Planned months in advance, we scheduled an Airbnb and booked the trip to the Nation's Capital with a couple of close friends. We found a place that seemed to be conveniently located downtown -- and that indeed it was. Located right in Logan Circle, our friend Jon left a review that perfectly describes how well situated we were to the downtown life:
"This place was perfect for our stay over a long weekend -- it was very clean and convenient for walking to the DC mall as well as restaurants. Communication was also very quick whenever I had any questions. We were able to walk about 30mins (at a leisurely pace) to the White House, and from there to the other monuments and museums. Whole foods is right across the street, and there is a Starbucks down below nearby, and also some restaurants and bars."
Here's the place: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/16827423.
The way to start an amazing weekend trip is to first have a good place to stay. That we had succeeded in, now on to the trip details.
We arrived at around midnight on a Thursday night, and immediately went for a walk. Walking along all of the residential areas, we came across some very beautifully laid out gardens in very small area space. I fell in love with the old structures and creativity that seemed to spark the community that built the city of Washington, DC.
As nightfall continued to creep upon us we walked about 5 miles until we made it back to the loft, and called it a night.
The next morning, I was serviced to a full breakfast from my suitor that included an omelet, bacon, and fruit! I also need to mention the fact that Whole Foods has amazing Orange Juice out of this Orange Juice machine. If you've never tried it...it's the best Orange Juice ever. We continued to cook breakfast every morning we were there. Easy and convenient to start a day full of walking and exploration.
And we were off! Headed to The White House, no turning back. It really was about a 30-minute walk and we were there. The walk isn't so bad, but just watch out for cars and pay attention to the walk/do not walk signs. It's a busy area, and the hustle and bustle can sometimes get hectic with horn blowing and people not understanding the streets. I will say that the sidewalks were great in the fact that they could accommodate up to 4 people walking side-by-side. The city altogether was very clean, and I never once felt threatened by a person, so I would say it's a safe place (not to mention all the cops/guards hanging around). We passed by all of the Embassies and these huge elegant Churches were everywhere-- a truly beautiful place, and full of energy.
Obviously at The White House the protesters were out. Not really paying them any attention, we went ahead and snapped our pictures with them included. I found it liberating to watch all of these people standing for what they believe in, and I was humbled by the fact that we are actually able to express our opinions so openly and without repercussions here in the USA.
In the backyard of the BIG HOUSE, we headed to the right and came upon the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Huge is such an understatement for this building. We awed at it and continued walking on to the Washington Monument.
What a fun area! We hung out here for a long time, looking up, and enjoying the beautiful day that held nothing but sunshine and blue cloudy skies. This 555 feet high marble stone statue honors our first President, George Washington. It's definitely something that catches your eye and can be seen around the whole entire city.
Next we headed up the grass lawn towards the World War II Memorial, and to see our favorite, Abraham Lincoln.
This memorial is rather new and when I visited DC in the 5th grade, it wasn't here. Established in 2004, it was built to honor the Americans who served during WWII. All along the walls is every State in the US, and in the center is a huge water hole with spouts that spit out water in every direction. It looks better at night, but we'll get to that part later.
Once you get around this, you find yourself walking along the Washington Monuments Reflection Pool that always reminds me of the scene from Forest Gump when Jenny calls out to Forest and she jumps into the pool, to come running towards him. I'm not sure if Jenny really got in this pool, but it's nasty and I don't recommend it unless you want to be covered in fungus.
All jokes aside, this part of the National Mall is really breathtaking and surreal. I felt so small standing here on the steps of the Abraham Lincoln Memorial taking this photo. I feel small, yet I also feel grateful to stand here.
Walking up to see Abraham and standing inside of his monument is another surreal experience. With signs that read "QUIET PLEASE, RESPECT THE MONUMENT", I noticed that not many people were talking at all, just observing. As Abraham stares back at you, one is left to wonder, what's he thinking? He sits there radiating nothing but confidence and I feel at ease and completely peaceful in that moment. Observing our 16th President is an experience that I think every American should have.
Next we headed on to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The Vietnam wall lists the soldiers that fought and died for us during the Vietnam War. Carnations, letters, pictures, and other leave behinds were left along the walls from friends and family members. It's incredible how many names are on the wall.
The Jefferson Memorial honors our 3rd President, and the main drafter, and writer of the Declaration of Independence. He's an important man, that stands tall before you in his monument with a confidence quite like that of Lincoln's.
We walked SO much this first day -- according to my phone, 15 miles! After we had walked all day long in the heating sun we were exhausted, so we made our way to the Holocaust Museum. Apparently (oops), you should order tickets months in advance, or you have to go on the website at 6am to get any open slots. After those two fails, we tried our luck at just showing up since we were relatively close already. Come to find out, Veterans get in free and we just so happened to have one! Inward we went.
When you enter you are given an Identification Card of a Jewish person that was in the Holocaust. Male or Female. As you go along you turn the pages and at the end, you find out what happened to them. Three of the four people we had all picked, survived and made it to America. That's amazing considering roughly 6 Million Jews were persecuted during the Holocaust. It was a heartfelt awakening going through this museum. Not a lot of laughs or smiles.
Once we exited around 6pm, we were done for. We made the walk back through downtown and stopped at the first place we found to grab a bite to eat. Plan B Burger Bar. Delicious! Website: http://www.burgersbeerbourbon.com/.
And off to the loft and bed we went.
After a 12-hour sleep, we awoke, did the breakfast thing, and headed out for a day of Museum touring. The rain didn't stop us from walking around a bit, but we did catch an Uber ride first to head over to the Washington National Cathedral. $12 for an adult entry, we paid and walked into this massive, immaculate, Cathedral. With stained glass windows surrounding the huge, vast open space, it was absolutely beautiful and stunning to observe the architecture from the inside.
Next we took another Uber and headed back into the city. This was only about a 10-minute ride, and cost about $11 dollars, well worth it considering it's an hour walk.
Once back in the city, we headed over to a couple more museums. First, the National Museum of Natural History and next, the National Air and Space Museum. Both were filled with many things and we could have spent so much more time in each one. We read, observed, interacted, and learned. The best part? THEY ARE ALL FREE.
As we closed up on the museums, we grabbed some dinner at a spot right downstairs from our Airbnb called Stoney's. If you aren't aware of my Grilled Cheese obsession yet, just know that I could eat them everyday, all day. I of course was thrilled to see that they had a "Grilled Cheese" section on their menu with many varieties of my favorite sandwich -- Ham, Pork, Cheeses, etc. I went basic, and got a regular Grilled Cheese. Another favorite of mine is Tator Tots! Saw that on the side options, and boom, I was in for a delicious meal! Check out their website here: http://www.stoneys-dc.com/.
After dinner we settled in, and took it easy for a couple of hours before we hit the town again to see all of the monuments and memorials lit up at night. If you were to ask me my favorite part of this trip, this is it. We walked all night long around the National Mall and had a wonderful time with our dog, Caroline, who had to stay in the loft during most of the day while we explored. She was ecstatic to go explore and see Abraham Lincoln! We continued to stay out until about 4am that night, and finally turned in and hit the hay.
At night, you'll find a bunch of college kids roaming the streets coming from parties, or bars. There's no tourists, no crowds, no honking. It was the most peaceful walk not to mention beautiful. To see everything lit up was like seeing it again for the first time. I highly recommend seeing it all during the day AND during the night. Well worth losing some sleep for it. <3
As we packed our things the next morning and rubbed our tired little eyes, we knew we had seen everything we wanted to see and had enjoyed our time here in the city of Washington, DC. We made the journey home and bid our farewells to the noisy and complicated streets of the town, and Caroline curled up in the back seat for a nap.
Thanks for reading!