Better, Good, FAIL.

If this was a “lifestyle” blog, or a design blog, or anything other than what it is, which is random “Here are the thoughts and events in my life blog,” then I would probably not share this with you. But as it is said diverse cocktail of beauty and pain, success and failure, I give you our Labor Day.

Which falls more into the failure category, in one sense, the one in which our main goal was not achieved.

We had dinner with some friends Sunday night – the awesome sort of dinner where you all show up in your “house clothes” and potluck it up so no one has to do lots of work – and sometime around midnight James proposed that we get up early and bike to the Lincoln Memorial to watch the sunrise. Obviously, that sounded like a perfect moment, the type that I love in theory as much as in reality. I premeditated telling people that we had ridden to the Lincoln Memorial, watched the sun rise, and then biked back to Ted’s for some breakfast, beating the crowds and scoring a table with no wait, which is the very definition of bliss. Then, because we had gotten up early and been invigorated by our sporty bike ride and yummy breakfast, we would proceed to be productive and energetic all day long, doing lots of the things that we hadn’t done all summer.

But you know the tricky part about sunrises? It’s dark when you go out for them, so you don’t know until you have already trekked out somewhere and given up sleep whether or not you will already get to see the sunrise or whether you will just see some clouds grow bright.

Which brings us to this, our much anticipated sunrise.Fall2013_4

The clouds only covered the horizon, only obscured the exact sky space necessary for a beautiful sunrise, but we devotedly sat sweating on those steps until it peaked over the top in bright yellow, definitively not sunrise-like rays.  Lincoln Memorial Sunrise, you sneaky trickster. We could have slept in, could have trekked over to Ted’s with bright eyes and well rested souls, could have eaten breakfast in bed at 11 after 10 hours of sleep. But instead, we were there on the steps, staring out at a standard grey sky and swatting mosquitoes off our sweaty arms. Fall2013_3 Fall2013Fall2013_5Fall2013_10

But I don’t actually regret it at all. I don’t regret biking down the Mall without speaking or seeing a single soul. I don’t regret gliding through the city beside James and feeling like it was our own private place. I don’t regret spending an hour sitting beside James on the steps, barely speaking, just gazing out at those gray clouds. Yes, it would have been better with a sunrise – come on, I’m not going to pretend otherwise. It would have totally rocked to have the sky turn crimson and gold while we sat there on those iconic steps and held hands and sighed those special newlywed sighs (yes, I still count us as newlyweds). But I am not going to let that better rob me of the very profound good I got to enjoy in my failed sunrise viewing.

Plus, since I wasn’t distracted by the awesome view, I made James take these selfies. He was too sleepy to resist, though he will most certainly object to the fact that I just called them selfies since it is one of the words he refuses to use. (Total unrelated sidenote: feel free to chime in on my ongoing existential struggle over whether I should get bangs again or not, as that second photo gives you unrestricted forehead access.) Fall2013_9Fall2013_7

And after our sunrise fail? I would like to say we ate at Ted’s then spent the rest of the day as invigorated and productive individuals, but that would be a lie. We totally went straight home, dove back into bed, and slept till noon. By then the line at Ted’s was too long so we ate sub-par brunch elsewhere, spent a good part of the afternoon in a frustrated search for doughnuts, and finished the evening with a 24 marathon and slice and bake cookies dipped in milk.

Yes, it technically could have all been better, but that doesn’t make it any less good. Fall2013_11

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26 Responses to Better, Good, FAIL.

  1. Leslie says:

    On the subject of donuts, there is a little stand in Eastern Markets that makes mini donuts right in front of you, so you get to eat delicious dough right when it comes out of the grease. $3 for 6 donuts. Highly recommend.

  2. Jen D says:

    Dang those tricky sunrises… least you had the Mall and Lincoln Memorial to yourselves….that in itself is a sight!

  3. Thanks for your point about “good/better syndrome.” It’s so true that we can miss what’s good in situation due to a mental cataloging of a “better” version.

  4. Lawson Stone says:

    Ah but was the city really so quiet, peaceful and all yours? I’d think a savvy viewer of 24 would know better…

  5. Ashley says:

    That last photo is pretty gorgeous in itself.

  6. I love your blog. We took our kids to DC for the 1st time (for me too!) in April. I LOVED IT! Your photos made me feel like I was there again. I think I could live there….(said the Southern California girl who hates the heat…) I think you spent Labor Day wonderfully; relaxing with your love and just “being.” Have a beautiful week! 🙂

    • Hannah says:

      I’m so glad you were able to come!!! Were you here for the Cherry Blossoms? They sure are pretty but the crowds are the absolute worst!! Glad you loved this city!

  7. RA says:

    “But I am not going to let that better rob me of the very profound good I got to enjoy in my failed sunrise viewing.”

    “Yes, it technically could have all been better, but that doesn’t make it any less good.”

    OH, YES.

  8. I’ve read your blog for a while but hadn’t twigged that you were in DC. A posse of us will be coming from San Diego for the March For Life in January. Very much looking forward to the Eastern Market donuts… 🙂

    • Hannah says:

      The March for Life goes just a couple blocks from our place and I’m hoping to make it out there for awhile this year. You should definitely do a post walk donut run…

  9. Susie Sunrise says:

    Some would say that you were destined to see this sunrise. Others would argue that it was the sunrise you chose and must now accept. Make it your soulmate sunrise.

  10. J.R. Baldwin says:

    No one is answering the important question: no bangs! I love your hair how it is! And looove those selfies!!

  11. Laura says:

    Loved this! I love how you said you envisioned telling friends about how you watched the sunrise on Labor Day. I do that all the time when I think of something I would love to do. It’s sad really, that I romanticize it based on being able to tell others about it instead of exactly for what it is! I’m glad you enjoyed your “good” sunrise. And you probably needed that extra sleep anyway, and the 24 marathon, and the slice and bake cookies. It was all necessary, really.

  12. Kate says:

    Yes! The “fail” days are sometimes the best!

  13. Whitney says:

    You are so wise. And hilarious at the same time. Like you x 10.

  14. sharkbytes says:

    You were with someone you love. That makes it all work.

  15. Danielle says:

    Hi Hannah!
    That last picture was really amazing. Just thought I should mention that.

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