I was very fortunate to be able to travel to the US in 2016. This was actually my first flight out of Asia. I was sent there twice, the first, which happened in April-May (about four weeks) then flying back to the US in July and staying there for 3 more weeks. It was for work though, so I wasn’t able to explore as much as I would have wanted. But I still had the weekends and the weeknights so it wasn’t too bad.
On a side note: one of the reasons why this blog actually stopped getting updates was because I got a bit frustrated when I lost my pictures during my first trip. I transferred most of my raw image files from my camera onto a portable hard drive which got corrupted. The corruption led to me losing a couple of weeks worth of pictures. I was a bit disheartened until I saw that the SD card in the camera still contained some of the images that I gathered (good thing I was able to get another chance to fly to the US). Anyway, back to the trip.
The trips I made were for business. I went to the USA to go to the client’s office for some meetings and to generally see how they conduct their work. As mentioned in my Korea post, it was a bit of a rushed trip, and I wasn’t really familiar with the area that I would go to. Turns out, I was being flown in to Rosslyn, Arlington, VA. The first trip had me riding a plane from Manila to Hong Kong, Hong Kong to Chicago, then Chicago to Washington (DCA) in Washington. That Hong Kong to Chicago leg was amusing because I sat next to a female doctor who chatted me up while we waited for the long lines at the immigration. I think we were actually in line for nearly 3 hours, which Unfortunately, she did not add me on facebook like she was supposed to so we never got in touch anymore :(.
The second trip had me riding a different route. This time I went Manila to Narita, Narita to Washington (IAD). The difference is that IAD to Rosslyn was a pretty long cab ride as compared with the 15-20 minute one from DCA.
The client’s office was located in Arlington, Virginia. It was specifically in Rosslyn, so I was given an apartment that was quite near it. Rosslyn, was actually a pretty quiet area I guess. It had mostly office buildings so it was pretty quiet once 6:00pm (after office hours) comes along. Although there where plenty of bars and restaurants in the area. One thing I observed was that the Rosslyn neighborhood were really trying to get the people to go out and have fun. My first visit, I remember being able to join a Cinco De Mayo celebration with food trucks, beer, and performers .On my second trip, there was an outdoor cinema festival. I remember it showed Casablanca (picture below) and on other day it was Inside Out.
One thing I really loved about my area was that it was minutes away from Key Bridge. The bridge is above the Potomac River and takes you from Rosslyn into the Georgetown area. I love walking around it especially after work (I think sunset in VA, happens at 7:30pm) and just looking at the sunset for a bit. It was great during my first trip where it was pretty chilly, not so much in my second trip which was hot (summer time).
The Pentagon Memorial:
Since I was in Arlington Virginia, I decided to head on over to the Pentagon Memorial. Jim initially pointed it out when he toured me around but I think I only visited it during my second tour. When I was there, it was a bit surreal and emotional I guess that I’m not really sure how to put it into words.. The 9/11 attacks were literally half a world world away for me, but being in that area and seeing the benches with the engraved names made it more real.
After work activities:
There wasn’t much in terms of fun activities in my side of Virginia I guess. I think it’s partly because I was traveling solo and it was for business so I didn’t really have people to join in with, or time to explore. With that said, if you wanted to have a beer, watch a game, and meet new people. Then this neighborhood is pretty good for it.
I remember going to the Clarendon Area, which is filled with bars and pubs. My personal favorite would probably the rooftop bar at Whitlows on Wilson. The vibe of the bar was pretty nice and 3 dollar beers (due to Cinco de Mayo). I also had a fun time at Spider Kelly’s due to their pop a shot. I was in the zone one night, and met some new friends who were amused at the scores I was getting. I also remember heading over to Don TIto’s to watch the hockey game. A nice place, I remember just talking to people about hockey and basketball (a Cavs playoff gone was on) , and there was this very cute/hot bartender 😛
Also, I can’t forget going out with Jim during my first day in Virginia. He toured me around Oldtown in Alexandria and we grabbed a beer at this pub. It was a pretty nice area and they had a great chocolate place but the name escapes my head at the moment. The chocolates were delicious but were expensive as heck.