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Trip Report The Pickles Visit Our Tax Dollars at Work in Washington, DC

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I'm home from church this morning with a cold, so I guess it's time to start our trip report! :-)

We (Mr. Pickle, 16yo PickleDude, and I) planned a fun/educational trip to Washington last spring. We try to travel on a fairly low budget, and our choices for food and lodging will reflect that.

Wednesday, October 5th

We got up very early to catch our ABQ-BWI flight on Southwest. This was the least expensive option for us; we saved at least $100 per person over flying into Dulles or National. The flight left at 6:05 a.m. and Mr. Pickle, who had had to get up pretty early the two mornings before, was pretty much a zombie by the time we reached our hotel.

The flight was packed, but we had seats together which worked out nicely. PickleDude got some sleep before our stop in Houston, where we had some coffee and breakfast and stretched our legs.

We arrived in Baltimore around 2:30 and took the shuttle to the BWI train station, where we bought tickets for the MARC train. At $6/person, this was a fairly quick and inexpensive way to get to Union Station. From there, we used the Metro to get to Crystal City in Arlington; the station is about a block from the Americana Hotel, our home for the next five nights. www.americanahotel.com On the way, we stopped at the Commuter Store in the Crystal City Shops to buy SmartTrip cards. For some reason, you can buy the cards there, but they won't load any money on the cards for you.

We made our way to the hotel and checked in. The Americana is an older property, but it was very clean and the staff was very helpful and friendly. They have an iPad available in the lobby, which was helpful since we didn't bring our laptops, and it takes a long time to do anything online with a Kindle. :-)

We had considered visiting the Kennedy Center for the free 6:00 Millenium Stage concert, but at this point Mr. Pickle had entered Zombie Mode and wasn't up for going anywhere.

obxgirl recommended the Kabob Palace www.kabobpalaceusa.com on Eads just south of 23rd St., so PD and I walked the half mile or so and got takeout. He and I tried two of their Wednesday specials - spinach and lamb and lamb with lentils - and kabob-e-kubideh for Mr. Pickle. Everything comes with a little salad, extra veggies, and pita. This was one of the best meals we had on the trip - fresh, spicy, and delicious.

More to come!

Lee Ann

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