At the end of February I had a work thing in Gaithersburg, Maryland which is about an hour outside of Washington. This was my first time in the DC area so I decided to take a vacation day while I was there to see the sites.
I discovered Washington has a great metro system which runs right out to the airport. It was clean and very easy to navigate.
So I rode the metro out to Gaithersburg and checked into a very sad hotel next to the highway. The next day I was off to the National Institute of Standards and Technology and was in awe at the size of their campus and had a good day talking Standards.
After the meeting I caught a ride back to DC and checked into my hotel downtown. The next day I started my day off with an exciting trip to Trader Joe (some of you might know about my love of grocery stores). It was awesome.
After Trader Joe I headed to the National Mall, to the Lincoln Memorial.
It was early so it was still relatively quiet. It was funny being in Washington, everything looks just like it does in the movies.
There were some random men dressed in period costume.
I was very giddy to be in Washington and to have the whole day to myself to explore the city. This is a picture of my happy face and the Washington Monument from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Next I checked out the Korea War memorial.
Then I got an up-close view of the Washington Monument.
It was very hot (about 25 degrees) and humid and I spent almost the entire day wandering around an open field with no sunscreen, getting a sun burn.
I wanted to seek out shade in one of the many Smithsonian Museums that line the Mall and are all free, but I had a hard time picking one. I eventually landed on the Smithsonian Castle which had a gorgeous garden with magnolias in full bloom.
My next stop was the Capitol, which is when I realized a storm was blowing in.
So I quickly took shelter in the National Gallery of Art (again, free) and had a wonderful hour wandering around the Gallery waiting for the storm to blow over. My next stop was the White House. Ironically, the White House was the hardest landmark to find. There were several of use wandering around confused looking for it until I realized that you can’t actually see the White House from the front, you can only see it from the back.
So when I finally found it I was exhausted, took two quick pictures and headed back to my hotel to grab my suitcase and called an Uber to the airport.
Washington really impressed me. There is so much history, it’s very clean, easy to walk around, and all of the museums/galleries are free! You could easily spend a week going to every museum and historical site imaginable and still run out of time.