Travel Diary: Washington DC

October 14, 2016

It's taken me a whole week to get my sh*t together and write a blog post. Whoops. Not sure why but I had a really hard time adjusting to being back after our five days in DC. I was exhausted and going to bed by 9PM :) that three hour time difference is noticeable! Hopefully I can get back on track after this weekend. Anyways, on to the trip! It was so much fun and I'm really glad we were finally able to make it out. I'm actually pretty glad that I went for the first time as an adult because I felt like I could really appreciate it. It's a lot of information and I don't think I would have cared much when I was younger. 

Overall I was impressed with the city and enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It's much smaller than I was expecting though, which is actually kind of nice. There's a ton to do, a lot of great restaurants, but it's all nice and compact! The level of cleanliness was also👌 compared to a lot of other big cities I've been to. We had four full days in the city and while I was ready to go home at the end of it we didn't see everything we wanted to. 

What we did:
The first thing we did on our first full day was head over to the Capitol because my sister was itching for a tour. We got lucky because they had been repairing the dome and the scaffolding came down just before we got into town. Perfect for this photo-happy gal ;)

They have free tours that you can do where they show you a video, take you into the dome, and show you some of the older rooms and chambers that aren't used anymore. I think the best part was our guide. He clearly knew his stuff and loved his job, which makes all the difference.

Then it was on to the Library of Congress, which is just a stunning building. Can't say I was enthralled with anything in there (other than some places where National Treasure was filmed, lol) but it was still cool to see. 

After the LOC we headed down the street to the Supreme Court. They weren't in session that day, much to my sister's dismay, but we were able to sit in the court while we heard some fun facts. There were a lot of RBG references made👊

Our last adventure of the day was getting on one of those hop-on, hop-off tour buses. I know a lot of people hate them but I really like sitting and seeing everything. So lazy! Honestly I like seeing everything in relation to each other, especially when you're taking the subway and are underground for most commutes. This particular bus tour was pretty terrible though. The first bus we hopped on was an automated guide. Womp womp. The next two we took (more as transportation than anything) had live guides that were a little better but you could tell it's just a college job or something. I think I learned that I still like bus tours, but just continuous ones instead of ones that are constantly stop and go. 

We knew that it was going to rain on Saturday so we wanted to get in a lot of outdoor activities on Friday. We spent the morning at Arlington, which I don't have any pictures of. I enjoyed it (can you say that about a cemetery?) more than I thought I would. The changing of the guards was pretty special, as well as seeing where the Kennedy family is buried. So much history!

After Arlington we headed to The Mall to check out The Washington Monument, The Lincoln Memorial, The Korean War Memorial, The World War II Memorial, and the Vietnam Memorial. 

We ended Friday at The Holocaust Museum. It was really overwhelming, both emotionally and just the sheer amount of information. You basically walk through it and see the Holocaust from start to finish. I'm really sad to say that some of the things we read feel similar to current world events. 

Saturday's rain prophecy was fulfilled so we decided to make it our museum day. We started at the Newseum, where I didn't take any pictures. Probably my favorite part of the whole trip was the section of this museum where they have every Pulitzer Prize winning photograph on display and a lot of backstory on them. It was incredibly powerful and humbling. There was also a section devoted to journalists' perspectives from 9/11 which was also very emotional. 

Sunday was our last day and so we had to prioritize what we still really wanted to see. We started the day with a quick trip to the Air and Space Museum. We had tried to go on Saturday but because of the rain everyone else wanted to go too and so the lines outside to get in were insane. #nothanks

Even though it was nuts there I'm glad we stopped by because I have such a soft spot for space exploration. You can read a little bit more about that in my Orlando Travel Diary

After the morning museum trip we ventured to see Georgetown (the above two photos). It was such a cute town! So quaint and picturesque. The actual campus had a very European feel, which would have been so cool to spend four years there. 

The Kennedy Center isn't too far from Georgetown and they have free performances every night so we went to check that out. The building itself is gorgeous (see above chandelier game) and has a terrace (pictured below) that wraps around the entire top level. So beautiful! The music was sub-par, but I'm really glad we saw the building.

Where we stayed: 
We stayed at a Residence Inn in Dupont Circle, which I would recommend! The area is adorable and there are sooo many cute restaurants. Many of which we dined at.

Where we ate:
Birch and Barley: this was an adorable little spot recommended by a friend and the food was pretty great. If you're into beer it's a must!

Boqueria: I met a friend from college here for dinner and it was hoppin'! Definitely the place to be for happy hour. I had sangria and lamb meatballs, so I was a happy girl.

Firefly: this restaurant was built around a huge tree, which is fun and unique. It was very dim and could be a fun place for date night. 

The Front Page: this place wasn't really anything to write home about, although their brussel sprouts were top notch.

Orange Anchor: we had lunch here on Sunday when we were by Georgetown and it was apparently the place for the students to go for brunch. The food was fine but I really wasn't in the mood for drunk college kids.  

Kramerbooks and Afterwords Cafe: I had the best potpie of my life here. Salivating just thinking about it. It was crazy loud in there though, but the potpie made up for it!

Phew, are you still with me? That was a lot of stuff, but we honestly packed so much in. Glad I can finally say I've been to my nation's capital. I was inspired to learn more about American history so I started the podcast Presidential by The Washington Post. Each week they profile a different president. It's been really good so far!

Thanks for reading,
xo Catherine 

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