We got up Sunday morning and headed back down to the National Mall, to cover the half we’d missed on Saturday. We got off at the Smithsonian stop, which put us about a mile from the Lincoln Memorial. My blisters still sucked, but wearing sneakers helped. Plus it was cooler outside, so we were comfortable in warmer clothes.
I don’t think I’ve seen the WWII Memorial before, though it looked really familiar.
The water was empty because they were doing work between it and the reflecting pool.
Blue skies would’ve been nicer, but at least it wasn’t raining!
Bally continued loving America:
I always forget how gigantic the Lincoln statue is. It’s seriously impressive.
His view isn’t bad, either.
From there we walked over to the Korean War Memorial, where a Korean news show was filming a documentary about it. The announcer was awesome.
I like this memorial because it’s quiet and out of the way.
Plus it’s kind of haunting.
We passed the Vietnam Memorial, too, but didn’t stop long because we’ve both seen it before. As with the previous day, we had plans that kept us moving!
We stopped at the Einstein statue to recreate a photo Matt’s parents had taken when he was a teenager. Bally joined him this time.
I realize this makes it sound like we were only out walking around for 15 minutes, but it was really a few hours. There’s a lot of ground to cover in DC, and the west end of the Mall is poorly represented by the Metro.
The nearest station was Foggy Bottom about a mile away, so we headed that direction, into the GWU campus. We boarded a train and rode to Metro Center, then transferred to the green line with the rest of the entire Nationals fan base.
(Metro tip: if you know a train will be crowded, go to one of the end cars. They’re always slightly less packed.)
Fifteen minutes later, we all disembarked a few blocks from the stadium, down by the dockyards. It’s a pretty interesting neighborhood, and reminded me somewhat of the waterfront in Baltimore.
The stadium was really nice. It’s fairly new, and pretty similar to Target Field. I was thrilled to see that the racing presidents were hanging out in the plaza for pictures! William Howard Taft, America’s fattest mascot, was new this year, and we were pretty excited about it.
We were fairly early, so we had time to walk around and see the place. The upper level concourse was totally open, and offered great views underneath the giant screen. The best restaurants seemed to be there, too.
Matt was set on Shake Shack. We debated about it for a minute because of the huge line (as compared to anywhere else in the building), but decided it would be worth it. AND IT WAS. They even had a veggie option, which was a huge portabella mushroom stuffed with cheese. It was amazing.
After our quick lunch, we walked down a mile of ramps to the first level of the stadium. Our seats were in the last row of a section down the 3rd base line, and they were pretty great. Once it started raining halfway through the game, we were really glad to have them, because they were under the overhang.
It was Nationals-Reds, and somehow we ended up flanked by Reds-fan couples on either side. I wasn’t really cheering for anyone in particular (except for ex-Twin Denard Span), so that was fine. The game was a decisive Reds victory, and people started leaving fairly early. The rain encouraged that, too.
We headed out shortly before the end of the game, figuring the Metro wouldn’t be too crowded by then. We had to stop into the store so Matt could by a long-sleeved tshirt, because it was actually cold outside! It was a huge change from the previous day. By the time we left, though, it had at least stopped raining.
The Metro was indeed really empty, so we boarded around five, switched trains downtown, and rode up to the stop nearest Adams Morgan, a.k.a. DC’s hipster-est neighborhood. It was about a mile walk to our destination, so we were glad that the two places we’d picked for cocktails and dinner were at least right down the street from one another. Our feet hadn’t exactly recovered yet.
Our first stop was Jack Rose Dining Saloon, which had just opened at 5pm. Matt had read about their incredible whiskey selection and cocktails, and that was no joke. Three walls of the sizable restaurant were lined with bottles from all over the world, and the very expensive ones were behind bars. We grabbed seats at the bar and pondered where to even begin. With cocktails, of course!
After we finished, Matt decided it was time to sample some of the whiskeys we’d never had before. We paged through the extensive list, and decided on a few things, including a Corsair quinoa whiskey (because we’d met and loved the Corsair guys in Vegas), and a hopped whiskey from Charbay. I figured I’d hate the hops one, but it was amazing.
As usual, once we’d talked to the whiskey expert for a while, we developed some cred. It would’ve been nice to stay longer and take advantage of that, but we needed food. While Jack Rose had that, there was a BBQ place just down the block that had vegetarian options. So, basically, heaven.
Smoke and Barrel wasn’t terribly crowded at 7:30 on a Sunday night, so we got a table right away. The place used to be an old punk bar that served a lot of vegan food (much like our beloved Triple Rock), so the new owners put in a BBQ restaurant that still tried to hold true to that tradition. They did so in excellent fashion.
I ordered vegan spareribs with roasted jalapeno cheddar grits. The spareribs were fantastic, but the grits were so good I thought about making out with them (Matt would’ve been fine with it). Their beer list was really good, too, so we had a couple of those with dinner. At the end I was too full to finish my grits, which was just shy of a national tragedy. I still think about them fondly.
It was only around 9:30 at that point, but we were tired and wanted to get up early the next morning. We decided to grab beers and head back to the hotel, so we stopped at a grocery store on the mile-long walk back to the Metro. When we arrived, Matt had to go to the bathroom, so we walked around the weird shopping area there that was just shutting down for the night. We snuck into the side door of a Chipotle unnoticed, and while I was waiting for him in the hallway, an employee came barreling out of the kitchen, swearing his head off about customers. He saw me there, stopped cold, and started apologizing profusely. (There was something about how white people needed their burritos at 10pm, which was hilarious.) I told him several times it was no problem, since obviously we were there stealing the use of their bathrooms.
We hopped on the Metro and rode back to Alexandria for our traditional beers on the couch before bed. We couldn’t finish the DC Brau, so hopefully the cleaning staff took advantage of it after we checked out.