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Going up to D.C., gonna have myself a time!

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I am so excited! I contract for a company that is based in PA, so I've never met the other advocates that work for my company- or my boss for that matter!

Well, that's about to change! At the end of Nov., we're all flying to Washington D.C for an all-advocate meeting! I was born in VA, but I have never been to D.C. as an adult, so I am sooooo beyond excited about exploring our nation's capital!

I'm probably only going to have a few hours to explore during the daytime the first afternoon I'm there (the next 2 days we're in all-day long meetings ). Anyone have any recommendations where I should go?
post #2 of 26
How exciting for you, Amy! Even a few hours will give you chance to see a couple of things!

Maybe you'd be able to take a couple of days off before and after to give you more of a chance to explore!

I hope you'll take photos to show us!
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks Sara I'll definitely take as many pictures as my camera will hold!
Unfortunately, my company is booking the flight and paying for the hotel (we're staying in Arlington, VA), so I don't think I can come up earlier/stay later (unfortunately!), so I'm going to cram in as much stuff as possible.

I really hope I make friends with some of the advocates so that we can at least go out and explore one of the nights (I don't want to go out at night alone). I'd love to see the White House and Lincoln's Memorial lit up at night.
post #4 of 26
Oh that's a shame! But at least you're not paying, so that's got to be a bonus!

I'm sure you'll make friends very quickly and if they know the area well you should be able to see a lot! I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures!

How exciting to see the White House and Lincoln's Memorial - I bet they look massive in real life!

I really hope that you get more time than expected to sitesee! If you don't get much chance, at least you'll have some bearing, so you could always visit again another time!
post #5 of 26
How exciting for you Amy! D.C. is SUCH a fun and interesting place to visit!! One of my favorite parts was checking out the Smithsonians, but I'm not sure that you'll have enough time with just a few hours, so I would say stick with the landmarks and you should be able to see a whole bunch! Enjoy yourself!!
post #6 of 26
Ooo Id love to explore Washington! Have a wonderful time Amy, and take lots of pictures for us! Will you go on a tour of the White House?
post #7 of 26
That sounds really exciting! be sure to take lots of pics!, I'd love to see them.
post #8 of 26
How exciting! I went to Washington for the first time a couple of years ago and it was amazing. My favorite was also Smithsonians, but as Katherine mentioned you might not have enough time to do that and still see everything else. Maybe you can become very good friends with one of the other advocates and in a few months you and Bradley can go and visit with your new friend and spend more time exploring
post #9 of 26
I adore the Smithsonians as well, and you could really kill a few hours there easily, but you wouldn't have time for anything else.
post #10 of 26
Take Care Amy! ....and have a lot of fun! ....

You´re missed here...

we´re waiting for the pics!...

post #11 of 26
Since you are in arlington, If you are there at the right time, I would really suggest seeing the changing of the guards at the tomb of the unknown soilders. I think it is done every hour on the hour. That and seeing the kennedy's graves with the eternal flame is neat.

What happened to us but ended up being the best part of the trip, is we looked at the metro map and saw that it wasnt very far from arlington to the lincoln memorial, all you had to do was cross the patomic. A bit from the lincoln memorial was the vietnam wall so we walked to see that, then the koren war memorial was close to that, as well as that new one they just finished. By that point you could see the capital building (where we were all supposed to meet) and just decided to keep walking. By the time we were done we walked all the way from arlington va to the capital building. It was a little over 5 miles I think, and at the time we thought we were making a mistake, but in the end it was one of the best things we did. Another thing we did was go to the Holocost Museam and see everything there (it took like 3 hours). I was very glad I went, but I will probably not go back. It really drains you emotionally.

Oh! and there is this place called Bens chili bowl, we found it by accident, but apparently its world famous chili, all the politicans and movie stars go there. Its this really out of place looking building with a big sign with red lettering.

I would suggest planning your free time and packing it full (you can sleep later!) Everything tourist-y shuts down at 5. Be prepared to go through a lot of metal dectors if you go to anything political in nature. Even the Holocost museam we had to go through them and I had to take a drink of my water to prove it was water. So dont carry anything that cant be searched pretty easily.

The tour of the capital building is neat, they show you the old supreme court room that all the major trials of their day were heard, you get to see all the old rooms, all the pictures you have seen in the history books growing up, and the declaration of independence and the constitution. To take this tour you are searched and put through a metal detectors, you cant bring any liquids or foods in, had to take off your shoes to have them xrayed, etc. I think if you dont have a lot of time that would be where you could get the most bang for your buck.

OH! and take a DC tour of all the memorials light up at night. Cause it takes you to all of them and lets you take pictures of some if you are the only ones on it. That was good for us because we couldnt do anything until after 6 pm because of the volunteer work we were doing. (alternative spring break)

Hope I gave you some ideas!Have fun!
post #12 of 26
How exciting! I haven't been there since I was around 10. Take LOTS of pics!
post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
Wow Roxy, you have my head spinning! There are SOO many things I want to see! I'd really love to see the Holocaust building and Kennedy's grave above all else, to tell ya the truth. (And thanks for the head's-up on all of that security! Makes sense I reckon.)

I'm dying to see the Smithsonian, but know I won't have time for it on this trip . When my best friends and I went to NYC, we went to the Met, but we only have 2 hours to spend there. Needless to say, we did not scratch the surface. I have a feeling it'd be the same with the Smithsonian.

I'd love to go back with Bradley one day. It sounds so romantic, walking through the memorials all lit up at night . It'll just be too exciting to go to the town of so many of my personal heros...too bad I have to spend most of it in boring meetings .
post #14 of 26
The Smithsonian is a whole bunch of different museums. All of them are great, and you could spend days and days there. With limited time, it would still be worth seeing one of them. I absolutely love the Hirschorn museum - which is all sculpture, and has an outdoor sculpture garden with Rodin bronzes. The Air and Space Museum is spectacular. And the one I have not seen yet, but which is supposed to be great, is the Museum of the American Indian.

My first visit to DC we only had 2 hours to see everything, and we did a whirlwind tour around Capitol Hill, including a stop at the Air and Space museum.

There are others, the Natural History museum, the American History one, that has the tv stuff in it. But those three are my top picks.
post #15 of 26
Have a great time, Amy. I'm so excited for you. I haven't been to DC for while. Be sure to get plenty of pics!
post #16 of 26
I just went to DC 2 weeks ago! I recommend Ford's Theatre to hear about Lincoln's assassination. I also think you should check out the Holocaust Museum. It was very moving. Out of all the memorials, the Lincoln Memorial was my favorite. But all of the war memorials are good, too. A teacher at my school recommended the Bureau of Engraving, but we couldn't go because they aren't open on weekends. I also think going through the National Archives is worthwhile. I don't know if you have time to request a Pentagon tour or not. That tour was the highlight of my visit, although it was a personalized one given by a friend of a friend who works there.

Have a fantastic time, ride the Metro, and wear very comfy shoes!
post #17 of 26
Oh how exciting, Amy!!!! The Lincoln Memorial is definitely a wondrous sight at night!!!! I suggest taking a stroll along "The Wall". It's a very emotional experience. Seeing the Washington Monument with the reflecting pool is a "must see" as well (I always think of the scene in Forrest Gump where Jenny runs across the reflecting pool...) A lot of things are relatively close together so you should be able to squeeze a lot into a short amount of time. You're gonna have a great time!!!
post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks for the great advice y'all!
OK, it's sounding like the Lincoln Memorial is definitely going to be on my list (maybe I can go there one night after the meetings with some of the other advocates?), as is the Holocaust Museum.

So where's the bar where all the hot,single Democrat men hang out?
post #19 of 26
Ive never been to America and it is soooo wierd hearing an American get excited about visiting another part of America. I think we brits forget how enormous the USA is...
I almost don't believe it because I havent seen it. Its wierd if you know what I mean...?
post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 
I know what you mean . It's like when I talk to someone from Italy and they've never been to Rome.... we figure if someone lives in another country, they've been all over their own country.
post #21 of 26
Totally... its bizarre. The world is such a huge place, I think I live in a bubble. I have such an image of America in my head and Id love to go there and see if its what I thought (just like in the films )
Have a great time on your trip!
post #22 of 26
<<I really hope I make friends with some of the advocates so that we can at least go out and explore one of the nights (I don't want to go out at night alone). I'd love to see the White House and Lincoln's Memorial lit up at night.>>

I lived in the DC area all my life. It's beautiful lit up at night. The National Christmas Tree should be set up when you are there.
post #23 of 26
Oh, I'm so jealous! I love, love, love D.C.! There's so much to see - it's very hard to figure out what to squeeze in. I'm sure you'll run into some hot Dems. Arlington will be a great location. I've stayed there twice and was able to take the Metro to almost everything I wanted to see.

I totally agree that Lincoln Memorial is worth seeing, particularly at night. It was so incredible to stand right where MLK Jr. stood. There's a stone there that designates the spot. It gave me chills - thinking about what a feeling that must have been to look over the sea of people who where there when he spoke.

The Vietnam Memorial Wall is also a must-see. I had seen a minature, traveling version as a child with my mother, but the "real" one is so moving. The Korean War Memorial is also nearby.

As someone else said, the Smithsonian is actually more than one building. It would take forever to go through it all. I hope to do that someday.

I really enjoyed walking through the National Archives, but I'm also a big history nerd.

The White House was neat from the outside. I got to see the Press Pool standing outside, reporting, which was really cool.

The view from the top of the Washington Monument is awesome! You can see all of the surrounding areas. Totally worthwhile. Just make sure you get your free tickets in advance (same day). There's a ticket booth near the base.

I really want to see the new WWII memorial the next time I go. Last time I was there it was not quite complete.

The Jefferson Memorial is neat, but a bit out of the way if you don't have your own transportation. Not as much to see there either.

The FDR Memorial was really nice. I went at night and it was beautiful.

Same with the Iwo Jima statue. I had no idea how huge it was until I saw it in person. I was under the impression that it was life-size. Boy was I wrong!

You won't be able to fit it in on this trip, but if you get to go back, Mt. Vernon (Washington's residence) is a breathtaking location. It's right on the Potomac.

On my next trip I want to go to the Holocaust Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian (part of the Smithsonian). And about 12 million other stops.

Here's a small collection of my 100+ photos from my first trip in 2003.
Link to Shutterfly photos (Choose the link at the top of the second page "view as slideshow" for easier viewing.)
post #24 of 26
Originally Posted by Roxy_loves_CJ

OH! and take a DC tour of all the memorials light up at night. Cause it takes you to all of them and lets you take pictures of some if you are the only ones on it.
I completely agree. I did one and it was worth the money - a real time saver because you got to see so much in a few hours. I was working at the Pentagon during the day, so my time was limited to the evenings for the most part. During the time I did have available during the day I went to see the things that closed at 5 or 6 (museums, etc). I went in October 2 years in a row, after the fall hours went into effect. That was the only bummer - a lot of places closed early.
post #25 of 26
This will be a great experience for you, Amy! Have a wonderful time!
post #26 of 26

What fun coming to Washington DC. There is so much to see here. I have lived here all my life and it has been interesting to see what visitors think of it.

Some suggestions if you only have a few hours and depending on the weather at the end of November. Hopefully we will have an Indian summer for you.

The monument and museum are first class here but with a couple of hours you really wouldn't be able to see much. The Smithsonian is HUGE. You can take the metro to the mall and wallk around and would be able to see many of them but I love the idea of you taking a night tour and seeing the monunents lit up. It is absulutely stunning. By the way the metro is fabulous for tourists. www.wmata.com I ride it every day to my job downtown.

Besides the monuments and museum here is where we take people to sightsee.

The National Zoo www.fonz.org . Right now it has the baby panda and some cheetah cubs if I recall correctly. Love the zoo. It is free and a great place to go. And in cooler weather the animals are much more playful. It is on the metro red line at Woodly Park/Zoo stop.

To shop take the metro red line to Union Station. www.unionstationdc.com It has alot for tourists also.

If you can find a friend my twentysome niece loves Georgetown. There is no metro there but it is sort of funky and eclectic. She loves to shop there too. (So did I in my twenties not that I am far from that age )

Most of all have fun. If I can help you any more or you would like to know any specifics just let me know.

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