We started our 4th of July at the National Archives where we saw the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Magna Carta. COOL! I signed the Declaration! We waited in a long line for this but I thought it was cool to see the original docs. The handwriting was so pretty!
Then we went on a tour of the Capitol. I never knew but during the war of 1812 the British set fire to the Capitol and burned a lot of it down. There is also a statue of Brigham Young in the Capitol because each state gives a statue of a person to display in the Capitol so Utah naturally chose BY. There is also a portrait of Joseph Smith in the National Portrait Gallery and a sunstone from the Nauvoo Temple in the Smithsonian Museum of American History soooooo IDK.
Then we took the tunnel/secret passageway (!!!) to the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building which was probably my favorite thing we saw in DC! I hadn't been before and it was just gorgeous. We learned a lot of fun little facts about it from the tour...we always try and take a tour if it's free because you learn so much more! The building was absolutely beautiful. Bury me there, plz.
Then we traipsed over to Capitol Hill for the "Capitol Fourth" concert on PBS. It was pretty cool..........I thought Barry Manilow was pretty terrible. The best part was when Neil Diamond sang Sweet Caroline and all the drunk Americans + me were like "BAH BAH BAHHHHHHHHHH." I embarrassed CJ by dancing a lot and getting really into everything. Honestly if you ever go to DC for the 4th skip this though because you will not be able to see the fireworks. How lame is that? We only went because we assumed it would be the best place to watch the fireworks from. Not so. We ran out once they started and got down on the mall where we could actually see them.
The next morning we went to Old Town Alexandria which was honestly probably my favorite part of the trip. We ate at The Majestic and it was sooooooo good. That fried green tomato was to die for, best cheese of my life. I also had a BLT which is my favorite food basically and it was just divine. I recommend this place if you are looking for a cute classic place to eat but we paid a little more than we usually would for lunch. ANYWAY. The whole town was just so adorable. For example, this house with the 13 original colonies flag...I die! We also visited a beautiful Episcopal church which George Washington and Robert E. Lee both attended and that was very cool. Much of it is original which was awesome. Also, Queen B on Queen street.
Then we went to Arlington. Not much to say about this except that CJ and I got into a heated discussion about when war is justifiable and when it isn't and how I hope my kids never join the military and if they try to I won't let them, etc. Beautiful trees, this is just one example.
For the evening we headed up to U street to explore and eat at Ben's Chili Bowl! This is a historical black neighborhood where Duke Ellington got his start as well as many other jazz greats. Ben's Chili Bowl was fun, all I ate was a milkshake because I still wasn't very hungry. Ben is a smart man because chili is basically the cheapest thing you could ever make and he charged $5 for a bowl.
CHA CHILI CHING. You have to go though. For the experience. CASH ONLY.
Lincoln Memorial! I don't particularly love Abraham Lincoln as a president (not going to elaborate..ha) but nevertheless this is a very historic site. March on Washington, anyone??? Not to mention it's gorgeous at night and you have a great view of the national mall.
The next day we went to brunch at Founding Farmers. YUM. Dat bacon doe....I wish I could express how delicious the bacon was. Recommend but you have to make a reservation.
We went to the White House. I told CJ that when I'm president he will be known as the First Gentleman. Don't think he liked that title much. The cool thing though is that across the street there is like this little peace camp set up and it has been there since 1981 as a protest against nuclear arms. Led by a woman named Conchita who has been carrying on the longest continuous act of political protest in the United States. Go, girl.
This is probably my favorite piece of art we saw. It's called "Electronic Superhighway" by Korean-born artist Naim June Paik. I loved all of his work but this one was soooo cool as the TVs in each state represented that state. So for example in this picture you may be able to see the potatoes on the screens in Idaho or the Golden Gate Bridge in California. Pictures really don't do it justice because the screens are constantly changing and I just love the depiction of American culture. After this we went to the Smithsonian Museum of American History which was soooo crowded but we did see the ruby red slippers and Kermit.
Then we went to Geogrtown. So adorable but we were sooooooo exhausted as it was the last day of our trip and DC involves a lot of walking. Sometimes the thing you want to see is like a mile away from the nearest metro stop which...I don't think I have ever been a mile away from a metro stop in NYC haha. We got a cupcake at Baked and Wired which was sooooooo good. I didn't want to go to Georgetown Cupcake because we have one in SoHo and I think their cupcakes are dry. Sorry not sorry.
P.S. I am really proud of myself for planning this trip because CJ is the master trip planner (he planned our trips to Paris and Lisbon and he is really good at picking out what to see and do) but I did it this time since I have way more free time than him right now. And we had fun! And ate good food and saw a good balance of touristy and not so touristy stuff. YAY ME.