I’ve been mentioning my trip to DC for my 30th birthday in all of my posts so far this week, so I wanted to share a recap of my time there – where I stayed, what I did.
I love traveling to DC. It’s only a 4-5 hour drive, so my sister and I don’t have to worry about sitting in the car uncomfortably for hours without making a restroom stop – that’s ideal for us. In general, the city is fairly accessible (though we hit a few bumps in the road this time, which I’ll go into below). Plus, there’s so much to do in the city, and so many places to explore.
We stayed at The Mayflower again this trip, which is such a beautiful and historic hotel. Even exploring the hotel itself is an experience – the mezzanine level has historical artifacts on display, and has an amazing view of the gorgeous chandeliers in the lobby. It’s also really conveniently located near the Metro, which is what we usually take to get around in DC.
Like I mentioned above, though, this time we got thrown for a bit of a transportation loop. The Metro elevators were out at BOTH of the stations nearest to our hotel. We were able to take the bus to and from our trip to the National Zoo (one of my favorite free things to do in the city!), but on the way home, it was absolutely pouring. We still had dinner plans, and didn’t want to have to walk to the bus stop and wait for the bus in the rain, so we had to find an alternative route of transportation. Luckily for us, DC is one of the cities that has accessible Ubers, so we were able to test them out.
Since my sister and I both use wheelchairs, we had to order two separate Ubers, because each vehicle could only fit one wheelchair. This wasn’t necessarily the cheapest option, but it did work out well for us overall. There was a bit of a delay between when we requested the Uber and when it was actually available (20-30 minutes) before dinner, but it was quicker later in the evening. All of the drivers knew what they were doing, and were able to tie down the wheelchairs and use the ramp/lift smoothly. I actually rode in two different “types” of vehicles – one was a rear-entry, where the back seat flipped up and had space for a wheelchair, and the other was the more standard side entry with a hollowed-out wheelchair space in the middle. All in all, a really great experience, and something I’d love to see available in more/all cities!
The other big reason for my trip? I got tickets to see Hamilton at the Kennedy Center. Yes, I’ve seen it before (twice…), but honestly, I’ll keep going back and seeing it as many times as I can. The show truly is that genius, and there’s so much happening on stage at every minute that I see something new and different every time. And even though the musical is, in many ways, all about New York (the “greatest city in the world”) there’s just something about seeing the show in the capital, where there are so many reminders everywhere of the real people and real events the show follows. The Kennedy Center in itself is such a tribute to the arts and their importance, and seeing Hamilton there was incredibly special.
The rest of my trip was mostly visiting with my friends, and going out to eat. I love trying out new restaurants when I’m traveling, but when I’m in DC, I can’t NOT go to Zaytinya. It’s one of José Andrés’ restaurants, and it’s just so good. I also had a really good brunch at District Commons, which I mostly picked because it was near the Kennedy Center – I was pleasantly surprised! I also lucked out and made a last minute dinner reservation at Le DeSales, which was so close to my hotel that I could see it out of my window. I picked it because I was worried it’d be another downpour and I wanted something convenient, but the food was amazing and the service was so good – friendly but not overbearing.
My final food-related stop for the weekend was Milk Bar. I’m a huge Masterchef fan, and have been wanting to try out Christina Tosi’s infamous Milk Bar for a few years now. Since we don’t have one around here, I went all out and ordered both the salted pretzel cake AND the crack pie. Let me just say – they did not disappoint, and the crack pie is very aptly named.
I was not ready to leave and head back home on Sunday – there was so much more that I still wanted to do! I guess I’ll just have to plan another trip back soon.