It never feels like there is enough vacation time. Our kids are teenagers and we have this desire to get away and adventure with them as much as possible, but planning, saving up, and getting away from work can be such a chore. To try to help you out with that we want to share and recommend some of our own adventures, and we hope that you will find them useful.
In this four-part post I’d like to share about one of our absolute favorite vacation destinations, Washington D.C. Washington D.C. is the Capitol of the United States, and is one of the most interesting cities we have ever visited. It’s a treasure trove of art and history, (like Smaug’s Lair) and it has something for everyone, from science to pop culture. (Like a magical pizza where everyone gets their favorite toppings at once, because that’s the only way everyone can agree on pizza.)
For my money though, the best part of Washington D.C. (aside from the USS Enterprise, more on that later) is that all of the national monuments, government archives, and Smithsonian Museums are absolutely free for everyone! It makes for a lot of free activities that you pay a lot of money for anywhere else. (Trust me, we have other museum memberships, and free is certainly cheaper)
So, let’s get into the trip, or in our case trips. (Did I mention we love this place and go often?)
D.C. is chock full of monuments, and many of them are so powerful and moving. For younger kids, the size of the Washington Monument is very impressive, the steps and statue at the Lincoln Memorial are certainly something I remember with a child’s eyes, and the FDR Memorial is a great place to learn about our longest serving president while getting a great view of the cherry blossoms.
For parents and older kids these places are significant for other reasons also, especially the Lincoln Memorial, which is one of favorite places on earth, and if you love history you can spend hours just basking in the history there, from the life of Lincoln to Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream speech.” However, it would be disrespectful to forget the Korean, Vietnam, and WWII War Memorials, places where you can reflect on those who’ve given their lives for American freedom, and to spend some time in prayer and thankfulness at these is a truly humbling experience that I can’t recommend enough. Finally the Jefferson Memorial and MLK Memorials pay tribute to two great men, one who helped write the document our nation is built on, and one who gave his life in search of freedom and equality for all men. In all of these places, you’re reminded what America is truly meant to be.
With Washington D.C. being the nation’s Capitol and the home to so many embassies, you know there are going to be some amazing restaurants. I can’t possibly do the food culture there justice, but I’m just going to point out a couple of my favorite places for you, and I know you’ll find some great ones of your own also.
The Metro 29 Diner, just outside of the city in Arlington, is one of the best diners I have ever eaten at. (And that means alot when said by someone from New Jersey) This place was clean and easy to get to, the wait wasn’t bad at all for when we went, (early dinner) and the food was outrageous! (Guy Fieri thought so too when he went there for DDD. Flavortown!) My wife got the Roast Sirloin Au Jus and I thought it must have come from a cow that have never experienced any of the hardships of life, such was the delicacy of the flavor. (I said this in the restaurant and my wife looked at me like I was weird. Go figure.) I got the Duck with Orange Sauce. Let me start by saying I’m not a huge fan of duck because it’s often greasy. This was juicy and perfect, quickly surpassing Darkwing as my favorite duck. The skin was as crispy as as glass, (minus the bleeding mouth) and the sauce was tangy and sweet. We will be eating there again.
Another place that we really love is the food truck row on The Mall. I love food trucks (every time I say food truck in my mind I picture trucks made out of like bread and carrots) and I especially love groupings of food trucks. Everyone can get something they like. Mexican, vietnamese, burgers, cheesesteaks, vegetarian, you name it, you can get it. The trucks change up frequently, so check back often, grab your container of food, sit on the grass, and watch government work as you grease up for the next museum visit.
Join us for part two of our journey in Washington D.C. (Washington D.C. Part Two)