Part of MVP's Christmas gift was something I kept referring to as the "Christmas Adventure Day." Really, it was a pretty good gift for me too, since I got to accompany him on all the stops in addition to planning the dang thing. I mean, I live for that kind of stuff.
I spent a few weeks plotting and planning and making arrangements. I was super excited. MVP was...trepidatious. He really is not a fan of surprises, but was being a good sport about letting me plan out the day and keep it all a secret from him.
I decided to write down each of the clues/stops on a Christmas card so that I could give them to him one at a time. The night before, I let him open the first card, so that he knew where we would be going in the morning and could sleep a little easier. I was so excited for our special day, I could hardly sleep. I almost jumped out of bed the next morning, anxious to get the day started. We got ourselves showered and dressed and headed off to the Metro to get the day going.
I treated MVP to a super delicious brunch at Masa 14 in DC. I had never been and always wanted to go. They have a prix fixe brunch menu that included unlimited small plates and bottomless drinks; I thought it was a really good deal and this would be the ideal spot for a long leisurely brunch with girlfriends. Thank goodness I had made a reservation; even though we got there and were seated right when they opened, that place filled up FAST. We sampled tons of tasty treats, giving our own commentary about the flavors and the plating (we watch too much Food Network.) Our waitress was very attentive and I don't think my Lychee Bellini ever seemed to be even CLOSE to empty :)
After we ordered our first round of plates at brunch, I gave MVP the card for stop #2. I wanted him to be able to relax and enjoy the meal and not worry over where we were going next and when we had to be there. He opened the card and looked a little confused, not sure what I had meant. That is, until he flipped it over and saw the envelope taped to the back of the card. When he pulled out the tickets for that day's matinee performance of "Jersey Boys" he had such a smile, I was so happy. It was so great for me to see him so excited over it. Especially because I worried he might not be as excited as I was to see the show!
After brunch, we hopped in a cab and headed over to the theater. It was a sold out show and for good reason. It was AWESOME. Seriously, I would go and see it again, it was that good. There were lots of older folks in the audience who you could tell were really reliving some fond memories with each song that took them down their own memory lane.
At intermission, I gave MVP his next card, asking him to take a walk down to the National Tree. I haven't been in the past couple years but I always think it's a nice little DC thing to do. After the show ended, we walked over and strolled around the tree and the 50+smaller state trees, each decorated with ornaments donated by some school or arts program in that state. But as we were walking over to the tree, MVP was getting a little antsy wondering what we were in for AFTER the tree.
I let MVP open his fourth card on the walk over to the tree, asking him if he'd like to have dinner at Medium Rare. We had talked about going there for awhile, and I figured it would be a great place for an early-ish dinner. He was STOKED. Medium Rare is just a set menu of salad, bread, and steak frites. We hopped in a cab after the tree and got to the restaurant around 6 and were happy to be seated right away. Dinner was delicious. Even though there was little point to me giving MVP his 5th and final card (since he had pointed to Stop #5 from the cab, exclaiming smartly "I bet that's where you want to go after dinner!), I handed the card over anyway.
Each year, the National Zoo gets all gussied up and hosts visitors for Zoo Lights. It is free admission and you can walk around, take in the lights, enjoy some cocoa. On the weekends, they also often have carolers or singing groups. It was a nice way to end our Christmas Day in DC (and walk off some of that food we had eaten at brunch and dinner!)
We did not get home too late, but were both completely exhausted from the looooong day. I guess I was having so much fun that I totally forgot to take more pictures -- sorry about that! Hopefully it becomes an annual tradition and I can be sure to take more pics next year.