Washington DC: Day 1

This past weekend I enjoyed a nice long weekend down in Washington D.C.  My friends Shannon and Luke, and my boyfriend Ryan and I all flew down to D.C. last Friday and arrived back early Tuesday.  Since we didn’t get to D.C. until after 10 pm on Friday, we really only had 3 full days to check out the city.  Shannon and I each had a list of ideas that we wanted to try and accomplish while in D.C. and the four of us tried our hardest to fit everything that we possibly could into those 3 days.  There is definitely a lot to see in D.C. and a lot of ground to cover.  Since there is so much ground to cover we decided to do a combination of walking and taking the metro to get around D.C. – but in reality we ended up walking more than we intended to even with the metro!  The National Mall area is huge, add in a trip to the National Zoo and a walk to Arlington Cemetery on top of the National Mall and you’ve got yourself 3 days in a row of easily walking over 10 miles each day.

Washington Memorial from the Lincoln Memorial
Ryan and I on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with the Washington Memorial in the background.

On our first full day in D.C. we all got up and left the hotel around 8 am.  Our hotel was located on 16th street about a mile up from where the White House is located, so we decided to just walk down to the National Mall area from the hotel.  Ryan really wanted a coffee, so we stopped off at Starbuck’s to grab some caffeine along the way to the National Mall.  We got to the National Mall around 9 am and were surprised at how uncroweded the monuments were at that time.  We tried to hit the George Washington Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, and the D.C. War Memorial, but we somehow managed to miss the Vietnam War Memorial.

George Washington Memorial
George Washington Memorial

World War II Memorial
World War II Memorial

Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial

Korean War Memorial
Korean War Memorial

D.C. War Memorial
D.C. War Memorial

After walking around all of the memorials, we all decided it was time to grab a snack and went up to 15th street where they had a whole bunch of food truck lined up one after the other.  I couldn’t believe how close together the trucks were to each other, they were hitting each other bumper to bumper in some spots!  Ryan and I split a chocolate milkshake and a steak and cheese quesadilla and went up onto the grass near the Washington Memorial to sit and eat while the four of us decided what we all wanted to do next.  We decided to hit the museums next, and headed towards the Smithsonian Museums and went to the National Museum of American History, the National Museum of Natural History, the National Gallery of Art, and the National Air and Space Museum.  We tried to hit the National Botanical Garden as well, but by the time we got there it was 7 minutes til close.

National Museum of American History
National Museum of American History

National Museum of Natural History
National Museum of Natural History

National Gallery of Art
National Gallery of Art

National Air and Space Museum
National Air and Space Museum

When we got to the National Botanical Garden, it was almost 5 pm and the four of us were beat from walking around so much.  We were pretty proud of the fact that we hit a good chunk of the National Mall in one day though.  Between our stop at the Natural History Museum and the National Gallery of Art, we stopped off for lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, which involved us having to cross through the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in order to get to it.  The Cherry Blossom Festival Parade seemed like it would have been cool to watch, but we decided we didn’t want to be that touristy and watch a parade.  It was cool to see a lot of different vendors along the streets in and in any gift shops and stores all of the different cherry blossom decorations, even though we didn’t really get to see any of the cherry blossoms.

Food trucks in D.C.
Food trucks lined up along 15th Street in Washington D.C.

Since we had lunch pretty late, we didn’t really do anything for dinner, but we all decided to try and find a bar or two to have a drink at.  We first tried to find a bar that had pool tables because Ryan kind of wanted to play, so we went to a bar called Black Whiskey that was just a few blocks away from our hotel.  When we got there, it was super dark and they only had one pool table and Ryan decided he didn’t really want to deal with calling next game or anything, so he quickly had a beer before we moved on to the next bar.  We decided to walk up the street a little to see what else there were for bars, and we went into this sorta fancy looking bar that ended up being pretty expensive.  Ryan ordered a Jack n Coke and it cost him $12 for what basically just looked like a small glass of Jack on the rocks, and the same went for Luke’s drink, which was a Gin and Tonic but was really just Gin on the rocks as well.  This happened to both of them at a different bar the night before after we landed in D.C. and they were hoping it was just that one bar, but it must just be a D.C. thing for making really small mixed drinks that aren’t actually mixed drinks.  After that drink, Ryan gave up and decided to just go to a liquor store and just grab a couple beers there instead to bring back to the room.  By the end of the first day my phones tracker said we had walked over 10 miles, and Luke’s said 14 – we aren’t really sure which one would be more accurate to go off of, so I started averaging the distance totals and figure we walked at least 12 miles by the end of the first day.

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