Washington DC

     As this is my first ever blog post I feel the need to introduce a little about myself. My name is John, I study Mechanical Engineering. My passions are playing soccer, traveling, and surfing. I am a very avid traveler and am quite well traveled for someone my age. I took my first trip before I was a year old. My family would always go on trips to Orlando, Florida and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Besides this we would always visit other cities nearby and go camping when I was young. Although one summer we packed our bags and took a trip across the country. We spent the whole summer traveling and got to see some amazing places and made some amazing memories.
     My first adventure by myself would come in my sophomore year of college. I decided to spend a semester studying abroad in London, England. This remains to be one of the best times of my life. After my semester I went to Sevilla, Spain to study Spanish during the summer. In total I had spent roughly 8 months in Europe studying and traveling. I was able to visit 8 different countries and seeing cities such as Paris, Rome, Munich, Barcelona. This experience has made me a travel addict. The past summer I returned to Sevilla to spend the summer studying Spanish again. I also had the privilege to travel to Africa for the first time. I spent a weekend in Morocco, and it has only fueled my desire to go back and explore more!

     So back stateside, I spent a weekend in Washington DC. I went down to visit a friend that I had made in Sevilla and kept in touch with. He was visiting his girlfriend who lived in the area, so my girlfriend and I took the opportunity to go down and visit the city and see him again. It was quite a good feeling to be back on the road traveling, escaping the cold, and getting to see a good friend of mine. I drove the whole way which ended up being about a 6 hour drive from where I live. Although there was a little setback. When I was packing the car with the suitcases at 4:45am I had my puppy with me since he could not leave me alone. And this provided enough distraction for me to not realize that I had locked the one set of keys to the car in the trunk. This was not the ideal start to the trip to say the least. So about 45 minutes later, AAA shows up to break into my car so I can get my keys and get on my way. Thankfully this setback was the only problem encountered throughout the trip.

     I had not been to DC in quite a long time, so it was exciting to revisit the monuments and see what has changed. After arriving at the hotel, we took a quick nap and left for the city. One thing that I did enjoy about the city is its public transportation system. The metro very much reminded me of the tube or metro in Paris. The one thing it was lacking was any sort of art. The metro systems of Europe have much more decorations and are not as bland. Anyways, the majority of our trip around the mall, which is where all the major monuments are. The first thing we noticed was that there were supports surrounding the Washington Monument, to keep it stable.
Washington Monument
     Apparently this has been on it for quite some time ever since an earthquake hit the area in 2011. Nonetheless it still was a sight to see. When it was constructed it was the tallest building in the world at the time. This has of course now changed, but it is still a wonderful historical sight to visit. After meeting up with my friend and his girlfriend at the mall we made our way to the Smithsonian Museum of American History. All the Smithsonian museums along the mall are all free, so it is a wonderful place to go visit and take as much time as want exploring the different museums they have to offer. My favorite of which being the Air and Space museum.

     The museum we decided to visit was less interesting. There is plenty of good information and interesting things, but for me it wasn't my favorite. The next stop on our adventure was to take a walk along the mall. There we stopped to see the White House, Lincoln Memorial, and the World War II Memorial. All of these are within walking distance of each other, it took maybe 45 minutes to walk and view the monuments.
US Capitol Building
Vietnam War Memorial

White House
     I would suggest seeing the monuments of DC both during the day and at night. Some of their qualities really come out at night when they are light up. Especially the World War II Memorial.
WWII Memorial at night
WWII Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
     One disappointing thing we experienced in DC was poor service at restaurants. It may be because of where we ate, but we did not encounter friendly service. The first night we stopped at a restaurant called Roti Mediterranean Grill. I quite enjoyed the food there, it has a similar concept to popular chains like Chipotle or Moe's. You choose what your dish will be, either a wrap or rice plate, things like that. Then the toppings and sides to choose from are all Mediterranean classics like falafel, hummus, feta cheese, tomato and cucumber. For me I had a rice plate with chicken, hummus with some pita bread, vegetables, and tomato and cucumber. It was very good. I like having food like this considering the food served at college is not nearly as healthy or good. Unfortunately there are no locations near to where I live, oh well. The other restaurant we went to while we were with my friend from Spain was one called 100 Montaditos. This is a popular chain of restaurants in Spain, there were numerous locations in Sevilla and it was a place I would go to often. The name means 100 sandwiches, which is exactly what they offer! They have 100 variations of sandwiches to offer, although the menu for the one we went to was a bit americanized it is generally spanish dishes like chorizo or tortilla de patatas. The sandwiches are small, so you order a few of them or share a platter of jamon serano and chorizo with queso manchego. I would definitely recommend going for a bite to eat if you happen to be in the DC area or in Spain! It was cool to go with my friend from Spain, although we noticed it was a bit different from the ones we were used to. Here you are waited on, as usual, but this is not the case in Spain. Also, there was music playing. It was spanish music, but in created a slightly different atmosphere. We determined it was down to the difference between Spanish culture and American. If there was any music playing in the 100 Montaditos in Spain you would not be able to hear it since everyone would be talking non-stop, whereas in the DC location people were content to enjoy their food and talk quieter amongst themselves. Either way, it was a good meal, good restaurant, and some good company!

     The final day we were very reluctant to leave. There is still more to see to DC besides the mall and the monuments, I am left wanting more as usual. Some areas I would like to explore more would be the Georgetown district of the city. Also, since there is what seems to be an endless supply of museums I would love to go back and visit more Air and Space museums and also the Holocaust museum. Another thing would have to be the Cherry Blossoms that come out along the river in the spring! All in all it was a great trip, I hope I can go back again, but I was also happy to return home to see the puppy and my family before I headed back to college again.

Until the next stop...

No comments:

Post a Comment