I just got back home from my first time visiting Washington, D.C. It was a trip to visit my best friend who lives and works there now. While it was so great catching up and spending time with her again, she also did a phenomenal job showing me all the coolest sights in the city. Here are some of the highlights of the trip:
No surprise here that the first notable moment would be food related. When I landed in D.C. it was later in the evening and it was very cold and windy out. With not much time to do sightseeing that night and really wanting to catch up with each other, my friend took me to one of her favorite spots, Copycat Co. That is where we had the most delicious dumplings and bao buns I’ve ever eaten. I got a few of each option and even though every bite was the best bite, I would have to recommend the Veggie. So good! There’s a trendy bar in the upstairs part of the restaurant. It was packed, so we ate downstairs at the open kitchen where you could see the chefs rolling out dough to cut into dumplings and steaming the buns.
On my first full day, bright and early (I think it was actually around noon), we made it the U.S. Capitol. My friend was able to give us a tour herself so that made the visit a lot more special. We did start by watching a video along with all the other visitors about the work that went into building the Capitol (Twice. A second time after the British set fire to the first one back in the day) and all the work that has happened there since. The most impressive part of the whole building has to be the Capitol Rotunda. It’s a huge room with a dome that has statues and artwork all around it. Unfortunately, the one picture I took of it was a Polaroid that, once developed by the end of the tour, ended up being extremely back lit. So there’s that, sorry..
Before visiting D.C. I didn’t know much about it. One of the things that surprised me was learning just how close every ‘point of interest’ is to one another. This was also the day where we saw a lot and walked nearly 9.25 miles so I suppose the word ‘close’ is relative but still, everything was a walk-able distance. Another thing about D.C. that I haven’t seen anywhere else is all the museums, monuments, buildings, zoo and gardens have free admission. You just walk right in! I think that is so cool and such a great way to encourage people to explore and learn more about the country while in the nation’s capitol. That photo was taken while we were wandering around the United States Botanic Gardens.
From there we walked down the National Mall which was longer and larger than I could have ever imagined. Even having seen pictures of crowds standing on the grass for Presidential Inaugurations, they didn’t do it justice. The first monument you’ll eventually bump into during your walk will be the Washington Monument. It was massive. I was almost certain it had to have been the tallest structure I’d ever seen. But after some Googling I found it’s about half the height of the Eiffel Tower. So I was really wrong. My guess is since it’s such a thin structure in comparison, it’s height felt a lot more obvious to me.
Up next was the World War II Memorial. While the fountains and structure in general at the monument were both exquisite, the part that was most impactful for me was this wall. Each star represents 100 American service members who either died or are still missing from the war. There are more than 4,000 stars. “Here we mark the price of freedom” is etched into the bottom of the wall.
The WWII Memorial was on one end of the very long Reflecting Pool, and at the other end is the Lincoln Memorial. It was so iconic to visit this spot and then sit on the steps and look out to see all the monuments we had just visited, with the Capitol far in the background. It was beautiful. When we were resting on the steps, there was a growing group of high school students taking their prom photos with all those sights in the background. It was super cute.
Of course, here is an obligatory picture of the White House. This is the view from the backyard. My favorite fun fact during our quick stop here is that there’s an official White House Bee Hive. You can see it on the far left.
We ended my first full day in D.C with a perfectly timed sunset from the W Hotel rooftop bar: POV. What a view it was! You can see the front of the White House towards the bottom right. The Executive Office Building (which looks like a castle) is right behind it.
We had Sakura themed cocktails on the roof in honor of the Cherry Blossom Festival that was happening in D.C. (more on that later) and finished the sunset with a glass of Rosé.
Cheers till next time!