I was supposed to visit Washington D.C. in 8th grade, but I transferred schools in 6th grade and my new school didn’t offer a trip to the capital. Therefore, I’ve been wanting to make the trip for about 17 years.. Seeing as though I’m now just a short 3 hour train ride away, I picked a weekend to make the trip. I figured train would be a fast and cheaper option. Turns out, it’s about the same cost as a flight. As for length, well, when you factor in the amount of time to go to the airport, through security and on the tarmac, it’s about the same time as the train.
I LOVE how you can just show up 15 minutes before your train, it’s pretty much always on time, and you just…get on. It’s so easy. AND you can stand up and walk around and no one gets nervous or asks you to sit and put your seat belt on. AND they have a bar/food car. AND you get to choose your seat and usually it’s not very full so you get the seat next to you as well…in case you want to put your feet up 🙂
So after an enjoyable train ride of reading, watching Netflix and drinking wine and eating the snacks I brought, I arrived at Union Station. My first observation, the metro system is much newer and cleaner. Even more shocking was that my phone had full bars of service while ON the underground metro. That’s some Government stuff.
It was a short metro ride and then walk to my micro hotel, which was called Hotel Hive. I highly recommend this hotel. Small rooms, but very modern, cute and clean. It was 8pm or so when I checked in so I went to the rooftop bar for a drink and a personal pizza.
Early the next morning I got dressed, realizing that I forgot to pack shoes. While it wasn’t the most stylish, I’m glad that I was forced to wear tennis shoes because I had a lot of walking ahead of me. I packed my bag which included the most important things, a hat and a book, grabbed an iced coffee and muffin and set off.
I walked toward the Lincoln Memorial as that was closest. It was a Saturday morning so I expected to see people out, but it was pretty quiet (turns out there was a government vacation this week). The only people out were runners, and there were lots of them! Maybe I’ve just been in the city too long, but I haven’t seen this many people running in a while. I approached the memorial and was shocked at how big it was, especially the statue of Abe himself. I took it in with my eyes and then snapped a few photos.
There were a handful of other tourists there, but it was still early, only 9:30am. I then walked down the reflection pool down the path that was shaded of course. IT. WAS. HOT. Walking through “the mall” felt like I was in one giant history book/memorial. Every which way was a new monument and in pretty good condition. The scale of everything stood out as well, all so impressive (and probably expensive!). I was most shocked and maybe underwhelmed by The White House. It was smaller than expected, but it there was also construction around it so was hard to see it, especially with as far back as they keep the public.
I was losing energy so hopped on a BIRD scooter. Those have really changed the experience I can imagine, as you can see so much more than if just on foot. I took it to the Museum of Natural History which was high on my list. I enjoyed seeing the marine exhibit because I love anything underwater, but in general I didn’t like it as much as I would have hoped. Mainly because it was a lot of models, and I prefer seeing the actual things (although I hope they die natural). I really think I should have been a scientist.
I stopped for a very late lunch at a good taco spot and afterwards stopped for a massage. Which felt great after being on my feet most of the day. With new energy, I went to see the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and then the capitol. In general it was just sort of cool to think I was at the country’s capital!
I needed a quick dinner because I had a comedy show (Tone Bell) to see at 7pm. I found the perfect spot! They served hand-rolled sushi made to order and were prompt in making it. I enjoyed the comedy show, but, there is rarely a comedy show I don’t enjoy. I was pretty beat so I went back to my hotel and finished by book, Woman in the Window, which is highly recommended!
The fire alarm went off twice in the middle of the night, so I wasn’t enthusiastic that I had made early morning plans to go for a run. However, I’m glad that I did. Not only was it great to get a run in, it was fun catching up with an old friend I had met while traveling. We ran to Georgetown which was so worth it! The run by the Potomac River reminded me a lot of running routes in Minnesota. The town however was something unique! It was cute and charming and had a very “old-town” or “traditional” feel to it. Sounds like it’s an expensive place to live, but it sure seemed worth it!
I stopped back at the hotel to shower and then made my way back to the train station. I started to jot down some notes, which made me think about how great it would be to just ride on a train and write. Before I knew it, I was back in Manhattan, and overall considered my adult field trip to the United State’s capital a success!