This is the second post in a series of three on our 5th anniversary trip. You can read the first one here.
Washington DC is such a fun city and I love how much there is to do there for free.
It was one of the selling points to my husband. We could go on a trip and do cool stuff without having to pay a fortune.
Our original plan was to spend a whole day in DC with my aunt and cousins while they were still on spring break. But due to unfortunate weather conditions that didn’t work out. Instead it was just the three of us for a quick afternoon jaunt.
Taking the Metro
To avoid terrible parking situations due to the Cherry Blossom Festival, we decided to drive to a metro station and take that the rest of the way in. In theory this was a great idea, but as it turns out there were no super descriptive instructions on how to purchase our metro passes.
Basically you buy a metro card and put money on it. Each stop costs a certain amount of money. So you have to figure out which stops you’re going to go to, see how much each is, figure in the round trip and then apparently add an extra dollar which is the fee for not having a permanent metro pass (My SIL gave me a head’s up on that one).
Thankfully there was a big sign that said to avoid Cherry Blossom traffic, we should use the Archives stop to get to the National Mall. We just bought a pass that would get us to that stop and back. There might have been a cheaper way to do it if we were going to multiple stops but at that point we were just so ready to get on the metro and get into the city.
^^Smithsonian Castle (Just a walk by)
^^We attempted a baby harness to keep Evelyn from running away. It didn’t work quite as planned. Turns out babies are a little different from dogs. Who knew?
Once off the metro, the baby was sitting right on my bladder and I needed to find a bathroom IMMEDIATELY! There was no bathroom that I could see at either metro station (Keep that in mind if traveling with kids who may need a bathroom), the closest place we could find was the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum. Thankfully all of the Smithsonian museums are free admission, so I was able to run inside and relieve myself.
^^Evelyn’s head is thrown back in her imitation of an elephant making their elephant noise.
Since we were already there we figured we’d walk around a bit. We didn’t have any actual plans for the day and nothing that we wanted to do for certain so it was kind of nice to just mosey around.
We might have spent more time in there if it weren’t for Evelyn. We let her take charge and followed her around the museum which didn’t leave us much time to actually browse to our heart’s content.
It didn’t take long before we were ready for lunch. I wasn’t in the mood to risk street meat, so we ate at the first permanent structure we found outside the Smithsonian. For $20 we got a BBQ sandwich, a hotdog, fries and some popcorn. Chris’ sandwich was flavorless, but my hotdog was okay. In retrospect, I wish we would have done a little research and found a better priced, more appealing place to eat.
Walking the Mall
^^A selfie stick would have come in handy here
After lunch we set to walking down the mall to the Washington Monument. For those of you who don’t know, the mall is not a place to shop. It’s a big grassy area between monuments. Unfortunately there is major construction going on there right now so we couldn’t even walk across from one street to another in most places. It made the walking traffic a little thicker and ruined some potentially pretty pictures.
^^Somehow we got my head and Lincoln’s head in the picture
The Washington Monument didn’t look that far away but apparently looks can be deceiving. Eventually we made it there and to the WWII Memorial and finally the Lincoln Memorial. It was so much walking. My little pregnant self had to stop and take breaks and we still had to walk all the way back to the metro after that. My feet were screaming and it was only like 2:00.
^^This is when Evelyn started getting sleepy at the Lincoln Memorial
It was such a quick trip, we only got a teeny tiny taste of the city. We didn’t even really explore any museums. But in the end it was a fun little afternoon adventure. It was a beautiful day and we got to see the gorgeous cherry blossoms blooming.
^^Totally exhausted back at home.