My previous experience with Washington D.C.? That’s easy. The Disney original movie “My Date with the President’s Daughter,” of course.
I still remember the president’s daughter wearing a bright pink velvet dress that screamed irresponsible for someone of her caliber. And while it sounds fun to pounce around D.C. in that sort of garb, it was way too cold. Not to mention Barron Trump isn’t really my type (or age for that matter).
So instead I dawned my tennis shoes (you can’t do D.C. without those), big coat and flashy earrings (because no pink dress means you have to wear something bold) and made my trek in the snowy weather to see Lincoln.
In a perfect world, I would have gotten to see everything on my list, but because of the snow, the rain and my soaked jeans, I’m sad to tell you the first day ended at a Subway right beside our hostel at 6 p.m. It happens to the best of us.
Don’t worry though because we well made up for it the next day. Cupcakes and all.
A nugget of advice before I dive into the weekend itinerary and my unfinished D.C. wishlist: go in the spring. My grandma says the cherry blossoms are the bomb.
Where We Stayed
If you’re into the hostel kind of thing, HI Washington is where you need to go. They have a nice continental breakfast as long as you’re okay with cereal, bagels and coffee. This is by far the cleanest hostel I’ve stayed at — I wasn’t even upset about forgetting my shower shoes (OK, maybe a little).
While the hostel was four to five star quality, by the time you pay for two beds in the hostel plus parking down the road, you might as well get a hotel room. The pillows will probably be fluffier anyway.
What We Did
We froze — that’s what we did. But we also had a lot of fun.
One of my favorite parts was seeing the White House. Part of me feels like if I’m going to pay all this tax money, the least they can do is put a tree in front of that thing. Or a shrub. I’ll settle for a shrub. It was still beautiful though. Another part of me was trying to imagine Trump’s orange complexion against the stark white color of the house, but then again I have pasty white skin (which I refer to as porcelain — let me have that) so who am I to talk?
Right next to the White House is the Renwick Gallery, part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. I love art museums. And while I felt slightly awkward trying to get a photo of the naked lady statue without ruining her decency, it was wonderful. Snow was falling when we opened the doors to leave so it was a picture perfect kind of moment.
The Washington Monument is a must see — literally. Like how can you miss that thing? It’s everywhere.
The Lincoln Memorial was probably the most beautiful part. Here’s a tip I’d like to reiterate: wear your tennis shoes. It’s a small trek through the World War II Memorial, past the Reflecting Pool and up the stairs to Lincoln. And even though I was uncomfortably cold, this was one of the prettiest parts of the entire trip. Lincoln was HUGE (or as Trump would say — YUUUGE).
Did you know that the National Mall is actually a strip that runs through this area? I didn’t. I was in the National Mall and didn’t even know it.
Our last stop of the day, the National Archives, had us waiting in a long line in the freezing rain. Not to mention some guy kept yelling at us to purchase an umbrella. But it was well worth it. I’m still trying to figure out how our founding fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights without having to scratch out a misspelled word or mistake.
Sunday was the highlight of the trip. PERFECT weather, PTL.
The first place we visited was Georgetown. I heard it was pretty, but it exceeded my expectations. And perhaps that’s because I froze the day before looking at historical things, and this was way different with the sun and shops. It was a perfect day full of cupcakes, coffee and shopping. If you’re a Madewell fan, you have to visit the one in Georgetown. I could have stayed in there all day.
The final place we went on our weekend trip was possibly my favorite part (I know I’ve said that about everything). If you ever visit D.C. you HAVE to go to the Arlington National Cemetery to see the changing of the guards. The guards change every hour. I’ve never been in a crowd of so many people where no one mustered a sound. The reverence in the air there is unmatched.
What We Ate
Do yourself a favor and eat at Pret a Manger. My first experience with Pret was in New York City so you can imagine my excitement when we stumbled across one in D.C. It’s a little pricy, but in my opinion so worth it. A wall is lined with organic and all-natural food you can grab and pay for at the register. I recommend the California club and chicken noodle soup, but everything is wonderful I’m sure.
Another place we found was Peet’s Coffee. Most of the places we stumbled upon because we wanted something hot to warm us up from the dreary weather. Sorry for all my hot coffee and soup recommendations. But if you’re a coffee lover like me (my day isn’t complete without a latte or cappuccino), visit Peet’s.
Did you really visit Georgetown without going to Georgetown Cupcake? They were made famous from their cupcake show on TLC, and you can even view their cupcake cam here. I love a good cupcake drama.
What We’ll Do Next Time
Whenever I decide to go somewhere, I consult Pinterest and make a ginormous list with multiple categories. I’m Type A all the way — can you tell? But I’ve found that this helps me during those what-should-we-do-now moments we all know and dread.
So here is my list of things I have yet to accomplish.
Let’s start with the food. One word: Momofuku Milk Bar. I’m not sure what I like more — the idea of desserts or the fact that they did a collaboration with Madewell. I also really want to try Maketto so I can feel cool and modern while I sip my daily cappuccino. And after extensive research, I added some real food to the list: Mandu (give me all the dumplings) and Glen’s Garden Market.
We’ll close with the sites. Can you believe I went to Washington D.C. and didn’t even go to the U.S. Capital? Yeah, me either! So that and Chinatown are two things I have to do when I visit again. Oh and the Library of Congress so I can have my Nicolas Cage moment.
If you beat me to any of these places, you’re automatically obligated to post about your experience in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading! Now go get your velvet pink dress on and hit D.C. You won’t regret it (maybe).
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