I. Am. In. PAIN.
But I had the best weekend ever! My fiancé, Ben, and I went away for the weekend to Washington, D.C. We wanted to relax, see the sights, and visit the museums, and we accomplished most of that. Rather, we accomplished each of those three things but not with all of the available relaxing spots, sights, and museums. There’s just so much to see in D.C. that you can’t see it all in one weekend.
We started off the weekend with a slightly stressful drive to our hotel. But once we got there, we realized that it had all been worth it. The city at night is beautiful. There are fancy restaurants with string lights, tons of people walking around, and tall, beautiful buildings (like our hotel).
We spent the first half hour of the morning on Saturday walking from Homewood Suites alllll the way over to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History (say that five times fast). Security in the museums is mostly a breeze (definitely better than airport security). We went through half of the exhibits in the NMNH, and then we had a brief stint back in the hotel for lunch. We went back to the NMNH and finished walking through the rest of the exhibits, which took about an hour and a half. What surprised me the most was that a museum focused on history could be so updated! There were touch screen displays (that showed interactive learning videos), videos of natural historical phenomenon, and new portions to the exhibits that I hadn’t seen the last (and only) time I was in D.C. (You can find pictures from the NMNH exhibits in the slideshows below.)
From the NMNH, Ben and I went to the American History Museum. The set-up of the exhibits there is really cool. We started in the Star-Spangled Banner exhibit where the museum houses the first American flag – which was extremely moving to see and learn about. From there, all of the exhibits are set up in ways that showcase their historical value – bright colors giving off the traditional 1950s “vibe,” steam-punk color palettes in the exhibits on train and auto history, etc. And – as with the NMNH – all of the exhibits at the AHM include some type of interactive technology. (You can find pictures from the AHM exhibits in the slideshow below.)
The rest of our afternoon-into-the-evening-time was spent walking from the AHM to the Washington Monument and then to the Lincoln Memorial and back to the hotel.
While seeing the history around these structures was incredibly inspiring and awesome…I was not exactly having the best experience. You see, one thing I had failed to appreciate (and that you should definitely remember if you’re planning a trip to a city) was the amount of walking I would have to do both days. My hips, legs, ankles, and feet were (and still somewhat are) in an immense amount of pain by the time we left the AHM. And walking all the way down the Mall to the other two structures just made me hurt even more. By the time we got to the hotel, I needed to take an hour-long break (and give myself a bunch of foot rubs) before I was able to walk to dinner. And yes, before you ask, I was wearing sneakers the entire time – no flip-flops on this particular vacation.
Dinner was at a local haunt called Busboys and Poets. The atmosphere there is calm and relaxed, and the decor is really amazing. It has a very 70s, “free-love” kind of vibe, and there’s even a small bookstore in the front.We ordered nachos, had a beer, and ate two of the most amazing dinner entrees I have ever had while taking a vacation. I had the fried chicken, and Ben had the shrimp pasta. These dishes sound typical, but there was nothing typical about them. I highly suggest this place if you’re ever in D.C.
Our last day in D.C. was bittersweet. We went to another local restaurant called Lincoln’s Waffle Shop, which was extremely packed but served extremely good breakfast food. We walked over towards the Capitol Building (we didn’t actually go in, but I got some awesome pictures), and we visited the Air and Space Museum.
The ASM was really interesting, and I particularly enjoyed the exhibits on space. Ben and I bought tickets to one of the shows playing in the Einstein Planetarium. It was called Dark Universe and it explained how the cosmos were created and how our galaxy is just one in a seemingly infinite number of galaxies of which we can see only a small percentage. The show was amazing, and the exhibits were impressive. I have pictures – in a slideshow below – of a lot of the bigger structures that I wanted to capture.
All-in-all, I had an amazing weekend. The bit of pain – *cough, cough* IMMENSE amount of pain *cough* – was worth it in the end. If you’re ever thinking about taking a trip to our nation’s capital, I say just go for it. You’re in for an amazing treat. Just don’t forget to take regular breaks if you’re planning on walking the entire length of the National Mall…