Our Washington DC Trip – First 2 Days
My husband is taking a class in Maryland this week for his job. We took advantage of the grandparents as babysitters and I traveled with him for a little vacation. We flew up on Monday, but his class didn’t start till Wednesday, so we did a little site-seeing. My first tip, arrive earlier than you need to for your flight. I know they tell you this, but we flew out of Jacksonville and they are never busy. Of course we left ourselves plenty of time and thank goodness we did. We walked in to find the security line backed up to the front door and wrapped around the corner.
For the next half hour we listened to the guy behind us in his 3 piece suit, complain about it never being like this and he flies every week. He went on to call the airlines and ask every airport employee he saw if there was a way to get through faster, as his flight was in 15 minutes! They had no sympathy and he waited with the rest of us. As we approached security, we smiled and offered to let him go ahead of us, as we removed our shoes. 5 minutes later we were putting our shoes back on and looked back to see he had been randomly chosen for the full body search. Guess that slowed him down.
After arriving at Reagan International Airport, we headed over to grab a taxi to the hotel. The line was over 30 people deep and as we looked around we noticed there was another “taxi spot” a little further down the curb. We walked down, hopped right on a taxi and passed the 30 other people waiting in the other line. We are not sure why everyone was in that particular line. Our taxi did not take credit cards and maybe the other ones did? Or maybe everyone just assumed there was only one place to get a taxi? Being observant of your surroundings can save you time!
We had lunch with some family friends and they gave us a tour of our surroundings and then we settled into the hotel. For dinner I looked at Restaurant.com for a place within walking distance. We chose a Japanese restaurant and headed down to the hotel business center to print a certificate.
We bought a $25 certificate for $2. Make sure you read the specifications for the restaurant you are interested in. We knew we’d have to spend $35 minimum and 18% tip would be added to the bill.
We would have spent $52.97 including tip on a meal like this, but instead our OOP was only $29.97 ($27.97 plus the $2 cost of the certificate). That’s about $14 per person for a very nice Japanese dinner. Nice date night meal!
The next day we took the metro into DC for some site-seeing. Not having been here before and not sure what stops to use or what lines, I looked up a metro application for my iphone. I spent a whooping $.99 on “Find a metro DC” application.
This application was fantastic. It has a “Points of interest” feature where you can click on “Lincoln Memorial” and it will tell you what lines to take from your current location and what stop is the closest. And we used the “5 closest stations” feature when we were done for the day and our feet were aching. This told us the closest station to our current location. It was well worth the Dollar! Did I tell you I get motion sickness and we had to get off early because I was nauseous? We were standing, due to the lack of empty seats. I got some fresh air, then back on the metro, sitting this time, facing forward! I know, I’m sad.
My last tip…..don’t share your food! We stopped for a quick snack right outside the Lincoln Memorial. I was stirring my hot chocolate, watching some tourist take pictures and laugh at something around the corner from me. I knew they were probably taking pictures of the squirrel that we had seen walking up. Little did I know they were taking pictures of my husband! I rounded the corner to see this:
The picture below is the one my husband took just before the squirrel played tug of war with him and the fries basket! He says the squirrel jumped on to the table and snagged a french fry before he could react. Then as my husband was grabbing the basket to move it away, the squirrel latched on with his claws and tried to take it from him! Apparently they are not afraid of humans. He had to flick a mustard package at it to scare it away. Note: no squirrel was hurt in the process of the tug of war. My husband however, claims he was violated!
But it was all worth it, for shots like these: