My husband and I spent two nights in DC recently. This is the first trip we’ve taken without small children, which means our last trip was a long time ago…and since there were no small children involved, we did NOT have to go the Natural History museum. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great place…but I am enjoying a bunch of gap years from dinos and insects, let me tell you.
Pod DC. Located right across from the Gallery Place metro station and less than a mile from the National Mall. I love the Pod Hotel chain. Clean, modern, relatively quiet and no more space than you need to have and sometimes less. Generally a cheaper option - and a really cheap option if you go for the shared bath (room key access, so it’s shared but not like other people are in there with you. I mean, unless you want that I guess?). Fair warning - even the en suite bath is not terribly private, with a sliding frosted glass door.
What We Did
The main focus of our trip was to check out two exhibitions designed by our oldest son, that were overlapping at the Library of Congress. “Base Ball Americana” continues through July 27 there, and highlights the history of baseball (including a re-creation of a section of bleachers, as seen from the player’s point of view). “Shall Not Be Denied” is a timely presentation, open through September 2020, that showcases the women’s suffrage movement, and includes fantastic artifacts, photos and video montages. They were both, OF COURSE, fantastic but hey I am The Mom so of course I would say that and I also say, go see them if you can because they are great. Especially “Shall Not Be Denied.”
We had a limited timeframe but we also hit up the National Museum of the American Indian, the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Newseum. The American Indian museum was oddly disappointing. Maybe it was the heat affecting our perspective? The building itself is beautiful, and huge, but the exhibits were underwhelming (our opinion, of course; yours may vary). Lots of open space, not much in them. The African American museum was, by contrast, fantastic and we needed more time than we had. Timed entry tickets are generally required, but as with all the Smithsonian museums, they are free. We were able to download ours while standing in front of the museum. The Newseum was also amazing, and since it is either closing at the end of 2019 or relocating back to Arlington, you need to get there now.
The fact that a museum devoted to explaining journalism, media and news coverage (the good, the bad and the ugly) is closing in 2019 after a few years of pervasive administrative and national ignorance on the topic…it’s just sad and demoralizing and a bunch of other adjectives I’m not going to list here.
I had a tentative plan to get to Jaleo, one of Chef Jose Andres’ tapas establishments, assuming we could even get a table. We accidentally had lunch that day at another of his places, Oyamel, a Mexican restaurant that got definite “would eat here again” marks from both of us (we did not know at the time that this was part of the Jose Andres empire). Jaleo was one of the best tapas restaurants I’ve been to outside Spain, plus reasonable prices and generous portions (trust me, these two things do not often go together with tapas). We also hit Reren for Cantonese ramen and other dishes, and that was OK. Avoid the gelato cafe Pitango - not sure what they are serving but it is not gelato.
A bit of a whirlwind, you betcha - but when you are done with your dinosaur purgatory, a quick trip to DC has a lot to offer!