With Husband on vacation this week, we decided to take a quick trip to Washington DC. I think this trip went fairly well because we were very realistic about what we could/ couldn't get done. With just 2 1/2 days there, we planned to do one museum each day. It actually worked out well, but we did have some very tired little tourists at the end of each day.
We left on Friday afternoon, and drove the 5 hours to DC. Our hotel was in Virginia, so we did have to weave our way through Beltway traffic. It was an exercise in terror! I haven't been in traffic like that since leaving California. DC drivers, you are very angry!
We took the Metro from VA into DC, and it was easy and relatively cheap. Weekend parking at the station was free, but Metro tickets were $18 round trip (ages 4 and under are free). While this is not inexpensive, because the museums are all free, it was a fair trade. It was nice to be dropped off right on The Mall.
TIP: We stayed in Fairfax, at a hotel that was really close to tons of restaurants and shops (yes, I made a Target stop!). It was about 1/3 the price of staying closer to DC, and only about 5 miles from the Metro station.
The Washington Monument is closed due to damage from last summer's earthquake.
It was still cool to see it from a distance.
Our first stop:
Most surprising observation: the number of foreign tourists! We expected everything to be busy, but not to be packed with European, South American, and Asian tourists. America, you need to explore your nation's capitol!
TIP: Get to the museums when they open at 10am. That way you'll be done around 2pm, and can walk right by the huge lines of people waiting to get in. Also, no food or drink is allowed except for bottled water.
The Spirit of St. Louis
After the A & S museum, we walked down The Mall to The Capitol Building.
We <3 America!
The next day we stopped by the White House, and then went to The Museum of Natural History.
Bones, bones, bones!
Monday was our last day, and we had to finish by about 2pm to drive home. So we headed NW to the Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles airport (part of the Air and Space Museum). It was AMAZING. 1/3 the number of tourists, and the hangar setting really enhances the atmosphere of the planes on display.
TIP: GO THERE. $15 for parking (per car), but free entrance to the museum.
(notice the name on the plane??)
AND - they have the Space Shuttle Discovery on display. It was so, so cool to see this up close.
We can't wait to go back to DC and see even more next time!