In early August Luke and I drove up to DC for a short weekend away. Mapquest claimed 3.5 hours but it took us closer to 4 hours to get there. A bit of bad traffic as we got close but all-in-all a nice drive. We spent a large part of it on my phone finding things from wikipedia to laugh at. We didn’t start running low till about 45 minutes out…
It had been a while since I was in DC and I don’t think Luke had ever been. And, we’d been on a major Bones kick so we were ripe with excitement to be in the city. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt because we actually had a nice gift certificate to Hyatt we got by redeeming points from Mastercard. The pictures make it out to be super posh but it was a rather average hotel. It was nice though to have a Starbucks in the lobby. We also learned that the breakfast buffet in their Grand Cafe is freakin’ amazing. Little things changed from day to day during our trip so there was some variety but we could rely on mainstays like the custom omelet station. We also spent part of an evening at the hotel bar & bistro, Cure, where we enjoyed the most ridiculously delicious lemongrass mojitos that almost made us forget that parking was $40/night.
We did a lot of walking and tried to take in as many sights as possible. It was great timing to visit the Smithsonian because they had an exhibit: The Art of Video Games that was, obviously, of great interest to Luke. While there we also saw, among other things, the presidential exhibit where we were reminded of people like William Harrison and John Tyler who we sometimes forget existed. It was impossible not to notice that George W. Bush has the most casual portrait of them all – – except for the weird abstract closeup of Bill Clinton’s face that made his nose look like Gerard Depardieu’s. We were surprised that we could not find the portrait of Stephen Colbert, not in the exhibits or even around the restrooms… I guess Colbert hangs out in a different Smithsonian location.
There were some really beautiful statues and stained glass pieces that we saw but did not photograph. There was an installation piece that had the Constitution spelled out in license plates and the plates were alphabetized by state. It was pretty awesome. Luke and I couldn’t help but laugh at the ‘Ode to Trump either.
We walked past the White House several times and saw the secret service guys hanging out on the roof. We explored the exhibits at the Library of Congress, walked all around downtown and Chinatown, strolled along the mall (which was under construction), and spent some time sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, along with about 4 million other tourists. As we left the Lincoln Memorial we got a chuckle out of the segway tour in progress (which, by the way, is just so silly I would totally love to do!). We walked past the Federal Reserve, the Vietnam Memorial, the Department of Justice, the J. Edgar Hoover Building, and the attorney general’s office. And we stopped off at the International Spy Museum gift shop. Yes, gift shop. Because once we saw how expensive tickets were to get it we decided we could settle for an abbreviated tour. (And I can say with confidence that if the museum is anything like the gift shop, we didn’t miss much.)
I’m such a planner at heart so, of course, I had arrived in the city armed with a list of restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, etc… that would be great to visit while in town. Wouldn’t you know, we didn’t go to a single one of them. Apparently Founding Farmers is so delish’ you need a reservation, like, a month in advance. The food Gods were on our side though because everywhere we ate the food was fantastic. Asian Spice, even though it looked like a cheap strip center chain restaurant from the outside, had a nice atmosphere and great, flavorful food. Brasserie Beck was more expensive and American but not a trip wasted.
On our way out of town we stopped by the Arlington National Cemetery where we saw the changing of the guard and the tomb of the unknown soldier. It’s an emotional place for sure. So many gravestones, so many dead in the service of our country. Its a lot to take in and ponder.
A huge thank you to my mother without whom this trip wouldn’t have happened.
We had a really great time!