Archive for the 'Washington District of Columbia' category

Hotel Review – Embassy Suites Washington D.C.

| June 26, 2011 9:37 am

During our stay in Washington D.C. we stayed at the Embassy Suites on 10th street.

Embassy Suites Washington D.C. – Convention Center 900 10th Street Northwest, Washington D.C., DC 20001 (202) 739-2099

We chose this hotel because it was one of the few “kid friendly” hotels in Washington D.C. which offered a separate bedroom and a living with a sofa bed.   The room also had a fridge and microwave.    In addition, this hotel had a fitness center, a pool and a jacuzzi.

The hotel is also located about five blocks from the White House and a few blocks from shopping, restaurants and in close proximity to many of the main Washington monuments.   In theory, everything was within a 20 minute walk but we often took taxis or drove because of the sun and heat.

The hotel rate was $294.76 per night and a room tax of $42.74 per night.  We also had to valet our car which was an additional $35/day charge.  Oh and there is a parking tax on top of that of $4.20.   The grand total for each night stay was $376.70 per night!  Our final bill here was $1700 which included a couple of $100 dinners.



Washington D.C. (Baltimore) – Day 4

| June 24, 2011 1:38 pm

We checked out of the hotel this morning and headed to Baltimore.   I’ll write a review of the hotels from our trip once we return home but this one has a lion that bites!

We wanted to be near our airport (BWI) and we had a few hours to kill so we hung out at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.  Similar to Navy Pier in Chicago although not anywhere near as entertaining.   The harbor does have restaurants, shopping and a few water rides; the kids couldn’t pass up the water dragons.

And check out the guns on this battleship.

Boom! Boom!  Fire Power!

For lunch we went over to Nick’s Seafood located in the Cross Street Market where the kids downed some Snow King crab and Marge and I had some King crab and fried soft crab!

We’re at the airport on our way home…. All photos will be added to the photo gallery this weekend when we get faster internet!

Washington D.C. – Day 3

| June 23, 2011 4:50 pm

Happy Birthday Marge!   Today is Marge’s birthday so we had a great dinner tonight (more on that later).   We started the day with a visit to Arlington Cemetery.

We came to visit one of Marge’s high school classmates that was killed in Somalia in 1993.

Bart said a nice prayer since he is currently Chaplin for his troop and we paid our respects to the dead before we left.  Our next stop was Mount Vernon, the original estate of George Washington.

The estate was amazing and I never knew George Washington had such opulence.   This guy had a lot to lose so no wonder he gave it his all to be free!

The views from Mount Vernon are spectacular no matter where you look.   The Potomac is fairly serene as the backdrop to this wondrous estate.

After spending the better part of the day on Mount Vernon, we drove back to D.C. to celebrate Marge’s birthday at Fogo De Ciao.   We invited my cousin to the party and we all had a great time and a marvelous Malbec from Argentina.


We fly out late tomorrow and we’ll probably spend the day in Baltimore checking out the city after we leave our hotel but we’ll see how the day turns out.

Washington D.C. – Day 2

| June 22, 2011 5:25 pm

We had a full day of adventures today…we started out by taking a taxi over to the Washington monument (hint:  driving your rental car is twice as expensive because of parking so take a taxi!).

After checking out the scenic views from the Washington Monument, we headed over to the Jefferson Memorial which was a nice walk despite the heat.

From the Jefferson Memorial, we walked over to the Roosevelt Memorial and captured some nice pictures as we walked along the basin.

After visiting and resting at the Roosevelt Memorial, we headed over to the Korea War Memorial where we found two uncanny ghosts of my grandfather and cousin on the wall.

After stopping at the Korean War Memorial, we climbed up to the Lincoln Memorial.

We picked up a few souvenirs at the Lincoln Memorial and walked through the Vietnam Memorial.

We read a few of the thousands of names on the wall and carried on our journey to explore Washington D.C.   We stopped at the park for some rest and snacks and gave the leftovers to the ducks (shhh…don’t tell anyone).

After our rest and play with the ducks, we went over to see the World War II Memorial.   I have to admit, most of these memorials are new or expanded than the last time I visited Washington D.C. about 20 years ago.   A lot has changed as well, security is tight everywhere and it’s a hassle to go through metal detectors and have your bags x-ray’d at every single site!

From the World War II Memorial, we headed over to the White House to visit Barack Obama.

Unfortunately, our idiot representative failed to get us the appropriate passes in time for our visit.  I’ll be voting against the moron at the next election so no Barack 🙁 but we got to see the grounds of the White House from a distance.

We headed over to lunch at a nearby Potbelly a few blocks away from the White House then headed over to the hotel for some rest since it was only five blocks away.

After an hour rest at the Hotel, we headed over to the National Gallery Art Museum to capture some more images for my iPad and check out the art work.  We bought some jewelry and other items at the gallery.

After the art gallery we headed back to the hotel where the kids went into the pool to relax and rejuvenate while I ordered pizza for the crew.   It was a long day and we have another full day tomorrow in D.C.  so more will follow….

Washington D.C. – Day 1

| June 21, 2011 6:35 pm

Well today is actually our second day in Washington D.C. but our first day was the trip from New York to D.C.   We didn’t do much other than drive into the city, check into the hotel, and do some laundry at a nearby laundry mat.   Our choice was to pack for 10 days of travel or 5 days of travel with a wash day so we chose the wash day.

Actually, we spent our “first” day with the kids at the pool followed by dinner at the hotel restaurant and a nice bottle of Tierra Secreta Malbec from Argentina!

Our “second” first day was spent traveling to the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum to check out the planes.   Bart chose to fly the 360 degree flight simulator while I got on board the more subtle F-18 simulator with no 360 spinning!   Meanwhile the girls checked out the museum…

We also opted to see an IMAX show called Hubble 3D and the show was pretty spectacular!

After the Smithsonian, we headed down to Capital Hill to check out the Senate in action.   Unfortunately, all we really got to see from the Senate gallery was Senator Dick Durbin sing praises about Leon Panetta about becoming the next Secretary of Defense.  Seriously, Durbin was slobering all over Panetta, these guys need to get a room…

Unfortunately, no photography, note taking or anything else is pretty much allowed in the Senate gallery so I have no photos other than the video that will eventually show up on CSPAN at some point for this day.   Nevertheless, we were able to take photos outside the building!

While inside the capital building we were required to watch a video about the legislative process while informative a bit oppressive.    The last time I visited Capital Hill in the 90’s I was allowed to roam freely by just walking in and out but now there are at least three security check points and going anywhere is a hassle….so much for open government!

The capital hill dome (above).  The capital hill figure “Freedom” pictured below.  This guy sits on top of the dome too!


After Capital Hill, we did a quick look at the Supreme Court and opted not to go inside and deal with the security hassle!


Tomorrow, we’ll head over to the Washington Monument,  Lincoln Memorial, and White House and perhaps the Jefferson Memorial if time allows!