If you follow my weekly story you’ll know that Sami and I had our annual father-daughter weekend trip away this past weekend to Washington DC. However, it wasn’t without a smidge of drama…cos’ that’s how we roll in the Wallis household. No seriously!
It was a super early start on Friday morning as we needed to be at the airport for 5:15 am, so you guessed I was up at 4:15 am to shower, followed by Sam at 4:30 and we left the house, having already packed the night before at 4:45 am. We’ve become a well oiled traveling machine with carry on only.
Our flight left Toronto at 7:30 am and so we arrived into Washington DC just before 9:00 am to a cloudless sky and a temperature of about 25C (80F) just be.
After dropping our bags at the hotel we Ubered out to Georgetown University. As you’ll recall Zach attended Summer school there in 2015 and loved it, but Sam hadn’t visited him so had been burning to go check out the campus and in particular the bookstore. We watched a little football practice by the Varsity team as we made our way around the grounds up to the bookstore.
Sami was in heaven! All this fantastic sports gear…mmmmm, what to choose?
After picking a couple of items, we decided to stroll into Georgetown proper and explore. We were not disappointed and spend a lovely late morning checking out the myriad of stores, galleries and boutiques.
We made our way back to the hotel got our room key and dropped off Sam’s loot. Still not particularly hungry we decided to walk over to the White House and then make our way down to the Lincoln memorial and back along the Mall to the hotel.
The current president was in as we could see his helicopter parked on the front lawn (although to see it I needed my zoom lens as no one was allowed within four square blocks of the White House. Then out of nowhere the Secret Service (with automatic weapons) screeched up to the intersection and stopped all traffic under the helicopter’s flight path.
Apparently they block every road, bike path, footpath anywhere under the the general flight path and so everyone had to stay still until it had taken off and vacated the area before anyone could get moving again. It was a truly weird situation…
Sam was in a great mood and with only a little coercion let me take her photo and and a couple of selfies of us together. Hey, for those of you with teenagers you’ll take any little tidbit you get when it comes to getting a photo together cos, as you know it’s just not cool to be with your parents…especially anywhere near a camera! 🙂
Friday night we were exhausted and so had a low key pizza and pasta meal at a nearby establishment and so got an early night. Checking in on my Fitbit we walked just over 20 kms (12.6 miles) on Friday alone. Not to mention my 300 photos now sitting on my hard drive.
Saturday dawned bright and sunny, and in the park across the street from our hotel they were hosting the Run for the Cure to raise funds for Cancer, so the music started at an ungodly 7:30 am…I know, all in a great cause but I definitely could of done with another hour of sleep.
After breakfast we wandered over to the National Building museum, which is the museum of Architecture and deisgn. Although I’d never heard of it, Sami had done her research and this was the number one museum on her list to explore. It was an important museum for us to visit as Sam had confided in me Thursday night that she had decided that she really wants to study Architecture when she goes to University. I couldn’t have been more thrilled especially given that she’s always loved art and design and has a great eye for design and composition.
Wow! The entrance to the museum is breathtaking with the focal point being the soaring and spectacular columns supporting the structure. Although not a modern building per see, its eclectic and powerful design is unforgetable!
After a couple of hours we made our way over to the Capitol building, and I reminisced on the year I spent working in Washington (2006) and the little I saw or had the chance to explore during my tenure in the city. Yeah, I don’t miss my corporate days!
Museums were the order of the day and next up was the National Gallery of Art. Our favourites were the 19th century European and American salons, with a swath of recognizable pieces adorning the walls by some of the biggest names in the Impressonist era – Monet, Sauret, Matisse, Toulouse Lautrec, Renoir, Gaugain…. An impressive who’s who of the art work!
Making our way back to the hotel a little foot sore but euphoic afterthe lovely day we’d spent it was time for a relax before dinner. Sami chose our restaurant based on food review but more importantly its proximity to our hotel. The Ocean Sprirt was a wonderful restuaruant with an impressive menu and wine selection…yum!
Athought Sami’s favourite seafood is the chilled Alaskan King Crab legs which demolished in no time flat she was still able to indulge in the dessert menu…don’t you just love athletes and the amount of food they can consume! 🙂
Sunday morning started early once again with Sami taking me up to Union Markets. Her research had identified that this was the best place for breakfast in DC. This upscale market was well worth the uber as we sat out at picnic tables and sipped our latte’s and dug into fresh (still warm) breakfast bagels under a clear blue sky.
Next up on Sam’s itineray was the antique market in Georgetown (awesome for a browse), before heading back to the Renwich Gallery adjacent to the White House. The Renwick was outstanding and although relatively small in terms of size packed a punch in terms of the content of the gallery. It was chock full of incredible art and design exhibits… Sam was in heaven!
Now, given that we were close to the White House we decided to stop by on our way back to the hotel to capture a photo or two. Like most days I would imagine there was a peaceful protest underway out front, but as Sam and I positioned ourselves for a selfie in front of the White House a Secret Service agent yelled in a loud voice “who’s bag is this?” as he pointed to an inoccuous black bag sitting in the middle of the crowd.
No one responded…at which point the seemingly peaceful crowd all decided that this may not be the best place to be standing and so everyone, protesters and tourists alike, us amongst them made a hasty retreat with the help of the police and secret service who were now swarming over the area with guns drawn…
Never a dull moment in DC!