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TR- Fireworks on the 4th...cross that off my bucket list!!

Scranton...
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TR- Fireworks on the 4th...cross that off my bucket list!!

Trip report: July 3rd-8th.

Here's a little background on the four of us:

myself S

my husband B

daughter C age 15

daughter R age 8.

My husband and I hadn't been to D.C. since we were in 6th grade, which was 20+ years ago. C was there three years ago in 6th grade. R had never been before. I asked R if she wanted to go back to Disney this year. Her response "No I want to go to Washington!" She is really into the presidents and history right now. C was going to be attending a medical camp at Georgetown on the 8th, so we decided to come for the 4th of July and stay until we took C on the 8th. It was a great trip, even with the record heat!

I will do each day as a new response...more to follow!

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Washington
Washington
United States
Scranton...
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1. Re: TR- Fireworks on the 4th...cross that off my bucket list!!

We arrived on Tuesday July 3rd around 8pm, driving from northeast PA. We stayed at the JW Mariott at 1331 Pennsylvania Ave. Originally, I had a reservation at a hotel in the Capitol Hill area. I am SO glad I switched! When I originally priced this hotel in March, it was $399 per night. I took a chance on July 1st and checked the rates on washington.org and it was down to $199 a night so I booked it right away!

We did the valet parking. It was $40 per night, but really ends up being $48 with all the taxes. We really liked the hotel's location. All the staff was always pleasant and helpful.

We chose to do a breakfast "deal" for $20 more per night. This gave my husband and I free breakfast at the hotel's restaurant. R also ate free because she was under 12. We only had to pay for C's meal. Each morning, we got the breakfast buffet. I could NOT believe the price. For all four of us, the bill would have been almost $90!! Once we gave them the room number, we were charged for just one breakfast $26! Since it was $20 more per night, plus the $26, I felt like that was WAY too much for what we ate. But, it was convenient for us. Would I have stopped in there if I wasn't staying there? HECK NO!

My July 4th report will have to wait until tomorrow. My computer is not cooperating :-(

Fortaleza, CE
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2. Re: TR- Fireworks on the 4th...cross that off my bucket list!!

You do realize that once you finish you're bucket list the Grim Reapear will appear, don't you? Best to make a really, really long bucket list. I do agree fireworks on the 4th in DC are great. We once watched them sitting on the steps of the Capitol (not comfortable, but great view). Not sure they even allow that anymore.

Be sure to do a review of the specific hotel.

Edited: 20 July 2012, 12:34
Scranton...
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3. Re: TR- Fireworks on the 4th...cross that off my bucket list!!

Don't worry Sutter. I have a LONG bucket list!! Once I finish my TR, I will do reviews for the hotel and restaurants! We were right up close to the fireworks!

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4. Re: TR- Fireworks on the 4th...cross that off my bucket list!!

Sounds awesome! What great memories you made with your daughters. :)

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5. Re: TR- Fireworks on the 4th...cross that off my bucket list!!

Sounds awesome! What great memories you made with your daughters. :)

Scranton...
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6. Re: TR- Fireworks on the 4th...cross that off my bucket list!!

Sorry for the delay...

Wed July 4th- Part 1

This was by far our favorite day of the trip!! Woke up and had the breakfast at the hotel, then headed to Fords Theater. My daughter loves Abraham Lincoln, so I knew this was going to be so exciting for her. We got tickets for the 11:00 entry. We went in and looked around at all the exhibits. I got tons of pics here. My daughter was in awe. Then we went inside and sat up in the balcony, just a couple sections from the door that John Wilkes Booth entered to shoot Lincoln. We sat for about 20 minutes while one of the volunteer rangers told the entire story. It was interesting, and I think she did a good job.

Next, we headed across the street to the Petersen House, the house where Lincoln died. The line was rather long, and you enter as a group. You get to see the bed where he died. It will give you chills...it did for me anyway. Then, you get to see exhibits showing the path of Lincoln's funeral procession, tickets to the funeral, etc. It was very interesting! Of course, we got some souveneirs here, but there is also a good souveneir store on the corner that had shirts really reasonable.

Next, we saw the Madame Toussauds Wax Museum. I have never been in one before because I always thought they were somewhat cheesy. Well, we had a blast in this one. All four of us went in for a total of $62. If you want to go, you can book online and save some money. My daughter was in heaven. They have wax figures of every single president. You can also put on clothes from that era to pose with them. It was great!! Besides the presidents, they had figures of Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, some of the First Ladies, etc.

At the end, they also have Tiger Woods, Beyonce, Michael Jackson, etc.

Those were fun, but the presidents were a blast! They looked so real. My daughter was holding their hands. It was worth the $62 for sure! I took so many pictures there!!

We walked back to our hotel and ate in the food court at National Place. We chose Quiznos...and it was a whopping $43.00!!! That would be the last time we ate at a food court. I looked in my guide books and found some recommended places that served us for about the same price!! After we ate, we went back to the room and relaxed for a while. At this point, it was about 100 degrees out. We wanted to recharge before the big fireworks!!

Scranton...
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7. Re: TR- Fireworks on the 4th...cross that off my bucket list!!

July 4th...Part 2

We walked down toward the Mall area around 6:30 and people were already lining up for the fireworks! I didn't want to sit sround for almost three hours, so we decided to jump in a cab and go to dinner at Austin Grill. There were tons of people waiting for 45 minutes to an hour. It must have been my lucky day because we were seated right away.

B&C had a shrimp and roasted red pepper sandwich, which came with a salad. R had chicken tenders, and I had a portobello mushroom sandwich, which came with a salad and delicious balsamic viniagrette!!

You get their fresh chips and homemade salsa. It was a great meal! I would highly recommend this place! The total was $47 plus tip.

Since it was gettting closer to the time for fireworks, we took a cab to the Mall area. It was about 8:30 by now. We went through security, then walked all the way down past the Washington Monument, almost to the WWII Memorial, We stopped right where it was blocked off. We basically had a front row seat to the fireworks! It was awesome!! We were so close that a piece of burning ash landed just a few feet from me! Of course, we were all decked out in patriotic shirts. R wore a headband with the American flags. I'm sure we looked cheesy, but it was so much fun!!! We walked back, and were back in our hotel room by 10:15. I didn't think the crowd was too bad. I know a lot people didn't go just because of the record heat. It was easy to walk through. I just wish it was lit up more around the memorials!! I would recommend going to see the fireworks on the 4th at least once in your life! It was amazing!!

Scranton...
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8. Re: TR- Fireworks on the 4th...cross that off my bucket list!!

July 15th

Another real hot day so we spent the day at the Museum of American History, then the Museum of Natural History. We could have spent all day in there. When we left the museums, we went to a late lunch at Capitol Brewing Company. This was a nice place, and we ended up eating there twice.

R had mac and cheese, C had a BBQ chicken salad, B had a philly cheessteak, and I had a grilled chicken wrap. They also give these great pretzels with delicious mustard as an appetizer. Our total with drinks was $52 plus tip.

Dinner was at Old Ebbitt Grill. R loved the finger food platter. B,C, and I had burgers and chicken sandwiches, I liked that fresh fruit was an option, instead of fries. The bowl of fresh fruit had blackberries and melon, It was delicious! The total with drinks was $53 plus tip.

After dinner, we walked around the memorials once it got dark. We started at the Lincoln Memorial, then over to Vietnam Memorial, WWII Memorial, and Washington Monument. We were going to go over to the Jefferson Memorial, but it was getting dark. We got back to the room around 10:00. Even though it was really hot, it was nice to see the memorial at night!

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9. Re: TR- Fireworks on the 4th...cross that off my bucket list!!

I just loved reading this report. Thank you so much. I was born and raised in DC and now live close by in Arlington, VA. It has been YEARS since I attended the July 4 firework display in person. Reading this makes me want to go back to the mall next year. Seeing it on TV is just not the same. I also enjoy reading about what you order and enjoy in the restaurants. I actually go to restaurants and try specific items because people mention them on TA. Very helpful!!

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10. Re: TR- Fireworks on the 4th...cross that off my bucket list!!

can we see your bucket list?