While Virginia (at least Arlington) had its share of pubs, bars, and outdoor festivities, most of my time exploring was actually spent in Washington DC. The good thing with my location was that it was literally a bridge away (Key Bridge) from Washington. The subway also takes me to the other side of DC when I want to.
One of the things that I did to not get too fat from all the chipotle and five dollar friday chicken tenders from Safeway was jog. From the apartment, I would then head on over to key bridge and then go on over to the Georgetown area. It was a pretty good jog as you would have to ascend some steps and pass through some scenic buildings and areas.
I remember going around the area and getting a bit reminded of the buildings from my own college. Must have been the trees, gardens, and orange bricks that reminded me of SEC of ADMU.
Once I’m done jogging, I would rest up a bit at the benches in front of Healy Hall. It was pretty scenic especially when I jog a little before sunset, so you get to see the sun coming down on the area. It was also neat to observe the various students just milling about.
The National Mall:
Aside from Georgetown, another area that I really spent plenty of time in was The National Mall. The National Mall area is home to plenty of significant sites. The most famous places would probably be the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial. It was nice to walk around and see these monuments and statues as well as get a grasp of their significance to the history of the country.
Unfortunately, most of the pictures that I took when I went around that area got lost on my SD card.But it was a nice area. Aside from the monuments and memorials, you can also visit a number of museums that are located in it. I remember visiting the National Air and Space Museum (great for those aspiring astronauts), the Museum of American History (there was a World War 2 exhibit that I had a very educational time reading. I also came upon an exhibit ), National Museum of Natural History (the Hope Diamond was there, and a photography exhibit), and also the National Gallery of Art. During my first visit, I met a girl named Phoebe and we decided to watch a movie a the National Gallery of Art. We watched a french film called Paris Belongs to Us. On my second visit, I just toured around the different galleries. It was nice to see up close a Da Vinci (the Ginevra de’ Benci, which was his only work that is in public display in the US).
There are a couple of great things about the museums. The first is that they are generally free. You would have to queue a bit for the more famous ones (the Air and Space had a long line) but you’ll get in eventually. I say generally, because there are some area/attractions that would require you to shell out some money but these are often “non-essential” and it’s optional. Another thing is that for most of the museums, there are guides who tour around the different sections and provide you with additional information about the items that are on display.
Also, when not visiting monuments or museums, the National Mall is still a good area to just lounge around in. During one visit, I remember just planning to jog but ultimately ended up playing Ultimate Frisbee with a group who regularly played there. There were also various events and activities that are done on the different lawns.
Aside from the National Mall, I also walked around the White House. Apparently, the White House is not part of the mall but you can walk there from the mall. When I arrived, it was campaign season so it was pretty amusing to see people campaigning in the area. Although I think at that time it was still the primaries.
Close to Georgetown, there was also the Georgetown Waterfront Park. I walked around this area in the afternoon as well as in the evening. In the afternoon, it was a pretty chill time. People were lounging at the cafes and bars and the yachts. In the evening, it turns to a party place with the yachts pumping out loud music and people in their swimsuits dancing to the music.
I also tried out the food. I met a girl there named Olivia, and we tried out this French restaurant in DC. Other than that, I was fortunate to have a company sponsored event in a bar in DC. Also, had my taste of Shake Shack and Five Guys. On a related note: If I had to make a choice, I’d choose Shake Shack, although I’d probably go with Ray’s Hell burgers in VA instead (which was a 10 minute walk away from my apartment).