We had the most fabulous time in DC. I have decided it was a great week because even though it was bitter cold and it snowed, the museums were empty. Also, the hotels were a lot cheaper.
We stayed in a Hilton Garden Inn on First Street. It was a newer hotel and the staff was some of the best we have experienced. We ate several times at the restaurant for breakfast, dinner and snacks. The service was good and the food was very good. We loved the triple chocolate bread pudding. There is a Harris Teeter attached so you can easily pick up anything you may have forgotten or some snacks. I highly recommend the hotel.
We used Uber for the first time and we also loved that. It was easy and cheap and kept us from freezing. Most of the time it was cheaper for the three of us to take Uber than to take the metro. They were fast, friendly and professional.
The only disadvantage that I found for that time of year was worrying about travel to get there. We solved that by taking the train. The train worked out well for us. We didn’t have any long delays. We ended up getting to sit together. We ended up saving money when you factor in gas and parking in DC. I would do it again..
When we arrived, we were picked up at Union Station by Brian with Bi-Partisan Tours for a private night time tour of DC. If you can only do one thing in DC, do a tour with them. It was fabulous. We saw all the monuments, the White House, US Capitol, Ford’s Theater and more. We got great information that was interesting and fun. It was the best overview in the shortest amount of time.
We spent the day watching and celebrating the swearing in of our newest Senator Thom Tillis. It was a wonderful ending of two years of hard work. We started out with a tour of the US Capitol which was interesting and the rotunda is just beautiful. After watching the swearing in, we then had time before the evening party. We dropped in the Botanical Gardens with our friends the Mixons. The gardens were just beautiful and worth a stop in, We loved the statues of all the monuments.
We started the day at the National Archives with a tour and possibly future appearances on 60 minutes. (They were filming a show) We really didn’t have a long time there but it was interesting and Claire enjoyed the Kid’s room. We had lunch at the cafeteria which was good not great.
The magic of the day started when Claire and I went to the National Cathedral for Tea and a Tour. We arrived a little early for our tour so we were able to visit the Creche Exhibit. Since I collect them, it was probably my favorite exhibit in DC. It is an annual exhibit and so worth the visit if you are there at the right time. They are from around the world and all very unique. Afterward, we had the best tour of the cathedral. It is so beautiful and has so much history. Our tour guide was awesome.. We ended our visit with a very special tea in the tower. It is not overly pricey and so worth it.
While the girls where having tour and tea, Cobey was with friends having another tour of the Capitol. He said the tour was fabulous. It was set up by one of our favorite people, US Congressman Richard Hudson. They also got to sit in the gallery and meet with Hudson. That night he told me he wished Hudson was our representative.
We all met up and had dinner at the Matchbox which was really good and a great ending to the day.
With two days left, I let each child have a day to decide what they wanted to do. Claire got to pick this day and she started us out at the Holocaust Museum. She has read a lot of books on the time period and had been wanting to go. She liked the section geared toward kids – Daniel’s Story but she was disappointed in the rest. She thought the one in Richmond was better. We had lunch at the museum cafe which we really enjoyed. They had several Jewish dishes that were different and good.
After lunch, we went to the Museum of History. We could have spent a lot more time there. They enjoyed the food and transportation exhibit but Claire’s favorite was the First Ladies’ Inaugural Gowns. She absolutely loved this collection and wants to go back. We then rushed over to the National Postal Museum. Brian on the first night had told Claire about Owney, the postal dog and she really wanted to go. It is a smaller museum but one of our favorites. I highly recommend trying to fit it in your visit.
We had dinner across the street at Kelly’s Irish Times. The food was good but the service was terrible. I got the feeling we were not welcome at all. I am not sure whether it was because we were not local or because I had the kids.
This was Cobey’s day and he made some great choices. We started out at the Newseum This was my first time at this museum and I loved it!! It had great interactive and interesting exhibits.It is like seeing history thru the lens of news reports. This museum needs to be on your list. We stopped in at the National Building Museum. You should at least go in and take a look at this magnificent building. It is one of the most beautiful in DC. You can walk around for free but there is a cost to go into the exhibits. I would say skip the exhibits and enjoy the beautiful building and great gift shop.
Our last stop and Cobey’s favorite of the day was the International Spy Museum. It is a very interesting and fun museum. You start by getting a spy identity which the kids really got into. It was neat seeing history through the perspective of spying. The museums ends with a James Bond exhibit. We left the next morning to come back home. We could have easily stayed another week and can’t wait for our next visit.
Cobey’s Favorite – Tour of Richard Hudson Honorable Mention – International Spy Museum
Claire’s Favorite- Bi-Partisan Tour Honarable Mention Owney at the National Postal Museum, First Lady Gowns & International Spy
My Favs- Bi-Partisan Tour, Tour and Tea at the National Cathedral, Creche Exhibit, Newseum.
Favorite Place to Eat- Matchbox