Washington DC 2007 Archives

November 1, 2007

Here's the Plan

In NJ, we have this thing called Teacher's Convention. It's a basically a boondoggle for teachers where they get together in Atlantic City each year. The thing about this convention though, is that it isn't during the summer when teachers and therefore pupils are off from school. It's in November. And it's not on the weekend; it's on a Thursday, Friday, and I think part of Saturday. So once you get past the whole inaneness of the scheduling of this "convention," you realize it's a pretty good time to take your kids on a trip somewhere - off season, and the only other people you may run into are fellow "Jerseyians" or is that "Jerseyites?"

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November 2, 2007

Change of Plans

Well, that didn't take long - set the plan yesterday morning and by yesterday afternoon, it changes. Such is life.

So here's what happened. Yesterday Representative Rush Holt's office called me. That's who I contacted about arranging a White House tour. They wanted to get my travel information to see if they could set up something for us. I explained to the nice aide, that my husband was able to arrange a tour of the West Wing on Saturday (again, long story, short) to which he replied, "Well you can't be that."

But then he asked, "So do you have any interest in touring the Capitol while you're here?" Turns out they're setting up some tours on Friday and he could get us on the 3:00 tour (maximum 15 people). I said, "Sure!"

So now it will be zoo in the morning, then head over to the Capitol in the afternoon for the tour. Still not sure when we'll squeeze in the National Archives but we'll do it. Three days just isn't long enough!

November 9, 2007

Homewood Suites

Chris and Sammi lounging on the couch/bed

I'm sitting in our room at the Homewood Suites on Massachusetts Avenue. I opted for this hotel because of the good rate ($169), the kitchen and the fact that it's two rooms. I like two rooms when traveling with the girls because it gives us the opportunity to spread out. I like the idea of the kitchen because it gives us the option of meals (at least breakfast in the room).

As it turns out though, breakfast in the room is not necessary as the hotel offers a full breakfast in the lobby seven mornings a week. On weekdays from 7am until 9am and on weekends until 10am. The breakfast buffet includes, eggs, bacon/sausage, biscuits, toast, bagels, donuts, muffins, hot and cold cereal, yogurt and fruit along with coffee, tea, juice and water. Seating didn't seem to be a problem as the tables turned pretty quickly, filled with families taking advantage of the offerings.

Four nights a week (Monday - Thursday), the hotel also offers a "light meal" for dinner from 5pm until 7pm. It's one offering and according to the schedule in our room, they have things like deli subs, grilled chicken, tacos, hot dogs, and more. They do not appear to repeat during the entire month. We opted to skip these offerings on our Thursday night stay, and instead, walked over to the Whole Foods Market on P street (about a 5 minute walk), and picked up sushi (for Becky), pasta (for Sammi), and soup and salad for Chris and I. Along with some beer, snack foods, fruit, and various cookies for dessert, we had a little picnic in our room once Chris arrived (after 8:30). Oh I should also mention that during the light meal, the hotel also offers small cans of soda (sprite, coke, diet coke and ginger ale) in addition to wine and beer.

Oh and let me mention, our "kitchen" consists of a wall with a dishwasher, sink, microwave, full size refrigerator and two-burner stove. There are a basic amount (four) of plates, glasses, bowls, utensils etc. No wine bottle opener, no beer bottle opener that we found and some glass bowls and a couple of metal pots for reheating. We were able to get a wine bottle opener from the front desk.

In the same room as the kitchen is a TV, two-person couch, and chair with ottoman, in addition to a little "bar" at which sits my laptop (because it's where the free hard-wire Internet access is), that has two seats. Our bedroom (separate room), consists of two full-sized beds, sink, shower/tub and toilet room. There are five drawers, and one closet in the suite.

Chris and I ended up sleeping on the couch, which folds out into a bed, so that each girl could have their own bed. We found it satisfactory - not as comfortable as the beds but not horrible. The girls found the beds to be extremely comfortable (also note, the bedroom has its own TV).

It took us about 15-20 minutes (maybe more because we stopped at Au Bon Pain along the way) to reach the Washington Monument on foot - probably about 25 minutes to reach the National Archives, and the Smithsonian Air and Space would probably be another 10 minutes beyond the archives.

Unless something drastic happens in the next twenty four hours, I would definitely recommend this hotel.

November 10, 2007

Gordon Biersch

When we were in San Francisco some ten years ago, we stopped for lunch, or was it dinner, one day at Gordon Biersch and were introduced to their addicting garlic fries (which we later chowed down upon at a Giants' game). Not realizing they're a chain now, Chris grew quite excited when we walked past one of their restaurants on 9th street yesterday, on our way to the National Archives. No matter what else happened the rest of the morning, he made up his mind that we were having lunch there that afternoon.

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Sette Osteria

Last night we went for dinner at Sette Osteria, recommeded by Chiocciola on the Slow Travel Talk Forums. I was looking for an inexpensive place, near our hotel, where both the kids and adults could find something good to eat and this fit the bill just fine.

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The West Wing

More later, but I just wanted to throw these pictures up that I took with my cell phone from our West Wing Tour today.

Sammi and Becky Rose Garden
Sammi and Becky in the Rose Garden

We have a bunch of other shots on the cameras but forgot to bring a cord with us to upload to the PCs.

Sammi Press Room
Sammi in the Press Room

Hope they come out okay. The West Wing is much more compact than I would have guessed and not nearly as busy as depicted in the movies and on TV (of course the President wasn't there today, so that might have something to do with it).

Oh, and the eagle's head always points to the olive branches now - since we're always striving for peace.

More later.

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to What I Really Think in the Washington DC 2007 category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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