Josh and Jess Do Washington! The high speed guide to getting around the nations capital! Day 22 & Day 23
Well here we are. America’s capital city. Washington DC. Whether you’re here for sightseeing, tours, shows or the food scene. This is a city that has a little something for everybody. Jess and I left Niagara Falls in the rear view mirror and flew for Washington. We spent most of our day getting here yesterday so I thought I would run both of these days together.
Let me begin, after a rather quick and pleasant flight,the drive yesterday was possibly the most stressed I have ever been. I’m talking fifteen dockets deep and running out of prep stressed, I’m talking middle of service and watching the stove shut down. Basically I was freaking out. Driving in Washington is unlike anywhere else we’ve driven on this trip so far. The city streets are clustered like a ball of rubber bands, there’s things that they call roundabouts that are in no way round and only seem to take you everywhere except the destination you’re attempting to get to. All the while Jessica was laughing at my increased aggression, taxis are blasting their horns at me and pedestrians are running out of my way before I mount the curb.
Then, like a beam from above I see the hotel sign, hook in and throw myself out of the car. Get me into a hotel room. We quickly unpack and I am pretty much exhausted. We plan ourselves for the day ahead and get some much needed sleep.
Now here is our guide to spending a day in Washington. I’m taking a different approach and I’ll tell you exactly what we did. Now I must admit we did not see everything, but we did see a damn lot and if you follow in our footsteps when your in Washington I can pretty much guarantee a good time.
Here we go.
9:27am- get woken up by your hotel fire alarm, stumble around your hotel room, do not forget to stub your toe on the bedside table whilst searching for pants.
9:29am- laugh at your girlfriends bed hair whilst you jostle down the hotel exit stairs.
9:35am- complain when you find out that the fire alarm was in fact a false alarm. Drag yourself back in to bed.
10:30am- get shaken awake by your girlfriend saying “you’re wasting the day away.” Smell Starbucks coffee in her hand and then realise there is not one for you. Get dressed, sunscreen up and put on your walking shoes.
10:31am- complain that your shoes hurt your feet.
11:30am- hit the city streets and walk to the White House. It is an incredible looking building with large gardens and even larger security guards. There’s also great views of The Washington Monument which is in fact under construction since the 2011 Virginia earthquake. Still with the Eisenhower building right next door the history and American politics drip from the streets. Very interesting.
12:30pm-take yourself to the World War II Memorial. A beautiful work of stone and water, the pristine glow of the reflecting pool shimmers in the background and in the distance you will see the Lincoln Memorial.
1:00pm- walk over to the Lincoln Memorial to see one of the most brilliant political minds of all time. Lincoln sits in his chair, staring down at the nation. An almost profound feeling to think of a man who not only finished the civil war but united the union and of course, freed the slaves. This is a must see when in Washington but beware, in summer it is crazy hot and the crowds are large.
1:30pm- trot down Independence avenue SW and see the Smithsonian. On the way you’ll get a wonderful trip through the cities many parks and buildings. Stop by the Department of Agriculture if the farmers markets are on, if not stop anyway and check out their veggie garden. On the trek you’ll pass the Jefferson memorial as well.
2:00pm- get inside The Smithsonian. Even if museums are not your thing this place is cool. Not to mention it is free. The sculptures of the tyrannosaur and triceratops are enormous and for a wannabe palaeontologist like myself I am running around like a kid. There’s fossils, enormous life sized mammoths, giraffes and a fairly serious amount of diamonds throughout history. Great for the kids, and the big kids!
3:00pm- grab lunch at one of the dozens of Washington food trucks. These driving diners line up in fleets selling cheap grub to hungry tourists like us. We grab some cheesesteak subs and are on our way.
3:15pm- snap a few quick shots of the Capitol Building and its enormous reflection pool.
3:30pm- walk up to see the FBI headquarters and marvel at the amount of security this place has. Then go down the street and see the National Archives. Here are housed the original Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, the Constitution and the Emancipation Proclamation. Not to mention some serious American history including letters from George Washington, John Hancock and several notary figures of American politics. Definitely worth a look!
4:00pm- walk a few streets up and you will see the International Spy Museum. This place has an entire floor dedicated to James Bond and a cool looking spy game designed by actual spies where you have to find clues and diffuse a nuclear bomb. Not free but very interesting. Jess and I didn’t actually get into the spy game as we had a few more sights to see.
5:00pm- ok it’s time to realise that you’ve been walking since 11am. Your feet are swollen and you’ve lost feeling to pretty much everything below your hips. Probably time to head home, just one more stop. With the Washington Monument out of action head over to the old post office on 12th and Pennsylvania Ave to get some great views of the city. That’s of course if the lifts are operating on the day you arrive. Ours of course were not.
5:50pm- after dragging yourself around Washington for the last hour finally get back to your hotel room.
5:53pm- open the back pack your girlfriend has been carrying all day, grab the camera that she used to take all of the photos and check them out.
6:30pm- grab some cheap eats at DC Thai. A duck curry for me and a Massaman for Jess. Now get yourself onto thetraveltotaste and tell us all about your day!
7:30pm- demolish your curry so fast it gives you a stomach ache but you don’t care because your legs are so numb you think you should get something to regain feeling.
This is just a quick day in Washington but let me tell you we got a tonne of stuff done and saw loads of sights. The city is humming with politics and busy workers, not to mention loads of touristy stuff for you to look at.
Now it’s time. We want to hear your stories. Tell us about your 24 hours in a country. Shoot us an email, leave us a comment. We want your stories. Also, get yourself to Washington, this place rocks.
See you soon,
Josh and Jess