Spring break - woot woot!!! While most individuals partake in a lovely, warm vaca on a beach somewhere, we were like.. hey...…. how about D.C.!?!?!? We have been talking about seeing D.C. together for years (literally). It's a six-hour train ride and nearly free to visit! So we took advantage of a couple open days and booked a mini getaway to see the monuments, visit museums and pretend like we're dignitaries! This is Matt's first time going and my second time since my senior trip in high school. I have a totally new appreciation for seeing where our country's biggest decisions get made - we know it's not what some would expect from a spring break trip, but we're not what you'd expect as millennials go so boo-yah! let's do this!
.We woke up around 6:30AM and swiftly moved out of the house to catch our 8AM train in Old Saybrook. We grabbed a few bagels at a local place before boarding the train. The ride was scenic and comfortable enough where Matt and I both fell asleep for a bit. We listened to podcasts, audiobooks and the sound of rain across the windows. When we entered D.C., it was pouring! Whipping winds and chilly rain made us hop in an Uber as soon as possible and head to our Airbnb where we settled in and prepped for the weather. We huddled under umbrellas and dodged rain puddles on our way to a second-floor Mexican restaurant around the corner from us. After fueling up, we walked down to the National Mall to see the monuments and some museums. After staying until close at the National Museum of American History, we Ubered to a bar nearby to grab a drink and dry off. A few hours passed over deep conversation before making our way to a highly-recommended BBQ place. But unfortunately, it was a let down! We both felt like we had had better BBQ up north without any of the hype... either way, our bellies were full as we braced 20MPH winds and sideways rain to see the Washington Monument, WWII Monument and Lincoln Monument at night. Matt was in awe - this was my second time seeing the area but with much more appreciation for all of its glory. After freezing our butts off, we carpooled an Uber back home and snuggled up until late reading articles and chatting about the day. Let there be sun tomorrow!
After a sound night's sleep, Matt grabbed himself a coffee and a couple pastries while I took the morning slow. Today is sunny, with the same cool breeze as the day before. But there is neither rain nor mist in today's air - we're diggin' it! Our first stop of the day is the Supreme Court!! We walked by the Capitol Building, the National Archives and saw the White House from afar. We finally made our way to the Supreme Court and just in time for a showing! We sat in the same room that cases like Brown v Board were decided on and where life was changed for millions. The guide taught the group all about how proceedings go and some fun facts about the court. The inside only holds about 200 people - most of which are lawyers and clerks, the rest of the seats are open to the public on a first come, first serve basis. We learned where the justices sit and in what order (shoutout to RGB! - her microphone sat the lowest out of any others.) We toured the rest of the court to learn about women in law and the historical changes that have taken place before our lifetime. After leaving, we walked through a sculpture garden on our way to lunch at China Chilcanos which was sooo delicious and reminiscent of our trip to Peru (a fusion restaurant of Mexican, Peruvian and Chinese influences - holy yum). We hit up the National Museum of Natural History and checked out nearly every exhibit including the one dedicated to National Geographic photography. Our legs and feet were shot at this point and I was battling a serious headache. Matt finally convinced me to get some Ibuprofen at a nearby drug store... And as we stepped foot inside, the weather turned from bright, sunny and mild to intense, dark and wet! There was actual HAIL happening out of the blue. We took refuge at a restaurant where Matt grabbed a beer and I downed water to help with my head. The sun came back out, my headache was gone and we moved on to the National Mall to see the area during the day. With the sun setting and the wind whipping, we checked out the Vietnam War Memorial before walking to Founding Farmers D.C. This restaurant had a crazy wait but with over 6,000 reviews and a 4.5 star rating we knew it would be worth it. Matt cleverly snagged some bar seats where we evaded our hour-long wait for a table. It's a farm to fork, co-op owned restaurant supporting local farms and farmers with all of their ingredients. I got an impossible burger (look it up!) and Matt got some delicious steak, mashed potatoes and carrots. Some long, hot showers and cozy clothes ended our night perfectly.
Our last day in D.C. - bittersweet, bittersweet. We've really enjoyed our time seeing the monuments and the historical landmarks that exist in this little compact city, but there's no bed like your own. plus, we miss nouj like woah. We walked the area where Matt grabbed his coffee the day before and admired the local graffiti art. Our only priority for the day was to check out the Air and Space Museum - so off we went! We got there 10 minutes before opening and the lines were already forming. We saw the Hubble Telescope, real-time footage of the sun's surface and learned about stars, light and airplanes along the way. Our stomachs were growling as our patience for negligent parents was dwindling, so we peaced out and decided food was a must. We stopped at a build-your-own noodle shop and pigged out before going through the Hirshhorn Art Museum. We saw trippy light displays and pulse art designed by artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. his work was inspired by hearing his first child's heartbeat through an ultrasound and sonogram. We walked through rooms where the lights pulsed with a volunteer's heartbeat, rooms where water reflected on the walls with the ripples powered by the vibrations from a volunteer's heartbeat and images of fingerprints covering the walls. The remainder of the museum was dedicated to modern art that neither Matt nor I really 'understood' (haha, we tried). Although, one artist we both admired had made solid print inks representing the total amount of ink used in books. For books with lots of text, the area was huge and for smaller books, the area was tiny. Mein Kampf was the biggest on display and Green Book was the smallest. We walked (uncomfortably - damn calves and feet!) back to our Airbnb, snagged an ice cream from one of the many food trucks on the national mall and grabbed our bags - Adios to Washington D.C. We were so happy to sit on the train with a few drinks, some food and water before our 6-hour ride home. We caught a beautiful sunset and utilized our noise-cancelling headphones to the fullest. Although the food in D.C. is a little more expensive than up north, and the tax rate is 10% (!!), all of the monuments, museums and landmarks were free to visit! We definitely recommend D.C. to anyone - whether your interests lie in civil rights movements, wars/history, science, art or food - you'll find something worth seeing! The things we wished we saw but didn't have time for was the MLK monument, the National Museum of Native American History and the National Museum for African American History - however, I see that as an opportunity to go back! See ya again, D.C.!