DC is one of my favorite places to travel to – it’s an easy drive from here and there’s just so much to do! The city is also, on the whole, fairly accessible and easy to get around. So when we decided that we wanted to go somewhere for the Labor Day weekend, DC seemed like the perfect choice.
Two things I want to note – DC currently has a mask requirement indoors, regardless of vaccination status, and we were planning to mostly stay outside, anyway. And secondly – don’t expect this recap to be jam-packed. Getting all four of us (me, my sister, + parents) out the door when we’re staying in a hotel can take a while. It’s just the reality of our life right now!
But really, we mostly wanted to just get away and go somewhere different. Finding a hotel can be tough – it’s hard to find places that have accessible suites (not just a single room). It’s actually rare to find suites with accessibility features that have enough space for us to feel comfortable rather than cramped. When I was looking for hotels online, I spotted The Willard and was sold almost instantly. The pictures were stunning and they had a one bedroom suite with a roll-in shower! I booked almost instantly. But I was a little bit nervous that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations – I’ve had so many things go wrong with accessible rooms at hotels that I always feel like I have to keep my fingers crossed until I actually check in.
Honestly? The Willard blew my expectations out of the water. Not only were the common areas absolutely gorgeous, but our suite was so spacious I almost couldn’t believe it. There was a little hallway/entryway to enter the suite, a sofa, coffee table, and even a small dining room table in the main living area, and a little kitchenette space with a minifridge (they also put a microwave in that area that we had requested). There were actually 1.5 bathrooms – a smaller half bathroom, and a huge accessible bathroom with a roll-in shower and separate tub. The bedroom had two queen beds, plus a desk, and still had enough space for my sister and I to move around. Huge bonus – the hotel was also dog friendly, so Lily was able to join us! Hands down, it was one of the best hotel experiences I’ve ever had.
Basically, I loved the hotel so much that I didn’t even feel like I really needed to leave. The first floor of the restaurant in the hotel had the cutest little French-inspired cafe – they sold macarons and other pastries, and I ordered many, many macchiatos. The location is also ideal if you’re interested in the touristy activities like the monuments and museums. We spent one of our days walking around and just taking in the sights. We walked around the Treasury building, the White House, the Ellipse, the Washington Monument, the reflecting pond, and the Lincoln Memorial. It was an absolutely perfect day – warm and sunny and beautiful – and so fun to just walk around and explore.
The next day it was raining on and off, but we ended up walking to City Center, because a friend had suggested a coffee/gelato shop there. I loved the whole area – so many shops and restaurants and coffee shops, and all in the cutest pedestrian-only space. They had fountains and tables set up outdoors for working and eating. I wish Pittsburgh had more of these spaces; it was so welcoming and friendly.
I was also SO excited because I finally got a reservation at Le Diplomate, an iconic DC restaurant. It completely lived up to the hype. The service was incredible, the food was beyond delicious (I got beef bourginion and OMG, it was so good), and it was just such a great meal overall. I also had a friend drop off some pastries while I was there from one of her favorite bakeries, Rose Ave. It’s an Asian-American bakery, and the flavors were all so unique. Of course, I also couldn’t resist getting a few slices of Milk Bar Pie delivered to the hotel, too.
The weekend was so much fun, and I was definitely not ready to head home. I’m already trying to plan my next trip back!