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Traveling 2 Days in Washington, DC in Spring 2023

Lincoln Memorial (Reflecting Pool)

Jump to: Day 1, Day 2

Preparing for Flight to Washington, DC

Cherry Blossoms and Traveling Light

This was going to be a short trip. Our primary goal was to see the Spring cherry blossoms in Washington, DC this year. We packed really light with just our backpacks. Clothes, toothbrushes, chargers and the absolute bare minimum.

Day 1 in Washington, DC

Landing in Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

Weather was cloudy and chilly when we landed. First impression of this airport was that it was very elegant. There were a lot of gold themes throughout the interior and it was also immaculately clean. Very nice airport.

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

Metro from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to Smithsonian

We bought Smartrip cards and loaded them up with $10/each for the trip and then took the Metro to Capitol Hill. We estimated that $10 should be enough for our trip.

Once we arrived at Capitol Hill, we started exploring. Most of the landmarks were pretty close together and we were able to explore everything by foot or bicycle.

Washington Monument

First impression of this was that it was a massive monument. It doesn’t look like much from far away but once you get closer to it, it’s actually enormous.

Washington Monument
Washington Monument

World War 2 Memorial ( Pacific/Atlantic)

This was a fountain with the Pacific and Atlantic on opposite sides with all the different states listed.

Lincoln Memorial (Reflecting Pool)

We walked from the Washington Monument over to the Lincoln Memorial. The pool didn’t look like it was filled completely as we were walking over. There was probably work being done to it at the time.

During the time we went, there were quite a lot of people going up the steps and it was difficult to get a good picture.

We packed snacks since we didn’t really have time to grab lunch. So it was just a bunch of snacks up until dinner time.

Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial (Reflecting Pool)
Lincoln Memorial (Reflecting Pool)

Martin Luther King Jr Memorial

This was a cut slab from a smaller rock. Depending which direction you’re coming from, you might miss it if you don’t turn around.

Martin Luther King Jr Memorial
Martin Luther King Jr Memorial

Walk Around Tidal Basin (Cherry Blossom Area) to Thomas Jefferson Memorial

This is the famous area where all the Cherry Blossoms are supposed to be. Unfortunately, we missed the timing and they were blooming. I think we missed it by a week.

Tidal Basin (Cherry Blossom Area) Washington DC
Tidal Basin (Cherry Blossom Area) Washington DC

Thomas Jefferson Memorial

Giant statue of Thomas Jefferson in the middle.

Thomas Jefferson Memorial
Thomas Jefferson Memorial

White House Visitor Center

Line to get in with security check

Inside this visitor center, you get to see many snippets of the history of Presidents of the United States.

United States Capitol

We walked over to the US Capitol. There was a lot construction on the back of the building. 

United States Capitol
United States Capitol

White House

We walked close to the White House but there were a bunch of tents blocking our view which was disappointing. Couldn’t get a good view of the White House.

Library of Congress – World’s Largest Library – Another security check to get in.

This is a massive and very fancy library. We got in line to get into the observation area that overlooks the main library study area.

Ambar Restaurant – Balkan Food

A friend recommended this restaurant to me. This is a Balkan tapa restaurant and was around $50 per person which included unlimited tapas.

We sat at the bar since we didn’t have any reservations. The bartender served us and ran us through the process of how it worked. We couldn’t decide what to order so he helped us order some dishes for us to get us started.

Here are some of the food Items Ordered:

  • Spreads: Ajvar, Trljanica
  • Charcuterie: Sudzuk Beef Salami
  • Balkan Salad
  • Vegetables: Cauliflower, Eggplant Moussaka
  • Cheese Pie
  • Chef Delicacies: Lamb Lasagna, Fried Chicken
  • From Wood Fire Grill: Cevapi ‘Balkan Kebab’
  • Seafood: Sesame Seared Salmon, Drunken Mussels, Grilled Shrimp, Rainbow Trout

Notes: Ajvar was a really tasty spread that came with bread to dip it in. Lamb Lasagna was pretty good. All of the seafood was good. The Balkan Kebab was really salty. So it should really be dipped in the sauce to kind of neutralize all that salty taste from it.

Ambar Restaurant - Balkan Food
Ambar Restaurant – Balkan Food

Washington Marriott Capitol Hill Hotel

Walked over to our hotel and checked in. Took a shower and I immediately fell asleep from all the walking we did today. According to my Google Fit, we walked over 20k steps over 10.89 miles today.

Day 2 in Washington, DC

Weather on our second day in Washington, DC was sunny and warm.

Capital One Cafe in Georgetown – Grabbing a quick coffee

Not a Washington DC exclusive. Just wanted a quick coffee. This Capital One Cafe is pretty much a Peet’s coffee with Capital One Access. If you have a Capital One card, you’ll get some discounts on coffee here.

View from nearby pier thing of University

We walked nearby to a lake that had a view of Georgetown University and took some pictures.

Georgetown Cupcake

Fairly long line to get in. Got a lot of seasonal cupcakes. We ordered the Hummingbird, Cherry Blossom, Butterscotch Bunny, and Lavender Earl Grey Teacake.  

In my opinion here’s my ranking of the cupcakes we ordered. They were all good and no complaints.

Butterscotch Bunny > Hummingbird > Cherry Blossom > Lavender Earl Grey Teacake

We took a Bus and walk to get lunch at a restaurant called Founding Farmers DC which offers American food.

Founding Farmers DC

We were a little late. We got on the wrong bus and decided to just walk to Founding Farmers DC which was about a 10 minute walk. 

We had a reservation but were about 20 minutes late. They only give leeway for 15 minutes before they cancel the reservation. They said we could go to the bar which was first come first serve which is what we did.

We ordered Uncle Buck’s Beignets. They were really fluffy and soft inside and they gave us three different sauces to try: Raspberry, Chocolate and Caramel sauces. We also ordered the Crab Cake Benedict which was a house made English muffin with a choice of one side. For the side we ordered the Cheesy Cheddar Grits. I think this dish was just ok. I couldn’t taste too much of the crab cake and the Cheesy Cheddar Grits was too cheesy.

Bus and walk to Georgetown University

Funny Moment: I had a lot of stuff with me on the bus like the cupcakes and coffee. When we were at our stop, my wife quickly said “We get off here” and bolted out of the bus before I could react. I was confused and had to scramble to grab all my stuff to get off the bus before the doors shut. Snoozed and almost losed. Whew.

Georgetown University

We went to visit Georgetown University and walked around. The exterior had a Hogwarts vibe to it and had a very mesmerizing architecture. We took a short rest at the outdoor seats that were scattered across the campus. Afterwards we went inside to take some more walks around before heading back.

Georgetown University
Georgetown University

Capital Bikeshare Bike ride to Metro station

From outside of Georgetown University we took some E-bikes to get us back to the Metro Station.

Train to Huntington stop – Airport 

When we were going through TSA, I guess TSA manhandled our cupcakes and the cupcakes flipped around a little inside the box, essentially ruining the toppings. When we ate them, I think my favorite was the Butterscotch Bunny > Hummingbird > Cherry Blossom and lastly the Lavender Earl Grey Teacake. All of them were great though. No complaints.

Final Thoughts

Although it was short, this was a fun trip. It was a lot of walking but there was so much awesome stuff to see. We didn’t get to see the cherry blossoms which was disappointing but overall I’d say the trip was still a success. Weather was good and the crowds were not too crazy during our time here.

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