The District

Washington DC – the capital of the USA and what a complete contrast to NYC. The air is so FRESH, the paths (sidewalks) are so clean, and there is so much open space and greenery. It was beautiful, even despite the fact that we were there a bit too early to see the cherry blossom’s in full bloom.

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We arrived in DC after taking the 4 hour greyhound from New York which was brilliant as we saw so much as we passed by Philadelphia and Baltimore to get to DC. The bus dropped us off at Union Station, which firstly, is a very beautiful building, possibly even more aesthetically pleasing than Grand Central Station, and secondly, has the same name as lots of other main bus / train stations within the USA and Canada (not to make things more confusing for us!). After a short taxi journey, we arrived at the HI Washington hostel. It was getting dark by the time we’d unpacked our bags so we nipped our for a quick bite to eat and a drink in Chinatown, but decided to save any major explorations for tomorrow.

Day two in Washington was spent exploring the White House and the many numerous monuments / memorials in the surrounding area. Marcus was in his absolute element having studied much of what we saw at school and university. The day started by a visit to the White House (well, to the edge of the ground perimeters), quite a pretty building hidden by lots of trees, to ensure protection for the president, so parts were difficult to see. After that we did a loop via lots of other monuments and memorials, including the Washington monument and the WWII, Lincoln, Korean and MLK Jr Memorials. To say we did a fair few steps would be an understatement! All of the sites we visited were incredible and hold so much history, situated in beautiful parklands (which I can imagine is even prettier in spring/summer). Later in the afternoon we took a metro to the Pentagon building, only to find you can’t actually look around a huge amount without a tour due to security (pretty unsurprising I guess). We then took the metro to Arlington cemetery, one of the most famous war cemetery’s in the world and the place where JFK is buried. That evening we spent AGES trying to get a table in a restaurant for dinner as the Washington Capitols (ice hockey) we’re playing, and everywhere was packed with people in red and white jerseys! Great buzz in the city though! Finally managed to get squeezed into a little Italian – yum!

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Day three and the weather was HORRENDOUS! It rained nonstop for the entire day. Today was spent primarily indoors – good job there’s lots of museums for us to visit. We took a quick, albeit very wet, walk to the museum of American history. The museum was massive and had loads of different sections, the biggest focusing on war and their service men and women (something they are very big on here). After that we went to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), one of the worlds leading institutions for Holocaust research and recognition. Although Marcus had been here previously, this time round was even more significant for him, having spent the past 8 years studying the Holocaust both at school and uni! Unfortunately after our visit to the museums, rain did stop play, and we headed back to the hostel (via Starbuck’s for a hot chocolate) and spent the rest of the afternoon doing some planning for the latter parts of our trip.

We finished the day with dinner and drinks at an all American bar later that evening.

Woke up on our penultimate day in DC only to find it was pouring it down… AGAIN! We went out for a walk, in hope of making it to the US State Capitol, however the idea of seeing Jumanji at the cinema (in 4DX) was much more appealing and what a good decision that was! Great fun at the cinema, where there was no rain to be seen (bar the mist from the 4DX experience)! When we left the cinema a couple of hours later the weather had cheered up so we continued our walk to the State Capitol, what an extraordinary building. After a few photos and a quick wander along the lake, we walked back to the hostel via the National Mall. Not the most adventurous day but the weather really hindered what we could do in a city where the sites are primarily outside…!

The morning of day five was spent researching and booking things for later in our trip, before getting the metro to the airport for our flight to Miami!! Quick lunch stop at Ben’s Chilli Bowl (well known in DC) before boarding our three hour flight to Florida! Updates to follow… 🇺🇸☀️🏖

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