Mackenzie Watson
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Forty-Eight Hours in Washington, D.C.

The First Step of my Wine Journey

Already on a time crunch and parked four floors below ground of the Ritz-Carlton, we sprinted up the stairs in suit and tie and high heels and dress.

Anger seeps up my spine as sweat rolls down my back and pebbles on my forehead. Why the heck is it eighty-one degrees in October in Washington? I immediately regret the wool dress that’s holding in my heat.

We’re running late. We have a one o’clock reservation at Fogo de Chao and we’re running late. We’re finally street level, but disoriented and a little far from the metro, I insisted we try Uber. As the girl who spent her college years traveling the world, I have no clue how to use Uber. I curse in the heat as I have now reverified my credit card number four times. I give up. We flag a cabbie and ride in silence to the restaurant.

Welcome to Washington, DC.

I forget that big cities rip my soul from me. Check it all at the door.

I laugh that I actually used to live here.

Once at the restaurant, though, I’ve regained my soul.

A huge wine cellar towers behind me as we eat. What a dream. I press my nerves to the side as we enjoy the Brazilian steakhouse. We get talking to the waiter and he surprises us with dessert in honor of the beginning of my wine journey.

We make our way over to my Wine school after lunch for my first wine exam. It’s tucked away on the third floor of a dance school, with yellow peeling walls, and the strong smell of red wine. Home sweet home.

My exam went so well. I’ll have to wait six weeks before I get my results, due to the fact that they send my exam to London via snail mail and London sends it back to DC and DC mails it to me. What a process.

Mitchell and I laugh that he chose a career made up entirely of women, and I chose one that is entirely of men. I think there is an essence of confidence that comes with that. One of my favorite writers, Shonda Rhimes said it like this, “I am not lucky. You know what I am? I am smart. I am talented. I take advantage of opportunities that come my way. And I work really, really hard. Don’t call me lucky. Call me a badass.”

The rest of our trip in Washington was a blur. We spent our night walking around the monuments on the national mall. I love to see all the statues and white marble light up at night. We sit on the edge of the Lincoln Memorial, staring off at the reflecting pool that separates us from the Washington Monument.

The following morning led us to the Natural History Museum, the Air and Space Museum, the Hirshorn, and my favorite, the Library of Congress.

I could get caught up in DC forever. It reminds me that history is interesting and I hardly know the first thing about it.

Maybe we will make it back there again one day. We are already planning to spend some time doing travel nursing.

Short and sweet, we were back to Wilmington before we knew it.

The next six weeks will be a little siesta before I begin level three of Wine school. Then, that will hold me captive until May. So, what are my plans for the next six weeks? Exercise? Absolutely. Work on my novel a bit, but try to breathe a little bit as well. I don’t think I’ve willingly left the apartment for the last two months. I’ve got to get my stress levels down a little bit.

So cheers to October, the greatest month of a splendid year.

How we spend our days is, in fact, how we spend our lives.

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