Politics. History. Gorgeous architecture. Pretty city. I love DC and was lucky enough to spend a few days there for a work conference.
When I lived in New Jersey, I always said Washington DC was a place I wouldn’t mind living if I left NJ. I also said I’d never move to Florida so maybe take that with a grain of salt. But after numerous trips to our country’s capital when it was just a short train ride away, I really enjoyed our nation’s capital. This was my first time back in seven plus years and it was a great refresher on “the District.”
I stayed at the Washington Hilton in the Dupont Circle area. The hotel was nothing to write home about, but I could have spent all day wandering the streets in the neighborhood, admiring the architecture and variety of masonry, style and color — no building was quite the same, even though they were all sandwiched tightly between street corners, nary a gap from one to the next.
Even though it was hot out, it actually was pleasant to walk around without the stifling humidity of the Sunshine State stalking around every corner.
The conference didn’t supple any meals so my coworker and I mapped out a dining plan that also put us close to Target and other retail favorites.
Food & Drink: We had dinner at Local 16 on U Street our first night there. Mostly because it was on our way to the Metrorail station we’d be taking to the nearest Target. At that point I hadn’t eaten in eight hours and was FAMISHED so I inhaled my delicious Bacon, Arugula and Tomato sandwich. We had the strawberry gelato for dessert. No complaints from me.
The next day, we hit up Cosi for a quick lunch. Dinner was at Rosemary’s Thyme Bistro before heading a block over to Lauriol Plaza for a conference social. Dinner didn’t disappoint (although the atmosphere and view/people-watching on the patio was better than my meal) and while we didn’t eat at Lauriol, my sangria was tasty (not that I ever met a glass of sangria that I didn’t like)
The Sights. We had another social at the U.S. Botanical Gardens, which were beautiful. Lots of gorgeous greenery and flowers, but my favorite was the pineapple plant.
Since we were already by the National Mall, we decided to check out the Capitol, Washington Monument and eventually made our way over to the Martin Luther King Memorial. I had seen the former sites before, but this was my first time at the MLK Memorial. The quotes on the wall around the statue were pretty neat — MLK was truly a man of words and few were more eloquent than him during the Civil Rights era, so it was fitting.
Transportation: After dinner Tuesday night, we hopped on the Metro to Columbia Heights. I always enjoy trying out the public transportation in other cities — makes me feel more legit. Bonus: the station manager at Columbia Heights was actually super friendly and helpful when the magnetic strip on my card failed. Can’t complain about that.
Thursday night we had a reception at the U.S. Botanical Gardens so I figured it was the perfect opportunity to try out Uber. The ride there was easy — I requested a ride and two minutes later our driver showed up. He was nice and kept to himself, except when he had to laugh as I recounted how someone once complained to me about “lunch traffic” in Jacksonville (mind you, we were sitting in DC’s notorious gridlock during rush hour). The ride back was a little more challenging, which I partially blame on the city’s directional streets. So after I requested a ride, our driver headed to Independence Ave. SE instead of SW, where we waited by the Martin Luther King Memorial. After two phone calls and the realization that our driver was nowhere close and wouldn’t be anytime soon, I canceled the trip and tried again. Much more success on Round 2.