Having only two days left of our seven day visit to Washington, D.C., we left our Airbnb bright and early and picked up our Capital Bikeshare bicycles for the 3 mile trek to National Mall. We didn’t have time to go inside the Lincoln Memorialthe day before because of our scheduled tour of the Capitol, so we returned and checked it out. The view looking towards the Washington Monument was striking…
Paved sidewalks lined with trees border the LincolnReflection pool and after all of the walking, the park benches appeared quite inviting…
I was surprised by the number of statues and water features that comprised the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial. Spread over 7.5 acres, with four outdoor rooms, one for each of FDR’s terms of office, they represent the challenges he faced as our President, beginning in 1933 and ending in 1945, upon his death.
Washington D.C. has a diverse population and my husband and I were fortunate to be in the right place at the right time to join the throng of spectators gathering to watch a Hispanic parade. We bicycled to the Smithsonian Institute of Natural History to begin our tours of some of the wonderful and free of charge (kinda…taxpayers pay for it) Museums. As we walked along National Mall, we passed people gathered in groups, putting makeup on and making last minute adjustments to costumes, preparing for the parade along Constitution Avenue. The mood was festive and the costumes colorful!
Washington D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood is colorful, vibrant, funky, and fun! We started our day bicycling from our Airbnb in the Bloomington neighborhood on the East side of D.C. to the quaint neighborhood of Georgetown on the West side and finished in Adams Morgan, having drinks with a former 2 Star Admiral Navy Seal! After docking our bicycles at the Capital Bikeshare station on 18th Street, we walked down the street in search of an outdoor bar for some afternoon refreshments and met Chuck and his dog, Bravo. Having been in the military myself for four years, it was fascinating to listen to Chuck’s amazing lifetime experiences as a former high-ranking officer.
With puffy white clouds, blue sky, and mid-70’s temps, we relaxed for a couple of hours, talking with Chuck and people watching.
Exploring the quaint neighborhood of Georgetown was a refreshing start to our third day in Washington, D.C. Filled with shops, bars, restaurants, and interesting architecture, there’s much to see and do. Georgetown was originally part of Maryland until 1871 when the U.S. Congress created a new government for the District of Columbia.
My husband and I stopped at a Capital Bikeshare station around the corner from our Airbnb to pick up a bicycle for the 3 mile ride. It’s a great way to wheel around Washington D.C. above ground and budget friendly. You can purchase use of a bicycle for 24 hours – $7.00; 3 days – $15.00, or a month – $25.00. I purchased the month membership because I knew we would use the service for more than 3 days. I ordered a key for both of us to make it as simple as possible. Once you’re at one of the 300 stations, you insert your plastic key in the slot of the bicycle you want and then just pull the bike out. If your trip is 30 minutes or less, there’s no extra charge. If it’s between 31-60 minutes, there’s an additional $1.50 tacked on; and between 61-90 minutes – $4.50. You can download their app to your Smart Phone and check to see where a nearby station is to drop your bike that has a dock and/or if bicycles are available.
After one airplane, one bus, one train, one metro, and a 15 minute walk, my husband and I climbed four flights of stairs to our Airbnb in Washington, D.C., and were glad we only had one piece of luggage and one carry-on combined to lug before our week of fun and educational activities in our Country’s Capitol and surrounding areas. Located within 15 minutes walk to the Metro, 5 minutes to a Capital Bikeshare station, and less than 3 miles to the White House, we had all of Washington D.C.’s “must see” destinations at our fingertips! First on the agenda was stocking up at the local Harris Teeter grocery store. Walking 15 minutes to the grocery store, we purchased enough food to see us through 4 dinners, 2 lunches, and 7 breakfasts. Unless you’re independently wealthy, saving money by dining at your home away from home is one of the best ways to enable frequent travel. Living like a local while you’re on vacation is definitely a great way to feel the pulse of a City, but like most things in life, has it’s downside.
By 3:00pm we were headed by Metro across the Potomac River to our Nation’s most sacred final resting ground…Arlington National Cemetery. Surrounded by over 400,000 grave sites of deceased military and other prominent people, I felt a sense of sorrow for their families.