Trip Report (Washington DC for Red Sox games)

Jun 27th, 2009, 05:15 PM
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Trip Report (Washington DC for Red Sox games)

Here is my original thread for our trip.

We had almost canceled everything due to rumored layoffs at work but all got the go ahead from our bosses to not worry about it. Friend had watched a few co-workers laid off so he was nervous. At the last possible chance, we confirmed everything and went ahead with our plans.

My friend's broken leg was doing much better and he was able to walk around more than I expected him to. Sometimes used his crutches. Still cabbed it quite a bit. If we were walking and he needed a break, we stopped for a beer!!!

Sunday 6/21
Took Amtrak from Windsor, CT to DC. No issue at all and enjoyed the ride. Got into DC at 1:15 (20 minutes early) and cabbed it to our hotel Days Inn Connecticut Avenue. Weren't able to check in so we stored our luggage and took off. Went to the Portrait Gallery and really enjoyed it. Took about 2.5 hours to walk through and see everything. Not much of an Art Museum fan so we skipped the Art Museum side.

Once we left there, we took the Metro to the Smithsonian Station and walked over to the World War 2 Monument. Got some great pictures of the Washington Monument and then spent a lot of time at the WW2 monument as both of my grandparents are registered there.

Really enjoyed this monument. 2 of us cabbed it back to the Smithsonian Station while the other 2 walked. We decided to go into the Natural History Museum and walk through. While it was a nice museum, it was nothing we hadn't seen elsewhere so we didn't spend a lot of time.

Walked up to 7th St and walked towards Verizon Center. Stopped at the Chophouse Brewery for a few beers and really enjoyed their Amber Lager. Didn't look at their menu and headed out to RFD for dinner / more drinks. I had the crab pretzel and a few YuengLings. Left there and took the Metro back to our hotel. The pretzel definitely had a lot of crab meat and at a very good price.

Metro was definitely easy to maneuver and the stations were very well marked out. Had very few waits a majority of the time (even with the Red Line crash on Monday). Wait time for the Red Lines definitely increased but were only unbearable a few times. Trains were generally always full but with the amount of people in town for the Red Sox games, it was expected.

Our hotel was a great bargain. Its about a 10 minute walk to the Van Ness Station and in a relatively quiet neighborhood. Not much was open at night. The only open bar was the Italian Restaurant next door (Tesoro perhaps?) Travel time to downtown wasn't bad either so it worked out great. My only complaint was that the maids would be knocking on your door at 8 am to clean the room, but we were usually ready to leave by then.
tchoiniere is offline  
Jun 27th, 2009, 05:29 PM
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Monday 6/22
Got up early and ate at Burger King (right next to the hotel and quick). Went to the Capitol building and got in line to go thru security for our 9:20 tour. For early morning tours, give yourself plenty of time to pass thru security as the line was quite long and we just made it for our time. Really enjoyed this tour and learned quite a bit about the Capitol.

Cabbed it to the White House Visitors Center and spent some time there. Walked past the South Side of the White House and spent some time there.

Walked to Old Ebbitt's Grill for burgers / beer. Definitely really enjoyed this restaurant. Food was very good and not overpriced.

Walked to the Holocaust Museum. Spent 3 hours here. It was very solemn and mind boggling. We were cringing at some of the pictures. Then we noticed how parents were bringing 6 and 7 year olds through this exhibit. I felt they were way too young and some were misbehaving as it were a playground. We were very distraught walking out of there.

We found a bar near the Old Post Office (Can't remember which one) to have a few drinks to try to settle down. We then took the OnBoard Monument Night Tour. Definitely a great tour and we really enjoyed it. It took us to the Capitol, Jefferson, Vietnam, Korean, Lincoln, Iwo Jima, WW2 and the White House. This is a different itinerary than is listed on their website as the site states that the FDR Memorial was included and not the White House. It didn't get really dark until we got to the Iwo Jima memorial. I think they should start this tour later. (maybe 8pm but then it wouldn't end until after 11...) WW2 Monument had most of the lights shut off for some unknown reason so we were disappointed about that.

Definitely a very busy day and saw quite a bit. All of our legs were tired and ready to fall off so we hopped on the Metro and got back to the hotel at about 11:00
tchoiniere is offline  
Jun 27th, 2009, 05:34 PM
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Tuesday 6/23
Got up and took the bus to the Zoo. This worked perfectly as it dropped us off in front. Went to Starbucks for breakfast. Typical overpriced fare but it was convenient. Really enjoyed the Zoo and covered whole thing. My friend skipped the lower half (made it as far as the Ape House. Really enjoyed the Pandas as they were very active and playful. The 2 that were in the same enclosure were wrestling and growling at each other. Definitely a great sight. There is currently a lot of renovations at the Zoo (beyond the Elephant Trails renovation) so there were many animals off exhibit (not many of the big ones). We didn't even realize until later on that there weren't giraffes...Had lunch at 1 of the Zoo cafes. Overpriced and not very good but not completely unexpected. Back to the hotel after about 6 hours here.

More later including the Red Sox win on Tuesday night.
tchoiniere is offline  
Jun 27th, 2009, 06:19 PM
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Really enjoying your trip report and am looking forward to the next installment! Have followed all of your planning....sounds so far like you made the most of your time in DC. Sorry to hear about the stress regarding layoffs. Hope that s not still an issue for you or your friend.

Keep it coming!
obxgirl is online now  
Jun 28th, 2009, 04:26 AM
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My boss called me on Tuesday and let me know that the layoffs were done. 170 people were laid off but not me thankfully. Neither were my friends. I did know a few of the people let go but it was a very small percentage.

We took the Metro to the game on Tuesday. Got there when the gates open and headed to the bar in CF for a few drinks. Beer was very overpriced but typical for any ballpark. The park was ~75% Red Sox fans (may be an underestimate). Nationals Park is a nice stadium and we definitely enjoyed the Red Sox win. Took the Metro back to the hotel. Our seats were in the LF corner near the foul pole on the lower level

Wednesday 6/24
Got up early and headed to the Air & Space Museum. This was a must for us as 2 of us work on Jet Engines. Got there just after the doors opened. Saw the IMAX movie Jet Fighter. It was definitely a great movie. Really enjoyed this museum and walking around. Went to the Pourhouse to watch the Red Sox game. The bar has a mural of the Green Monster on it. Great atmosphere, even with the bartender being a Yankee fan and having the Yankee game on the big screen. Had Pierogies for an appetizer and then a Cheesesteak for dinner. Both were ample portions and reasonably priced. Watched the game here as the Sox won again.

Thursday 6/24
All 4 of us dragged getting up this morning so we took our time getting to the American History Museum. We really enjoyed this museum but we were getting to the point of exhaustion due to having done too much. The Red Sox donated some memorabilia from the 07 World Series so we headed there first. This is a great museum and definitely takes a lot of time to go through every thing.

Once we had gone through all of the exhibits, we went back to the hotel, skipping the National Archives (even though it was something we all wanted to see). We just decided we had seen enough and needed to relax.

We went back to the bar in CF for a few beers as it was getting very hot outside. Got caught watching the news about Michael Jackson. Had seats in the lower level even with 1st base so better seats. However, people were walking up and down the aisle for the whole game. Didn't see much of the first 2 innings. Granted, Sox gave up 4 in the 1st so did we miss much? The ushers really need to enforce a policy of no leaving during play. This drove us berserk. Sox got beat badly as the final was 9-3. Still, enjoyed the park. Metro was very slow on the way back to the hotel so we just headed to our rooms and crashed.

Friday 6/24
We were going to head to Arlington Cemetery in the morning to do the tour but none of us felt like it so we just hung around the hotel before heading to Union Station to catch our trains. My friends headed back to CT while I took a train to Richmond to meet up with friends of mine for the night. We went to Pizzeria Uno for lunch at Union Station. I hax the Spicy Chicken Flatbread for lunch.

Once I got to Richmond, we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. Had the Mango Habanero Wings.

Flew back to Hartford yesterday from Richmond (finally got a cheap flight). Got delayed for 1.5 hours in Philly while they found our flight crew.

Had a great trip. We definitely hit most of what we wanted but figured out that we need to put our must sees up front so if we get tired, we don't end up skipping them. There will be another trip to DC and will see more. DC was easy to get around as well so that made it even more enjoyable. The weather was definitely summer as it was 85 every day and humid. While this made the museums feel that much better, it was quite hot sitting at the games.
tchoiniere is offline  
Jun 28th, 2009, 03:20 PM
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Great trip report! So much to see - so little time. Gives you a good reason to return again (when Red Sox are in town, of course). Glad to hear all of your jobs were safe.
mma is offline  
Jun 28th, 2009, 05:40 PM
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Great trip report. I don't live in DC but went to visit a few years ago and can't wait to go back so I enjoy reading others trip reports. We too went to the Portrait Gallery, which wasn't something we had initially planned on, but was an unexpected delight! Glad you had a good time!
tdmort is offline  
Jun 29th, 2009, 08:37 AM
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The Portrait Gallery was definitely one of our favorites. It was a great way to spend Sunday afternoon with very few people there. Nice and quiet walk through it. Initially, we were going to skip it but we talked ourselves into it and are very glad we did.
tchoiniere is offline  
Jun 29th, 2009, 09:33 AM
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Thanks for the trip report with an unusual focus.

You must have broken a record: NONE of the games were rain outs. We have had a lot of that this spring.
LaurenKahn1 is offline  
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