Travel: Washington, DC & Baltimore, MD

A few weeks ago, my husband and I took an extended weekend trip to Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD! We really went for a wedding just outside of Baltimore, but decided to drive down a little early and spend a day in DC as well. Why not make the most of the time we had and see some of the sights, too, right?

So there we were – 3 AM on a Thursday and hitting the road in our rental car. It was an early start, but really allowed us to maximize the time we had and make the most of the trip.

To no surprise, our first stop of the day was: breakfast – at Cracker Barrel, of course. We stopped in Muncy, PA, about halfway through the drive, for a quick (but delicious) bite to eat. Then it was back on the road!

Eventually, we found our way to Baltimore, where we checked out the wedding venue (my husband is a DJ and was working the wedding that Saturday) before doubling back to DC. It was painfully, sweatingly hot and I’m surprised I didn’t get sunburned with the walking we did.

We made our way through the National Air and Space Museum, which was neat, if not a little redundant in parts because of our recent trip to Texas and the Space Center Houston. We spent maybe an hour in the museum and covered most, if not all, of it. From there, we walked across the National Mall to the Capitol, then trekked to Union Station, where we hopped the Metro to Gallery Place – Chinatown and the Capitals’ arena/store.

After that, we made our way back to the car, which we’d parked in a spot I found on SpotHero’s app. Very handy for finding parking in a crazy place like DC. If we’d had more time, I would’ve parked further out from the city and done public transit more, but since time was limited, I didn’t mind terribly having to shell out a little cash for parking.

We spent that night at the Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall. Not a bad hotel. Nothing fancy, pay for breakfast, a dinner restaurant on the main floor, but good for what we needed. It’s close to the National Mall (hence the name) and actually sits atop a fire station.

The next day (Friday) was a whirlwind.

From the Caps’ arena once more, to lunch at Bar Louie at Gallery Place (mac and cheese with a Rice Krispies topping!); to the National Archives and Records Administration. Seeing the original documents of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence was incredible. We did a quick walk through the Smithsonian Butterfly Garden before making our way to the National Museum of Natural History. Again, all of these museums have free admission, which helped us see a lot and learn a lot while not *spending* a lot. We also took the metro more, and did a lot of walking again (over 5 miles each day).

It was then off to Baltimore, for the rehearsal (Notre Dame of Maryland University) and dinner (Tir na nÓg) in downtown. Good food and what a location! Baltimore’s Inner Harbor has a really nice setup and something I think other cities (Buffalo) could look to for inspiration of what’s possible.

Saturday was the wedding, of our friends Nikolai & Tiffany. It was a lovely wedding, good music (I’m biased; I married the DJ) and I ate a lot of crab dip. Overall, a wonderful night and it’s always nice to share in the joy of friends.

On Sunday, we were set to head home but stopped at the Orioles/Jays game first! I wanted to see Camden Yards and add another MLB park to my list. Our seats ended up being perfect – they were under a cover, which helped it feel not so stiflingly hot. We didn’t stay for the whole game, as we still had a 7 hour drive ahead of us, but it was neat to see the ballpark and get that experience.

The drive home included a stop at Primanti Brothers in Monroeville, PA for dinner before eventually reaching Buffalo around 11:30 pm. It was a long day, and a long weekend – and a busy one – but it was certainly worth it. Although our time was limited, I feel like we accomplished a lot and really made the most of it… and I can’t wait to go back to DC again someday.


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