Weekend Highlights: Garnacha, Hello Kitty, a Pique Nique & a Sneak Peek at NMAAHC

I can’t believe it’s already Monday! I packed a lot in three short days, and the¬†weekend definitely flew by! Now let’s just hope the week goes just as fast too ūüėȬ†

MEXICAN INDEPENDENCE DAY AT GRAND CATA

Have you been to Grand Cata yet? It’s one of my favourite wine store in the city… and since it doesn’t carry many French bottles, that’s saying something about the rest of their selection!¬†My first instinct when picking vino is usually to go straight for what I know, French wines but Julio and Pedro who co-own the Latin-centric shop are always spot with their recommendations. Whether it’s a Spanish garnacha, a Portuguese rose or a bottle¬†from South America, they’ve definitely helped me step out of my wine-comfort box and explore different wine producing regions. On Friday, they held a bit of a party at their 7th street store to celebrate Mexico’s¬†D√≠a de la Independencia. There was Mezcal (Grand Cata sells more than just wine) and¬†tasty maizopes courtesy of Manos de Maiz.¬†

Manos de Maiz

Grand Cata Wine Store in Washington DCCelebrating #Garnachaday

Since Snooth, an online community for¬†wine drinkers was hosting a virtual tasting party with¬†Wines of Garnacha¬†for #GarnachaDay I picked up a 2014 Gardacho from Alzania vineyards in Navarra, a 100% garnacha wine that they recommended and joined the twitter fun while watching St Vincent on Netflix¬†ūüėČ I definitely needed a night in after a busy¬†week, though I’m not gonna lie, I thought the movie was going to be a bit funnier… I was quite depressed after watching it…¬†

HELLO KITTY CAFE TRUCK PARKS IN BETHESDA

Hello Kitty Cafe Truck

I also needed a good nice rest since I had to get up super early to head to Bethesda for the scheduled appearance of the Hello Kitty Cafe truck. Yes, I pretty much dedicated all of my Saturday to waiting in line, outside a pink truck, to grab one box of $15 Hello Kitty themed macarons.

Nicole and the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck

Hello Kitty Cafe Truck

The wait was a bit ridiculous (Hello Kitty sure has some dedicated fans!) and the line could certainly have been managed better but it was all worth it! Besides, I got to swing by Fresh Baguette while I was there and tried their pumpkin croissant too! ps: speaking of¬†Fresh Baguette, they’re in the running to have their bread named DC’s best baguette. Will I see you at the best baguette finale at the French Embassy on September 29th?¬†

 

END OF SUMMER FRENCH PIQUE NIQUE

Sunday, some of my Frenchies and I had planned a get-together with friends and other members of the french expat meet-up at Peirce Mill and Barn in Rock Creek Park for a low key picnic. The ratio of baguettes to attendees was excellent, which I guess is to be expected when French people get together…¬†

Peirce Mill and Barn Frenchie pique nique

Peirce Mill & Barn

 

 

 

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY & CULTURE PREVIEW

National Museum of African American History and CultureA huge merci to Ninette who let me tag along with her during the¬†friends and family preview of much anticipated NMAAHC, which will officially open this Saturday. I *cannot* wait to go back! Three hours was barely enough time to skim the surface of this fantastic new Smithsonian museum, which takes visitors on a journey through the lens of the African American experience, from slavery in Africa at the lowest underground level¬†of the museum to the brighter upper floors to segregation to the third and uppermost history level, called ‚Äú1968 to Today.‚Ä̬†There, the mood lightens, with sections celebrating¬†achievements¬†and contributions to pop culture, music, sports and the arts.

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Oprah Winfrey at the National Museum of African American History and Culture

On my next visit to the museum (I have timed free-tickets for September 22) I’ll actually start at the upper levels and make my way down since I spent most of my time Sunday at the lower levels. I also will absolutely visit¬†Sweet Home Cafe, the museum’s dining hall for which chef Carla Hall was a culinary ambassador. Like¬†Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe¬†at the National Museum of American Indians, the 400 seats-restaurant is split into 4 food sections that tell the culinary story of African Americans: the North States, Agricultural South, Creole Coast, and Western Range. I was only able to peek at the menu for the Creole Coast, with candied yams, house pickled vegetables, catfish po‚Äôboy and duck, andouille and crawfish gumbo among other. My husband is from Louisiana and I definitely want to eat my way through that menu — and discover the rest too!¬†

So that was my weekend…¬†next week is the National Book Festival and Art All Night (two September events I’ve been looking forward to)¬†so I have another busy weekend ahead. Hopefully, the week will go by quickly!! How was your weekend? How’s your week shaping up?