How to Spend a Weekend in Washington D.C. When Everything is #Shutdown
The last time I went to Washington D.C. I was a kid and I don’t remember anything about that trip besides what I see in pictures. My mom and I rode the train up to Maryland apparently and guess what…I don’t even remember that. Robert and I were initially scheduled to go to D.C. back in September of last year but Hurricane Florence ended that trip quickly. Fortunately, we were able to get a credit for the flight and use it whenever we could.
The highlight of our weekend Washington D.C. trip was supposed to be going to the National Museum of African-American History and Culture but because of the Shutdown, we weren’t able to go. Needless to say, in 3 days we accomplished a lot anyway (I guess that’s what happens when you’re up at 3am for a 6am flight).
Where to Eat
Coming here was a MUST for the culture. Florida Ave. Grill has fed a whole bunch of our fave Black entertainers, political figures, and Howard University students since 1944. I remember watching Andrew Zimmern come here a few years ago for one of his shows and eat chitlins on video. It’s a small space but it’s worth going to based off history alone. There’s no where else in the world(maybe Atlanta) that can say they have a booth where MLK planned one of his marches.
This restaurant was literally the first stop Robert and I made as soon as we got off the plane; it came highly recommended from his brother and mine. Not only is it a restaurant, but it’s a bookstore too. The part I liked most about the building was the huge Langston Hughes mural on the wall. Of course, I couldn’t leave without buying a couple books to add to my shelf.
We met up with Robert’s aunt and uncle here because they love Indian food. I don’t remember the last time I had authentic Indian foods outside of Blue Apron meals but I was very satisfied with the Salmon Tikka Masala. It wasn’t too spicy where it felt like my mouth was on fire but it does have the right amount of kick to it. The belly dancer was a good show while I bussed down on the salmon too.
Where to Go
Despite the family that resides in there currently *huge eye roll*, I couldn’t go to D.C. without seeing the White House in person. Of course, we went to the gift shop beforehand for ALL the Obama merchandise. Honestly, it looks smaller than portrayed in the media(but maybe it was because I wasn’t super close up to it). In fact, there was one moment we drove past the Capitol building and I thought THAT was it. Secret Service was all around and I fought the urge to ask them what it was like to work for those people. Needless to say, I just took a quick pic and we left to go shopping.
We went to the the last day of our trip for an MLK parade and it was COLD cold. I swore to myself my hands were going to fall off. The high that day was 24 degrees but it felt waaaayyyy colder than that because of the wind(the wind there is something different). Another museum I wanted to visit there is the Anacostia Community Museum but, because it’s a Smithsonian museum, it was closed. I didn’t know it but Frederick Douglass’ home, Cedar Hill, is located in the area and is a historical site open for visitation…that place is on my “to-do” list for whenever I return.
My mother wanted me to go there when I was in high school but I had other plans back in 2007. Robert and I walked on campus a bit while we walked to Sankofa Video and Bookstore so I did feel like a student for a hot second. I already know if I went to college there, I’d be at Florida Ave. Grill all the time. The restaurant is across the street from campus so getting there in frigid temperatures wouldn’t be an issue ever. What I liked most about the campus is Benjamin Banneker High School that’s across the street also because representation matters a whole lot.
Despite the frigid temperatures, D.C. is a completely different city than what I’m used too. Everything moved faster and all the neighborhoods had their own identity and some sort of long historical significance. Hopefully, whenever this Shutdown is over, I’ll be able to go back to the NMAAHC and buy up all their merchandise.
Have you ever been to D.C. before? How long did you stay and which sites did you see?