Girl’s trips are good for the soul
Traveling in a group and planning trips that work around everyone’s schedules can be tricky. My friends and I pledged to visit our friend Brooke, who is a traveling nurse, as much as we could throughout her travels. After much discussion, comparing schedules, and date changes, we finally found a date and destination that would work for the four of us for a quick girl’s trip: Washington, DC. Three days in DC was not enough to explore everything the city had to offer, but boy did we try.
After a quick (albeit cramped) morning flight to the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (which is actually in Virginia, not Washington), my friend Brooke picked up my two friends Sarah S., Sarah L. and I and we embarked to DC. We were not able to check in to our AirBnB until later that afternoon, so we kept ourselves busy exploring the downtown area.
⁃ We were starving after the flight and stopped by Hamilton’s Bar and grabbed some grub. It’s a hidden brick-walled sports bar located behind some larger buildings. Our GPS told us to walk down an alley which had us slightly concerned until we saw an older gentleman walking the same way. They make some great sandwiches and serve a variety of craft beers.
⁃ We killed even more time by visiting the International Spy Museum. At this museum we received spy badges and were assigned an undercover mission. We also had a code name and a code word to complete tasks throughout the many floors of the museum. At first glance you would think this museum is geared towards children, but people young and old were traversing the museum, learning about spies throughout history, past and present. The International Spy Museum had an interesting mix of history and interactive qualities that kept me engaged the entire time we were there, which was about 3 hours (Yes you read that right, 3 hours!).
⁃ After checking in to our AirBnB and dropping our luggage off, we took an Uber to matchbox for some delicious wood-fired pizza. I would highly recommend the fire + smoke pizza if you enjoy your food with some kick to it!
⁃ After dinner we went to the DC Comedy Loft which is located inside the Bier Baron Tavern. Drink service was slow, but the comedians were entertaining. Every Monday the DC Comedy Loft holds an open mic night where aspiring comedians can test their jokes on a smaller audience. However, there is an “interrupter” who will cut the comedians off depending on whether the jokes are hitting or missing their mark. There is no charge to watch the comedy show and it was definitely one of my favorite surprise finds on the trip.
⁃ We ended our first night in DC at the Board Room Bar where different board games were shelved and could be played at no expense. Our friendships were tested that night as we decided to play a competitive game of Monopoly while trying some craft beers.
Our second day consisted of walking. A LOT of walking.
⁃ Before exploring the National Mall we had brunch at Founding Farmers. We each ordered our own breakfast and split an order of beignets which were delightful and served with different dipping sauces.
⁃ After breakfast we walked around the National Mall and visited the different monuments and memorials. We saw the Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam War Memorial. The World War II Memorial was beautiful and my favorite one to behold.
⁃ We then spent hours at the U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. If you ever have the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC you must visit this museum. The museum had multiple floors that flowed chronologically as it told the history of the Holocaust beginning with before Hitler rose to power to after World War II ended. I learned new information that I had never been taught in school and found it to be an enlightening experience.
⁃ After a lot of walking, we went to The Wharf which is home to different restaurants, bars, and an entertainment venue. We ate sandwiches at Grazie Grazie due to the short wait and the fact that we had a tour planned later that evening.
⁃ Our sandwiches were served quickly which left us with an hour to kill before our tour. We stopped by Cantina Bambina, an open-air bar overlooking the water. We each ordered some hot alcoholic drinks and sat on the outside patio next to a small fire pit which kept us comfortable until our Uber arrived.
– Our night ended with a walking ghost tour around Lafayette Square. The tour was less than a mile and a little less than an hour long. It featured eight stops in and around the park where our tour guide told us engaging ghost stories and the history of ghosts claimed to have been seen/experienced in and around the White House.
Our third and final day in DC was bittersweet. We had barely scratched the surface of what DC had to offer and our legs were sore from the full day of walking and exploring the National Mall.
⁃ We ate breakfast at Open City where I had a Pickle Me Mary: a tasty bloody mary with pickle juice and pickle chips (where are all of my pickle lovers at?).
⁃ We then explored the National Museum of Natural History where an abundance of exhibits can be seen. Some of my favorite exhibits included: Human Origins; Fossil Hall; Outbreaks: Epidemics in a Connected World; Geology, Gems and Minerals; Insect Zoo; and Bones & Mummies. At the insect zoo I was able to hold the biggest grasshopper I had ever seen!
⁃ Our final stop of the trip was the National Museum of American History which also had multiple floors containing an array of exhibits. My favorite exhibits at this museum included: Food, World Wars, American Culture and Entertainment, and The First Ladies. The First Ladies exhibit contained dresses that the actual First Ladies wore during their time in the White House. It was fascinating to see how the styles changed throughout the years and what the First Ladies contributed during the time their husbands were in office. One exhibit also showcased a piece of the Berlin Wall which I found fascinating.
By the time we were dropped off at the airport and boarded our flight, our legs were sore and we were exhausted. Washington, DC had us constantly moving and wanting to see everything we possibly could. Even though we were only in DC for three days, we saw as much as we could in a short amount of time. It surprised me how massive the museums were and how we spent hours at a time at each one. Most museum pamphlets even had a section stating how long tourists typically spent there. The only downside I could note from this trip was the road construction. Some streets were blocked off with flimsy, hard to notice signs which made it difficult driving around DC, especially at night. I won’t forget the experiences I had on this trip and how sore my legs were after multiple days of sight seeing and walking around DC. Maybe next time I’m in DC I will try the subway.
Until the next adventure ✈️