Way back in 2009 my friends and I visited Chicago to see a Red Sox game. We had so much fun that we vowed to make it an annual tradition…but life got in the way and we never were able to make a similar trip until 2013, when we bought tickets to see the Red Sox in Baltimore. But, because I’ve never been to Washington DC, we decided to make a long weekend out of it and spend a couple of nights in the nation’s capital before going to Baltimore.
(July 25 2013) Day 1. Flying out from Boston, Landing in Washington DC.
Danielle and I took a 10 a.m. flight from Boston and met Tania in DC since she was flying from Hartford. After landing in DC 11:30 a.m we took a cab to our hotel and then promptly went out to find some lunch. Once we were fed we made our way to Constitution Avenue and got our first looks at the Washington Monument (which was unfortunately covered in unattractive scaffolding), the Capitol Building, and Smithsonian Castle.
We decided to make our first museum stop at the Hishhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. It was very cool. There were lots of interesting modern art pieces, and the building itself was unusual with its circular architecture. The weather was beautiful, so it was perfect for wandering the gardens and seeing all of the amazing sculptures, too.
Next we headed to the Natural History Museum, which was way more crowded than the Hishhorn had been (mostly with children). But it was worth walking through the madness to see all of the awesome dinosaur skeletons, the Hope Diamond, a couple of mummies, and other scientific wonders.
Next we made our way to the White House, but were disappointed to see that extra security was in place and we weren’t able to get very close to the lawn. We were confused until we suddenly heard and saw helicopters heading in the our direction, only to land on the White House property! About 20 minutes later, they left again and the security was lifted, allowing us to get closer to the President’s residence. We don’t really know who was on that helicopter, but with everyone’s cameras flashing it was obvious that all of the spectators were hoping (and probably assuming) that it was Obama himself. Who knows!
After a bunch of online research we found an Italian restaurant in Dupont Circle for dinner: Dupont Italian Kitchen. We were luckily able to snag a table outside to enjoy the gorgeous nighttime weather, and had a nice, lazy, long dinner. The food was delicious, and we shared two bottles of wine and lots of gossip after the main course and desserts were long gone. Full, happy, and tired, we headed back to our hotel and promptly fell asleep.
(July 26 2013) Day 2. Washington DC.
We began the next day with some delicious crepes at Point Chaud Cafe & Crepes. Mine was filled with strawberries, blackberries, and Nutella – so good! Next on the agenda was the National Gallery. I had been reading about this museum in particular and was not let down by its impressive collection of art. I have been a huge fan of Da Vinci ever since I did a biography report in elementary school, so I was especially excited to see the Ginerva de’Benci. However, I was also pleasantly surprised to see that there was a special exhibit in the East building called Diaghliev and the Ballet Russes. It blew me away, it was so amazing! Featuring media, artifacts, and costumes, the exhibit combined history, music, art, and dance. It also featured one of my favorite pieces of all time, Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Pritemps, and even had costumes from the Joffrey Ballet version I used to watch obsessively growing up. It was amazing and emotional and I learned so much!
After spending all day on our feet, we were too tired to walk the 1+ mile to the Lincoln Memorial, so took a pedicab instead. When we arrived we were told that the monument had been vandalized the previous night with some green paint, so again we weren’t allowed to get very close to the actual statue, which was a little disappointing. But we had to let the maintenance men do their work to clean up what others had carelessly done. Even from far away the immense statue was impressive – a great tribute to a great man. We also lucked out with another beautiful day to admire the reflecting pool and its historic view of the Washington Monument.
We ended up at Haad Thai, near our hotel, for dinner – another delicious meal. We then wanted to stay up past midnight, so we went to the hotel to freshen up and then ended up at Del Frisco’s Grille for a few beers and some girl chatting. Despite our intentions, we were still too tired to stay up super late. Plus, the restaurant ended up closing at 1, so we were ‘forced’ to go home, anyway.
(July 27 2013) Day 3. Leaving Washington DC, entering Baltimore.
We began our last day in DC with brunch at Busboys & Poets in Mt Vernon Square. Another delicious meal, especially because this one included mimosas! The restaurant itself was also cool with artistic decor and a little bookshop. It’s a place I would definitely return to. However, the restaurant was a little further away from the museum mall than we anticipated, so by the time we arrived at the American History Museum we only had time to see the Star-Spangled Banner before grabbing our luggage at the hotel, boarding the Metro to Union Station, and catching our 3 p.m. bus to Baltimore.
The bus ride was only about an hour, so we arrived in Baltimore around 4 p.m., caught a cab, and checked into our hotel. After changing into our Red Sox attire we walked to the nearby Light Rail station and went to Orioles Park at Camden Yards for the game! We were very early, so we stopped at Diamond Tavern for a pre-game beer. And it was a good thing we did, because after about half an hour it started to rain pretty heavily. Thankfully it stopped by the time the game started and we were happy to be safe under the bar’s tents versus exposed in the grandstands of the park.
We had heard from many friends that the stadium was beautiful, and we were not let down. Despite the earlier rain, we had nice weather for the entirety of the game. There were an abundance of fellow Sox fans there, and we were happy with the outcome of our team winning 7-3! We celebrated the win with a post-game drink across the street before calling it a night and retreating back to our hotel.
(July 28 2013) Day 4. Flying out from Baltimore, Heading Home.
Our flight home wasn’t until 10 p.m., so we spent the day wandering around Baltimore. None of us had been to the city before, so we weren’t too sure what to do all day. We spent most of the afternoon at the Inner Harbor, looking at the various sculptures, statues, and historic ships. We had some Maryland crab cakes for lunch before stumbling upon the American Visionary Museum and Sculpture Park, where we saw some truly unique works of art. The day was very hot, so we were hoping to go to the Aquarium, but it was too expensive for our taste ($36!). So instead we just wandered around aimlessly, and unfortunately got my first sun burn of the trip.
Finally we walked to Brio for a lazy dinner with a bottle of wine before going to BWI. Unfortunately, our flight out of Baltimore ended up being delayed, and we landed in Boston 11:45 p.m. feeling exhausted. But despite the unfortunate ending, all in all we had a fantastic time. I would definitely like to return to DC and see some more of the museums we missed (and hopefully the Sequester will be over by then so we can tour the White House), and I would be happy to return to Camden Yards. We’d also plan our afternoon better in Baltimore next time, since we missed out on a couple of their key museums and were never able to make it to Fell’s Point.
Hopefully we’ll make another Red Sox away game trip soon! I know we said that after Chicago, but maybe we’ll actually follow through with our plans more quickly this time around…