I had a few more photos from Arlington National Cemetery, but somehow when I took them off the camera I lost them 😦 Kinda sucks, but at least I didn’t lose the main ones, so you get the gist I’m sure.
When we left the cemetery we crossed the bridge into Washington, DC. Traffic in the city and actually for miles and miles outside the city is absolutely freaking atrocious. People had told us it was bad before we went, but I really wasn’t expecting it to be as bad as it was at all. Mind you, a water main had burst on Pennsylvania Avenue earlier that morning flooding a lot of the downtown streets, so maybe it was a bit worse than normal the day we were there, I’ve no idea. It was about 2:30pm when we got there. I was cold and tired from all the walking at Arlington and starting to get hungry. It is noticeably more chilly there than here even though it’s only about an hour and half north of us. I asked Richard for Restaurants nearby but he wasn’t bringing up anything only Quiznos and Starbucks.
Driving down Constitution Avenue with all the different buildings that make up only part of the Smithsonian surrounding us was overwhelming as far as where to even begin if we got out and went into any of the galleries etc. Jay also looked tired and hungry and we couldn’t find any parking anywhere, so I said, “You know hun, it’s okay if we just drive around a bit and I snap some pics and then we can get the hell out of here and go back to Virginia.” He looked very relieved.
In hindsight (and if we ever go again) we should have taken the subway from the cemetery. DC seems to me to be a lot like New York City in that it’s best explored on foot, it’s not a great place for driving or parking.
Anyway, we did drive around and I did take some pics.
I also saw the Supreme Court Building, the Pentagon, and a whole lot of other buildings and landmarks (though not the White House) which I didn’t get any pics of. It was kind of freaky to be there amongst all these buildings that I see on tv every day. Kind of surreal actually.
And then, we got the hell out of there!
We decided to go back to Woodbridge and spend the night there. Before finding a hotel we really needed to eat. We’d noticed an Olive Garden close to the Best Western we’d stayed in the night before so we made a beeline for there. The restaurant was right across the street from the military place where all the cops and news crews had been in the morning. We were surprised to see that they were all still there, still investigating and reporting, and again we wondered what had happened. It must have been something pretty big. I made a note of which news stations were there so we could try and catch the story on the news later.
Lunch at the Olive Garden was pretty good. I got the chicken alfredo, Jay got some tortellini and beef, with breadsticks and salad we were pretty stuffed. I hadn’t eaten at an Olive Garden since I lived in Toronto. It was better than I remembered.
Jay wanted a hotel that would have smoking rooms, so we went to a nearby Holiday Inn Express. No pics of this room, although I really should have captured the puke coloured yellow wallpaper, but it was just an average room, nothing special, not extremely nice or anything. Not as nice as the room at the Best Western except the bathroom was larger and we were only on the second floor so you didn’t have to wait forever for the hot water to start.
We just crashed out in front of the tv for a couple of hours before Jay started getting the paperwork calls and taking care of business. I watched reruns of The Millionaire Matchmaker (which is becoming one of my favourite shows!) but I remembered to check the news at 6pm and discovered there had been a shooting, in fact probably a shooting linked to a series of shootings in the area kind of in the vein of the sniper shootings around here a few years back. Full story here. I was like, well this is great! We could’ve gone someplace else tonight a little further down the road but we’ve decided to stay in the place where there’s a sniper on the loose! lol I figured we were pretty safe though, that the guy wouldn’t strike two days in a row.
Around 9pm Jay finally finished his paperwork and we took a drive out to the nearest ABC store to get him a little bottle of 7. There was a Safeway in the same plaza so we decided we’d go there the next day and pick up some groceries before we headed home because they would probably have some good deals, and there are no Safeways around where we live. On the way back from our little shopping excursion I noticed a classic McDonald’s restaurant. I’d never seen one before and Jay hasn’t seen one in years. This is an original McDonald’s from way back when. Just a drive-thru, no restaurant inside. I had to snap a pic!
When we got back to the hotel Jay was feeling hungry again so we walked across the street to the On the Border restaurant. Again, we got an inexperienced new waitress, only this time she didn’t screw up my frozen margarita, she screwed up Jay’s cocktail. He asked for a Seven & Seven or Sprite if that’s all they had. She brought him back a soda. The look on his face was priceless! I laughed my guts out. The poor girl didn’t know what Seven was and Jay was saying cocktail asking if they had Crown or anything whiskey, and she was all like well we only have what’s on the menu (which was all specialty drinks like Strawberry Daiquaris) and finally the bartender came over and straightened it out, got him a Crown and Seven. We got a dip sampler to go with our tortilla chips and the cheese dip was really good. I also liked the salsa, but my chicken and rice was only okay. So far we really haven’t had any good Mexican or Tex-Mex food in Virginia, though we keep trying. With our bellies full and another big bag of left-overs we went back to our room and turned in for the night. Jay slept really well again though the bed wasn’t nearly as comfortable as the one at the Best Western.
We checked out around 11:30 Wednesday morning, again missing the breakfast buffet that was included with our room. We went to the Safeway we’d seen the night before and picked up a few things. Got a good deal on steaks and chicken breasts. Then we stopped at Dick’s Sporting Goods to get Jay some warm work gloves and a stocking cap, because he needs them here already. The Classic McDonald’s happened to be in the same parking lot, so I took a day pic.
Then we hit the 7-11 for a coffee for the road and we were off on our way home! All in all this little no agenda mini-break was just what we needed in order to get some rest and have some alone quality time while still seeing some sites.