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Campus Overload
Posted at 01:32 PM ET, 08/04/2011

#myTop5: Food trucks, galleries and baby animals

This weekend is no ordinary weekend for me — my twin sister, Greta, has come to town for a visit, and she's never experienced D.C. before. But my science-loving sister isn't really into the political scene or museums. So what to do in a town known for both of those things?

Here are #myTop5 weekend adventures for visitors (and Washingtonians) who want to get away from the Hill

1.) Greta and I will start off our weekend by fueling up with a stop by some food trucks. D.C. is crawling with them, so it should be
Paulino Jacinto hands out food from a Rolling Ficelle truck working the lunch crowd at Metro Center on July 7. (JEFFREY MACMILLAN FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)
easy to find one, especially if we track them through Twitter. The huge assortment of food that D.C.'s mobile food fleet offers will also ensure that we won't get in a twin tantrum over what we want to eat — twins don't always have the same tastes, you know!

2.) The next stop on our list is the National Portrait Gallery. I'm a presidential history nut, and my sister loves pop culture, so the gallery is sure to please both of us. It contains classic presidential portraits such as the "Lansdowne" portrait of George Washington as well as portraits of cultural icons such as Andy Warhol's famous screenprint of Marilyn Monroe.

3.) The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is
Cate Blanchett as Yelena and Richard Roxburgh as Vanya rehearse scene 2 from “Uncle Vanya” at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Aug. 3. (AMANDA VOISARD/THE WASHINGTON POST)
one of D.C.’s gems, and with its program full of free concerts and tours, it's hard to pass up. Plus, it's the home of the Kennedy Center Honors, which my family watches almost religiously every year. Just watch Sting paying tribute to 2009 honoree Bruce Springsteen and tell me you don't want to be there rocking out with Michelle Obama. I dare you!

4.) Greta's heading off to veterinary school in a couple weeks, so to prep for that, we are planning on visiting some critters. The Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoological Park, better known as the National Zoo, is a staple among
Two red panda cubs, born to Shama and Tate, at the National Zoo. (JUAN RODRIGUEZ/NATIONAL ZOO)
tourist spots — who could refuse hanging out with the adorable naked mole rats? Sadly, the newborn red pandas probably won't be up for visitors yet, but no worries — there are plenty of other animals to befriend!

5.) All this wandering around D.C. will probably work up our appetites, so we're planning on grabbing a meal from Ray's Hell Burger in Clarendon. Maybe we'll see President Obama there — he's been known to down a good burger every once in a while!

What are your plans for the weekend?

By Mary Keister  |  01:32 PM ET, 08/04/2011

Categories:  Campus Overload

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