It has been said in a million different ways that the United States is a land of opportunity. A land of freedom and bravery. A land of dreams.
I feel so incredibly blessed to have been born in such a country. A country that gives us the opportunity to work hard to achieve our dreams. A country that was formed based on the foundation of freedom. A country that has had many great (and a few not so great) leaders. We have come a long way in the few hundred years we have been a nation and despite the many imperfections, without a doubt I know we will continue to grow as a nation.
Fast forward a few months: Here I am awake at 4:45 am on my day off (not by choice). Dan had a softball game a little over an hour from where we live. He rushed me out the door this morning and I left my wallet at home. So needless to say we get all the way there and they won’t let me on post because their system to look me up is broken. (Just imagine my rage as I sit here and listen to this German guard chomp loudly on his Apple). It’s 6:30 am, I’m wide awake and wishing a million times over I was back in the USA right now. As I watch the sunrise in Germany I thought I would share my Washington DC trip with y’all.
I have been to DC a few times. The first time was in 2011 when I ran the Marine Corps Marathon. Running a marathon was on my bucket list and I’m so glad I accomplished that goal but I had to rush through seeing the memorials that weekend so I could prep for my race and feel rested. The second time I was in DC in 2014 with a group of my friends. We ran the Army 10 miler. Although it was a blast I still felt like I had so much to see!
This time around, Dan had a leadership conference in DC he was selected to attend. I was really excited for him and slightly jealous he was going home to the states. So we decided to fly home together and spend some time with our families after his conference. While he was working long hours in DC, I decided to explore the city solo.
I took the shuttle from our hotel (we stayed at the Falls Church Marriott Fairview Parkway) to the metro station nearby. After a 15 mins on the metro I was in the national mall area. I started at the Washington monument and walked quite a few miles around the area.
There were a lot of middle school classes that were also touring the memorials and museums. It was almost impossible not to catch some of the kids in these photos because it was pretty crowded for a week day.
At first I was listening to music on my Bluetooth headphones but the battery died and I’m sort of glad it did. It was relaxing listening to the rush of the city rather than drowning it all out. So I walked…. And walked and walked until I was so tired I took a bike taxi to lunch. He was so sweet. His name was Pierre and he had moved to the USA from France 8 years before.
By late afternoon I was exhausted because my body was still on Germany time. Luckily there was a Peet’s coffee on the same block as the restaurant Pierre had recommended for lunch. It was my first time at Peet’s and it won’t be my last. Their coffee was SOOOOOOOO good! If you have one of these near you try it out. Even their cups were adorable.
The last thing on my todo list was to visit the Archives Building to see the Constitution. It was my third trip to DC and I had put it off (the lines are always long and one of my flaws is impatience). This time however, I decided to tough it out and eventually I got in. I even picked up a few really cute children books at the gift shop for our niece and nephew.
When I returned back to the hotel, Dan was starving. A mutual friend/coworker of ours recommended Four Sisters, a Vietnamese restaurant near our hotel. Dan was quite skeptical but warmed up to it as soon as I promised him ice cream for dessert 🙂
Overall, I had a wonderful relaxing day alone in the city and we loved the restaurant recommendation (Thanks Ben!).
If you’re planning a trip to DC…. Go during the cherry blossom festival.
ps. I caught this pic with a Delta plane just for Matt and Brooke! We love plane watching.