Road Trip Adventures, Stop 2: Washington, DC

Our 2nd stop isn’t technically a “stop” per se since we didn’t actually get in our car from Stop 1 to Stop 2, but for the sake of titling this post we’re gonna go with Stop 2 ūüėČ


{In case you missed it, read all about how we started Saturday in Alexandria in this post!}

We hopped on the metro and glided into downtown DC. I love riding the metro. I particularly like riding the metro from Alexandria to DC because much of it is above ground with a nice view.

  • Tip:¬†Unless you are visiting locations that are all condensed to a tight radius, splurge on the all-day/unlimited pass for the metro. That way you can save your feet [you’ll do¬†plenty of walking regardless] and quickly¬†take the metro from destination to destination.
    • If you aren’t super familiar with navigating the metro, use the Maps app on your iPhone. Just enter your desired destination and select “Transit” at the top. This will provide you with instructions for which lines / connections / stops you need to take to get where you’re going.
maps 2
In the Maps app, type in your destination then click Transit

The Newseum

When I visited DC for Tableau’s conference, they rented out the Newseum for an evening. It was¬†so¬†awesome! By now you probably know that I am a huge nerd. My car radio is always stuck on NPR and I¬†often go to the gym just to watch the morning news on the treadmill (#truth).

After raving about how cool the Newseum was¬†to my husband after the conference a few years ago, he added it to our list of places to visit. Since we knew we wanted to visit, I purchased our tickets online¬†before we left so I could save 15% ūüôā¬†The Newseum was our first stop from the metro.

  • Tip:¬†If you¬†know you want to visit some place that charges an entrance fee, check the website to see if you can get a discount by purchasing your tickets online.
    • FYI: I also saw that many of the tour companies also offer discounts if you purchase tickets in advance online.

Last visit to the Newseum I ran out of time and didn’t make it all the way to the top floor. I didn’t even realize¬†that the 6th floor had a terrace you could walk out on to overlook Pennsylvania Avenue!

newseum 1
View from the top of the Newseum

To the left you could see the Capitol!

newseum 2 capitol
View of the Capitol from the Greenspun Family Terrace at the top of the Newseum

And here we are enjoying the view:

newseum 5

We also took turns posing at the anchor desk in the¬†Interactive Newsroom…like total nerds.

newseum 3

We probably enjoyed this too much!

newseum 4

The Civil Rights exhibit is one of my favorites. It’s so powerful. My favorite quote from the exhibit:

“You’ve got to get out there and push and organize and agitate and stand up and make some noise.” – Civil Rights Leader John Lewis

civil rights quote

Another of my favorite exhibits at the Newseum: “First Dogs.”¬†This picture of Lyndon Johnson and his mutt named Yuki is my favorite!

lyndon johnson
President Johnson loved to “sing” with Yuki like in the picture (that’s his grandson on the right).

I can’t read the caption from the picture, but wanted to share the story with you [because I loved it!] so I snagged this from the a quick google search (source):

“Yuki was a mixed breed dog found by President Johnson’s daughter, Luci, at a gas station in Texas on Thanksgiving Day in 1966 […] At first, Yuki lived with Luci, but while visiting the White House, Yuki won the President’s heart and became his faithful companion. On the President’s birthday, August 27, 1967, Luci told her father that he could keep Yuki. When President Johnson left office on January 20, 1969, Yuki returned to LBJ Ranch with the President on Air Force One.”

One of my favorite stories found in the News History Gallery: why Helen Thomas started wearing red to press conferences:

red dress
Use what you’ve got to get what you deserve – you go girl!

Visiting the Newseum will give you a very serious new respect for reporters. Many risk their lives to bring us stories from around the world. It’s such an admirable field that gets way too few acknowledgements from the general public. So, to all my reporter-friends: THANK YOU for all you do!

After spending hours exploring all the floors of the Newseum, we were famished.

  • Tip: If you find yourself ravenous and without a plan for where to eat, use the Maps app on your iPhone {yes, in true Millennial fashion, we use our iPhones for everything}. Just open the app and click into the search bar. Some icons will appear – click on “Food” to view restaurants nearby. You can find a link to the restaurant’s website to find a menu and read reviews straight from the app.
maps 1
Click into the search bar then click on the Food icon
  • Where to Eat:¬†Cava Mezze Grill! {Drool over the menu here and find a location here}

We ended up at¬†Cava Mezze Grill in Chinatown¬†since it¬†had good ratings online and a tasty menu. It was¬†amazing! It was kind of a build-your-own salad type place. I can’t remember my exact combination, but I know I started with¬†Greens+Grains and roasted seasonal vegetables¬†then topped it with the¬†yogurt dill dressing.

The¬†yogurt dill dressing was what really brought it home – so tasty! {I’m still searching for a copycat recipe so if you have a good one, share it in the comments!}

National Zoo

The National Zoo was on our list because 1) it was free and 2) they have pandas!

The pandas were a little shy during our visit so we patiently stood in a quick-moving line (PS: When you overhear the frantic tourists in front of you exclaim it’s a 30-minute wait, ignore them. The line moves fast). They were inside and only one was really visible in it’s room.


I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed that we only saw one of the pandas, but on the way out of the indoor panda exhibit, we saw this:

panda watch
“Current panda research underway…”

Watching pandas sleeping?! Best. Job. Ever. RIGHT?!

I mean, look at how sprawled out they all are! They must love to sleep as much as I do!!

{If you’re interested in having our heart turn to mush, you can view the Panda Cams online here!}

We visited the zoo in the afternoon which is either: a) a time the animals are all napping or b) the animals are so shy! Many of the exhibits were empty or the animals were hiding out of sight. It was a little disappointing, but still quite fun (and you can’t really complain when it’s¬†free, right?!).

Lincoln Memorial

After the zoo, we hopped back on the metro and headed to the Lincoln Memorial. It was closer to the Newseum than the Zoo (oops) so I sure am glad we got those metro passes!

When we approached the Lincoln Memorial, we had a beautiful view of the Washington Monument and reflection pool.

washington monument
Washington Monument & Reflection Pool

The monuments were¬†so crowded! I’m not a huge fan of big crowds, but I can weave in and out of them quite well (benefits of being short) so I use that to my advantage for picture-taking ūüėČ

Lincoln Memorial

We sat on the back side of the Lincoln Memorial for a while and watched the traffic while giving our soar feet a little break. It was a peaceful moment in a busy city – if you visit the Lincoln Memorial, walk around to the back side that overlooks the Arlington Bridge and take a few minutes to rest and watch the traffic. It’s quite nice.

To work our way back to Alexandria, we walked from the Lincoln Memorial to the Arlington Cemetery metro stop. Crossing the Arlington Memorial Bridge was lovely!

View from the Arlington Memorial Bridge

Watching the planes fly over the bridge was neat! We even saw Marine One (or maybe it was Marine Two…who knows!) fly overhead. That was exciting!

marine 1
Marine One/Two flying over the Arlington Bridge

So we jumped on the metro and headed back to Alexandria where we ate at District Taco – it was pretty tasty, but nothing extraordinary.

My feet were aching so bad by the end of the day I could barely walk {according to my VivoFit, we walked more than 30,000 steps!!}. Luckily, I had the next day to rest them in the car as we headed to Boston!

Stay tuned:¬†I’ll be telling you all about Boston, Salem and Marblehead next week!¬†

Follow along on our Road Trip with these posts: 

Author: Jordan Slice-Metcalfe

My name is Jordan. I'm a full-time working mom whose coffee cup is always half full (and probably still in the microwave). I've got a weak spot for rescuing old dogs, pretending pizza is a vegetable, negotiating dessert with every meal, propagating more plants than any home needs, dreaming of sewing projects while my husband is talking to me, and loving my tribe too deep.

4 thoughts on “Road Trip Adventures, Stop 2: Washington, DC”

  1. Great post Jordan! I’m living vicariously through you! Thanks for the extra links… Going to watch sleeping pandas next. ūüėÄ

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