Tuesday, April 5, 2016

2016 - Washington Day 2 (Washington)

The goal today is White House, Washington Monument, maybe a museum and deal with the memorials tomorrow. I had originally planned that we would do Arlington, but due to weather, we will likely postpone it for tomorrow since it is supposed to rain today.

Metro station in Washington D.C., a lot of them look like this 
Yup, they built AROUND those two houses
We walked to the local Metro station and the system works fairly straight forward as long as you know how to do a bit of reading. It looks like it is only in English though (or I missed the language options). $2 for the reloadable card and you just pay per use. It is based on distance and I think we hovered around $2 for most trips. The cost does change based on distance as well as time of day (rush hour vs non-rush hour). You will need to tap in and tap out to get in and out, so you can't actually use one card for multiple people which is a bit disappointing. In the end, everyone got a $10 card, which has $8 loaded onto it. There is a little screen on each entry/exit gate to show your balance and if you don't have enough to pay at the end, there are booths set up inside where you can just add the difference. The system works pretty well.

Beignets at Founding Farmers
With our reservation at Founding Farmers, we made it at 9:30, however, the reservation only means that you can come, you still need to check in and wait for a table. We ended up being seated at 10:00am and we finished by 11:00am which seemed pretty quick even though the server told us that it would be slow due to how busy it was, and it was really busy there.

Steak and eggs on the left, Founding Farmers Breakfast on the right
I ordered the steak and eggs and Allison got the Founder's Breakfast. The food was really good and I would suggest coming here, especially since the meals were actually very responsibly priced. The steak and eggs was $14 and the founders breakfast was $9. You can find their menu on their website and they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Make sure to get a reservation because it is pretty popular.

Cookies!
After breakfast, we stopped by Captain Cookie & the Milkman down the street for a snack. $7 got us half a dozen cookies which worked well since there were 6 of us, so we got one each. Price-wise, I'm not sure I would recommend it. The cookies were okay.

White House
Look closely, that's a metal tree!
Next stop, The White House! We walked down and as we were approaching it was raining quite a bit, so we just ended up taking some quick pictures and headed to the National Air and Space Museum. We noticed that all museums have line ups and learned that it was due to the security check which means that you are basically going through x-ray machines and metal detectors. Don't be scared about the long lines, they do move fairly quickly. We were there for about an hour, was there from 12:45pm to 2:00pm. I thought it was a good museum, however, if you are here for actual planes and space items, it is a bit of a disappointment. I thought that it would be more like the one that we visited in Ottawa recently, but this museum had less planes than that one did. I guess I can't complain since it is free.

National Air and Space Museum
National Air and Space Museum
Why does nothing fit me!!
When we finished, it stopped raining and we headed east to the Library of Congress. The building is very nice looking inside and out. Make sure to check out the main library which is located on the upper level. Worth a stop for sure and it is free. We spent probably 30 minutes there.

Library of Congress
Library of Congress
Library of Congress
Hank's Oyster Bar is where we went next for a snack and we got there at 3:45pm which means Happy Hour! We ordered oysters and wings and a lemonade. The oysters and lemonade were nice, the wings were just regular buffalo wings. Oysters were only $1.25 each, so cheap! Worth a stop for some cheap snacks, Mike said the beer was cheap there too.

Wings on the left, oysters on the right
Walked to the nearest Metro station and took it to the National Museum of American History which surprisingly has some very neat things. Note that this museum doesn't have x-ray machines, so they had to hand check all bags which made the line really slow. Make sure to do some research beforehand about the exhibits. I didn't know anything about it, but they do have a lot of neat things there like the original United States flag or the First Ladies dresses. We were here from 5:00pm to 6:30pm. Depending on what you like, you can be here for awhile.
Waiting for the bus (or plane, what am I looking at?)
I guess I shouldn't be a public speaker
We walked to Jaleo for dinner and the restaurant is known for spanish tapas. The cost adds up quick and cost us $55 USD per person but we were very full by the end. Some things that we liked were the brussel sprout salad, the steak, and potato salad. I thought the food ranged from okay to very good, however, it isn't a place that I would recommend (mostly due to cost). Our table however was pretty neat, it was a glass table placed on top of a Foosball table, so you can place while eating.

Our dining table
Potato Salad
Brussel sprout salad on the left, cheeses on the top, hams on the right
Salmon
Mushroom Paella
Roast peppers and onions with bread
Shrimps on the left, crochets on the right
Squid
Roasted potatoes
Lamb on top, ham and cheese rolls on the bottom
Steak
Chorizo wrapped in potato
On the way to the Metro stop to return back to our AirBnB, we stopped by Red Velvet Cupcakery for a quick cupcake and Allison enjoyed it. It was a bit more expensive than usual, but Allison said it was one of the better red velvet cupcakes she's had. We then headed AirBnB and called it a night.

Tomorrow, we visit the Memorials.