A Grand City for Grand Ideas – Washington, D.C.

Washington DC

Washington DC

You can’t always come up with more to say about a city that hasn’t already been said.  In my opinion, that’s the case with our nation’s capital, Washington, DC.

So here, I’ll focus on my experience, where I stayed, and what I did, instead of “what to do”.

I arrived at the Washington Marriott around lunchtime on a very cold, rainy/icy day in December.  Our room wasn’t ready (nor did I really expect it to be so early) so we opted to eat in the restaurant located in the lobby.  The staff were attentive and courteous and although a bit more expensive (as is usually the case in hotels) than a stand-alone restaurant, it was good and service was quick.  After that, we decided to pass some time getting the lay of the land by walking to a nearby CVS about a block away.  The rain stopped, the blustery frigid wind fought us just the same.

Not only is there a nearby CVS, but also a Walgreens even closer.  Not far from CVS is a Jos. A. Banks in case you need to replace or purchase suits and ties or other men’s wear.

We returned to the hotel and made our way up to our room.  This was a special occasion, so the Abraham Lincoln Suite would be our home-away-from-home for the next 3 days.  As the Tripadvisor reviews show, it is in an excellent locations and the rooms are nicely appointed, but décor is a bit dated.  Incidentally, they are ramping up for a remodel beginning in 2014.  The suite was very spacious and clean- the bed amazingly comfortable.  Two large screen TV, one in the bedroom, the other in the living room.  Also included were a coffee maker, tea selection, and small refrigerator.

Dining Room of the Lincoln Suite at the Washington Marriott

Dining Room of the Lincoln Suite at the Washington Marriott

Living Room of the Lincoln Suite at the Washington Marriott

Living Room of the Lincoln Suite at the Washington Marriott

The room was located on the 7th floor so access to the executive lounge was also included where a complimentary cooked breakfast was offered each morning as well as hors d’oeuvre each evening – cocktails and wine offered for sale, and all the free Gevalia coffee you can drink.

Two places we dined at stand out-

First was Annie’s Paramount Steak House at 1609 17th St NW, Washington DC, DC 20009-2403 (Dupont Circle).  Six of us stopped in for dinner, with no reservations, however, accommodations were quickly and enthusiastically made. Prices were reasonable and when the food arrived, it came as ordered. It was nice to have an affordable place to get steak in a city that can be out of reach.

Second was Luigi’s Restaurant at 1132 19TH St NW, Washington DC, DC 20036-3602.  My party of 5 arrived around 7:30pm after an earlier wedding celebration. We were immediately seated and throughout the evening had very attentive and kind service. We ordered a bottle of wine and were told if we ordered 2, we’d get a great discount. And a great one it was- 2-4-1 (2 bottles of wine for $30). Not long after, a violinist arrived and entertained everyone. I had Farfalletoscana a bow tie pasta sautéed with sausage, ricotta, and peas with herbs in a cream sauce. It was very delicious, rich and filling. The menu is extensive so I’m sure there’s something for most any taste.  I’d be happy to recommend this restaurant.

What do you do if you only have a day to see the city?  Old Town Trolley Tours of Washington DC of course.  It’s an easy way to see a big city.  They picked us up in front of our hotel and from there on, it was a great

Old Town Trolley Tour

Old Town Trolley Tour

experience. We only had one day to see the city and the Trolley was the best way to do it. The narrators were very informative and made the tour more interesting.  Unfortunately in the middle of winter the trolley’s windows aren’t open, but the clear plastic was ok and it sure prevented the frigid air from getting to us.

The tour takes you by all of the great monuments.  I was dumbstruck by the shear massive size of them.  To gaze upon the gargantuan Lincoln is humbling and even in the dead of winter, the Jefferson Memorial is stunning.  For 2014 and 2015, the nation’s capital dome will be under renovations hidden by scaffolding.

It is a shame that so many people in the United States have never or will never get to see this amazing great city.  It is a grounding experience that, as a citizen, engrains and roots all the teachings and knowledge we gain over our lifetime.

Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial

As always, if you have questions, feel free to post them in the comments section.  Until next time, thanks for tripping with me.

White House

White House