The dog-sitting gig ended Monday morning. It went by pretty fast, and was really good money, but after 4 days I was glad to get out of there, not smell like a dog, and get back to exploring. After leaving there I drove into D.C. and have spent the last two days wandering around and seeing all the touristy things to see in D.C. (and there are a lot of them!). I’m back at Minh’s, exploiting his hospitality.
The first day I went and saw the Washington Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, WWII Memorial, Korean War Memorial, The Capitol Building, The White House, The American Art Museum and probably lots others that I can’t remember. The architecture is beautiful, just like you see on TV, but its crazy to see how big everything really is up close.
A misconception some have, or at least I had, was that all of these buildings and monuments are close together. That is false. They are miles apart, so I did lots of walking yesterday, but that was fine because it was nice out and there is so much to see everywhere!
Today was not so nice, it was cold and wet most of the day. Because of this I decided to do museums first. I went and saw the Freer Gallery of Art, because Minh recommended it. It was Asian, Indian, and Middle Eastern art mostly. The Freer Museum is named after Charles Freer who was a millionaire American who died in 1923 and donated his collection, more than 8,000 pieces of art. The coolest thing in there was the Peacock room, which was a large room painted mostly deep blue and gold and with pottery lining the wall. It was very awesome.
After the Freer Museum I went to the Museum of Natural History, which was my favorite museum I saw while I was here. It had exhibits on the ocean, on animals, bugs, dinosaurs, and gems. The hope diamond is there as well, which was not as big as I thought it would be, but looks a bit like the necklace from Titanic.
After that was off to the National Zoo. Coolest bit was the pandas. No question.
The capital also has awesome happy hours. I went out and ate and drank both last night and tonight at happy hour. Depending on the restaurants specials last from anywhere from 2pm to 9pm and some places have half priced apps and drinks, so you can have 2 apps and 2 drinks for around $20, which is right up my alley. Last night was Cieba, which had $5 apps and drinks. I had a couple mojitos garnished with sugar cane which weren’t huge, but were good mojitos. The food was not as good, I had crab meat jalapeño poppers wrapped in ham. The concept was good, but there was WAY too much jalapeño so that’s all you could taste. I also had chicken quesidillas, which were good, but nothing special.
Tonight I tried the Uptown Tap House. For the same $5 I had a Bluecoat Gin Ricky that was twice the size of last night’s mojito. I also had half priced apps, boneless buffalo wings, which were coated in a really good hot sauce, and spinach-artichoke dip. Both were very basic, but really good and filled me up. My bill was less than $20 before tip.
People say D.C. is so expensive to visit, but I disagree. The metro (which is awesome, very convenient and easy to use) is not expensive and will take you anywhere in the city that you need to go. There is street food all over the place, which is good for lunch and not expensive. Almost anything that you could want to do during the day is free! All of the monuments are free to visit, all 19 Smithsonian Museums are free, and there is no possible way that you could even make time to visit them all unless you were here for more than a week. If you stick to happy hours for dinner and drinks, which is easy, it can be done in a cost-effective way. Almost every place has a happy hour and its easy to find what you’re looking for using www.dchappyhour.com, which was very useful to me during my visit here. I’m sure hotels are expensive, but you can save money everywhere else.
I am exhausted tonight from all the walking so Minh and I are staying in and drinking Henderick’s with blueberries, our own little invention, which is really good.
So many pictures of buildings and monuments…