Monday, October 14, 2013

Washington DC

Here I am again!

Washington DC is now also up and ready! Still a lot more to add about the different monuments, memorials, museums, and my personal travel tips but for now I thought I would publish it if you wanted to check it out as a work in progress!

Thanks as always!
xo Jessica

The capitol of the United States of America, Washington DC is located in the capitol district and technically not a part of any state. It sits on the east coast in between Virginia and Maryland. Known for the Smithsonian Institution and the many government buildings, Washington DC is a great place to go if you love architecture, politics, museums, or any combination of the above.

Although Luiz has never gone, Jessica just took a trip there this past summer to celebrate July 4th, the nation's Independence Day. So therefore, Jessica will write this post exclusively. Check out this site for information, hours, and updates.


  • Georgetown Cupcake
    • The cupcake shop seen on the hit TLC show, DC Cupcakes, always has a line around the corner of people waiting to order the beautiful and delicious desserts displayed behind the glass counter. With the flavors always changing, special seasonal flavors, and holiday decorations there is always something to try at Georgetown Cupcake. I went on my last day in Washington DC as I was getting ready to drive back to Michigan. Although the line seemed intimidating, it moved quickly and everyone was friendly. I went with my mom and sister and we each ordered two cupcakes to eat on the drive home. Here was our order and review of each upcake:
      • My sister (Hayley)- Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate.
        • Loved it!
      • My mom (Julie)- Key lime pie and chocolate with coconut.
        • Also loved it!
      • Me- Vegan carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and strawberry.
        • I absolutely loved both of mine although I did like the strawberry one more. I think maybe I waited too long to eat the carrott cake one so it wasn't as moist on the inside but still delicious. The frosting for both was VERY sweet so I had to take breaks while eating mine but definitely worth the trip and money.
    • Our recommendation: Go. It's really cool to go somewhere that you see on TV and as an added bonus the cupcakes are awesome. Just plan to eat somewhere else and waiting in line for a while (outside) because it is always crowded and you won't find seating inside since it is a small store.

  •  Georgetown
  • National Mall
    • The National Mall is not a mall (as the name would suggest) but rather a huge expanse of grass that is surrounded by museums, information centers, etc. If you are lucky enough to visit during a holiday, there will usually be some type of event going on here that is free and open to the public. When we went, there was an exhibition on languages around the world that are going extinct among other things. 
    • Our recommendation: Go check it out since it is where most of the national museums are anyways. If there are no events going on it really is just a lot of grass and all it really offers is a good view of the Washington Monument and an easy way to hop between museums without crossing huge streets. Other than that, it isn't somewhere that you should leave time for as far as walking around, etc.

  • National Monuments
    • Lincoln 
    • Washington 
    • Jefferson
  • White House
  • Old Town Alexandria


  • National Air and Space Museum
    • The National Air and Space Museum is a lot of fun for everyone-even if you don't really care about planes, space, etc.

    • Our recommendation: The simulators all the way. They are so much fun, getting to spend a couple of minutes spinning upside down and pretending you're a fighter pilot is a blast! My sister and I were yelling instructions at each other and so into it that when we came out the worker and people next in line were laughing. It is that much fun. The interactive flight simulator that we did is $8/person, $7/person with the purchase of an IMAX ticket.
  • National Museum of Natural History
  • National Museum of the American Indian
    • One of the newest museums along the National Mall, the National Museum of the American Indian has some really cool exhibits and great architecture.
  • Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

  • Residence Inn Arlington Capitol View
    • While in Washington DC we stayed at the Marriott Residence Inn Arlington Capitol View which is located in Crystal City right across the bridge from downtown Washington DC. The residence inn line of hotels by Marriott caters towards business travelers who will be staying in one place for a long time making it seem more like a studio apartment than a hotel room. Out of the norm for residence inns, this particular one was over the top. Having been built at the same time and in the same style as the Renaissance that connects through the pool, this residence inn has all of the luxuries as a Marriott renaissance hotel but with an added bonus of free breakfast and a fully equipped kitchen (which also makes the rooms more spacious).
    • We chose this hotel 1) because it's a Marriott and we have the friends and family deal 2) because it had free shuttles to and from the nearest metros and shop/restaurant area leaving every 15 minutes 3) the parking wasn't insanely expensive and hard to find 4) it had a kitchen. We LOVED this hotel, the staff was pleasant, free continental breakfast was fully stocked and had so many options (including a Belgian waffle maker which, is a huge plus!), the shuttle was amazing, and we had a kitchen so if we didn't want to deal with restaurant crowds or we were tired we could stay in the room. 
    • Our recommendation: If you aren't looking to spend a fortune in downtown and don't mind taking public transportation this is the hotel for you. New and comfortable with all of the amenities and more as it's more expensive neighbor, this renaissance inn is such a great hotel. We absolutely loved our stay there and thought about extending just because this hotel helped to make our holiday even better. (Rooms start right above $100/night, we recommend also checking some of the cheaper booking sites as sometimes you can get them for less than $100/night)
      (There is also a big pull out sofa)


Travel Tips:
4th of July-

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