A couple of weeks ago, Kevin and my dad were scheduled to work at a trade show in Washington, DC. Given the success of our previous trip, my mom and I decided to tag along for the ride.
Though Kevin and Tony did spend some time working, the 4 of us found plenty of time to see sites and eat well.
Here’s a quick rundown and review of where we went…
When we drive to DC, we take a semi-scenic route, and stop midway in a Pennsylvania town called Altoona. We eat at Champs Sports Grill, which has impeccably clean washrooms and pretty good food. Kevin recently realized that his favourite candy bar, the Mallo Cup, is made in Altoona. Obviously, we had to stop at the factory and stock up at Boyer Candies. You can see photos of our visit on Google Maps!
After arriving in DC around 6pm, we ate dinner at Zaytinya, a Greek/Mediterranean tapas restaurant. The weather was so good that we were able to sit outside on the patio! The service and food were great. After a day in the car, it was really nice to relax outside while eating a light dinner (and wine, of course).
Kevin and Tony worked in the evening for a few hours, but we did our site seeing during the day. We started with the Newseum, a museum that highlights the importance of the press in the American democratic system. Entry isn’t free, because it’s not part of the Smithsonian, but it’s a really cool museum and well worth seeing.
After a few hours at the Newseum, it was time for lunch. We walked up the street to a place we tried and failed to eat the last time we came to DC, Charlie Palmer Steak. Congress wasn’t in session, but our server told us it’s a go-to spot for Republican Congresspeople. Then again, we could only name 3 house representatives, so I doubt we’d have recognized anyone either way.
Charlie Palmer’s is one of the closest restaurants to the Capitol Building, which Kevin could see in full view from his seat. But the view got much fuller after lunch when we were given the opportunity to go to the building’s rooftop. This is the spot where CNN sits to film inaugurations, which was really cool. The photos we got seem to prove that it’s the best view in town.
While the gentlemen worked, Judy and I did some shopping. We then met up for dinner at a french restaurant called DBGB. The food and service were both good, and yet I can’t imagine craving a return trip.
Kevin and Tony worked, so Judy and I headed off on an adventure in Georgetown. The plan was to visit a cat cafe, which we couldn’t get into because we didn’t have reservations. Then we wanted to try on wedding dresses (for me) at a bridal boutique. We went to several different boutiques and couldn’t get in anywhere due to lack of appointment. And yet! In the basement of Carine’s Bridal Atelier they had a sample sale! No appointments necessary! This welcome surprise really turned our day around. We spent a fairly amusing 2.5 hours working with a woman named Brianna in trying on 50+ dresses. Nothing purchased, but lots learned!
That night we headed to Filomena Ristorante, which had been a highlight on our last trip. The portions being enormous, we couldn’t finish eating and certainly disappointed our waiter. Again, as with everywhere else we’d eat, the food and wine were delicious.
Sunday morning started early. I got up at 6:30am to book day-of passes for visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture. As the newest Smithsonian to open, it’s incredibly popular, and you can’t get in without a pass. There are 3 upper floors and 3 lower floors. The lower floors required a wait time of 2 hours, so we opted to start upstairs. And even the upper 3 floors had more information than one could take in during one trip. I spent nearly 2 hours on the the third floor alone. And just before leaving? I found an entire art wing! It’s an incredible and important museum, and we’ll definitely be going back for more on our next trip to DC.
After a few hours at the museum, we walked up to the W Hotel. My friend Julie had recommended it as good spot for drinks, with an unmatched view, and she was right. It was nice to wrap up our day with a view of the White House.
From there, we headed to the hotel, packed up the car, and began our road trip home. And just before we left, we actually saw the presidential motorcade in motion. Bizarre, to say the least.
A few people asked me if the feeling in DC was any different post-election disaster.Visiting at the Newseum felt particularly important this time, and you could tell that some of the people visiting the museum were feeling frustrated with the current administration. Otherwise, we were there on a quiet weekend, with no marches/protests taking place, but the overall vibe of the city seemed the same. We’ll see if that continues on future trips to visit the USA.