Being a Tourist

Washington, DC | July 19-29, 2014 | 11 days of being a complete tourist in DC. A staycation on crack. And my final chance to do everything I loved one last time in my “home” of 6 years. 

Below is a ton of photos we took (lots of “selfies” at various locations) but I’ll give you a break down of where we went each day.

July 19: We started our day at Bluejacket Brewery in the Navy Yard for a few tastings. Then headed over to the Nats game with the VA crowd for Ryan’s birthday.

July 20: JJ gave us a tour of the National Zoo (since she’s an insider and all), where we of course saw the pandas, the elephants, watched the orangatuns on the O-line and got super close to a bird in Amazonia. We spent the afternoon at the National Cathedral (which is free on Sundays!). We saw a rehearsal for a choral concert that evening and wandered around the grounds. We went up to the tower to take in some DC views and toured the beautiful gardens. Afterward we had an early dinner at 2 Amys. I had to eat there one last time before moving away.

July 21: We decided to head out to Great Falls. I had always heard this place had beautiful views but had never made the trek out there to experience it. We hiked around for most of the morning after seeing the falls before heading over to Udvar Hazy Space Museum. It puts Air and Space to shame. So many planes, the space shuttle, a little kids playland. It was really cool. That evening we took in one last Screen on the Green – Karate Kid! Of course the sky did not disappoint as the sun began to set behind the Washington Monument. Such a beautiful place.

July 22: We went for lunch at Panda Gourmet – the supposed Best Chinese in DC. It did not disappoint. Of course it is in the most random location (attached to a Days Inn on Highway 50) but the food was delicious. We headed to Annapolis for the day wandering up the main streets before having a few beverages at one of the local bars. That evening was spent with Adam Pohl at the Bowie Baysox game, listening to him call the game and hang out for the evening. 

July 23: That morning we headed over to Mount Vernon. Another place I had heard great things about but had never made it for a visit. The grounds were fantastic and the airconditioned buildings were delightful. It was unbearably hot that day and while we did walk around a lot outside, it was great to be in the museum parts to cool down and learn more about G.W. Afterwards we wandered a bit through downtown Alexandria, and then watched the planes come in at Gravelly Point. That evening was our final Bourbon Club at Rocklands and a goodbye to some of the gang who we wouldn’t get to see again before leaving town.

July 24: The day we traveled to NYC and back in a day. Jon needed to meet with a faculty member a Juilliard and so we took a day out of our DC touristing to make the trip. What a day it was- we got delayed both ways on the bus so it seemed to last forever (at least on the bus). Once we finally arrived we headed over to Juilliard’s campus (which was a treat for me having never been inside). It was super cool. We spoke to one of the dance faculty whom Jon had been talking with about a Martha Graham piece. Afterwards we headed over to the NY Public Library Performing Arts section so he could look at manuscripts of the piece he was in the process of writing about. I looked at their displays which featured how dances were conceived. Also super cool. Afterwards we went to eat at Room Service (my fave Thai place in the city) and then headed over to walk the High Line. Jon had never walked it so it was fun to take him through- we got ice cream sandwiches and I got a reusable grocery bag. Afterwards we got some snacks and headed back to wait on our Megabus. Many hours later we finally made it back to DC.

July 25: Our morning was spent at the National Arboretum. It was a very interesting and empty place. It’s hard to know when the best time of year to visit would be since so many of their exhibits bloom at different times. Of course when we were there it was ridiculously hot so other than the herb garden, bonzais, and crepe myrtles there wasn’t much going on. It is a huge place though and randomly has some old columns from the Capitol inside. Afterwards we headed up to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to walk around and have some lunch. It’s a beautiful area that we would have spent more time in had we had it! But we had to be back in DC for Jazz in the Sculpture Garden that evening (another of my fave things DC has to offer that I had to do one last time.)

July 26: One last beach day in Lewes. We had spotty weather but overall it was a great beach day. We stopped at the brewery to pick up some final beers to take to Wisconsin with us. Dinner happened at the Surfing Crab and it was fantastic. Highly recommend if you’re looking for delicious seafood at the Delaware Beaches!

July 27: We finally experienced Drag Brunch at Perry’s. JJ and Kevin came to join us before helping us haul another load out to our storage unit. It was a riot and the food was delicious too! Highly recommend to anyone visiting or any locals who are looking for more than your average brunch. We had a little sunday funday at JJ and Kevin’s, relaxing outside that afternoon. That evening we had dinner at Medium Rare (another on my food bucketlist). It, as always, was delightfully delicious.

July 28: We were up bright and early to head to the Washington Monument to get tickets to go up. They had recently reopened after repairing the cracks from the earthquake a few years back so you have to get there early to get tickets. Even so we didn’t get tickets until the 3pm tour. Afterward those were secure we decided to walk the monuments. We headed over toward the World War II Memorial before walking down to the Lincoln. After that it was a stop by the Korean War Memorial and then over to the tidal basin to walk through the MLK, FDR and finally Jefferson monuments. After those were complete we headed over to the Archives to take a look at the Declaration of Independence. And finally the Natural and American History Museums. Was quite the morning/early afternoon. Then we got to go up in the Washington Monument. The views were spectacular. Everyone should do this – since it’s free!!! A quick stop by the White House on our way home to say goodbye. That evening was filled with many friends and goodbyes as Philippa threw me a small goodbye party at her condo. It was so nice to see so many people one last time before we left for good. Great day and night.

July 29: Our last full day in DC. We spent the morning at the National Gallery of Art- mostly in the East building since the West was under construction. Afterwards it was off to the Capitol building (years of biking and riding past without ever going inside) and then we took the secret passage over to the Library of Congress. What a beautiful building. Again another place everyone should go that’s also free! We then found the secret Dunkin Donuts in the basement of the Madison building and took part in a mid-morning snack. For lunch we decided on We The Pizza and then I had one last Lemon Cream cupcake from the Sweet Lobby. That evening we ate at Millie and Al’s one final time in Adams Morgan. 

DC, I spent 6 wonderful years with you and I wouldn’t change a thing. Thanks for 11 wonderful days of touristing where I did things for the first and final times. The city will always have a piece of my heart.

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