Having two weeks off of work each year for Christmas and New Years is truly a blessing. It makes planning travel around the holidays that much easier. This year, we had a wedding to attend in Ocean City, Maryland the weekend before Christmas. Since we both already had the time of off work, we decided to make the most of our flight and extend our trip. Following the wedding, we drove into Washington DC on Sunday morning. We stayed in DC for two nights then took the Amtrak up to Philadelphia. After spending one night in Philadelphia, we continued up to NYC. (Read more about that, soon.) I must say, I neeeeeded this trip. Work had really been taking over and I loved having an exciting adventure to look forward to with my PIC. After arriving in DC, we met some friends for lunch at Farmers Fishers Bakers at the Georgetown Waterfront where I scarfed down a delicious brussels sprouts pizza and a few mimosas.From there, we went to the National Portrait Gallery. This museum has a large collection that presents history from the perspective of individuals rather than events. Like all Smithsonian collections, the National Portrait Gallery is free. I found the Presidential portraits particularly interesting, because there are so many I would sadly never be able to recognize by their faces alone.Following the Portrait Gallery, we went back to the Georgetown area. This area is so quaint and is filled with tons of shops and restaurants. We stopped in Martin’s Tavern, which is a charming place that is said to be where JFK proposed to Jackie O. From there, we walked around Georgetown a little more and found ourselves in Clyde’s of Georgetown. A bar/restaurant that was just as crowded as Martin’s. We sat at the bar and enjoyed some french onion soup and a few other snacks and dessert.The next morning we got up early and grabbed some coffee and some breakfast sandwiches before starting our day. We started with a walk by the White House then through the National Mall to see the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. We also saw the Jefferson Memorial and the National World War II Memorial. From there, we walked to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. This 161,145 square-foot museum holds the largest collection of historic air and space craft in the world. A highlight of the museum was doing a simulation ride where Charles was the pilot and I was a shooter. You do flips and turns while using teamwork to shoot targets. I got six, making me a Maverick– the highest level. Boom! After we conquered our mission, we walked a few blocks to Raskia, a highly buzzed about Indian restaurant. It was the best Indian food I’ve ever had and I would absolutely recommend it! We had crispy spinach, mango shrimp, chicken tiki masala with basmati rice, and cauliflower. I’ll be dreaming of the chicken tiki masala..
From lunch we walked around a little more and made our way over to the W hotel to the POV (Point of View) Lounge on the top floor. This bar gives a great side view of the surrounding monuments, including the White House. You can even spot the snipers on the roof. After a few drinks at POV we started walking towards dinner and stopped in a little bar for a drink before continuing to Barcelona for dinner. Barcelona is a Wine Bar and Restaurant that serves tapas. We went on a Monday night, when bottles of wine are half priced. We shared several tapas that were all delicious. We started with a meat and cheese plate, then had patatas bravas, sweet potatoes, pork belly, and empanadas. From there, we stopped in a little spot our server recommended and then made our way home.
The next morning, we woke up and caught the Amtrak train to Philadelphia. Upon arriving and getting settled into where we were staying, we walked to the Reading Terminal Market. This is a giant building with a ton of different vendor/shops providing endless food choices. We chose cheesesteaks (duh) at top rated Carmen’s. Eating a cheesesteak in Philly is a must, but don’t think that is all they are known for. There are a lot of great restaurants in the Terminal Market and all over the city. After we stuffed our faces with cheesesteaks, we walked to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Independence Hall is a World Heritage Site and is the location where both the US Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were debated and adopted. We walked around and explored a little more after that, then after trying to get tickets to see a show at Forrest Theater (which were sadly not available except in singles) we had a cocktail next door. We followed up happy hour with dinner at Sampan, a delicious asian-spanish fusion type restaurant with a lot of ‘shareable’ plates. We had edamame dumplings, por bao buns, beef short ribs with lo mein, duck fried rice, and a rice crispy ice cream roll with chocolate sauce for dipping as our dessert. Everything we had was delicious! The restaurant was packed on a Tuesday night and I would absolutely recommend checking it out if you find yourself in Philly.
I mean seriously, how cute is this dessert? It was just as delicious as it is creative and I’ll definitely be copying the presentation.
We only stayed in Philly for a night, then left the next morning to take the Amtrak to New York City. Read more on that, soon! I must say I preferred DC to Philly, but am so glad for the opportunity to have explored both. I crossed Maryland, Delaware, and Philadelphia off as new states visited this trip. Three closer to visiting all fifty!