We only were able to swing a week away from work, so we were going to JAM PACK both DC and New York into 1 week!
Our trip began in Washington DC. I had never been before and was so excited to see all the wonderful historical stuff! I was a history major, so I am all in for museums, government buildings, and monuments. Aaron studied History too in college and had been to DC several times, he had actually studied at the University of Maryland for a semester and so had lived in this part of the country for a semester. He was the perfect tour guide!
First off, let me just rave about our hotel for a bit!! Aaron found an awesome deal on Priceline for the Willard Hotel! This was the hotel where Abraham Lincoln stayed before his inauguration as President. Ulysses S Grant would drink whiskey in the lobby during his presidency and would often be approached by people for political favors, which is where the term "lobbying" began. Also Martin Luther King finished his "I Have a Dream" speech from his room at the Willard. So to say this hotel is a piece of history is an understatement. It is also just a 2 minute walk to the White House and the Mall.
|Our room at the Willard|
|The Entrance of the Willard|
|Our beautiful hotel is right behind us!|
|Dinner at Shelly's Back Room|
|Hi Mr President!|
This day was a little rainy, so we did inside activities... which meant lots of museums! We started at the National Archives to look at a bunch of old, famous paper.
After the National Archives we were on to the Smithsonian museums! We stopped into the Museum of Natural History to see the Hope Diamond, but didn't stay long.
|Entrance to the Museum of Natural History|
|The Hope Diamond|
|Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz|
|Old School Apple Computer|
|Julia Child's kitchen|
|HIGHLIGHT! Harry Potter's robes|
|Hi Ho Kermit the Frog|
|Good Ol' Ben Franklin|
|A tree made of steel|
|Relaxing in the hotel. Man I love traveling with this guy!!|
|The lobby of the Willard.|
|The back of the White House|
This was probably the busiest day of our whole back east trip. I swear we walked nearly 10 miles through the Mall and the streets of DC.
One of Aaron and my favorite things to do on vacation is to pretend to be locals and people watch. So today began with a warm drink and a pastry and sitting along the reflecting pool. We were up earlier than most tourists so it was super quiet and peaceful.
|Along the reflecting pool|
|World War II Memorial|
|World War II Memorial - Arizona|
The Lincoln Memorial was just as awesome as I thought it would be. The building is huge, the Lincoln Statue is impressive, the quotes from his speeches lining the walls are inspiring and the view is majestic!
|Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool|
|View from the Lincoln Memorial|
|FDR fireside chats|
|geese chasing along the Mall|
|The theater box to the left is where Lincoln sat|
|The room of the house across the street where he died|
|From the top of the Old Post Office.|
|View of Capitol Hill from the top of the Old Post Office.|
That night we met up with some of Aaron's grad school friends from the University of Georgia who now work in Washington. It was so much fun to meet people who he did life with for 2 years and listen to them reminice about their grad school days and adventures in Athens, GA. We also were eating at the Old Ebbitt Grill, which is a must visit place in DC.
|Aaron's Grad School friends|
Our last full day in DC was all about the Capitol Building and the Library of Congress!
The Capitol Building, being one of the most recognized buildings in the world, was a site to behold and was so incredibly beautiful in person. Fun fact - it was designed after St Paul's Cathedral in England, which just happens to be my favorite building in the world.
|The Capitol Building|
|Since there are so many tours going on at once, you have to wear headphones to hear your guide|
|The old Superior Court Chambers|
|the gorgeous Capitol Dome|
|There is a mosaic all the way around the room showing the history of our country|
|This spot is where John Quincy Adams' desk once stood. It is also perfectly placed acoustically to be able to hear a whisper said from across the room.|
|Aaron and Dwight D Eisenhower|
The day was beautifully sunny, so we had a beautiful view of the Capitol Building from the front and all the way down the mall.
|The Capitol Building from the front|
|The Capitol Building|
|View of the Mall|
We ate lunch in the dining hall of the Capitol and then headed over to the Library of Congress to see old books.
Aaron and I had been dreaming out our visit to the Library of Congress and how we were going to check out super old books at the reading room and just hold them and take pictures with them... yes, we are super nerds!
|The Library of Congress reading room.|
|The Gutenberg Bible!|
|1813 copies of Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen|
|First Edition copy of Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain|
|Aaron reading the first edition of Adventures of Tom Sawyer|
We were definitely riding a high from all that we had done so far for the day, but we were determined to squeeze in one last famous site before we left DC that evening. We quickly ran to Arlington Cemetery to see the tombstones and JFK's grave.
|The Eternal Flame by JFK and Jackie Kennedy's graves.|
We felt like we truly soaked in all that Washington DC had to offer, but with all places, there was so much that we wanted to still see. This place definitely warrants another trip, but for this trip, we headed out that night for New York by Bolt Bus! It was the cheapest way to New York and was SUPER affordable. I couldn't believe it was so cheap with it having wifi onboard, AC, and pretty comfy seats.
|Ready for the bus ride!|