By: Jennifer Murray

Washington D.C. Sightseeing by The Seat of Our Pants

Most people plan an organized trip to our Nation’s Capitol filled with tours, sightseeing, museum visits, and other Kodak moments. However, when we faced with a less than 2 day trip to plan in a little over twelve hours, we were forced to sightsee by the seat of our pants.  We didn’t have time to see much, but we made the most of the time we had.

annapolis crab pick

Our plane landed in Baltimore on Thursday night.  My friend Suzanne picked us up and took us directly to our very first Crab Pick experience at Cantler’s in Annapolis.  If you’ve never had the opportunity to take in a Crab Pick, you order fresh crabs and they deliver them in their shell to your table by the bucket full.  Then you use a mallet and knife to break open the shell and dig out the incredible white crab meat. Melts in your mouth!

downtown annapolis in the fall

The next morning we woke up to the quaint capital of Annapolis.  I could have spent a week there.  It’s so historic with so many cute shops, and a beautiful view of the Chesapeake Bay. We had to be at the White House Tweetup in the morning, so we mostly just looked out the car window, but I would LOVE to go back!

Most of our daylight hours were spent inside the White House and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, but we did manage to take a few pictures during our lunch break.

You know like the classic pinch a National Monument pictures.

how to pinch objects in photos

(You can see pictures and details from our time at the White House Tweetup over here.)

Except for this one. 

joe biden vp urinal in eistenhower building

I know.  It’s a urinal.  But it’s not just ANY urinal.  This is the urinal just steps away from Vice President Biden’s office.  So yes, this is proof that my husband has relieved himself in the same place as our current Vice President and those in the past.  You want his autograph?

After leaving Press Secretary Carney’s office late Friday evening, we took a cab to take in a few monuments at sundown. 

lincoln memorial at sunset

The Lincoln Monument is breathtaking at night. 

washington monument at night

As is the Washington National Monument.

world war II memorial at night     

And the World War II Memorial is stunning. A highlight of our trip was looking up Brad’s grandfather and my uncle on the World War II Registry and viewing their records. So grateful for their service as well as so many thousands of lives who fought for our freedoms.

mayflower hotel entrance washington dc

And THIS is where I want to stay next time we are in town. {Insert Sarcasm.} I could live in the entrance of The Mayflower Hotel.

southwest wing shot 

And in almost the blink of an eye, we were back on an airplane and headed back to the Midwest.

Maybe we’ll have the time and opportunity to PLAN and take in more sites next visit!

Have YOU been to our Nation’s Capitol?  Where is your favorite place to sightsee?

16 Responses to “Washington D.C. Sightseeing by The Seat of Our Pants”

  1. Cathy Willman
    September 15, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    My grandparents used to live in Alexandria. Every time we visited we’d take one day to go ‘Downtown’. We would take the subway in to Arlington Cemetary, which was one of my favorite places, so Powerful, we’d always go to Lee Mansion and take in the views, and stop at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. My grandfather passed away and is now buried there. But it’s the starting point for a great sightseeing tour bus, that we could just hop on and off, and we could take in lots of other monuments all in one day.

  2. Grady Pruitt
    September 15, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    It’s been 22 years since I was there. I went to DC on the way to a National Jamboree when I was a scout. I didn’t do half the things I would have liked, but I remember going to the Smithsonian, the National Archives, the FBI building, Arlington Cemetery, Vietnam memorial, and Lincoln memorial. Would love to go back. I could easily spend a week and still feel like I hadn’t seen all I want to see.

  3. Grady Pruitt
    September 15, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    Those night pics are gorgeous, by the way.

  4. Josh Laycock
    September 15, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    I now have a new item to add to my bucket list… use VP urinal. Thanks for the addition Bradley!

  5. Corrie
    September 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    Hi, I’ve been reading your blog for a long time but have never commented. I am very impressed by your biblical views of raising your handsome little men and not being ashamed to blog about it. That being said… I LOVE Washington DC. It’s been almost 10 years (wow, I’m getting old) since I was there but it was one of my most memorable trips. I loved the FDR memorial, Arlington cemetery, the white house,the FBI building and visiting the Pentagon. We flew there 6 months after the Sept 11 attacks so security was still very high so we didn’t get to see as much as we maybe would have. We had passes to the Capitol, but congress wasn’t in session so we didn’t get to go in. Since my husband has never been to DC, it’s on our list of places to visit sometime in the future…

  6. Ellen
    September 15, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    Washington DC is great to visit with children. With all of the Smithsonian Museums being free, it is easy to spend a little or a lot of time. If the kids get bored, just move along to the next museum, because you did not spend anything to get it!
    Great exhibits at the Natural History and American History museums. My favorite Smithsonian building is up off the National mall a bit, the American Art and Portrait Gallery.

  7. Sonya
    September 15, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

    My only trip to D.C. was right before my senior year of high school and I went with the band to march in the 4th of July trip. I would like to go back because I didn’t really enjoy the trip. We were so rushed around from one place to the next that I ended up sick one day because I was so exhausted. I’d love to do the sites at a more leisurely pace.

  8. Kaia
    September 15, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

    I have not been there 🙁 I sure do hope to someday though! That’s pretty exciting that you got to go IN the white house.. crazy!

  9. Emily H
    September 15, 2011 at 9:16 pm #

    Nick and I visited DC for the first time for both of us last summer.
    We saw all the monuments (minus a few that we ran out of time for!) and the Holocaust Museum. We were only there a short time (not as short as yours!) because we went to see Thomas Jefferson’s homes too while we were “in the area”. My favorite monument was the Lincoln memorial. I also really loved the Capitol Building- the architecture is soooooo intricate! We want to go back someday to see all the things we missed (especially Arlington) and to visit more of the museums. It was Boy Scout Jamboree (yikes!) while we were there, and it was 107 degrees (literally). It was a memorable long weekend, but I want to go back when it’s not so hot or busy!! So glad you got to go, even if it was a quick trip!

  10. Dawn
    September 15, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    We went last summer as well for the fireworks. Actually, we were in Baltimore the week before. My husband had to work and the kids and I tagged along. Then rolled it over to DC for a family vacation. We were there for a week and could have stayed longer. Loved touring Arlington National Cemetary and see the Changing of the Guard. Kids were real troopers walking, walking, walking in the triple digit temps. We would like to go for another trip sometime. Maybe not in July, though. 🙂

  11. maren
    September 16, 2011 at 7:24 am #

    But what I really want to know is did he write “Brad was here” on the bathroom wall?

  12. Becky
    September 16, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    I love D.C. and have had the opportunity to visit twice. My first trip was in June ’97. I spent the day sightseeing and particularly loved the Vietnam Memorial wall. But the highlight…. Princess Diana was in town and we saw her motorcade. It was later that summer that she was killed.
    The 2nd trip was December of ’03. Daniel was working for a national clearing house for the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Information Center. He spent a few weeks out their doing business. One weekend his company flew me out there to visit him. It was freezing cold, but we did a lot of sight seeing anyway. My favorite sites were the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery and being able to view the National Christmas tree. Such great memories and a trip I’ll never forget. Can’t wait to take my kids there someday!

    • QuatroMama
      September 21, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

      Becky, I was thinking about the boys the whole time we were there (although it was nice to have some grow-up time to check out the monuments). Hopefully both of our families will have the opportunity to experience D.C. again soon!

  13. Gail
    September 17, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

    Glad to hear you enjoyed our quaint little town of Annapolis! I wish I would have had to opportunity to meet you both! You need to visit again, and bring the boys and visit the Naval Academy! They would also love the Washington National Zoo. My children’s school field trips were often to the zoo, downtown Annapolis, DC, Baltimore Science Center or the Aquarium. We recently played tour guide to my son’s college friends from Mississippi, and they were in awe when visiting DC and all the history it held….sadly, I guess we take our location for granted.
    Gail from Annapolis, MD

    • QuatroMama
      September 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

      Oh Gail! How I wish we could have met! You’ve been such a faithful blog friend, it would have been so nice to see you face to face. Annapolis is sooooo beautiful! I hope we are able to make a trip back there soon. Can’t wait to show the boys the museums.

      Thankful for you!

      • Gail
        September 24, 2011 at 11:21 pm #

        Yes, please let me know if you ever plan to visit this area. We will make sure our paths cross! I did want to comment that I was very impressed that you and Brad ate steamed crabs! Most non-Marylanders won’t even attempt to pick a crab. Glad you enjoyed them.

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