You may have noticed that I’ve been on a brief travel/writing hiatus. In September of last year a friend and I made the decision to move to the DMV in 2017; and in March 2017 I made that dream a reality.
The past 60+ days have been full of stress, excitement, and awe. Now that I’m finally pausing to reflect on life since March 4th this Garden State girl has realized she’s head over heels about the DMV.
I’ve been rudely throwing out the DMV acronym and assuming you lovely readers know what it means. In NJ it stands for the Department of Motor Vehicles, but out here DMV stands for Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.
But just so we’re clear the DMV does not include all of Maryland and Virginia. The easiest way to determine if a city in either of the states falls in this infamous region is if you can get from there to Washington, D.C. in less than an hour. So, I may have made this rule up, but there’s no rhyme or reason as to why some cities are excluded from this trilogy (*cough* Baltimore *cough*).
While 60+ days in a place does not an expert or local make, I’ve decided to share a few of the things I love the most about my new home. The area is known as the epicenter of politics, capital of the USA, and location of monuments galore, but there’s so much more to do here.
- Founding Farmers, 1800 Tysons Blvd, Tysons, VA 22102
- This restaurant takes the phrase “farm-to-table” to a whole nother level. It is co-ooperatively owned by 47,000 family farmers and it is their mission to showcase the value of these farmers in their dishes and overall restaurant experience. I am not ashamed to say that I’ve been to this restaurant approximately 6 times in the 2 months since I’ve moved to the area. Although they have locations in Virginia, DC, and Maryland, I’ve only been to the VA location listed above. I try a different food on every visit and have yet to be let down. On weekends they offer an $30/per person brunch buffet that is well worth the money.
- Kazaxe, 6728 Industrial Rd., Springfield, VA 22151
- Kazaxe is self-described as a, “…high-intensity dance-party workout.” I can’t think think of a more accurate description. Before attending my first class I had few expectations, but knew from viewing Instagram pics and videos that I would be working up a sweat while learning a couple new dance moves in a body positive space. At a price of $6 for an hour class the value is unbeatable. Classes fill up fast so be sure to show up 20-30 minutes in advance. The energy of the various teachers and creator of the program, Azuka, is infectious. You’ll be sure to get a good workout while feeling like you’re out at the club with your closest friends.
- Smithsonian Museums
- All of the Smithsonian museums and the zoo are free! (Most NYC museums are free as well, if you know how to finesse). There are 20 in the DC area alone covering various subjects such as American Art, Air and Space, and African American Art. I’ve set a goal to visit all of the museums by my 1 year anniversary of living in the area. Whether you’re visiting the DMV or new to the area, like myself, I encourage you visit at least one.
- El Paso Mexican Restaurant, 6804 Commerce St, Springfield, VA 22150
Prior to moving to the DMV I was told there were no good Mexican restaurants out here. I since learned that “out here” was referring only to DC. As an avid Taco Tuesday attendee I was on the hunt for a Mexican restaurant in Springfield one day after a Kazaxe class. I walked in and was excited to learn they offer $1.50 tacos on Tuesdays. If not visiting on a Tuesday don’t be dismayed, the regular prices are affordable, the portions are huge, and the drinks are strong. Combine all of these facts with the friendly, quick service and colorful decor and this restaurant is sure to please.
- Honorable Mentions
- Stan’s, 1029 Vermont Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005 #WingsAndDrinks
- Marvin, 2007 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 #LateNightTurnUp
- Ozio, 1813 M St NW, Washington, DC 20036 #RestaurantByDayClubByNight
- Jolley’s, 654 S Pickett St, Alexandria, VA 22304 #TuesdayStandUpFridayTurnUp
- Babylon, 3501 S Jefferson St, Falls Church, VA 22041 #3.50HHWingSpecial
- Manny & Olga’s, 1641 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007 #AlmostAsGoodAsNY/NJPizza
Not to get all mushy on y’all, but I just want to take a moment to say for anyone considering moving to a new state, country, or even city, do it. New Jersey was most definitely my comfort zone. The majority of my closest friends and family are there.
Once setting the goal to move to the DMV I definitely doubted myself a couple times and I won’t deny the apprehension I felt when preparing to move, even if it’s only 4 hours away from NJ.
Since moving I haven’t doubted this decision for a moment. I can say without hesitation that moving to the DMV has been one of the best decisions I’ve made for my career and social life in the past 25 years. Every day I wake up grateful for the friends I’ve made, opportunities I’ve been granted, and experiences I’ve gone through.
If you have any DMV restaurants or activities that you love feel free to leave them in the comments sections below!