite familiar with this school of art, especially their quilts. Then we ran out the clock on the museum’s closing countdown eating gelato and then exploring more museum galleries.

Dinner was at Jaleo, a Spanish tapas restaurant run by José Andrés, a local chef that runs a suite of eateries in town. We started with a sliced apple and fennel salad, with Manchego cheese, walnuts and sherry dressing. For our main course we dined on two small plates, shrimp sauteed with garlic and a Spanish omelet with confit potatoes and onions. Next, I went off the reservation and ordered dessert for two, chocolate custard with caramelized bread, olive oil and brioche ice cream. After four days in the woods, one scoop of gelato was not enough.

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