It’s rare that my mom and I get to spend time together in DC by ourselves, so when she decided to come down from Pennsylvania for a mother daughter visit, I knew I had to cram in as much of the fun stuff we both like to do as possible. We love history and visiting house museums and I had been wanting to take her to the Hillwood Estate, the home of Marjorie Merriweather Post, for years.
I also get my love of food from my mom who’s an amazing cook and food explorer, so the itinerary on our first day started off with breakfast at A Baked Joint in Mount Vernon Square – home of the best biscuit sandwich I have ever had.
I’m a coffee addict and my mom a tea lover so I knew A Baked Joint could satisfy us both. I like plain old drip coffee served black with no sugar. And my mom is a black tea lover and was over the moon about their Assam which she also takes black with no sugar. Upon my insistence, she tried a biscuit and I got the open faced smoked salmon sandwich on house baked baguette.
Fueled up and ready for touring, we headed over to Hillwood in NW DC set back in the hills near the Peirce Mill in Rock Creek Park. Marjorie Merriweather Post was the heiress of the Post cereal fortune and an avid art collector. Her home was a museum where she loved to entertain guests and show off her prized possessions.
She was particularly interested in ornate, European artwork and is probably most famous for her collection of Faberge eggs. But during her time living in Russia as the wife of the US Ambassador to Russia, she also amassed a huge collection of priceless Russian treasures. She and her husband lived in Russia during the Revolution of 1917. Because of the turmoil and unrest, Russian artifacts were easy to come by and Marjorie recognized at once the great value of these items, many of which are displayed in her home today.
Hillwood is also famous for its gardens. They include formal French style gardens, a Japanese garden, rose garden and a large greenhouse filled with tropical plants and an extensive orchid collection which was on display during our visit. After a warm, sunny morning full of exploring the ornate house and the beautifully manicured grounds of the Hillwood Estate, we had once again worked up an appetite. And this time, we were headed to Georgetown for some delicious vegetarian tacos.
When I first heard people raving about Chaia tacos, I thought to myself how good could a vegetarian taco really be? Chaia tacos defied all my expectations. With thick, homemade soft corn tortillas and fresh, seasonal produce of the highest quality, Chaia tacos are hearty and delicious and gorgeous to look at as well. My favorite is the kale and potato, but the mushroom tacos come in a close second. My mom was highly impressed with the rutabaga taco as well. Though neither of us are vegetarian, we both agreed that we could easily give up meat if we could have Chaia tacos every day.