Playing Tour Guide - Washington, DC
Anytime a friend tells me they're coming to visit, I immediately feel the pressure and start to brainstorm fun things to do and see. Luckily, DC has many options!
Ashlyn took the train down from New York (my soon to be home city!) so we could have a weekend to catch up since graduation.
I only gave her a couple of minutes to ditch her luggage before taking her to Woodley Park for our first stop: Zoo Lights
Every year during the holidays, Smithsonian's National Zoo stays open late for tourists, families, and cute couples to check out their festive display of lights.
The animal houses are open late during all of this too, but beware of the crowds!
After all the traveling and walking, we set off for some much needed sustenance. Late night tacos are always a great idea, and what better place to grab them than from DC's own District Taco!
But we didn't stay long... our picnic awaits!
The Jefferson Memorial is my favorite in DC. It's a little out of the way, but I think that its elegance is like none other.
At 9:30 on an off peak tourist month, we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves.
Hallie joined us for the evening too!
I dragged Ashlyn out of her comfy hotel bed the next morning for some breakfast... we were burning daylight!
First stop of the day: The Ellipse to see the White House and the National Christmas Tree.
There are these smaller trees representing all 50 states and additional US territories. Local organizations send in ornaments for passersby to see the unique traits of their home state.
Making a right turn on Constitution Ave, we continued on to The Lincoln Memorial.
We could not have had any more perfect weather this weekend. Joining almost everyone else around the Reflecting Pool, we shed our layers and soaked up some warm sun.
Abe was looking powerful as always...
After some holiday shopping we took a quick BBQ break before roaming the halls of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.
This place is chock full of Presidential and historical goodies!
But of course the modern art wing never disappoints...
And we couldn't miss seeing Katharine Hepburn's Academy Awards. This classy lady donated them to the Smithsonian Institute.
In 1865, President Lincoln held his 2nd inaugural ball here.
In need of a pick-me-up, we left the museum and grabbed some cupcakes before heading towards The Hill.
Washington has not just one, but two impressive Christmas trees on display.
We finished our day of sightseeing with a feast at the famous Old Ebbitt Grill. This bar/restaurant is just across the street from the White House. Rumor has it that there's an underground tunnel connecting the President to this watering hole.
Before Ashlyn went back to NYC, I had reserved tickets to go to the top of the Washington Monument! I've been wanting to do it for a while, and a friend coming to town was the perfect excuse to finally go!
Looking out from the top was like looking at a painting of the city! Tickets are free, so if you ever have the chance, reserve them online and go! Many thanks to the park rangers for their excellent tour!
Thank you for a wonderful weekend, friend! I'll see you in New York ;)