Tuesday, September 10, 2013

DC Vacay: Marine Museum & Mount Vernon

We're back from my family vacation! This was the first family vacation we've taken since I've been an adult, believe it or not. My grandparents really hadn't ever spent any time in DC, and my mom was itchy to go, so we decided to play hosts and be tourists where Sean grew up. I thought I'd share some recaps of our time there, along with the little Pro Tips I've picked up along the way.

We stayed at the Hyatt Arlington, which was not only pretty and affordable, but across the street from the metro and within walking distance of some decent food options. 

We decided to spend one day visiting a couple Virginia attractions: the U.S. Marine Museum in Quantico and Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington.

The Marine Museum is a pretty astounding museum, where my father-in-law just happens to be a docent. Even if you don't think marine history would be your thing, it is a really well-interpreted, well done museum. I was very impressed with how engaging the exhibits were, including an exhibit on the flag from Iwo Jima, which inspired the shape of the building. It's also FREE!

 We regrettably weren't able to finish all the exhibits...it's just got so much more to see than we even realized! We'll definitely be going back.

We then headed to Mount Vernon. First Pro Tip: If you can, scheduled your DC trip for the week after Labor Day. Everywhere we went, they were having slow days because school had just started. Also, the weather was as close to perfect as you can get.

We took a family portrait on Washington's porch! Not too shabby.

Afterward, we went and met up with Sean's family in Alexandria and had a scrumptious dinner at Evening Star Cafe. Believe it or not, I forgot to take pictures, but I had Crispy Peppadews (peppers stuffed with pimento cheese and fried), chilled tomato soup and mac and cheese, paired with Schafly's pumpkin ale. It was all scrumptious, especially the tomato soup! 

If you're in the area, be sure to check out their outdoor front porch while it lasts...they've taken over an empty spot on Mount Vernon Avenue, covered it with a canopy of cafe lights and basically created a little corner that resembles something out of Star's Hollow on "Gilmore Girls."

Next up: Ford's Theater & the Spy Museum!

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