Having a lot of time to kill, I made the decision to go visit my sister in Washington D.C. My sister loves all things Korean. Kpop, Kdrama, Kfood, Kbros you name it. I offered to fly her out to Korea while I was living there, but she never came to visit! So like the good sister I am, I’m the one that always has to track her down. She just recently moved to Virginia to work in the nation’s capitol and I’d never been so it was really not hard to convince me to go. I’ll go ahead and let you all know that D.C is not cheap. If we wanted to stay in a hotel in D.C we would have had to pay upwards of like 200$ a night. My partner in Crime and I decided to stay at a super nice hotel in Virginia, where my sister lived, and commute into the city.
Skipping around the Smithsonian
One thing that makes me love a city is when they have 1) good public transit and 2) said transit has a direct line to an airport. With D.C being situated between two states, you could easily take the metro to either state, how convenient is that??
We arrived at the main airport and only had to ride 4 stops to get to my sisters workplace. We dropped off our things and marked our maps to plan our very short stay. Since my sister has already seen all museums, we went to those first. Oh, did I mention that all museums are free? You can also take the red hop on and off bus for just 1$ with a subway card. DC is very accommodating to tourists, if you don’t want to take the bus you can rent a bike. In fact, I would actually recommend the bike if you’re traveling during a popular time or season.
If you get hungry from exploring all of the highlights, along the road where all the museums are, there are numerous food trucks. Those guys are smart because in this area there are no restaurants.
As far as the museums go, they are impressive. There are so many and there’s so much information that you really need to plan well to hit everything. Speaking of planning, if you go into the Smithsonian castle (the welcome center that gives tourist info) there are small screens that ask you what kinds of things you like and makes you a full itinerary for your stay! I definitely suggest stopping by to make one and also pick up some maps and info about current events. The weekend I went there was a Cherry Blossom festival/celebration going on. This shocked me because I had no idea there were Cherry Blossoms in North America, let alone so many types!
The not so “Yuge” White House
After a hardy breakfast with my sister she picked us up for day-2 of sightseeing. Even though she has lived and worked int he area, she has never gone to see the main attractions of D.C.! Our first stop of the day was obviously the White House. Neither my sister or I particularly care for politics, but my wonderful Italian loves America and Trump (ew) so he happily took pictures of “Donald’s house”.
I couldn’t help but to feel very underwhelmed! I’ve seen plenty of movies with the White House in it and it seems so much bigger and full of grandeur in the pictures. When I got there I couldn’t help but feel like we were not at the right house… It literally looks like a simple white house! I’d seen bigger mansions around the D.C area than this! Granted, I did only go to one side of the house and apparently there was a completely other area to see so I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.
After the White House we hopped on the red bus and passed by Capitol Hill before reaching the memorials on the opposite side. First we went to the Washington Monument, which was full of people picnicking and enjoying the sunshine.
I hadn’t seen this many Cherry Blossoms since I was in Korea! It almost felt like a sign, I didn’t have to be in Korea to share this with my sister. We then hopped back on the bus and went to the Thomas Jefferson memorial.
This memorial is situated beautifully next to a small lake where you could get the most spectacular view. Inside of the memorial you have to be respectful and keep your voice down. I would say that 10 minutes is enough to see it all. If you are interested in seeing other places nearby, you’ll find the Holocaust Memorial Museum, Martin Luther King Jr, and Franklin D. Roosevelt memorials within walking distance around this small lake.
We decided to skip all of those, and go to the Lincoln Memorial. This was our last stop of the day, the traffic was becoming horrible and it would soon be very crowded so we took our last pictures and headed back to the hotel. If you are a morning person, I suggest getting an early start, otherwise you’ll find yourself in a mass of people and tour buses.
Board Game and Korean Food Sunday
Being that it was my last night with my sister I decided that I’d seen enough of ‘Merica and would rather hang out with my sister. We checked out her crib and then went to a super authentic Korean restaurant in Annandale, VA aka “Korea Town” called Yechon Korean. The food was top-notch, the servers were wearing Hanboks, and everyone was speaking in Korean holding Korean newspapers. Just next door there is a Korean bakery that sells Bing-su (shaved ice cream) and typical Korean sweets. I stocked up on goodies to take home and then we went next door to Tony Moly for our Korean make-up needs.~
After Korean food we found a board game cafe nearby and laughed the night away. It was a great way to end a long-awaited family reunion. Thanks big-sista for the great time and showing us around the city!