Wednesday, July 8, 2009

mr. cliffe goes to washington

Ian and I went on our first married weekend getaway in honor of the Fourth of July. Since neither of us has any vacation days to spare, we decided to take advantage of the holiday weekend and buy bus tickets to visit the capital.

Our bus was decked out with outlets, Wi-Fi, movie screens, leather seats, and even cup holders. The four-hour ride was beautiful. It was so exciting to see rivers, cornfields, and forests. We fully intend to take another Bolt Bus (they do additional routes to Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, all of which would be fun to escape to, as well). Here's the Susquehanna River.

Once we arrived in DC, we made our way to our hotel. Donovan House is one of the most posh and comfortable hotels I've ever stayed in (see the foyer below). It's got very mod decor and an extremely courteous staff. If you ever get the chance to stay here, do it. Special thanks to Thompson Hotels for the fantastic rate (I suppose it's the least they can do for such a dedicated employee!).

As soon as we checked in, it was nearly constant sightseeing for three days. We visited numerous museums (mostly of the Smithsonian variety)... These are both from the Museum of American History: C-3PO and Julia Child's kitchen.

Saw lots of great architecture... (the Department of the Treasury)

And monuments... (The Washington, obviously)

And memorials... (my favorite: the Korean War Memorial)

And plant life... (a "real" magnolia, per our friend Kristen)

And Segways... (they did tours!)

And presidents... (We actually saw Barack drive by in a limo. I took a video of it, but I'm still working on freeze-framing.)

And fireworks... (The first shot is what the mall looked like pre-show. It was this crowded all the way to the Washington Monument.)

...And we ate. Well. Here we are at Brasserie Beck, which serves up delicious French-Belgian bistro fare. They know their beers and wine too. The staff were wonderfully nice, and we even got to stop in the kitchen and say hello.

We also got to have dinner with our the Vons, who recently moved to Washington so Jason could pursue his PhD in theology. We met them at Union. This is the view Kristen and I always have when the four of us are in transit.

And, best of all, we really enjoyed ourselves.

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