Washington D.C. was a last minute change up for us. We had plans to finally make it up to Quebec City in Canada. Mother nature had other plans though. The forecast was rain for our entire stay. When you are doing a road trip with your pet you hope to be outdoors almost the whole time. Neither of us thought being soaked would be a fun vaca.
We decided why not head in the opposite direction to one of the most pet friendly destinations! Our plan was to leave at noon on Thursday but we got a little behind schedule and left a little after 1 p.m. Unfortunately this meant we would be hitting rush hour traffic all throughout our drive. We finally pulled up to our hotel for the night. We booked a room at The Darcy Washington D.C. The hotel recently changed over to the Curio Collection by Hilton and I have high hopes for it. We did run into a few small issues during our stay. During check in our profile somehow got changed to wanting a room close to the elevator. When we went up to our room it was directly in front of the elevators and would have caused a lot of ruckus during our stay. We went downstairs to ask for a different room. We were told that the hotel was very full but he was able to find one. What the staff neglected to tell us was that the room was tiny and awkwardly shaped. We found our later from the room service staff that all the corner rooms are that way. The second issue we ran into was that all but two towels in the bathroom had hairs on them. The third issue was that after our room was cleaned one day the trash was left behind.
With that being said the staff were friendly, the design was modern yet warm, and the location couldn't be beat. After filling out a survey for our stay we received a call from one of the managers. The manager not only agreed that this issues shouldn't have happened but completely understood the responses from the staff should have been different. Furthermore she compensated us with reward points (we're Hilton Diamond Members). We decided that these instances probably were just new opening quirks that would surely be resolved with a little more experience. We will definitely give The Darcy a second look.
After some much needed sleep we walked a few blocks over to Starbucks for some breakfast. Love a Venti Cold Brew and Pumpkin Bread to go! With the weather clearing up we decided to walk down to The White House. After a quick picture we made our way over to the National Mall. During our last trip to D.C. we toured the National Mall in it's entirety. This trip was really about just getting outside and walking around enjoying the scenery. We were happy to add to our pictures by venturing across the street to sit with Albert Einstein.
For lunch we chose to enjoy Tapas at Taberna del Alabardero. This is where our day got interesting. The minute we opened the door the fire alarm started going off. We were seated at a table outside and offered menus and water. After a very long wait our drink order was taken. We enjoyed Cava and house white wine. Another 15 minutes goes by and our waiter comes by to tell us that we can order but they basically don't have anything besides cold dishes and Paella. The fire alarm we heard basically ended up causing the restaurant to put everything on hold until they got inspected and received the okay.
We ended up ordering our favorite Iberico de Bellota ham, bread, and the vegetarian Paella. The ham as usual was buttery, savory, and perfectly sliced. The Paella was filled with a variety of vegetables, simply seasoned, and served with a lemon. A perfect lunch!
One of the managers came out to our table and explained the situation also saying we were the last ones to be able to order the Paella. Phew!
After lunch we hopped in a cab and headed back up to our hotel for a siesta!
At dinner time we wanted something small and casual. I was thrilled to see that Shake Shack now has an allergy menu. I have never tried their food before so this was perfect timing. We walked just a block away and ordered three burgers (yes one for Fred too) and some fries. We then crossed the street to the convenience store for some more bottled waters before heading back to the hotel. I completely see what all the fuss is about. Shack Shack burgers have an amazing cook on them, the french fries are thick and yet crispy, and the toppings were fresh! Total Yum!
After a good nights sleep we woke up and headed over to the U.S. National Arboretum. The Arboretum is pet friendly, beautiful, and very relaxing. We wandered through the National Herb Garden, National Capitol Columns, and the Asian Collections. Before leaving the area I stopped into the gift shop where I found lots of gifts for family. I also had a lovely conversation with the women working the store about her kids and the way things should be.
Our next stop of the day was to George Washington's Mount Vernon. Based on our parking spot Mount Vernon was very very busy! We had a good walk over to the main entrance. We paid our entrance fees and walked into the pet friendly grounds. There was an incredibly long line to walk through the building and the next tour wasn't for an hour and a half so we wandered in front of and behind the house, into the stunning vegetable garden (my garden goal), and then by the stables. Further down the way we made our way to the burial site of George Washington.
We couldn't take the combination of heat, full sun, and tourists any more so we started making our way back to the car. Before leaving I stopped into the gift shop for some wine, whiskey, and souvenirs.
It was now late afternoon and we were getting pretty hungry but didn't want to risk getting stuck in traffic anywhere so we opted to head back to the hotel and grab Shake Shack again. We spent the rest of the afternoon with our burgers and a bottle of wine! Perfect combination of a sightseeing and relaxing day.
When it came to dinner time we got a little lazy and opted to stay in - it's our vacation and if we needed to unwind so be it. We walked up the street to Maki Shop for some sushi rolls. The concept is great, the food was flavorful, but the staff weren't great. The staff ended up getting our order wrong and it wasn't noticed until we walked back to the hotel.
The next morning we ended up leaving earlier than planned and thank goodness we did! We hit traffic, more traffic, and even more traffic! It took us much longer to get home than our other trips. No problem though we just keep listening to music and laughing along the way.