I don’t think anything can top a staycation with a loved one if you both want to save time and money if both of you want to keep it low key and maximize your enjoyment of your mini-vacation while not tapping into your PTO bank. For this weekend adventure, I stuck with one camera (Leica MP240) and the Summicron 35mm ASPH II.
Staycation is the way to go
This past weekend, that’s exactly what Amy and I did to celebrate Valentine’s Day a week early, therefore we were able to enjoy the discount prices from hotels during their off-season prices avoid those impossible to get seats for two at your favorite restaurants.
Alexandria is another one of those historic cities close to the city where you’ll find a mix of old town charms, but surrounded by sprawling tall buildings of the current anno domino.
But with any staycation, you also need a place to stay…on a budget, and fortunately we were able to snag a very nice suite with large bathtub from the Lorien Hotel and Spa off of King Street for a very affordable price. Which is fortunate as Amy and I were both looking for a place with a fantastic tub to simulate sort of a relaxing spa experience without having anyone rub us down (and paying the extra cost). A couple oils and bath bombs from Lush worked well, relaxing the both of us from the stresses of work.
One of the charms I love of old towns like Alexandria are the small shops and restaurants that begs both residents and tourists to go visit. The exterior design of each shop goes back during the 18th century with narrow doors and low ceilings, while mixed in with wall murals of current on the side of their brick walls. There were also a few instances when I took photos of strangers and they were receptive of having their photos taken with the Leica MP240 and Summicron 35mm.
Jeni’s Ice Cream
I highly recommend stopping by a Jeni’s Ice Cream shop, either here in Alexandria or anywhere to just smell the fresh waffle cones being made. You can literally smell them a block away before you even see the shop. They also sell dairy-free ice cream for those you that prefer not to have a stomachache later (like myself).
It wouldn’t be a Tae and Amy adventure without mentioning the food and drinks – to that, I don’t think anyone will have any issues on finding fine dining anywhere here in Alexandria. You have your choice of German, Irish and Italian foods all the way around the world to excellent Thai and Chinese restaurants, all within a mile from each other.
If we had to choose one place that was our favorite, it was the local Hofbrauhaus a few blocks away from our hotel.
The food was excellent (the bratwurst were amazing), the drinks were great and the service we received by the staff was fantastic. The bartender above was more than happy to have his photo take with the Leica MP240 and Summicron 35mm. We’ll definitely come back when the weather gets warmer because I believe this place is a hot watering hole during the warmer months.
Before ending our weekend, we had to stop by a coffee shop that was referred on @walkwithlocals during their last Photowalk last month in January. While the location they mentioned was in downtown DC, I remember them mentioning that they had another shop in Old Town Alexandria. Since we were in the area about to head home after a relaxing weekend, we wanted to end the day with with some coffee and food.
Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed this brief update during a slow winter season.
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