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So Many Things to Do! Photos from Washington DC

*There's a list of can't-miss places and DC things to do at the end of this post, including our favorite restaurants.

Sexy Nerd and I are home from our annual trip to Washington, DC. (And have been for several weeks, obviously. What a strange time we're living.)

It's such a gorgeous, walkable city. I'd love to move there one day, even if only for a year or two. We could get a place near the water in Alexandria or within steps of the zoo.

Did you know you can buy a condo at the Watergate? My thinking is that we can splurge on a place above our budget and really live it up while we're there, then just sell it when we move and get our money back. Sexy Nerd says that's not how it works.

Isn't it though?

DC things to do
I bought a new phone with a top-rated camera just in time - it arrived 1 day before this trip. Behold, the first selfie on my Google Pixel 3a. My previous phone was already outdated when I bought it refurbished in 2014, so this is an exciting upgrade for me!

When will the cherry blossoms bloom?
Although it was not quite cherry blossom season when we visited in mid-February, a few trees were too exited to wait.

White House Fence Replacement Project
A million steps (and dollars) are added whenever the government gets involved. The White House needs a new fence, so just hire someone to build it, right? No big deal?

No, we need to have a "White House Fence Replacement Project," with its very own website and everything. The National Park Service and US Secret Service started planning for this fence in 2014.

The price for the new fence is estimated to be $64 million. 

Washington DC fine for littering
Perhaps the project is being funded with tickets. I'm all for cleaning up after your dog, but $2,000?! I wonder how big of a mess you have to make to get the maximum fine. 

That Seinfeld episode where Kramer feeds chili con carne to a horse comes to mind.

 I had the entire week in DC at my leisure and Sexy Nerd would be working most of the time, so the next day, I let him decide where to go. With his limited free time, I was surprised when he wanted to visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 

We expected the exhibits would make us sad, and of course they did, but more than that, they made us angry. I'm angry that there can be people in the world who side with and admire Nazis. I'm angry that there can be people who insist the Holocaust was just propaganda. I'm angry that we all say "Never again" when similar events are currently happening all around us. No one seems to care about Syrian refugees or about Hindus killing Muslims in India.

At the museum, I learned that children with epilepsy were forcibly sterilized in Nazi Germany before WWII. That would have included my mom.

Best DC restaurants

I'd picked out a great restaurant for our lunch that day, Ambar Capitol Hill, which offers an all-you-can-eat (but not buffet) assortment of small plates. However, we spent so much time at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum that we missed lunch. 

The universe must have pointed us to Falafel Inc. We'd never heard of it, but it's sooo good! Flavorful, filling falafel sandwiches are only $3 each. You can also order a falafel bowl, featuring red cabbage, tabouli, tomatos, cucumbers, pickles, and zaatar chips on greens with one of their famous sauces, for only $4. Even better, proceeds from every sale go to World Food Programme, which helps feed refugees. It was the perfect place to end up after reading the horror stories at the Holocaust Museum.

Smithsonian National Museum of American History
Do you see the resemblance to Olive?

We also made it to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. I wish we'd had more time here. When we left, Sexy Nerd complained that everyone just visited that museum to see Lincoln's hat and didn't pay attention to any of the other exhibits.

Oops, I forgot to look at Lincoln's hat. We'll just have to go back.

Georgetown shopping
We were fortunate to be able to spend a portion of our trip in Georgetown. With old brick buildings and one-of-a-kind shops, it is such a charming part of the city. I always make a point to stop by the Waterworks showroom for interior design inspiration. There are many home decor shops nearby.

Self-guided tour of Washington DC
I set off on a self-guided walking tour of Georgetown, meandering up and down random streets.

Sexy Nerd would like to clarify that "meandering" means I got lost. Did I ever!

Buck Hill mural
Buck Hill mural by Joe Pagac

If you're going to get lost though, Georgetown is not a bad place to do it.    

Colorful row houses in DC
Come to think of it, I was so lost that it wouldn't surprise me at all if someone sends me a message saying these photos weren't taken in Georgetown. 

Women who WILL mural by Maggie O'Neill

Gremlins 3
Why isn't there a Gremlins 3 yet? I would watch it. You would watch it. Everyone would watch it.

Sexy Nerd, who is all about reading over my shoulder today, would like to add that he did not care for either of the Gremlins movies and that he would not watch it.

He's such a fuddy duddy sometimes. 

rainbow transom

Pair of lion statues
I need these lions in my life, but if this yard was in Albuquerque, these statues would have been stolen by now.    

Walking tour of Georgetown

JD Ireland
Public art? Clever optometrist. 

Public art in Georgetown
Renwick Gallery DC
During my walk around DC, I found myself at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. It had some neat things to see, like the fixture in this photo.

What's that? You don't see what is so great about this chandelier? Maybe a photo isn't the best way to show it off.

LED chandelier
Ta da! It's LED perfection.

i am no one - Beth Cavener
This is called i am no one. From the exhibition label:

I want to pry at those uncomfortable, awkward edges between animal and human. Entangled in their own internal and external struggles, the figures express frustration for the human tendency towards cruelty and lack of understanding. Something conscious and knowing is captured in their gestures and expressions. An invitation and a rebuke. - Beth Cavener

Hotels with free candy
After all that walking, I was certain I'd earned a treat. How perfect that our hotel, the Washington Marriott Georgetown, had an M Club lounge stocked with free treats 24/7. M&Ms! Raisinets! Gummy bears!

(Potato chips and beef jerky too. I love you, Marriott Georgetown.)

This is my favorite hotel of all time. Candy is all it takes to win my heart.

Marriott Titanium Elite
The hotel even has a sparking water dispenser and free magazines. 

Sexy Nerd has one last comment before this post ends. "It looks like you're sitting there reading Hustler magazine."

OMG, it does. It was Condé Nast Traveler! I swear!

Marriott M Club lounge

I always research the heck out of anywhere we travel. Here are my favorite, top-rated things to do on a Washington, DC vacation, in no particular order:

Please don't waste your time in DC eating at a chain like McDonalds.

1. Bon Matcha ice cream - get the 1/2 matcha and 1/2 misuguru but be warned they have no indoor seating, so it's not a great option in rainy weather (In other words, I totally walked here when it was pouring and had been expecting a dry place to eat!)

2. Dupont Circle farmers market - Call Your Mother bagels (Sunday 8:30 am - 1:30 pm)

3. Union Market

4. A Baked Joint - dirty chai latte

5. Namaste Everest lunch buffet

6. City Kabob and Curry House lunch buffet - there's currently a Yelp offer for a free drink with your meal

7. Medium Rare - This is one of our favorite restaurants in the world. Do not go to Washington, DC without eating here!

8. Falafel Inc

9. Woodland Press Winery in Alexandria - free wine tasting Thursday 4-8 pm and Sunday 12-5 pm

10. Lobby Bar at Washington Marriott Wardman Park - I'm as surprised as you that this made it onto my list. The food and ambiance is just that good.

11. Ambar Capitol Hill

They're all free!

1. National Portrait Gallery & National Gallery of Art

2. Renwick Gallery

3. National Museum of American History

4. National Museum of the American Indian

5. National Building Museum (This one is actually not free - boo! - but the lobby and gift shop are worth a visit if you are in the area.)

6. National Museum of African American History and Culture

7. Petersen Boarding House & Ford's Theater

8. DAR Museum (Daughters of the American Revolution)

9. National Postal Museum

10. Smithsonian Institution Freer Gallery of Art & Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

11. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

12. Smithsonian National Zoological Park (Okay, this one is technically a zoo, not a museum. It's one of the best in the country. Walk from the Metro instead of driving or you'll pay a hefty $25 to park. Photos in Part 2 of this post.)

Here's a weird, completely serious question. Are residents of DC more accepting of others? It seems like the free museums would encourage you to learn more about other cultures and open your mind as a result. Where can I find statistics on this? Actually, now I'm thinking of all of the potential benefits of free museums. It's a wholesome activity that is accessible to all, like a free after-school program. Is the crime rate lower as a result? Do students perform better in school? If so, can we get more free museums around the USA? If not, why not?

You know I love my interior decorating stores.

1. Eastern Market - flea market on Sundays

2. Tabletop

3. Tyson's Corner and Tyson's Galleria - just a short Metro ride from DC, I've actually made a point to visit Tyson's Corner every year...and only just realized on this most recent trip that there is another, much fancier mall, Tyson's Galleria, steps away!

4. Good Wood

5. Union Market - Salt & Sundry and Politics & Prose

6. Miss Pixie's

7. Georgetown

8. Alexandria - Torpedo Factory Art Center

Dining at Tyson's Galleria

Want more fun DC things to do? Check out these posts from our previous travels:

Actually, that last one on the list was not very fun at all. Brrrr!

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