When you hear of Washington DC what comes to your mind? Democracy, government, boring, plain, politics and so on. This was what I thought was going to be our trip to Washington DC. Despite preconceived ideas and notions about a place, I like to still go with a fresh pair of eyes.
We decided to take a road trip instead of flying. I have always thought of taking a road trip around the US. What better time to do it now and enjoy the experience with the whole family. I love flying, but I am in no rush to get to my destination. I want to enjoy the journey, the trip is not all about the destination, it is the memories and things we see on our way. The cities and towns we drove past, the sounds of the rain on the windscreen. The whooshing sounds of a car driving past. The trees and roadside flowers. There is something about driving in America road. They are so wide, several lanes. How about the rules. I discovered on this trip you cannot drive on the far left without someone in the car. This was part of the learning I could not get from the clouds. The scenic route to Washington DC was beautiful.
Our final destination was in George Town DC. We stayed in the Riverside Hotel, which was perfect for having the best of all three worlds. Washingon DC, George Town and Virginia.
Even the 7 Eleven there was different from the ones in New York. It was fancy.
When in Washington DC, I think the first place to see (out of courtesy) should be the White House. I mean it would just be rude not to. But in all seriousness, this was first for us because, if by any chance we cannot see other places or ever come back to DC, I do not want to have regrets of never being to the White House. This front lawn has been embedded in our subconsciousness we feel like we have been here before.
I had a list of places I wanted to see in this trip, this was a family trip and a personal one too. So we tried to do most of them. I wanted to go to Renwick Galleries after the visit to the White House.
The Renwick Gallery was on my list because of its proximity to The White House. It has world-renowned beautiful unique collections. It is adult looking but child-friendly. And it is accessible to strollers.
Next, I wanted to have afternoon tea at the Laduree in George Town with my girls. This branch in Georgetown is by far the most beautiful one I have come to see. This French fancy tea shop with branches including Europe is a place I love visiting with my girlfriends. But I wanted this special bond over our trip with my baby girls.
After our afternoon tea at Laduree, I wanted to stop and take a moment to appreciate the Wisconsin Avenue NW & M St NW intersection. There is something poetic where these streets meet. The ambiance of the intersection is somewhat beautiful.
There is an old building currently owned by PNC Bank with a gold leaf-domed. It looks like something you would see in Meca.
I wanted to take a leisure stroll along George Town Waterfront, it was beautiful, the bridge, colorful boats. Everything.
I wanted to buy a bunch of flowers at the Green Works Flowers in O Street NW. The beautiful pink floral shop was so pretty.
At the end of the busy day, I wanted to retire back to our hotel and enjoy the evening with a lovely glass of wine and sit by the fireplace taking in the day and all the exciting places we saw. We all loved staying at the Riverside Inn.
The next day we had a light breakfast and headed over to Lincoln Memorial. We made a wish at the reflection pool.
We stopped at the front of the Lincoln Memorial for a little bit. We wanted to take in the moment.
After our little family (not too fancy) picnic, we headed inside to see the man himself.
Next stop is the Africa American Museum. I must admit I was a little bit disappointed at the museum. I felt it was rushed. To create something beautiful, you need to take your time and put in a lot of thought into every single piece. This was long awaited and overdue. There was so much expectations. I felt let down. One thing that came to my mind was likening it to a community center for Africa Americans. A place to come together and feel at “home” because you felt belonged. If that was the purpose, it would have been perfect. . But this was a museum. I wanted to learn about the great works of Africa American in history. See the things that made them great. Not just their pictures and stories. A replica maybe. I tell the kids stories of their ancestors that were royalties, share with them great examples of Africa Americans that invented things. I love museums and galleries because it stands for hope of the future by looking at the past or present. That the human mind is capable of amazing things. I have a passion for arts and creativity.
I wanted to see more, yes there was the picture of Madam CJ walker, I wanted to see a (replica) of the hair product she discovered. Samuel T Wilcox, James Forten, Paul Cuffee, Marie Van Brittan Brown, Garrett Morgan safety mask, and so on. Maybe I raised my expectations too high due to the excitement of visiting the beautiful place. Nevertheless, we had a great time.
The next day was for exploring places to eat. There were several places we wanted to go and eat. But because of time, we chose a few. The most memorable one was dinning at 1789 restaurant. I loved the name. It was a conversation started. Why that year? What was significant about it? The lovely waiter explained the history behind the lovely restaurant to us over wine. The menu wasn’t too complex and the atmosphere was beautiful. I could not believe we (ordinary people) could dine in a restaurant that several American presidents had dined in. The restaurant had that humbleness about it. It was simple yet elegant.
I wanted to visit Tidal Bassein because it was not far from the National Mall. To enjoy the view and see the cherry blossoms. To walk to The Wharf where we can find yet another selection of things to do and eat.
I wanted to visit the Library of Congress, the National Building Museum, the Museum of Women in Art. To spend the whole day in City Centre DC. I wanted the last day to be a trip to Union Station, to go early and spend time looking at the architecture and people traveling. Have the kids play around the pillars. Listen the the pigeons flap their wings and listen to the wheels of suitcases wheezing across the concrete floor as they hurried to catch their train.
Regardless of how you decide to plan your trip to Washington DC, I am sure you will have an awesome time because this is one place that exceeded my expectations and I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun we had and all the things we learned along the way. We cannot wait to visit again and cover all the places we couldn’t visit or restaurants we were not able to eat because it was time to back to the Big Apple.
The journey back home was another beautiful sight to see.