#10 Visit Washington DC
Ever since I became an American way back in 2011, I've been wanting to go to DC (it is on my list after all). So many iconic American buildings and monuments are there- plus I had to see in person the city where Scandal and House of Cards take place
On my first day, I got up bright and early to meet my college friend Lindsey and her husband Andrew for breakfast- they were stopping in all the same spots along the East Coast as I was just in the opposite direction so we traded tips before heading our separate ways. I beelined for the White House which was on extra high alert since a guy had jumped the fence just a few days earlier. After selfie-ing it up in front of President Obama's house, I headed to check out all the monuments and memorials. This was the day I walked the most on my trip (11 miles) and I managed to see the: Washington Monument, WW2 memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, MLK Jr Memorial, FDR Memorial (cute dog statue!) and Jefferson Memorial (probably my favorite). Afterwards, I wandered up to the Smithsonian Castle then spent some time in the National Museum of American History (where Julia Child's kitchen is) before heading back to Old Town Alexandria for a delicious dinner and weird night out (will explain more in next post).
I got a late start on my second day, combo of being able to really sleep in for the first time on the trip and the rain making me want to stay in bed with tea and a good book. I finally dragged myself into the city for a rainy day visit of the US Capitol. It is an impressive building (currently undergoing some updating hence ugly scaffolding) however I had the world's worst tour guide. He was a congressman's intern and hadn't really done many tours. He would start talking before the group was all together and would constantly turn and start walking while talking quietly so you couldn't hear a word he was saying. Oh and the best part? When you asked him a question, he would most often reply with 'I'm not sure, you should Google it'. Anyways, I was starving by the time the tour ended, so I headed over to Sweetgreen for a delicious late lunch before some more wandering around. I ended up heading back to Old Town for dinner again since I knew I would be enjoying a night out in DC the following night.
Friday was my third day in DC and it was a gorgeous one- blue skies and perfect weather! I left Old Town that morning and checked into the Hyatt on Capitol Hill. It's an ugly building but the rooms were large, the whole building was updated, there was a Starbucks IN the hotel and (the best part) had the world's most comfortable bed- so good! I decided to give the Capitol another look in the sunlight and afterwards I stopped to check out the Supreme Court building. My main goal of the day was to visit the Library of Congress based on Lindsey and Andrew's recommendation. Umm yea wow- hands down my favorite building of DC so far. It is super ornate on the outside with crazy looking purple lights but the inside is where your jaw just drops. The ceilings are INCREDIBLE. I spent so much time walking around learning about the building and taking dozens of photos. Afterwards, I did a quick tour through the National Gallery of Art before heading to my hotel to change because it was time for some fun!
My college friend Tracy lives in DC and did an incredible job of showing me around her neighborhood. We walked down H st to Smith Commons where we sat on the roof enjoying some wine while we waited to meet up with Tracy's friend. We had a bit of a wait for dinner so walked down the street for a quick beer at Redrock's and to watch a little hockey. For dinner we went to Ocopa (Peruvian) for a delicious meal- everything we ate was fantastic! Happily full from dinner, we headed off to dance (and dance we did- killer moves come out after a few drinks) long into the night. As we wrapped up the dancing, we got a little hungry so we stopped at &pizza for an incredible pizza 'snack'. OMG so good- there is a reason there is a line out the door. And since we are both crazy, Tracy and I then decided that we needed one more drink so we stopped off at a bar where she knew the bartender where we chatted with regulars long past closing. It was an epic and awesome last night (or so I thought) in DC.
I was supposed to fly home on Saturday however due to a fire in a control room, my flight got cancelled. Luckily my hotel had an extra room and I was able to stay one more night. Unfortunately Saturday was also the day that I started coming down with a nasty cold (in addition to the hangover from the night before). I didn't feel like doing a whole lot but felt pretty guilty about not sightseeing while on vacation so headed over to the National Museum of Natural History in the early afternoon before stocking up on cold meds and heading back to my hotel. The rest of the day was spent in bed, watching TV and ordering room service- with the exception of the horrible cough/sore throat it was kind of a perfect day.
Luckily, my flight was able to take off Sunday morning and even luckier, I had a whole row to myself the first leg of the journey! I had enough cough medicine, cough drops, sinus medicine and hand sanitizer to make it home without any trouble. I really loved visiting DC- can't wait to go back!