In anticipation of my upcoming trip to Washington DC, I thought I’d take a trip down memory lane and reminisce about previous visits. There are too many places to visit in DC. Revisiting memories is helping me plan the next trip. Some places I want to see again. Others I’ve missed or don’t remember.
The First Trip
If you’ve lived on the east side of the US, chances are you have visited Washington D.C. as an elementary or junior high student. I know I did. Sixth grade was the coveted trip to the capital. Now I only wish I had one memory from that trip. In writing this post, I’m racking my brain trying to remember something about the trip but can’t. Old brain.
The Second Trip
With that fail, my next trip to DC was much more memorable. I planned that trip in secret. My daughter’s plans for senior year spring break fell apart so I picked up the ball. She loves American history and really enjoyed her visit to Wilmington in a previous year. My thought, how about Gettysburg and Washington DC? All plans were set. Waiting till the launch date was agonizing. Urgh, I wanted to tell her so bad.
Finally, d-day arrived. She still had no idea. That day, she arrived home, I told her, “Surprise, you have one hour to pack. We are going on a trip.” And off we went. Smiles for miles.
Little did I know when I planned this trip, it was cherry blossom time. The grounds everywhere were gorgeous. Both of us had one must-see site. Mine was the Holocaust Museum and hers was the American History Smithsonian Museum war section. Words can not express the emotions felt while walking through the Holocaust Museum so I won’t even bother. Let’s say it was extremely moving. We walked through the museum and purchased tickets for the permanent exhibit.
Walking through security at the Holocaust Museum, I panicked slightly because I had a water bottle with me. Crazy, right? I’m not a criminal. Why should I worry? But I did. The funny part was how the guard reacted. He simply told me to take a drink of the water. Okay. Why? He said, “Well you wouldn’t drink it if it was explosive.” Yup, that’s for sure.
Having booked our DC hotel via Priceline, the Name Your Own Price option purchased our hotel room in Alexandria, Virginia. We were so glad upon arrival. The room was worth so much more than the measly price I paid. I had bid really low compared to the average pricing of hotels in the area. Needless to say, we were overjoyed. It was the Marriot by the Courtyard. Without the Bid Price option, I never would have discovered this hotel. Nor would we have had a most enjoyable evening walking around Old Town which was so close to the hotel. We fell in love with the area. It was quaint and lovely. The townhomes are adorable. Both Alexandria and the area of DC we walked were so clean. We were ready to relocate here.
We debated and walked and walked and debated. Hmmm, which King Road restaurant shall we choose? Bertucci’s satisfied both of our desires. We are huge Italian food lovers. The food was excellent; however, the service was lacking. We did not let this deter us from an otherwise perfect evening. Walking arm-in-arm through the neighborhood chatting about our delightful day was such a nice ending to our mother/daughter bonding experience.
Our second day was slightly rainy so our planned lunch picnic at Washington Mall was canceled. Instead, we dined at Table Talk in Alexandria. They went off the rails with a cheese-filled bacon-wrapped deep-fried hot dog. Heart attack on a plate but oh so delicious. After that waist-expanding lunch, we were in need of walking. Our day revolved around memorials which made both of us happy in the end.
- Jefferson Memorial
- Lincoln Memorial
- Washington Memorial
- WWII and Vietnam Memorials
It is interesting the tidbits you find out about your children when you are not expecting it. I discovered my daughter’s admiration of Thomas Jefferson because of this trip. We spent a lot of time at the Jefferson Memorial while she used her video camera and browsed the bookstore. A couple of posters and books made their way into our car. Luckily, I was able to refrain from purchasing stuff at my favorite President’s memorial, Abraham Lincoln.
After a long day of driving and walking, tea time at Starbucks sounded perfect. A little break, a little snack and a little perusing through the books we bought was the exact boost we needed before heading out of town to Gettysburg.
Next month, I plan to visit the Capital building, White House and Supreme Court.
See you next month, DC!