Day 1 in DC began with an early wakeup call– 5am to be exact. Early flights are my nemesis, but I suppose red eye flights (of which I have never had the pleasure of experiencing), would be worse.
Much needed wake-up coffee (speaking of which, I didn’t know there is now a Starbucks just a stone’s throw after security)
With no direct flights to Washington, we had a brief layover in Toronto, then were on our way to DC. The terminus at Washington Dulles Airport was a bit strange, as the boarding gates were not located in the same facility as the luggage belts and connection to ground transportation. We had to take a shuttle vehicle that carried us between buildings – it seemed like a terribly inefficient system, and though a metro line is in the works, it made us wonder why the terminal was designed that way to begin with.
We eventually made out way to the taxi stand, and driving into the city, what shocked us most was how green it was. Lining the beltways were trees in full bloom, while wildflowers and long grasses were monopolizing roadside spaces. I suppose it shouldn’t have been a surprise, but as it was snowing back in Edmonton that day, the full force of spring was difficult to imagine until we were able to immerse ourselves in it.
Our taxi ride into Foggy Bottom cost us a pretty penny ($60!), but had the benefit of a convenient and stress-free commute to our hotel. We had chosen the George Washington University Inn partly on price, and though it wasn’t the most economical accommodation we found, its proximity to a Metro stop was too attractive to overlook.
George Washington University Inn
We found it to be situated on a quaint street, just a few minutes away from the infamous Watergate complex (which, in addition to being a tourist attraction, also housed a Safeway), as well as the John F. Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts. The colourful walkups that lined the street helped establish a feeling of home in the area.
Our neighbours for the week
Upon checking in, we found that we had been upgraded to a suite. This entitled us to a room with more space than we knew how to deal with – a large sitting room with a television and desk, kitchenette with stovetop, sink and fridge, and a separate bedroom and bathroom. Our only complaints about the room was the poorly designed bathroom that was significantly lacking in counter space, and hard-lined internet.
After a quick nap, we took advantage of our still-nimble feet (this would change in a hurry) and walked to adjacent Georgetown for dinner. Not connected by Metro, there was shuttle bus service available from two different stops, but at about 15 minutes away, we couldn’t justify waiting for a bus.
Georgetown was a happening place, even on a Monday evening – likely a mix of tourists, locals, and college students gearing up for graduation that week. We didn’t do much deliberate shopping, as we were fairly hungry at this point, but I did take note of shops such as Paper Source that I wanted to return to on a different evening.
Mack in Georgetown
Over the course of our wanderings, we stopped at IceBerry. I had read on a Chowhound thread that the frozen yogurt craze that hit LA and New York a few years back had finally reached DC. I couldn’t resist a cool treat that would hopefully tide us to something more substantial, as I wasn’t sure exactly how far our dining destination was located. Open until 11pm, it seemed to be a nice alternative to a coffee shop or an ice cream parlour, and based on the number of people inside, many agreed.
We ordered just one treat to share – a small strawberry (plain and chocolate were the other options) topped with blackberries. It totalled over $4, and at 95 cents a topping, each blackberry cost us over 20 cents.
Strawberry Frozen Yogurt from IceBerry
Though it was good to try, I have to say I prefer the pureed “real” fruit yogurt offered by Yogen Fruz– nothing ever replaces the textured crunch from strawberry seeds. That said, I wouldn’t mind such a yogurt parlour trend picking up in Edmonton – more late night options are a good thing.
Just as it was getting dark, we reached our desired location – Five Guys.
You can read Mack’s recap of day 1 here.