Just under a 12 hour drive from Chicago, we arrived Washington DC on Wednesday evening. Enough time to settle in at the hotel and head out for a bite to eat. We learned quickly how important it is to pack the car in a way that is most efficient to get what we need out for hotel stays. I think we had to empty the entire car to access everything that we needed. Oops. Lesson learned.
Dinner our first night was at a highly rated place called Sakuramen. Funny story, Jeff and I both order a different dish of ramen and when asked what spice level we want with the helpful advice that a level 3 is equivalent to Sriracha sauce. Not really thinking that I don’t care for Sriracha that much I order a three. Hmmm, interesting choice right? Jeff was impressed and then ordered a 4. Well, they don’t mess around. 20 minutes later and we are both sweating profusely while eating. I was so hungry I was able to finish mine and just push thorough it. Jeff ended up having to take a break half way through.. and to be fair his 4 was quite hotter than my 3. The waiter came by a few times asking us if we are alright, clearly not looking great. Jeff ended up getting light headed and had to throw in the towel. The waiter said he usually gets around a 15 level and they have one customer who does something in the 50s. Unreal. I think there tastebuds must be gone.
The next two days were packed pretty full. We spent time at the Spy Museum which was pretty cool and then headed to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. Between the two I preferred the later. It’s free and it’s massive. You could spend an entire day there. Some highlights included the deep ocean exhibit featuring the giant squid, the human history portion where you can make yourself into a prehistoric human(See Jeff below), and the gemstones area with massive beautiful stones and jewelry collection including then Hope diamond.
Our dining experience in DC was a collective mix of interesting. It began with our profuse sweating at the ramen place. The next night we went to Chartwell, a nearby restaurant in the Churchill Hotel. It was empty. Not a good sign right? Yeah we know better, but we decided to stay and check it out. Our waitress sat us in the bar area where the tv was blaring with E Fashion news or something that you wouldn’t expect at a suppose to be “higher end” hotel restaurant. We asked her what cheeses are on the charcuterie and cheese plate. Not a hard question right? She paused, then started to ramble things like I think blue cheese, swiss cheese, and American? We give her a look like, umm ok. Then she says, well I actually am not sure. Ok we will have that. It comes out and we ask what meats these are. She looks at them and says yeah I don’t know that either. Alright then, this is all we will be having here. And a bottle of wine of course. Not our best dinner selection.
Our second full day we did a free walking tour, also known as pay what you want. It was planned to be 4 hours long and we made it for about 3 hours until hunger got the best of us. We were not feeling a 100% as a result of us finding a hidden speakeasy the night prior and enjoying more than a few tasty cocktails after that weird awkward dinner at Chartwell. The walking tour took us through the main sites of the National Mall. We really enjoyed the tour and had a perfect sunny day for walking around. After lunch, we went to the Air and Space museum, another free one part of the Smithsonian. Really cool and lots to see and read. (Dad, I think you would really like this one) Being pretty tired we didn’t last long at the museum and headed back to the hotel. We ordered in Thai to the hotel room to add to our interesting dining decisions. It was actually pretty good and convenient. Thanks GrubHub!
So there you have it, some highlights of our time in DC. We had great weather, it’s definitely hot and humid like everyone says! The city is spread out with lots of green space and not a ton of skyscrapers which makes it unique. You could definitely spend a few more days there to enjoy and see more of the sites.
Check out our DC pictures below.