It’s been a long day of tourism, geocaching, and eating.
We started the day in good form, having breakfast at Open City (since their website is only one image, check out their parent’s site instead). We were lucky enough to get a table immediately — the line kept building, and by the time we passed them again on our way to the Metro, there were many many people waiting.
After breakfast, we went back to the hotel to pick up our gear (camera, Palm, and GPS receiver) so we’d be ready for anything. Jeff had plotted out our route; we grabbed day passes and set out for our first stop, the Supreme Court. Since it was Sunday, it wasn’t open — but the outside was impressive. From there, we made a quick detour to the Library of Congress to pick up our first cache of the day; luckily, it was on the outside, since the Library was closed, too.
Then we walked over to the Capitol, which was, of course, closed — and unlike the other two buildings, we couldn’t just walk up the stairs any more. Technically speaking, I guess that meant we didn’t quite get to the virtual cache there, but the owner acknowledged the problems in the cache entry, so we logged it anyway.
Our third cache was at a place we wouldn’t have otherwise visited — and it was well-hidden by greenery, too.
By this time, we were starting to get hungry; we didn’t want to brave the crowds at the eateries at the Smithsonian, and we’d found what looked like a good place to eat during our wanderings yesterday: Ollie’s Trolley. Both Diane and I have fond memories of the Ollieburger from Lums, so this seemed like a perfect opportunity — so, after a brief stop to pick up one more cache (and find restrooms), we took the Metro to Metro Center and walked down to the Trolley.
It was closed. There was only one open restaurant visible, also part of the Hotel Harrington: Harry’s Pub. It didn’t look impressive, but we were hungry, so we decided to give it a try. Not a good decision. I ordered a chicken sandwich without mayo — when it came, not only was it slathered with mayo, but they’d given me an extra container of mayo on the side. Jeff ordered spaghetti without meatballs — he got four. Diane’s order came out OK, but her Diet Coke was flat. And when the bill came, they’d charged $13.75 for the spaghetti, which was supposed to cost $9.75 (still outrageous). After I pointed out that problem and the waitress recomputed the bill, the final total was $10 less than the first time around (but this time, I’d checked the math and it was correct). I decided to pay with cash so they couldn’t screw around with my credit card after I left. I still want to hit Ollie’s Trolley tomorrow, but it’ll be with misgivings.
After lunch, we walked over to Ford’s Theater for yet another cache. This one was slightly tricky, requiring some effort to find the right answers. We also toured The House Where Lincoln Died before returning to the Mall.
Diane wanted to visit the Cezanne exhibit at the National Gallery of Art, but when we emerged from the Metro, I discovered we were mere feet from one more cache, so we logged it (with a detour to Starbucks to get the taste of Harry’s out of our mouths). Then we toured the Cezanne exhibit (no lines!) and a bit more of the Gallery before giving Jeff his chance at Air and Space. We stayed there till they closed the place, then walked to the National Archives and toured the exhibits downstairs before paying our respects to the Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights — that kept us busy until the Archives closed at 7.
We finished the evening with dinner at Levante’s, which was quite tasty (I had lamb pide, Diane had spinach pie, and Jeff had chicken skewers) — between the entrees and the delicious bread, we were too full for dessert (and they didn’t have anything very chocolaty on the menu anyway). The rain, which was originally predicted for 3pm, started while we were eating, so we dashed back to the Metro instead of walking back to the hotel.
Tomorrow should be another busy day; Jeff wants to go into the Capitol and Washington Monument. I wonder how the lines will be on Easter Monday?