How To Enjoy Washington DC When You’re Not Really Feeling the US

barack-and-michelle

Washington DC is our nation’s capital, but in case you haven’t noticed, there’s not a lot to love about the United States lately.

Barack and Michelle are leaving the White House.The choices for our upcoming election go from bad to worse (although it’s still important to vote!) And worst of all Black men, women, and children are being executed in the streets. From Philando Castille to Terrence Cutcher to Keith Scott, it seems like every week brings another life lost, another hashtag for us mourn. And when we potest the injustices against us, whether by marching, laying down, or even kneeling–America doesn’t approve.

Washington DC is America’s birthplace. The home of our government. But how can you enjoy the city when you’re not really feeling the country?

If you’re following MyMommyVents on Instagram (and if you aren’t, seriously?), you know that DaddyVents and I traveled to Washington, DC to celebrate my birthday. We left for DC on a rainy Saturday morning. After breezing through EZ pass lanes from New York to Virginia, we drove through the city’s Georgetown neighborhood to Kimpton’s Glover Park Hotel.

Kimpton-Glover-Park

On the border of Glover Archbold Park, Kimpton’s newest offering is just minutes outside of the city. The decorated wall of the hotel was the first thing we saw as pulled up. Glover Park is boutique hotel right in the middle of nature–we saw people biking and running through Rock Creek Park as we drove in.

The friendly front desk agent gave us a map and the WiFi password, and invited us to sit in the lobby until our room was ready (which was only about 5 minutes).

glover-park-hotel

hotel-welcome-basket

We dropped our bags off, charged our phones in the night stand’s built in outlets, and headed out to experience the city.
Since it was World Vegetarian Day, we drove over to the Takoma Park Metro station and grabbed some vegan soul food at Evolve Vegetarian Restaurant. Almost everything on the menu is plant-based and soy or gluten free. We sampled the oven fried Southern chick-un, yams, ginger kale salad, and collard greens, and then hopped in the car.

evolve-vegetarian-dc

I had heard about the International Spy Museum from friends. Since we were in the area, we decided to check it out. While the museum is a huge part of American history, it’s also just plain fun. It features the largest collection of international espionage artifacts on public display, and invites visitors to imagine themselves as spies.

spy-museum-dc

After stepping off the elevator, we chose new identities and learned about what motivates spies–and what to look out for! From cameras hidden in buttons to lipstick pistols, we learned the “strategies and techniques of the men and women behind some of the most secretive espionage missions in world history.”

international-spy-museum-dc

spy-museum-dc
Yup. That’s exactly what you think it is.

We explored over 100 artifacts from 50 years of James Bond films in the “Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains” special exhibit, eavesdropped on conversations, and crawled through air ducts right above other visitors.

We left the International spy Museum having learned one very important lesson: deny everything.

We headed back to Glover Park to freshen up and saw that the front desk staff had left me a birthday gift!

kimpton-hotel-dc

We enjoyed our bottle of wine while we searched Yelp for a good spot for dinner. The jumbo crab cakes at the iconic Georgia Brown’s had gotten great reviews, and they didn’t disappoint. We were too stuffed for dessert, so we went to a Miami carnival send off soca party at a club to dance off the calories and celebrate my birthday.

georgia-brown-restaurant

Bright and early (ok, not so early) the next morning, we rushed over to Washington DC’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture. Since the museum’s opening on September 24th, people have been lining up at 6am each morning to try to snag same day tickets. The line moved pretty quickly–because they had run out of tickets.
Disappointed, we hailed a Lyft to the only place that could truly make my birthday wishes come true…Target.

shine-organics-pouch

target-wine-section

After stocking up on some fall essentials (pumpkin spice K cups, Shine Organics snack pouches, and Luna bars), we got a Lyft back to the National Museum of African Art, talking with our driver about how Washington DC’s landscape had changed, and how New York and Chicago’s are quickly following.

african-art-museum-dc

museum-of-african-art

african-art-museum
“Hoe money.” Because I’m very mature.

We were ready to head home after exploring Africa’s art traditions, but I got a Facebook message that would make my day–a friend had gotten us tickets to the NMAAHC!

museum-of-african-culture

If you have the chance, go visit this museum. It is AMAZING. There’s so much to see–the exhibits chronicle our journey as a people–from slavery to the progress we’ve made today.

smithsonian-african-history

national-museum-of-african-culture

african-american-history-museum

The strides and successes of African Americans (and over 36,000 artifacts!) can be seen on each floor of the museum. From Dorothy Height’s hat to Muhammad Ali’s gloves, the MNAAHC shows us all “what it means to be an American and share how American values like resiliency, optimism, and spirituality are reflected in African American history and culture.”

black-history-museum

african-american-culture-dc

national-museum-culture-dc

Even though we’ll eventually have to say goodbye to the Obamas, and even though Black people are still being persecuted–we’ve come so far.

And that’s something to celebrate in Washington DC.

You know before we got on the road, we had to grab some veggie chili from Ben’s!

bens-chili-bowl-dc

Have you ever been to Washington D.C.?

Tiffani
Find me here

Tiffani

Tiffani is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, co-creator of The Mommy Conference, and co-founder of the digital collective Sisterhued. Her writing and parenting tips have been seen on The Washington Post, Mommy Noire, Yahoo Parenting, and Fit Pregnancy.
Tiffani
Find me here

10 Comment

  1. I would love to visit DC. There are a few places I have been to in the US and lived in but never actually made it to DC. I have heard there is so much to do there, and I am always interested in learning about new places.

    1. There’s a ton of stuff to do (and eat!) in DC! We always have a great time when we visit.

  2. We’ll be in DC over the Christmas holiday and you did a great job of highlighting places to visit. Our 6-year-old would love the spy museum.
    Joyce Brewer recently posted…2016 Atlanta Halloween Events ListMy Profile

    1. He’d absolutely love it! We had so much fun.

  3. Elle (Cleverlychanging) says: Reply

    I live near DC and I love the diversity of the area. There are people here from all of the world and when you enter a store you can hear people speaking in many languages. I’ve traveled across America and this is one place where I happily feel at home. The museum shops and rich cultural experience help remind me that Hope exists and when we work together we can live in harmony.

    1. There are so many cultural sites, sounds, and smells in DC–it’s almost like NY, but the people are a little friendlier, lol!

  4. WOW! I love this! Beautiful pictures…..I go to the African American Museum this week and I cannot wait!
    Tanya Barnett recently posted…2016 Black Authors & Readers Rock WeekendMy Profile

    1. You’re going to love it, Tanya! There’s so much to see–we plan to go back in spring.

  5. Ashlee says: Reply

    What a great post! I love DC and can’t wait to go to the museum with my family. Looks like Great Times.

    1. It was amazing! There’s so much to see and do at the museum–the wait time to see the first floor exhibits was an hour and a half!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge