After a morning of cherry blossom exploration, we made our way (or tried to at least) through the subway system of DC. We purchased day passes for unlimited metro trips, which helped so much in the long run when covering a lot of ground while keeping your feet rested.
Of course, as much as I try to plan ahead for the unexpected, something always comes up. On our way to the National Archives we had to pop into a CVS as I started to feel little blisters on my toes. I swear, I choose my comfiest flats even with Nick looking at me like, “Shouldn’t you wear, you know, tennis shoes?” But my tennis shoes hurt my toes after a while, which is another problem entirely. Anyway, after bandages were purchased and applied, we were good to go!
We didn’t get tickets in advance for the National Archives, but thanks to the Cherry Blossom parade along Constitution Avenue, standing in line for about twenty minutes was actually pretty entertaining! The facade of the building is beautiful and taking some time to stand in line and appreciate it was not the worst thing in the world.
Photography wasn’t allowed inside, so I don’t have any shots of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution or Bill of Rights, but it was amazing to see the original documents. Much of the ink had faded and some portions were hard to make out, but it was certainly a worthwhile experience to just be near that kind of history. Not to mention, as we left the parade was just wrapping up and we walked into a confetti celebration!
Afterward, we took the subway east and made our way to Good Stuff Eatery. I’d read a Food Network article about the best places to eat in DC, and this had been listed. They had handcrafted burgers and I chose one with Roquefort cheese, Applewood bacon, horseradish mayo and an onion marmalade. I’m not usually very excited about burgers, but it was absolutely delicious. Not to mention their “Village Fries” covered in fresh rosemary and thyme. If you’re in the nieghborhood, give it a try!
After our tummies were full, we made our way to the Library of Congress. The building was constructed after the original library, housed in the Capitol Building, was set on fire by British troops in August 1814. President Jefferson offered his own library of 6,487 books as a replacement. The Library as it is today was built in 1886, and styled after buildings from the Italian Renaissance. I’d highly recommend stopping, I think it was my favorite part of the day.
You can get a “Readers Pass” and visit the library itself, but they encourage you not to do so if you’re going to simply browse. Instead, they ask that you have a valid research question. Nick is clearly much more honest than I am, as he pointed out we didn’t have any research questions and no need to really go in and bother those who were actually researching…
Meanwhile, I desperately racked my brain for things that sounded official enough to go research! The library was beautiful, and between my love of books, architecture, and history, I was in heaven.
Our last stop was Chinatown, which I’ll post about soon, and was an adventure in and of itself!