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Washington DC - April 8-11

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Trip Reports' started by mjames1229, Apr 12, 2022.

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  1. mjames1229

    mjames1229 # of visits includes only trips w/ hotel stays

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    My Trip Report

    I'll get the teasing out of the way first...

    My wife has always wanted to visit Washington. Then lo and behold out of the clear blue, we found ourselves there in 2015 after our 1:00 AM redeye home from Las Vegas was cancelled due to a blizzard in the Midwest. From my trip report...

    10:45 PM – I go into the airport while my wife drives rings around the airport campus to avoid paying for parking. In short, we get the very last two seats on a flight to Washington DC with a morning connection to Chicago. The punch line? The flight that was scheduled for 10:30 but was delayed to 12:15. I had 90 minutes to make the flight.
    We did make it back downtown to pack, then return the rental and back to the airport in time to fly all night to Washington. When we did arrive, we found our outbound gate was right next to the gate from the inbound plane. Now, I love my wife and all, but to this day she STILL does not appreciate that impulse trip to Washington that I provided for her.

    So for years I have been listening to her bargain to get back there. Along the way there were a couple of false starts...

    August 2020 - the National Bonsai conference was in Washington. Well, "was supposed to be" to be honest. Stupid COVID.
    October 29, 2021 - We had a weekender planned until I ended up in the ICU on October 27 with blood clots in both if my lungs.
    My wife was sure we'd never get there. A significant flare-up of her arthritic knees a couple of weeks ago gave her pause...but not me. My knees were fine and I was going to get her to DC if I had to drag her by a mittfull of hair.

    Friday, April 8 - Our flight into Baltimore was to leave at a reasonable time, but when Southwest jiggled their schedules last winter, the best nonstop left at (shudder) 5:20 AM. Christ, I am tired just recalling the 2:45 AM alarm going off. Getting to the airport wasn't a problem. Getting Melissa to the gate was a problem. Well in advance, we had set-up an extra seat (for her oxygen concentrator) as well as a wheelchair to get her to the gate. Something went haywire with the ticket, and when the counter person tried to fix it, she ended up cancelling both tickets. When she (finally) got them reinstated, they never put in her Known Traveler Number (for the TSA precheck). While I stand at the counter waiting for this to be completed, she waited for the wheelchair. Both were completed at the same time, 30 minutes after arriving at the airport. But not getting the PreCheck on the ticket, she had to go through the Commoner Line. Worse, because she couldn't stand long enough with her arms over her head, she had to get the full body pat down. Took every bit of her strength to maintain the dignity we all admire from her. We finally did get to the gate just as we started boarding.

    The flight was on time and uneventful, but when we arrived in Baltimore, there was no wheelchair assistance there, either. After another 30 or so minutes of waiting (and multiple SW employees calling to expedite) I just pushed her my own damn self. Wifey never tipped me, dammit.

    upload_2022-4-12_21-54-30.png

    Then there is the rental counter fiasco. We rented from Thrifty and when we arrive the line is 6 deep... and very shortly after it was 10 deep. As I am working to complete the paperwork multiple customers interrupt, wondering where their car was. "Staffing shortages" is the clever way out of every jam, and apparently "staffing shortages" means that portering the car after the previous rental is taking longer than it normally does. Specific to my rental for an SUV, they told me they had to prep a car and it might be 30 or more minutes to wait. Bottom line is that our flight landed at about 8:10 AM and we weren't on the road until 10:30 or so.

    After getting driving to the scooter rental agency (and we can't say enough great stuff about Freedom Mobility in Baltimore. They require prepayment for the rental and when we had to cancel in October, they held a "store credit" for us and took no issue in applying it to this rental. They also looked genuinely happy to serve us at pick-up and return.) we had soft plans to drive to Baltimore's harbor and wander around for awhile, but the airport and rental car delays had us wanting to just get to Washington (Side note; of course we had a Matrix for this trip. And, of course, the very first entry was scratched).

    We finally got to lunch at Ben's Chili Bowl (the original location, to be sure). In the first of many success stories, I found free street parking about a block away. Couldn't go to Ben's without having a half-smoke, could I?

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    I went without the chili on the sausage so that I could taste all half of the smoke, but I wanted to try to the chili so it ended up on the fries. A diet buster, sure, but hell, I was on vacation (not the first time I'd invoke that sentiment).

    After that was one of the best things we did on the trip... we pre-ordered a tour on the Big Bus. Besides getting a two-hour tour, it gave us the lay of the land... where things were in proximity, how the streets were laid out, etc. We also splurged and got the combo with the night tour... another brilliant move.

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    My wife never noticed the Washington Monument in the background. When I pointed it out, she was tickled.

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    We had scheduled this trip during the Cherry Blossom season, but we were past the peak.

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    I don't think Melissa was aware of this background, either.

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    With her mobility issues, we didn't get off the bus (especially since she insisted on sitting on the top) so this was as close as we got to the Capitol Building all weekend.

    After the tour, we decided to check into the hotel. I am still not sure if we made a good choice, but we decided to rent at the Candlewood Suites in Fairfax, Virginia. When researching hotels, we wanted a nice enough place, but in no way did we want any luxury or a bunch of amenities we wouldn't use. We also decided that a little drive out of town would save us some money. We did get the Candlewood for about $300 all-in for three nights, but the 20 mile drive each way got a little annoying. Other than not even offering housekeeping (even after we begged) the hotel was certainly all we wanted and needed, but that half-hour drive to recover after each activity...

    We checked in, each took a nap (remember, 2:45 AM alarm and we're not kids anymore) and prettied ourselves up for Date Night #1. Well, the whole thing was Date Trip, but still. Melissa had scored a reservation at The Prime Rib in Washington.

    I know that in 2022 America, dressing for anything is pretty much gone by the wayside, but I still love to dress up. I think I was looking a little TOO forward to dining where gentlemen were required to wear a sport coat.

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    And who doesn't love some live music while enjoying dinner?

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    See that garnish above my steak? Don't assume (like I did) that it was cole slaw. The full forkful of fresh horseradish really did clear out the sinuses, though.

    I was also pleasantly surprised that they were happy to accommodate our request to share the $102 22 oz bone-in ribeye. Look at that perfect cook! Other than that little strip of silver skin on the far left, each bite was an absolute joy. We didn't split the steak due to the cost, just so that we could enjoy other items. I had the crab cake appetizer (sorry, no photo), and we had three sides and apple pie a la mode for dessert (no photo of that, either).

    upload_2022-4-12_22-24-37.png
    The only tiny service hiccough was that my cappuccino that I ordered with dessert came out too early and - because I drank it before it got cold - I finished it before the dessert arrived. I did mention this to the waiter who offered me another one, but did I need that much caffeine at night? I didn't press the issue. Such a wonderful night!

    Now because I am not time-stamping every event, one might think that after arriving back at the hotel we'd just turn in and call it a night. Not so fast, though...

    My wife was sound asleep and I was dozing off in the too-comfortable recliner when the fire alarm went off. Though I trained to be a firefighter, my career didn't go that way. But I still remember the first step when an alarm goes off... feel the door. It wasn't hot so I cracked the door ever-so-slightly. No smoke. Made me wonder if this was a malfunction. Our room was by the front desk, so I walked out there and the clerk was panicking. I went back, told Melissa to get dressed and we evacuated.

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    It was chilly and drizzling, so we sat in the car to wait it out. Took about 30 minutes before we got the all-clear. We never asked what "it" was, but it was clearly something as multiple packed firefighters went into the hotel.

    After that, evening came and morning followed, the First Day.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2022
    Super Bowl or bust
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  2. booker

    booker VIP Whale

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    This is the current replacement for "There was a computer problem."
    Nice trip, bad fire alarm.
     
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  3. NYNYGirl

    NYNYGirl VIP Whale

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    Sounds like a nice trip. Except for the fire alarm going off. Reminds me of a road trip we did going to PA then onto DC had to deal with a fire alarm going off during the night and had to evacuate as well. Thank goodness it was a false alarm but still...

    Anywho always wanted to get back to DC as well. Thanks for sharing.
     
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  4. LB9

    LB9 PH Blackjack Degen

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    Hope you had fun over here. And you're right, 20 miles away from the city can be well over an hour each way. I'm 3 miles outside of downtown and it took me 40 minutes to get into the city the other day....at 1pm on a Friday lol.
     
    Jan 20 - 24th Bally's (Horseshoe)
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  5. mjames1229

    mjames1229 # of visits includes only trips w/ hotel stays

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    Took I-66 to Fairfax outside of rush hour so the drive was never bad, just tedious. I like the decision to stay outside of DC, if we do it again we'd stay a little closer.

    Jumping ahead, it took us just short of forever to get from Old Ebbits to the scooter rental agency (near Live!) on Monday afternoon.

    Oh, and Washington drivers are pretty shitty. Good thing I am well versed in offensive driving based on years of driving through Chicago.
     
    Super Bowl or bust
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  6. LB9

    LB9 PH Blackjack Degen

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    There's dynamic tolling on 66 during rush hour, during the initial implementation it would cost people in some instances, no lie, $40 to go one way.

    Old Ebbit is near the White House, so it's a pretty long haul up 295 N to Maryland Live!. Agree on the drivers here, but most of the problem is MD drivers from my perspective ;) lol. Everyone is in a hurry here, and people right on your ass.

    If you stay again, I'd recommend the Arlington/Alexandria. Much closer to DC, you have proximity to Metro and the hotel rates aren't much more if you stay in the chain hotels.

    Glad you had some fun!
     
    Jan 20 - 24th Bally's (Horseshoe)
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  7. mjames1229

    mjames1229 # of visits includes only trips w/ hotel stays

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    Saturday, April 9 - Good morning, Fairfax!

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    I guess that's what I get for not requesting a Strip View.

    We had multiple long talks of the benefits of driving into DC on Saturday versus taking the Metro in, and although DC is one of the most ADA-friendly cities in the country, we still chose to drive in and park. Since we had the mobility scooter, in a worst case scenario I could drop her off, park, and keep the scooter in the car then retrieve as necessary. That was the right move as I'll detail later.

    But first, breakfast.

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    Can't go wrong with a diner that is silver and calls itself the Silver Diner now, can you?

    Breakfast was good but not special and we were on our way into DC. I had pre-paid for parking at the Reagan Building for $17 that was about four blocks from where we needed to be. The National Cherry Blossom Parade (the reserved seats were a Christmas gift to Melissa) required roads to be closed at 9:00 AM and not knowing if traffic would be an issue, I dropped her off right at her seat at 8:50 then I went to park the car and walk in.

    But I don't get it (and this happens in Vegas, too). Why are there arbitrary restrictions on "stuff"? You are told to arrive early, and then the rent-a-cops act like you are an inconvenience. in this case, we are in the first row of the reserved seats, but because the "seating" opens at 9:00, my wife walking with a cane was forced to stand for 10 minutes before belong allowed to sit at 9:00. As you will see from some of the photos, the bleachers are not fenced in or segregated, so it wasn't like she had to wait for gates to open. Rather, she had to stand in front of her seat for 10 minutes. How fucking stupid is that?

    That said, at 10:20 AM, the parade got to us...

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    We were close to the TV cameras, so often the performers stopped almost in front of us to perform.

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    We thought that there would be more floats, but the ones in the parade were usually quite nice.

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    And there were bands.

    Ultimately the parade clocked in at 2 hours 20 minutes. The weather struck me a lot as the upper Midwest... when the sun was out you felt overdressed. As soon as a cloud passed over, the temperature dropped 20 degrees and the wind cut right through you. I ended up with a sunburned head and numb toes. But it was a great parade and the perfect centerpiece of the trip.

    But I wouldn't be me without lodging another complaint. Because we were close to the center of the parade, we were also close to the PA tent... I never had been at a parade where there were announcers introducing each unit in the parade (similar to watching the Macy's Thanksgiving or the Rose Parades on TV). That was fine, but the problem was that the announcers were some wacky DC-morning team that were so very impressed with their wackiness that it distracted from the down time between units. I know the answer before I ask the question "Because somebody paid somebody and that's how it works". But I have to ask why it was necessary for these doofuses to prattle on as we wait for the next marching band to catch up. In the end, I am thrilled that these photos don't include that wacky, wacky commentary.


    Here is a video of most of the parade. It appears to be taken from someone in the stands about a block down from where we were. Warning, the wacky DC morning team is loud and clear.

    After the parade and with the streets closed, there was nowhere that I would be able to pick-up Melissa, so I walked back to the car, assembled the scooter and rode it to her, then we went back to the car. Makes me wonder, though, since we were about two sections over from the ADA section... how did all of those patrons leave the parade?

    When putting together The Matrix, my wife tried to seek out local goodies for meals. She was so proud of finding Tupelo Honey Cafe in Arlington, so we headed over there. Then as I was looking at the on-line menu, I saw...

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    Whoops.... we've got a local location of a restaurant chain that I'd never heard of. No matter, she picked it out and we had a lovely lunch. I had a grilled meatloaf sandwich (they put chorizo in the meatloaf) with collard greens that was so good, I want to go to the Milwaukee location to have it again.

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    Post-lunch was the nap portion of the trip, so we headed back to Fairfax to take care of that business... and let me tell you, I am so glad we added naps to every day's activity. At this point, I was still paying for that 2:45 AM wake-up call the previous day. While we were waking up we had the local news and weather on, and they mentioned the cool and the wind would continue. That disappointed us as we were going back on the Big Bus for the night time tour. We ended up heading to Burlington Coat Factory (is it still called that?) near our hotel for a blanket and a hoodie. So glad we did that as a great tour could have been miserable.

    Started off rough, though, because as soon as we left, the bus got on the freeway towards Arlington. Ever been on the top of an open-air bus at 45 degrees while on the freeway? Not particularly recommended. We soldiered on, though. We didn't take a lot of photos, in part because we couldn't feel our fingers, but also because the bus wasn't stopping and some of the rolling photos weren't turning out.

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    Could have been a better photo had the bus stopped.

    However once we got to the Lincoln Memorial, the bus did stop for 20 minutes or so.

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    Melissa chose to stay on as her knees were starting to get stiff. I did the sightseeing for both of us.

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    I was in reverent awe. In part because I never thought I'd get here, and in part because of how fucked up national US politics are, here as a monument (with numerous writings on the walls) to a brilliant historical figure. And little ol' me in its presence.

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    The I got swept up in it and decided to be a tourist. I certainly wasn't the only one.

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    The bus did stop so we could get this photo.

    We were returned from our starting point at 10:00 PM, but we hadn't had dinner yet nor were we really ready to go to bed. We really had only one option... MGM National Harbor to get a chip!

    Have any of you been to MGM National Harbor on a Saturday night? I have never, ever been inside a more crowded casino... it wasn't even close. It was difficult to move for me, much less for my wife and her scooter. We made our way all the way to the back where we had some breathing room, but only played for a half hour or so as it was too stupid-busy. I got my chip though.

    As we were walking out, we remembered that we were hungry (that will happen in a casino, you know). I had forgotten that I had found a BOGO sandwich coupon on MyVegas, so we headed to the Noodle Bar for an above-average Pho.

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    By the time we got back to the hotel, we were tired again, so we headed to sleep with the hopes that the fire alarm would stay silent. Success!

    Evening came and morning followed, the Second Day.
     
    Super Bowl or bust
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  8. Headache 21

    Headache 21 i don't wanna grow up, i'm a toys'r'us kid

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    i'm not going to say which one to protect the innocent, but i spotted a coworker of mine in one of your photos lol

    hope you're enjoying your stay.
     
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  9. mjames1229

    mjames1229 # of visits includes only trips w/ hotel stays

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    Sunday, April 10 - The weather... third verse, same as the first (and second). Mostly sunny, but windy, and when the clouds pass the temperature goes down 20 degrees. For that reason, we played the Matrix Swappy Game, moving the outdoor activities (National Mall and Arlington) to Monday and doing indoor fun today.

    We headed towards the Reagan building to park, and as I approach the parking entrance on 13-1/2th, I note a parking spot right out there in the open!

    Parking spot - "Hey, mjames1229... I can save you $17"
    mjames 1229 - "Don't mind if I do!"​

    First stop was breakfast at the Lincoln Waffle Shop, which was a few blocks from where we parked. We turned from E St onto 10th St and saw a line almost to the corner. Although we learned ten years ago in New Orleans that "Line food is good food", we were not dressed for what was being discussed as an hour wait. This was vacation, and even though I wasn't in Vegas (this time), Vacation Time is precious. Though disappointed that a tourist trap was too busy for us to dine, we had another idea. But first...

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    I can't be across the street from where Abraham Lincoln was shot and not take a photo, can I? Though something tells me the theater didn't quite look like this 160 years ago...

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    I also can't be standing right in front of the house in which Lincoln died (right across the street from the theater) and not take a photo either, can I?

    While we were walking to the Lincoln Waffle Line, we passed Ollie's Trolley which looked kinda cool and kitshey, so we doubled back for their breakfast.

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    Looked like a neat place with cool shit in the windows. What we found was a dump that was hanging on by a thread. Their breakfast menu was an 8-1/2 x 11 piece of paper in a well worn (and, um, coated) plastic sheet protector... and with no descriptions, it didn't strike our fancy. On the other hand, it was almost 10:00 AM... we could consider it as lunch, so Melissa and I each had an Ollieburger (mine might have had bacon... that would make it more like a brunch, I guess) and an order of fries.

    While we waited, we looked around.

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    It just looked kind of sad. Like in this picture... at the top you can see chairs stacked up in two different areas. And I didn't photo the bathroom... you can thank me for that.

    While waiting for the burger, I did a quick research on Ollie's Trolley and found that it used to be a chain of about 100 restaurants in the east and south, but only three remain (the other two being in Louisville and Cincinnati) and according to this article - which was more in depth than the subject merits, but I digress - one of the reasons for the massive failure was that their customers didn't appreciate Ollie's seasonings in the same way that they liked Ray Kroc's heavy over-reliance of that vile serum that some call ketchup. But my number was just called... I will be the arbiter of the burger quality.

    It was a'ight. The seasoning was noticeable, the bacon salty and good.

    But something else I noticed. From the time we walked in until the time we finished, four parties all came in, ordered, cancelled and left because Ollie's Trolly only accepts cash. No wonder the place was empty... its still run like its 1977. Between the atmosphere of a storage locker, the eleventy-six hand-written signs at the menu board, the cash-only policy and their competent burger... I am not sure what this place has going for it.

    My wife loved it, though. I love her. If we ever get back to DC, we'll be regulars!

    After lunch was a cold, cold walk to our next destination; The Smithsonian Museum of American History. If you know me from my non-Vegas writings, you know that I am absolutely enamored with the 1970s (which makes you wonder why I wasn't a fan of Ollie, but, well...) When planning the trip to DC, I had two things I wanted... to see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and to see Archie Bunker's chair. Not that I wanted to see THE chair, per se, but any exhibit that would have Archie's chair (and Fonzie's jacket) was right up my alley.

    The first stop for us was the Julie Child / Food exhibit.

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    Julia Child's kitchen... well, not really as she is dead and this is behind glass with all sorts of gawkers, but use your imagination, folks.

    Also in the Food exhibit was this gem.
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    One of the early selling points of 7-11 was being able to pull up to the entrance so, well... God I miss the 70s...

    From there was a huge exhibit called "On the Move" about transportation throughout American history. Then we kept wandering.

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    We found Dorothy's ruby sliippers.

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    Henry Aaron's bat and glove

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    Abraham Lincoln's top hat.

    And on and on. Three hours later, we were nowhere near Archie's chair. But my feet were starting to hurt and I was frustrated. We didn't actually ask anyone where the chair was, but we zipped through the last third of the museum and never saw it. Must not be on display. Drat. But now that I am home, its occurred to me that I had seen loads of Americana (remember my phrase from a couple of paragraph's ago "any exhibit that would have Archie's chair (and Fonzie's jacket) was right up my alley") and that I got exactly what I wanted. Too bad that I had convinced myself that I wanted to see that damn chair.

    After a trip to Wiseguys Pizza for a slice, it was back to Fairfax for a set of naps (I just turned 54, and the best birthday present that I could give myself was the acceptance of Vacation Naps) we headed back to DC for our special dinner cruise on the Potomac River.

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    It was a two-hour cruise with a full meal including soup, salads, drinks and dessert. And because of the windows we were able to enjoy the beautiful scenery and sunset without freezing our asses off.

    By the time the cruise was done at 8:30, we had considered what else we could do, but frankly we had been running for three days so we just went back to the hotel to relax in preparation of our last day of the trip.

    Evening came and morning followed, the Third Day.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2022
    Super Bowl or bust
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  10. Headache 21

    Headache 21 i don't wanna grow up, i'm a toys'r'us kid

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    That's the museum. The actual theater is next door to the right and still looks pretty much exactly the same as it did when Lincoln was shot...

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. mjames1229

    mjames1229 # of visits includes only trips w/ hotel stays

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    Excellent info! Thanks.
     
    Super Bowl or bust
  12. jacmrose

    jacmrose Low-Roller

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    Awesome write up! Never thought I would enjoy a trip report of my hometown so thoroughly. For what its worth I have had a wonderful time every time I have visited Milwaukee.
     
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  13. julia

    julia Craps, VP & Microbews

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    Ever since my kiddo headed to college in DC, I've enjoyed DC trip reports. I've now been there ... 4 times, and seen something new each time.

    As to cash only ... we had a few businesses here in my town that pre-pandemic were cash only and proud of it. They are all now accepting, and preferring, credit cards!
     
    Lunar New Year!
    Holiday Decor! And SIL!
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  14. mjames1229

    mjames1229 # of visits includes only trips w/ hotel stays

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
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    33
    Crazy how busy I've been. Back from DC, then right up north for Easter with my kids, then catching up at work, now trying to work ahead because... well... VEGAS THIS WEEK!!!

    But let's finish up with DC first, shall we?

    Monday, April 11 - We start the day a bit slowly, as walking has taken more of a toll on me than I care to admit. We pack and head out without direction on breakfast. The Matrix had Jimmy T's Place for breakfast on Saturday (which I moved to Monday when we chose to get to the parade earlier). Turns out that Jimmy T's isn't open on Monday. I couldn't imagine that the Lincoln Waffle House would be less busy than Sunday, so we decided to eat breakfast in Fairfax, then get on I-66 after 9:30 to avoid tolls. We ended up at Dulce Crepes having, um, crepes. Really nice place and you order at a kiosk and you can be as creative or boring as you want to be. A little expensive, but we both enjoyed it.

    Finally, the weather was turning for the better and we could spend the last day in Washington doing exactly what we had wanted to do earlier... get to the National Mall and just sort of hang out. Remember that Melissa didn't get off the bus on Sunday evening, so we made sure that her scooter was fully charged for the day. We made our way to the free handicapped parking at the Lincoln Memorial to begin the day.

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    They were cleaning the Reflecting Pool but they were kind enough to leave some reflection...

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    The Lincoln Memorial... in miniature.

    We walked all the way to the Smithsonian Museum of American History again, as we were so knackered the previous day that we had forgotten to buy souviners. Having successfully been separated from too much money, we made our way back to the car... but first came across this...

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    For some reason, seeing a row of about 30 food trucks made me hungry.

    In some private messages with Timothy Lawson (from The Bettor Life podcast) he mentioned on must-hit dining experience. So for our last stop on our way out of town, we headed for Old Ebbitt Grill.

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    Although I am not the world's most ardent seafood fan, I do enjoy shrimp and lobster and I am not afraid of sushi, however in planning for this lunch I had focused on traditional lunch stuff... sandwiches and stuff. But once I sat down, I realized that it may be a long, long time before I get to the East Coast again, so I made what in hindsight was the absolute best decision.

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    Fresh crab salad and a half-order of Oysters Rock. I can still taste it (in a good way, Guys...)

    Got really lucky with street parking, again, as I parked so close that Melissa could even walk to the car. But with that, it was about 2:00 and we had to head back to Baltimore as we needed to return the scooter by 4:00 PM.... and I bet that half the travel time was being stuck in traffic on US 50 east until we hit the Parkway.

    While driving, I found out that it was the Baltimore Orioles home opener, which started at 3:00 PM... against the Milwaukee Brewers. Here it was, my baseball team playing a day game in a city that I was in in which I had no real plans. Sigh. Granted, the Brewers hadn't played in Baltimore in almost 20 years so there wasn't really that expectation, but the dumb luck had me grumbling the rest of the day.

    After dropping off the scooter, we stopped into Maryland Live! for a little gambling and a chip (Melissa won a bit, I lost a bit) before we decided to head to Horseshoe for some real gambling and dinner.

    After hitting a Dragon Link for a couple hundred, I had to find a table game in which to buy in for a chip. Seeing only $25 blackjack and $50 craps, I happened across an empty $5 Let it Ride table. I sat down and decided to play just based on the "bargain" minimum. I was alone for about the entire half hour I played (hitting 444 for $150 on the three card bonus and $55 on each of the three spots) and cashed out around 6:00 for dinner.

    We passed on Gordon Ramsay Steak only because we'd had a bunch of other heavy meals, and settled on Brew Brothers (which might have been the only other restaurant open). We are seated in time to watch the Brewers ultimately lose 2-0. I guess that's fine that I didn't get to the game, but I still would have loved to see Oriole Park and take part in another team's Opening Day.

    After giving back my Dragon Link money to a different Dragon Link, I still managed to get out of there with my Let it Ride winnings in my pocket and booking a gambling win on the day and on the trip.

    A non-eventful ride to the rental car return made for an eventful ride back to the airport. On one of the last days before the airport/airline mask mandate was lifted, one passenger on the rental bus refused to put a mask on (he claimed he didn't have one) and refused to get off the bus until someone gave him a mask... he claimed if it was the airport's rules, the airport should supply the mask. So the bus sat for about 15 minutes until the police were called. He made a quick skedaddle once he heard the conversations over the walkie-talkie.

    But with all mask issues, some people just gotta tell you how they feel. The lady directly across from me was concerned about missing her flight because the bus wouldn't move (though she did have a mask on) and the security guard was not shy about telling her that she could call a cab or ride share and pay out of her pocket. She harrumphed, and the moment the bus pulled away she pulled down her mask. About halfway to the terminal the driver noticed it and started screaming at her about how it is a Federal Mandate and how it is not her (the driver's) job to go back in time 50 years and teach her (the passenger's) parents how to raise her right. Half the bus applauded. I half expected the driver to pull over until the passenger complied, but she did one better. Airport security met the bus and pulled her off upon arrival. This 20 minute delay had me a little worried about getting everything checked in so I don't know how it ended, but sheesh... we'd been doing this for 2 years... you'd think this wouldn't have been such an ordeal.

    We ultimately got checked in, to the gate and home without further incident. However upon return (around Midnight) they didn't have enough wheelchair pushers so while Melissa waited by the gate, I walked to baggage claim, got the bags, ordered and took an Uber to my sister-in-law's house, got the car, and got back to the airport cell phone lot and still took 10 minutes before she came out.

    I realize that wheelchair assistance is a free service that the airlines offer, and that they contract with firms at airport to do the wheelchair pushing, but just about every leg of the trip had a 30+ minute wait. If that service can't be improved, maybe the airlines should tone down their offering of that assistance a touch.

    With a trip this week to Las Vegas (with the return including a connecting flight) I am not looking forward to all these potential delays affecting precious Vegas Time.


     
    Super Bowl or bust
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  15. Headache 21

    Headache 21 i don't wanna grow up, i'm a toys'r'us kid

    Joined:
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    Location:
    DC
    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Hope you enjoyed our city. Sorry about the traffic.

    Next time give me a heads up and I can give you the local's list of must hit restaurants.
     
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  16. 93 Octane

    93 Octane Chief Bottle Washer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Mississippi
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    46
    Visited DC few years ago and cried like a baby for 30 minutes at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, those of us who lost relatives in WW2 can relate. However I also weeped for the brave men/women who have served in our armed forces--before and after--- that made the ultimate sacrifice.


    Shout out to our Canadian brother/sisters who have been by our side for 150 years.

    Especially enjoyed the Museum of Natural History, thx for another great TR!
     
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  17. mjames1229

    mjames1229 # of visits includes only trips w/ hotel stays

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    33
    Shoot. I forgot that part. On Monday we were going to go to Arlington Cemetery and view the changing of the guard, but we spent so much time on the National Mall that we didn't allow ourselves enough time to visit.

    So the two things I had wanted to see... Archie Bunker's chair and the changing of the guard... I didn't actually get to see either!
     
    Super Bowl or bust
  18. Headache 21

    Headache 21 i don't wanna grow up, i'm a toys'r'us kid

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    alright here's my list for future reference and for any other passer by

    breakfast
    • sit down - unconventional diner
    • grab & go - call your mother
    lunch / dinner
    • the dabney (small plates)
    • albi (middle eastern)
    • via ghibellina (italian)
    • barcelona (spanish tapas)
    • st. anslem's (american / steak)
    • bar charley (american)
    • the roost (food hall)
    • o-ku (sushi / japanese / asian)
    • stellina (pizza)
    • Mangialardo's (sandwich shop - get the G man, thank me later. only open on weekdays)

    le diplomate gets very high ratings as well - french bistro that trends towards seafood (which is not my jam, thus it's not on my list - but tossing it out there).

    and obviously all of the great jose andreas restaurants that you can find in Vegas often started here - as DC is his home base.

    i do really like old ebbitt and obviously it's an institution - plus they've got a great reuben

    breweries / beer gardens
    • atlas
    • solace
    • blue jacket
    • other half
    • dc brau (beer is great but i'm not crazy about their location)
    • dacha
     
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  19. parallax

    parallax High-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2014
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    We had friends who came to DC for the first time last week and we showed around town. We hit the Mall, a couple of the Smithsonians and Georgetown for dinner. It is always fun to see the amazed look on peoples faces when they see the monuments and musuems for the first time. We had lunch at the District Chophouse and dinner at Sequoia. It had been 20 years since I ate a Sequoia but it has one of the best river views in town. The food was much better than I remembered.
     
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  20. bshowell

    bshowell VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2004
    Messages:
    4,091
    Location:
    DMV
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    16
    This was fun to read since I'm in the area. Seeing familiar places through someone else's eyes is always cool.
     
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