Washington DC: The Rest of the Story

Originally I wanted to do a post per day while I was on vacation, and I did… for two days. After the third day I was so tired that I didn’t. And then day four was the same. And day five… We had a wonderful time, saw a lot, and did much, but walking almost everywhere took it’s toll on us.

In total, we got to see five and a half of the Smithsonian museums, plus about half of the zoo. We saw Madame Tussauds, which was simultaneously interesting and super creepy. We ate food at a bunch of local joints. And we saw a number of monuments.

We also got to stroll along several of the streets of Capitol Hill where we were staying, and it was lovely. The neighborhood and the city made us decide that if we ever win the lottery we will probably move there.

We happened to be in DC for the 4th of July, which was crowded and crazy and absolutely glorious. We sat on some grass out in front of the Lincoln Memorial and watched the best fireworks show I’ve ever seen in the sky above the reflecting pool.

So, final thoughts on the vacation:

  • If you go to Arlington National Cemetary, pay the $9 for the tram tour. It is the best $9 you will spend your entire vacation. Anyone who tells you that anything in that place is “just a short walk” from anywhere is a damned liar. If you decide to save the $9, bring lots of water and sunscreen, and plan to spend literally all day there walking.
  • We rented an apartment through airbnb.com and it was great. Nicely located about a mile off the Mall on Capitol Hill. I would totally do this again, and after 2 successful vacations using the site, I’m prepared to go there first before hotels for pretty much any future vacation.
  • The daytime bus tours are kind of a ripoff. Especially when you consider the air conditioning almost never works, and even though they promise live tour guides, most of the buses have broken PA systems so the tour guide can’t work the bus and you get to listen to the pre-recorded stuff. But that’s sort of okay since the tour guides make the most predictable lame jokes and they all make the same jokes. However, the night tour was pretty great, because it actually stopped at monuments and the tour guide got out and showed us stuff.
  • A week is not enough time in Washington DC. I want to go back. I will go back. There are still like a dozen Smithsonians to see.

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