When we all got up Sunday morning, we were all so sore from walking so much on Day 1 that we decided we would try and take the Metro as much as we could that day. We all wanted to go to the National Zoo and were hoping to go to the National Aquarium as well, but when we looked the Aquarium up we found out it actually closed for renovations three years ago and never reopened. Another thing I really wanted to do that morning was go to Astro Doughnuts and Chicken so I could try one of their donuts that looked/sounded so good. Astro Doughnuts was pretty close to one of the metro stations, so we stopped off at Starbuck’s again for coffee, and then continued our way down to Astro Doughnuts. They’re donuts looked so amazing when I got there, that ended up getting the Birthday Cake and the Creme Brulee donuts – even though I originally wanted to try the Peanut Butter and Jelly donut. I was not upset with my decisions though and was sad that I was too full to finish both donuts and had to throw out half of the Creme Brulee donut.
After our donut stop, we got to the metro and made our way to the National Zoo. We manged to spend 3 hours at the zoo because it was so huge. The National Zoo is also one of four Zoo’s in the United States that has Panda Bears, so naturally the Panda exhibit was one of the busiest areas of the zoo. Some of the areas of the National Zoo I enjoyed though was the bird house, where you could walk in and some of the animals were allowed to roam around freely. We were able to get up close with some peacocks because of this, and another area of the Zoo called Amazonia also had a room like this, where Ryan and I got to be really close to this little monkey. The four of us originally intended to walk less this day, but note that if you ever visit the National Zoo you will be doing a hell of a lot more walking that you might have intended. By the time we left the zoo we had already walked over 6 miles for the day.
It was 1 when we finally left the Zoo and dragged ourselves back to the metro. We went back to the central metro station where we decided to find somewhere to eat for lunch. I quickly looked up some restaurants on my phone and came across one called Harry’s Restaurant that sounded simple enough. When I was looking through the menu, I noticed on the kids menu they had grilled cheese listed, but didn’t have it listed anywhere else but the kids menu. After reading that they had grilled cheese that was all I wanted, and I said to everyone that I hope they won’t mind if I order off of the kids menu, and right after I said that Luke pointed out that it said underneath the kids menu that adults and kids can order off of it. Shannon and I were pumped about that, so I ordered a grilled cheese and she ordered the Mac N Cheese off of the kids menu. Harry’s Restaurant was probably the cheapest place we got a meal while in D.C. for lunch or dinner, which was surprising since it was so close to the National Mall area, but a part of that could also be because I only ordered off of the kids menu.
After lunch, since we were so close to the National Mall, we decided to walk down towards the monuments and check out the Vietnam War Memorial that we had manged to miss the day before. Ryan was the one that really wanted to see it, but was a bit disappointed when we got to the Memorial and it was just a wall with all the soldiers names that had died in the war were listed. He was expecting something cooler than a wall I guess, seeing as the World War II and Korean War Memorials were both pretty intricate with fountains and statues. Even though it was just a wall with all the soldiers names listed on it, I still thought it was pretty cool because the wall was really reflective and you could perfectly see peoples reflections and the reflections of memorial flowers left along the wall.
Vietnam War Memorial
From there, we wanted to head to Arlington Cemetery to see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the grave site of JFK. Originally we planned on taking the metro there, but we decided it was nice out and that it really wasn’t all that far of a walk, so we toughed it and walked across the bridge to Arlington Cemetery. To be honest, the walk wasn’t that bad, but the sun was pretty brutal while walking across. Once we got to Arlington Cemetery though, all of us were pretty tired from walking more that day than we had originally planned – seeing as we had already walked more miles that day than we had the previous day. Shannon and I really only wanted to go to those two sites in Arlington Cemetery though, so we headed to the JFK grave site first and then went up to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. If we were smart, we would have waited at the tomb for 5 more minutes because then we would have seen the changing of the guards, but all of us were so tired that we decided we could do without it.
The cemetery was quite amazing though. It’s crazy how many people are buried there from so many time periods. I overheard a tour guide say if there was a shield on someones tomb stone, that meant they were buried before World War I or during the Civil War and beyond – I forget exactly what he said, but it’s still pretty amazing that you can see graves from as early as now to before the Civil War all in one cemetery. Arlington Cemetery is also really pretty too, despite the fact it’s a cemetery.
After the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the four of us made our way back to the entrance and decided to take the metro back towards Metro Center, where we would then take the metro to Dupont Circle. However, as we were getting closer to Metro Center, Ryan and I were like why don’t we just get off on this stop since it’s really not that much less of a walk to go from here than from Dupont Circle. Shannon and Luke wanted to walk as little as possible though and opted for Dupont, so we split for the time being and Ryan and I made our way back to the hotel on our own. The walk back wasn’t bad, and went by rather fast, except we managed to walk right past our hotel and only noticed when we started walking past a Scottish building and were like we don’t remember this, so we had to turn around to go the right way.
The rest of the night was pretty uneventful. When we got back to the hotel it was already around 6:30 pm, so Ryan and I relaxed for a little bit and then I got up and took a shower before the two of us decided to go somewhere for dinner. Now that we had seen a few of the different bar/restaurant options on 14th street, we decided to head that way to see what looked good. We decided on a place called Stoney’s, which was actually pretty good. Ryan wanted a steak & cheese, which they had, and I just got a pizza which was really good, and they actually had Budweiser beer there, which Ryan was pretty happy about. Every other place we had gone to either didn’t have it, or they were out of it at the time, or he’d ask for it and they’d mess up and give him a Bud Lite instead. I tried this pear cider that they had bottles of, and I actually liked it better than Angry Orchard or any other type of cider that I would normally get. In all, we were happy with picking Stoney’s and had a cozy time hanging out there before going back to the hotel and going to bed.