Our Greyhound bus headed towards Washington through the early afternoon. Onboard, I ended up sitting with a stranger, and had a conversation that I learned later apparently was quite audible throughout the bus. I guess our voices carried.

An otherwise uneventful ride later, we finally arrived at the Washington Greyhound bus depot. From the depot, we headed with our luggage toward a nearby underground station, in order to make our way to our hotel.

Dsc03485
Img 3697
Img 3698
Img 3703

Mid afternoon, we arrived at our hotel; it was the rather infamous Allen Lee Hotel in Foggy Bottom (RIP in Peace).

The Allen Lee Hotel
2224 F St NW Washington, DC 20037 United States
9 Aug
Check in
11 Aug
Check out

Even from the outside it didn’t make a spectacular impression. Peelings walls, it looked rather decrepit.

We entered, checked in, and had to wait around in the lobby for the staff to sort out some weird booking error.

Dsc03492
Dsc03493 Dsc03496

Eventually, we were able to move from the lobby to our rooms.

Honestly, the lobby was much nicer.

Img 3706
Img 3710

On the bright side, we weren’t in Washington for long. Still though, it was a far cry from the Holiday Inn we’d just left in Pittsburgh.

Not particularly keen to stay in the hotel for long, we emerged in to the early evening to explore Washington.

Img 3711

Streets in Washginton were wide, and buildings oddly flat. We came to learn that there were height restrictions imposed on buildings, which made for a CBD full of squat buildings.

As night fell, we found a downtown Indian place.

Rasoi Indian Kitchen
1810 K St NW Washington, DC 20006 United States
$$
Price
Indian
Cuisine
★ ★ ★ ★

We ordered our respective meals. I ordered a spicy vindaloo that allowed me to see through time.

Img 3712
Img 3721 Img 3722

After dinner and drinks, we emerged into a cool Washington summer night.

In a spicy curry and booze fueled deliria, I headed with the rest of our crew to take a look at the Washington monuments at night.

Img 3723
Img 3729

We soon arrived at the Lincoln Memorial.

Recognisable, even from a distance.
Img 3735
Img 3738
Img 3742

The Lincoln Memorial was large and very impressive in person.

It felt surreal. Something so distinct and recognisable, that has always been part a cultural icon and which had always felt distant.

Suddenly being there, physically in person, and sharing that physical space — with friends I’d known for years, and people I’d never met before.

It was surreal.

Once we’d taken in the Memorial we sat outside on the steps, in the cool summer air.

Img 3750

A little while later, we returned back to the hotel, and turned in for the night.


We were awoken early the next morning by what sounded like a woman being forcefully evicted from her room. There was a horrible commotion, and it sounded like police may have been on the scene.

We lay there, hearing the disruption almost as clearly as if we were in the room, our imaginations filling in the blanks.

At a more reasonable morning hour, we met in the lobby and helped ourselves to the breakfast buffet, which was mainly toast and spreads, and planning how to see as much of Washington as we could in the day.

Img 3755
Img 3760 Img 3762

We set off to take a look around the Washington monuments.

Img 3763
Img 3764 Dsc03499
Img 3765 Img 3768

It didn’t take long for the photo-ops to materialise.

Img 3773
Dsc03504
Dsc03514
Img 2650

We came across a map detailing the locations of the monuments, memorials, and museums.

Img 3778
All those iconic monuments are like across the road from each other.
Img 3781
Img 3784

We continued counter clockwise on the map, and arrived at the Korean War Veterans Memorial.

Img 3791
Img 2667
Img 2674
Img 3798
Img 3804

We made our way towards the Lincoln Memorial.

Img 3805

It was far busier during the day and by daylight, we could see far more of the surrounding area.

Img 2688

We entered the large, cavernous monument.

Img 2691
Img 2698
Img 2699

We returned down the steps from the memorial to the reflecting pool.

Dsc03592
Banner
Img 2710
Img 2724

After photographing some freedom ducklings in the reflecting pool, we made our way towards the Washington Monument, stopping by the World War II memorial.

Dsc03608
Img 2742
Dsc03621 Img 2773 Img 3831
Img 2754 Img 2739 Img 2774
Img 3832

From the World War II memorial, we then headed towards the Washington Monument.

Img 2775
Dsc03644
Dsc03653

Unfortunately, the monument was closed for repairs after an earthquake in 2012.

We continued on, the White House looming into view in the distance.

Img 2780
Img 2786
Dsc03663
Img 2790

After taking our photo outside of the Whitehouse, we continued on towards the Smithsonian museums.

Img 2799 Dsc03699 Img 3861
Img 2808 Img 2810 Img 2814 Img 3862
Dsc03708

We arrived at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

National Air and Space Museum
600 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20560, USA
Museum
Location
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

The large, spacious foyer was filled with models of rockets, planes, and other aircrafts.

Dsc03728
Img 2826

We explored the ground floor, replete with a replica of the Lunar Lander.

Img 3876 Img 2836 Img 2880
Img 3888 Img 2838

We stopped for lunch at the food court. I grabbed a burger from McDonalds (it was unsurprisingly, very familiar).

After lunch, we made our way up the second floor, to continue exploring the various displays.

Img 2887
Img 3899 Img 3912
Img 3909
Img 2892
Img 2895
Img 2905

After exploring the second floor, and taking a look through the gift shop, we departed.

Outside the museum, Butcher and I took the opportunity to try the Astronaut ice cream we’d picked up from the gift shop.

Img 3946
Img 3948

“Like chalky ice cream”

We walked through the warm, early afternoon.

Img 2923
Img 2930

Eventually we arrived at our second museum for the day; the National Museum of Natural History.

Img 2932
National Museum of Natural History
10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20560, United States
Museum
Location
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Img 3971

This museum was equally impressive, with lifelike models of creatures from many different periods of time on Earth.

We set about exploring the museum.

Img 2934 Img 2946 Img 3001 Img 4025
Img 3951 Img 2996 Img 3000 Img 4032

The museum and its displays were very impressive.

Unfortunately I was beginning to fade a little, and was unable to fully enjoy the latter half of our time there. All the running around of that day was starting to catch up to me.

Img 3009

Later that afternoon, we departed the museum, heading for our hotel.

Img 3048
Img 3056
Img 3063

We arrived to find three police cars outside our hotel.

We never learned why they were there. Just another day at the Allen Lee.

Img 4041

We caught out breath, and packed our bags for departure to New York the following day.


Later that evening, we set off in search of food.

Img 4044

We soon found an interesting Italian chain called Vapiano.

Vapiano
1800 M St NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA
$$
Price
Italian
Cuisine
★ ★ ★ ★

It had an interesting ordering system where you were given a card you’d swipe to order food, and then when you left, you paid the balance.

Some pretty good carbs
Img 4047

I’m sure this was designed to try to take advantage of human psychology and encourage you to order more, and it nearly worked on me as I considered ordering some Tiramisu for dessert.

After a pleasant dinner, we decided to turn in early, given our departure the next day. Our time in Washington was brief, and jam-packed.


The next morning, we checked out of the Allen Lee and made our way to the nearest underground station, luggage in tow.

Img 4051
Waiting on the platform
Dsc04180

A short ride later, we transferred to the greyhound terminal for the last leg of our America trip.

Soon enough, we were on our way to New York. It was the final stop of our trip, and one I was very much excited for.

Img 4055