Ben's Chili Bowl, a Place for Love

Six days into our BSRT fell on September 2nd...Alessandro's 29th Birthday!  Bright and early that morning, I sneaked out of our room and headed down to the lobby to see what kind of birthday surprises I could find.  Fifteen minutes later, I woke Alessandro up to give him a birthday card shaped like a crab, a Baltimore magnet and a Starbucks vanilla latte.  Wow is he spoiled. *sarcasm*

After our caffeine fix, we left Lord Baltimore (thank goodness!), and head to D.C. to get Al's birthday festivities going.

But first we made a quick stop in Virginia to visit the Arlington National Cemetery.  We watched the changing of the guards, which was a very cool ceremony.  You can find tons of videos of it online...here's one of them.  And here are some very interesting facts about the tomb and the guards if you're curious. 

Once we got to D.C., we stayed at the Washington Mariott, which we liked a lot.  Definite step up from Lord Baltimore.  For Al's birthday, we planned on a night on the town and a nice dinner.  We headed to pre-dinner drinks at an Irish Pub called James Hoban's, and enjoyed $4 glasses of wine courtesy of happy hour.

As explained here, this is my new wine pose face because Alessandro only takes pics of me if I show "a little character." 

Then we headed to dinner at a french restaurant in Dupont Circle called Bistro Du Coin.

Alessandro's a big fan of Bordeaux, so we had a bottle of Les Arromans, which we both enjoyed.  As an appetizer, Alessandro started off with pâté, which was a cold chunk of meat pictured below.  A bit disturbing.  He didn't mind it. 

For dinner, he had rabbit stew. 

I had the beef tenderloin with french fries and béarnaise sauce.  I hated my steak and the sauce was just okay. 

Al really wasn't impressed by his meal either.  But at least the dessert was good.  Al had brioche with custard, orange flavor and creme Anglaise. 

And I had rum pound cake with bananas, pineapple and raisins. 

After dinner, we enjoyed the perfect summer evening weather with a stroll back to our hotel.  The good wine, great company, thrill of our vacation, thoughts of times that were yet to be, spending 24/7 with each other for the past 6 days with many to go, and loving each other in a way we can't explain, culminated in Alessandro feeling like this: 

He is so deserving of all the best birthdays in the world, and I hope each one can be all the more special than the last.  

The next day, which was our last day in D.C., we visited all of the monuments, including seeing the brand new MLK memorial, which was very cool.

And Alessandro posed with Franklin D. Roosevelt.

And we found Alessandro's dad's cousin, Bruno Martin, on the Vietnam War Memorial.

We then headed to the famous Ben's Chili Bowl for a late lunch.  After about a half an hour in line, we were finally able to enjoy the signature chilli half smokes.

And in mockery of Detroit's shamed former Mayor, Alessandro sent me a text while I was standing in line that said, "I'm at ben's chili bowl missing my boo," which almost made me pee my pants.  He must not have known that our former Mayor actually referred to it as "Benz" chilli bowl during his infamous text message scandal:

After Ben's, we hopped in a cab and headed to Nationals Park for the main event! 

Up Next:  Our visit to Nationals Park...and Lifehouse?


  1. I love reading about this journey! Rock on you crazy lovebirds!