I had hoped to be on the road to Washington by 11am this morning. Didn’t happen. But we did leave my brother’s house by 11:30; I tried to convince Diane and Jeff that we should make another shot at Ocultado, but I failed in that, too. We did, however, make a quick stop at Stein Mart so that I could buy a short-sleeve shirt; the weather was significantly warmer than it was when we packed for this trip.
It’s a good thing we decided to have lunch when we did, though, because almost as soon as we got back on the highway, the traffic slowed to a crawl and stayed that way almost all the way to the Beltway. Of course, the express lanes on I-95 were going the other way. Once we cleared the Beltway, speeds picked up, but I was worried about being able to check into our hotel and make it back to Hertz before they closed at 3:30, so when I saw we were near 11th Street NW, I detoured to Hertz, dropped the car, and picked up a taxi. DC cab fares are weird — they use a zone map rather than a meter, and they add additional charges per passenger and per piece of luggage — so I can’t tell if I was ripped off or not, but $14 seemed pretty high for a short ride. But it beat having to drive back down to National Airport, so I guess the price was right.
We’re staying at the Omni Shoreham, which we got through Priceline for $80/night plus service charges. This, by far, the best $80 hotel I’ve ever stayed in (the rack rate for the room is about $300, and the AAA rate is somewhere over $140 with tax). And, unlike most expensive hotels, they even have free Wi-Fi.
By the time we were settled in our rooms, it was about 3:30; rather than dash to a museum and only being able to spend a few minutes there, we took Metro to Metro Center and then walked over to the White House, then down to the Mall and onward to the Tidal Basin, the Jefferson Memorial, and the FDR Memorial. Then we turned north, stopping at the WW II Memorial en route to the Metro back to the hotel. Lots of walking!
We had dinner at the second-closest restaurant to the Woodley Park Metro station. The closest was McDonald’s. We passed right by it and went to Medaterra, where Diane and Jeff had chicken dishes and I had lamb skewers (I could smell them cooking and couldn’t resist). It was a lovely evening, so we, along with all of the other patrons, chose the sidewalk tables — partway through our meal, they asked us to please switch tables, because they had put our table in front of the cleaner’s next door and weren’t supposed to do so. We were pleasantly surprised when they brought out dessert on the house: saria, a milk custard with berries. It wasn’t chocolate, but it was very tasty.
Jeff is going to plan tomorrow’s sight-seeing; it should be interesting.