Monday And Tuesday In DC

I just realized that I didn’t post my National Gallery post when I wrote it, and that’s probably because I already started to get sick and didn’t pay much attention. I think it’s mostly because I hit the point of not being able to cope with multiple things happening in the world and the way they affect people close to me, also because I had several days in a row with very little sleep. I slept eight hours last night, but it is not enough to compensate. Unfortunately, I have a big project to complete over the weekend, and I have no idea how I will be able to accomplish this.

On a brighter note, a little bit about the past Monday and Tuesday.

These are the days that Vlad has off. He spends them catching up on sleep, but he is alive and awake in the evening, and we spent both evenings at Vlad’s and Dylon’s place. Vlad and Dylon taught us to play mahjong, and everybody, including Nadia, loved it.

Igor found a refuge in the local library
Vlad is showing to us his favorite tree

I also really liked their place; it’s different from what they had in Chicago, but nevertheless.

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An Afternoon Tea At Mandarin Oriental

Vlad worked at the Mandarin Oriental hotel for the first three months in DC. During his tenure there, he designed the Sakura Pink Empress Afternoon Tea, also cherry-blossom-themed. He could secure only four tickets for Sunday, so he, Anna, Nadia, and I went.

I think that that’s one of the cases when “a picture’s worth a thousand words,” so I am going to show the tea menu (each of us selected their own tea, and Nadia got a kid version of the menu, and she also had a sparkling juice).

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There was one more thing which Anna and I did on Saturday. Vlad made a reservation for us for aΒ Hanami experienceΒ in his bar. I had no idea what it was, so I came completely mentally unprepared. Since the whole idea was to come to DC for the cherry blossom season, Vlad wanted us to have a complete experience. As you can see from the pictures, the bar was decorated to look like a cherry orchard.

We were presented with picnic baskets with traditional Japanese treats.

We were also offered several other drinks and later an ice cream and some oyster-like jelly sweets.

Later, Vlad explained to us that the music was purposefully set loud enough so that people could not talk to each other and would immerse themselves in the experience.Β

And here is an article which describes the whole experience in detail.


Our family trip to DC planned six months ago, goes on as a combination of unique experiences and major disasters. The first thing that went wrong was that Kira got sick just 36 hours before the trip, and so neither she nor John was able to come. The rest of us got to DC safely and checked in at Riggs hotel. This building used to be a bank (you can read about its history here), and Vlad is a beverage manager at the Silver Lyan bar in this hotel.

Some pictures from the hotel:

The rooms doors are made to look like volt doors
The old safe contains a mini-bar and an actual modern safe
The 24-hour gym
Hotel bikes