Cloudy and raining, I managed to crawl downstairs and find some food at the buffet. I didn’t want to eat much since I knew I was about to go on a sampling spurge for the remainder of the day. My hotel was a winner since the Walter E. Washington Convention Center was literally across the street. I gave myself brownie points for a last minute random SPG hotel selection. I bought a Groupon and didn’t bother printing my ticket. Being first in line, the game plan was run through the exhibits, go back across the street to gather my belongings and then go to the Spice Suite. When I got to the reindeer ticket scanning helper in the front of the line, none of the Groupon tickets were registering. For 30 minutes, there were 50 angry people trying to get in to the Metro DC Cooking Expo with valid tickets on our phones. The Head Elf in charge started taking pictures of the codes so we could go in. Once inside, I made my way around the maze of vendors selling their home grown, or locally sourced products – from olive oil to ice cream samples I pretty much had a little bit of everything. My empty tote was now starting to weigh me down and bump into people. As I readjusted my bounty of products, I thought to myself my job here is done. So I grabbed my coat and bookbag and hopped in a Uber which gave me a very scenic tour of Washington DC. Way to many trees and the wrong dropoff point later, I arrived at this oh-so-cosy and friendly Spice Suite shop. I’ve been dying to go since everything online is normally sold out and the Instagram looks plentiful. I made my way around the tiny shop talking to other customers from Boston who were in town as well for the food expo. Every day trip or vacation I’ve ever been on, someone is from the Tri-state area or a north eastern cousin. I can’t escape New York even if I wanted to.
I got some coconut balsamic and an apple raspberry balsamic and headed back to Union Station. One Chick-fil-a sandwich later, I waved DC farewell. I stared out the window of the bus going one way – home.