Before we begin today, we have one tidbit of information to include from yesterday that somehow Jeff forgot to mention. So as dusk was setting in and energy was running slim, we realized we were quickly running out of gas and needed some American cash to pay for an upcoming toll road — they don’t take kindly to our funny-money down here. As we pulled off the highway in search of a gas station, we discovered this Gentleman’s Club, advertising “BYOB!!!” Now we’re not sure if this is the standard “bring your own beer” or if perhaps in strip club lingo this means “bring your own babe” which, frankly, kind of defeats the purpose…we think…we’ve never set foot in that type of establishment. Anyway, we found it totally perplexing and in some ways wish we would have ventured inside to figure out what it meant. In other ways (most ways, honestly) we’re glad we resisted.
This morning began a bit late, opting for a good sleep after a long drive. After shaking out the cobwebs of an extremely deep sleep we headed down the road to a local pub to wrestle up some good ol’ American greasy breakfast. For Jeff, this was the moment when memories of past trips to America began really flooding back as he noticed just how many American flags are out and about in these parts.
Granted, it’s the 3rd of July and people are feeling especially patriotic, but it was pretty red, white and blue out there. Also eagles. Tons of eagles. The breakfast was great, although the portions were a bit…extreme…as in enough to feed an army. In fact, Clara could have taken a bath inside her coffee cup. That is not an exaggeration.
Heading off from Ali’s uncle and aunt’s mansion-where-they-filmed-The Village was extremely tough, because it was beautiful and cozy, but soon we were on the road on the final stretch to Washington DC. Driving past Baltimore was cool, given that Jeff has been there before for a conference and could see the hotel he stayed at from the high way (yes, it was that tall). The drive was uneventful, aside from an impromptu group sing-a-long of the theme from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, which will likely go down as a favourite moment from the trip.
Arriving in Washington was breathtaking. Driving past the Washington Monument was definitely a “we’re really here” moment–that is not a small obelisk, we’ll say that much. The roads are pretty confusing, especially down in the core where they’ve decided to move away from the grid pattern of most major cities and go with something closer to the Boston “roads just going wherever the hell they choose” philosophy, which wreaked havoc on our GPS. We made it to the hotel in one piece though and were anxious to have at the city.
Given the driving and lack of energy, we opted for a quiet night including a nice team dinner in Georgetown. After deciding on the restaurant called 1789, we set out on foot but not before asking directions. Asking the woman at the front, she was shocked to hear we were considering walking, exclaiming “But that’s like a 50 minute walk! The bridge alone is like 30 minutes!” We’re not sure if she was perhaps being paid by the Metro to really push the service or perhaps was just trying to save Clara and Ali from heat exhaustion, but we decided to go against her advice and hoof it. In the end, we’re kinda glad we did because it wasn’t a long walk at all (maybe 20 minutes, tops) and we got to see a slice of the city in the process.
The end result? Georgetown is BEAUTIFUL and we can’t wait to move hotels. Right now we’re in a Marriott in Arlington but tomorrow we move to our main hotel, the Georgetown Suites. Clara and Jeff even took a second to visit Georgetown University, right around the corner from the restaurant, and both had moments of “Man…why did we go to Western?”
But the real point of reading this blog is to hear about 1789. Wow. What a meal. This place is absolutely top notch fine dining with a wonderfully friendly staff (including Paul who has his own YouTube channel under the username “MrPMorton”). As we discovered from talking to our waiter, apparently 1789 is actually a bit of an up-and-comer right now on the DC restaurant scene ever since Barack Obama ate there a few weeks ago. Yep, THE Barack Obama. Clara has convinced herself that she used the same fork as Obama. Ali has convinced herself she used the same toilet paper as him. Jeff is confused why Barack was using the women’s bathroom. Anyway, apparently one of the Supreme Court Judges was a floor above us, likely also being fed some of the best food he’s ever eaten in his life. Pretty cool, all in all. If you are ever in DC, do not miss out on this place–the food and wine is matched only by it’s ambiance, which is very chill and exclusive-feeling. Beyond 5 out of 5 stars for this little gem. But don’t take our word for it, listen to Barack Obama. He is your overlord. Clara would like to disagree with most of the above; the food was too salty. Fuck salt. Also they wouldn’t serve her wine because she looked too prepubescent or something.
With full bellies and bright spirits, we decided to head back to the hotel for some quick schedule making and an early bedtime. Overall, we’re feeling pretty good about this trip–there are tons of accessible signs and entrances to stores and restaurants that we’ve seen and wheelchair taxis appear to be pretty common. With the little bit that we’ve seen, so far, this may be one of the more accessible tourist places we’ve ever seen.
God bless America.
Well that’s about it for today. It was a long day, despite doing little more than eating. Perhaps we’re better at being American than we thought. Hiyoooooo. Tomorrow the real deal gets going though…Washington DC on the 4th of July? Hells yeah. We fully intend on bringing a boombox with us tomorrow and playing the Arrogant Worms song “War of 1812” on repeat…just to remind those Yankee Doodle Dandies who’s the boss.
From Americaland with love,
– Jeff and Clara