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A long overdue TR (2 days, one night)

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A long overdue TR (2 days, one night)

We coupled a Outer Beach vacation with a short jaunt in DC. I wanted to write a brief TR for those who are coming in to DC but with a very limited amount of time... BUT I am a little late. Our trip was in August ;)

Here it goes:

We left Ocracoke (lovely place if you've never been) Island at about 11am on Friday. A little later than we wanted to but we were still in an island state of mind. It was my boyfriend, another couple, and myself. We made the 7 hour drive and arrived at about 6. One of the things we noticed was the intense amount of traffic heading out of DC when we were on our way. Is it always like that on a Friday? It was literally gridlocked for several miles. We came up 1-95. We didn't hit any traffic until we hit the bridge but it wasn't too bad.

One snag we did hit was parking. We were staying at the Washington Court Hotel because I booked it on a third-party booking site for 109 dollars including tax for four people and it would be close by Union Station which is where we were planning on parking the car. We had to circle Union Station several times to find where to pull into the parking garage at. It was very confusing and the whole group of us was arguing for different directions. It was a hoot.

Finally got the car parked and off we walked to our hotel. Pretty quick walk and easy to find. We were happy. The hotel had a beautiful view of the capitol so we were thrilled. The bathroom was huge compared to our vacation house. A welcome change for my friends.

We changed and headed out to Shake Shack. I tried it a few months prior in NYC and have been craving it ever since. We took the metro (very easy) to Farragut stop and headed up to the restaurant. We really liked that part of town and it seemed like a happening place. Had I had more time in DC I would have been back.

After our delicious burgers (the Obamas had been there a few days before) we waked to the White Hourse. It was so cool! Just like I always imagined it. I guess, since I had never seen it up close, it just never seemed real to me.

After that we headed down to the Washington Monument. It was dark now and it was a pretty sight all lit up. We didn't walk to the monument itself but admired it from afar. Next we headed to the Lincoln Memorial. WHOA, what a walk. We stopped at the World War II memorial. So calming. We loved the loud fountains. Very powerful.

We continued walking to the Lincoln Memorial and was again blown away by how surreal it seemed. I couldn't stop staring at Lincolns face. It was just so memorizing. By then we were thirsty and started the trek back. It seemed to take forever but we walked all the way back to our hotel. There isn't very good metro access down at the mall, huh?! We were always baffled to find tons of tour buses on our route home. Maybe DC is the city that never sleeps, not NYC. ;)

Whoa, this is getting longer than I though. Sorry about that folks! Will be back for the rest of the TR tomorrow!

Sterling, VA
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1. Re: A long overdue TR (2 days, one night)

Glad you posted your TR --- better late than never! As for all that traffic---the DC Metro area has some of the worst traffic in the country.

How do you think the Shake Shack compared to the one you went to in NYC? I've only tried the DC one.

Washington DC...
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2. Re: A long overdue TR (2 days, one night)

You have made a great start on your trip report. I like your style: fun and informative. I'm looking forward to the next part. Thank you.

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3. Re: A long overdue TR (2 days, one night)

Sorry for the delay. Finals week >.<.

Well, I had planned on waking up the next morning early (7am) and going out on my own. Surprisingly my friend K, woke up as well. None of the boys wanted to wake up (shocker) and I was happy because I really like exploring on my own. I couldn't tell K no though so off we went to Union Station. We didn't know where to go and didn't have a plan! So we went to Chinatown because I wanted to check out Urban Outfitters (we dont have one here and its my favorite store). DOH! They weren't opened. How silly of me. We still wandered around Chinatown. We noticed DC is just COVERED in museums. You really cant go two blocks without seeing one (except the suburbs probably). We took the subway down to the Mall. Of course, no museums were opened either. But it was nice for us to see the monuments in the day light since we had only seen them in the dark thus far. Then we went in the Smithsonian Institution Building. Not a lot of displays but it was pretty neat. We spent about 30 minutes in here. We had a good laugh at seeing the donation box. It was FULL of 100s. I guess it makes sense though if you have a family of 7 and you get in for free to all these great museums. However, for the four of us we later only dropped in 40$.

K decided to head back to the room and help the boys check out so they didn't mess it up too bad. And load the car up. So I headed off on my own just to wonder. I walked past the Booth Theater which was a treat. There was no line but I figured I would have had to have tickets to go in so I didn't try. I walked past all the nice shopping stores and was drooling but I knew how many my BF would be if I crammed more bags into our already stuffed vehicle. I saw a Crumbs which is another place I loved in NYC so stopped and got a cupcake for breakfast (hey, its vacation ;)). Then sat on some office steps to enjoy it. After I was getting up I noticed the 'no sitting' sign. Whoops. I arrived at UO and bought a shirt. Their computers were offline that day and they had to manually write everything down. I never got charged for it. :/ I called the store a few weeks later to let them know and they just made a note of it for inventory but never asked for a payment. I still feel a little awful. I loved exploring DC by myself but in hindsight I wish I had some sort of plan. I really wanted to visit Arlington but I forgot. :/ Next time.

Next part of the tr: Our jaunt at the Natural Science (i think) Museum.

Washington DC...
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4. Re: A long overdue TR (2 days, one night)

Another great installment on your trip report. FYI, it's the Ford's Theatre (not Booth) and you maybe could have walked right in. And I am expecting a report about the Natural HISTORY Museum next. Keep your words coming.

New York City, New...
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5. Re: A long overdue TR (2 days, one night)

Yes, you are right Darrall. I went to the Booth in NYC. Too many theaters lol

BTW, good to see you on your home turf SueFee. I always run into you on the NYC forum :)

Next installment coming up.

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6. Re: A long overdue TR (2 days, one night)

Off I headed back to Union Station to collect my companions. We got everything sorted out and headed to the Natural History Museum. We didn't experience a wait to get in, just a metal detector and BAM there were were. I was surprised by how nice it was since it was free I was expecting it to be slightly run down. I guess that was silly but thats how all of the free things here are (and even some of the paying things). We were amazed by almost everything. The first stop we made was in the ocean room. I couldn't get my head around the scope of some of the animals. Very cool. Then me and DB (dear boyfriend) split from the other couple because they kept arguing and walking slow. We had stuff to see!

We entered the Animal Hall and enjoyed seeing all of the animals but didn't last long. I really enjoyed the exhibit about where humans come from and what makes us different. It was intriguing. Next we entered the exhibit regarding race and how we are not as different as we think. (Sorry I don't know the real names of these exhibits.) I played a game regarding stereotypes and guessing which people fit into which category. The moral of the game was to show that you can't judge a book by its cover. I think this would be a must see if we had kids. Next we say the Hope Diamond. No big deal to me. I have diamonds bigger than this. Just kidding, my eyes were the size of dinner plates. ;)

Lastly, we say the dinosaur bones! I have never seen dino bones before so I was pretty excited. It didn't disappoint. We met up with the other couple at the Elephant in the lobby and headed out. We took the subway back to Union Station. We stopped in the food court where we picked up pizza and a couple of Crumbs cupcakes for the road (which we had one here) and off we headed. Our GPS lead up right down Constitution Avenue at noon! I knew it was going to be a nightmare but it really wasn't. We just ran into (not literally) a few tour buses that were taking up a few lanes and there was a tiny bit of roadwork.

In summary: I loved DC. I found it to be a great walking city and easy to do a day trip to as well. I know from the NYC forum that a lot of visitors do a similar trip. Of course, I left a lot of things for next time and we didn't have any grand dining experience but I can't wait for my return trip.

Washington DC...
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7. Re: A long overdue TR (2 days, one night)

Thank you ever so much for your fun and interesting trip report. Next time you visit, plan to stay a little longer.

Arlington, Virginia
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8. Re: A long overdue TR (2 days, one night)

Ew, Crumbs. That's a crime in DC! There's one a block from my condo and I refuse to eat there. Disgusting, overpriced, huge cupcakes. Bakeshop is my choice!

Sterling, VA
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9. Re: A long overdue TR (2 days, one night)

Crumbs is okay. Since they're not everywhere and you like them, then I'm glad that you were able to get some here. :) As a cupcake fan, I understand. I think you read my recent NYC TR --- we tried different cupcakes every single day---even brought home some vegan ones.

Glad to see that you were able to get to Urban Outfitters---and I admire your honesty when you weren't charged! Otherwise, you made the most of your short DC visit. Thanks for sharing!

BTW, that was nice of you to donate money to the Smithsonian Institute.

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10. Re: A long overdue TR (2 days, one night)

I do plan on staying a little longer next time! I didn't think I'd like DC as much as I did because history and government are no that interesting to me. However, I loved DC and can't wait to get into some of the museums and get more time at the monuments in!

Looks like I took part in a faux pas eating at Crumbs. Next time, I will do more research in regards to where to eat but this trip we didn't have time to put too much thought into it. I did love Crumbs so I am excited to try some of the cupcakes you guys say are better!

And yes SueFee, I loved your NYC cupcake TR! You tried so many places! My mouth was watering the whole time I was reading!