1. Orchids in DC: last Friday I visited the Hirshhorn Museum to see their orchid exhibit, then headed to the U.S. Botanic Garden to peek at their orchid collection. If you’re new to reading this blog, you may not know this about me: I love orchids so much that I have a whole separate blog dedicated to them (and it pre-dates this blog by several years)! I saw so many gorgeous orchids that day, but oneĀ of my favorites was this pretty pink Calanthe vestita. You can check out my blog post if you want to see more orchid pics from my visit.

2. Cherry Blossoms: the National Cherry Blossom Festival is in full swing here in DC, and it’s kind of a big deal. Even the DC Streetcar, Capital Bikeshare, and some Circulator buses are adorned with cherry blossom graphics to celebrate. Last Saturday was a picture perfect day so my husband and I headed down to the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms…and so did everyone else in town. It was such a shitshow that we didn’t stay long, but at least we got a little taste of the cherry blossoms. And then we took a 2.5 mile stroll along the National Mall back to our apartment. So lovely!

3. Chinatown Arch: I ran some errands downtown earlier this week and had to stop to snap a pic of DC’s iconic Chinatown Arch. According to Wikipedia, the arch was built to celebrate DC’s friendship with Beijing, its sister city. This isn’t the greatest pic, but I love all of the arch’sĀ intricate details!

4. Taylor Gourmet: the other day I decided to treat myself to a hoagie from this local chain thatĀ uses seasonal ingredients. There are a lot of optionsā€”they even have three completely vegetarian hoagiesā€”and it’sĀ quite affordableĀ considering the quality and variety of ingredients. I placed an order online and strolled on over to the H Street location to pick my hoagie up. I got the Toast Redux, which has lemon ricotta, watermelon radish, herb salad (dill and mint), pickled red onions (which I’d leave off next time), avocado, charred radicchio, tomato, and olive oil. This sandwich was so amazing, and the regular size cost just $8! I will most definitely try Taylor Gourmet again.

5. Broccoli Tahini Pasta Salad: Ā with the weather finally starting to warm up I was in the mood to make a springy pasta salad. I had recently pinned this Love &Ā Lemons recipe and when I went on Pinterest to find something to cook, it jumped out at me. I used whole wheat fusilli and skipped the zucchini, basil, and sun-dried tomatoes because it already felt substantial with the broccoli, green beans, tomatoes, and pine nuts. I also left the garlic out of the lemon tahini dressing because raw garlic usually ends up being too much for me and my husband. And I threw in some feta cheese because I had some in the fridge. The end result? Pure deliciousness!