Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Washington Week in Review

We had another great vacation! This time we went to Virginia and Washington DC. The main reason for the trip was to attend the wedding of my cousin (on my Mom's side) Katie Sloper to Matt Johnson. They chose Algonkian Regional Park as the location of their wedding, and it is a lovely place. Many of the guests stayed at cottages in the park. We chose to stay at the Hyatt Place in Sterling, VA. We did not drive or rent a car, so the hotel's van service was greatly appreciated, especially on the day of the wedding when 3 loads of wedding guests were transported to the park for the wedding and then home again late that night after the reception.
Since we were going to be in such a great tourist area we decided to add days to our trip and do some sight seeing. We arrived at Dulles Airport on Thursday, May 5, kind of late in the afternoon, so spent the rest of that day getting settled in our hotel and eating supper at a great restaurant just across the street, The Sweetwater Tavern. Evidently this is a chain--wish there was one in Nebraska! We ended up there on Sunday night as well.
Friday was spent touring the National Air and Space Museum near Dulles. Everything from kites and gliders to the space shuttle Enterprise is displayed there. Mike and Mary picked us up on Friday evening for the rehearsal dinner which was held in nearby Reston at the M & S Grill. Another great place to eat! It was nice getting a chance to connect with my younger cousins, and re-connect with those closer to my age.
Saturday was the main event, the wedding, so we decided to be shoppers instead of tourists, and we stayed pretty close to the hotel. We walked to Dulles Town Center, a good sized shopping mall about a mile from our hotel. Every building we saw in Sterling looked new, and there is a lot of vacant office space.
The wedding was lovely. Pictures are on the right. We enjoyed meeting Mary's good friend Jane and her husband, as well as George, my cousin Thene's husband. We had a great time at the reception--a fabulous meal and a fun time dancing.
Sunday and Monday were our days to tour DC. To get there we took the van from the hotel to the airport where we caught the 5A bus which dropped us at L'Enfant Plaza. We were within walking distance of everything we wanted to see. We spent a lot of time at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum on Sunday and at the National Museum of the American Indian on Monday. We also did a walk through at the US Botanical Garden outdoor area. We only saw 3 museums while we were on our trip, but we spent quite a bit of time at each one. We both enjoy that a lot more than racing through so you can get to another destination.
My cousin Mary and her husband Mike (parents of the bride!) were back to their normal routine on Monday, so we took the metro to the King Street station Alexandria where they met us and gave us a driving tour of Old Town Alexandria and treated us to supper at their favorite Mexican restaurant. While we were waiting at the metro station for them to pick us up we noticed an Embassy Suites right across the street. Embassy Suites is our favorite hotel and we often talk about our plan to live out our declining years at one instead of going to a rest home. It would be cheaper, there is happy hour, they clean your room every day, etc. etc. We also have a plan where we live for a year at Embassy Suites around the country. This looks like a good one to put on our list!

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