It CAN be done!
Hour 1/ 1 p.m. : Arrive. Check into Holiday Inn near the Capitol Building. Avoid getting lost on the grid highway system. Feel proud that once you get there, with hardly enough time to gain your bearings, you’re still able to give a guy on the street directions to the parking garage. Well done.
|Statuesque in D.C. Courtesy Bree Kozak|
Hour 2/ 2 p.m. : After check in and baggage drop off, proceed to the National Mall and enter The National Gallery of Art. Find happiness in French Colonial paintings and value in Italian Neoimpressionism. Or whatever that means. Decide the coolest thing there is a painting by Salvador Dali.
Hour 3/ 3 p.m. : Make your way toward the Capitol building. Upon hiking there in 95 degree heat, discover where your tour begins is actually in the BACK of the Capitol building. Bitch and whine, trek around the uphill sidewalk and make snide, clever remarks like, “No wonder they call it Capitol HILL”
Hours 4 & 5/ 3 p.m.-4:45 p.m. : Tour the Capitol building, albeit much too fast. It’s crowded, the last tour of the day. Gaze at a painting on the Rotunda’s ceiling of Washington surrounded by 15 women. Decide he’s a pimp.
Last stretch of hour 5/ 4:45-5 p.m.: Run through the botanical garden before it closes. Marvel at the awesome tropical flora, despite the fact that it’s hotter it in here than it is outside. Kick yourself for promising yourself relief from the heat, but pat yourself on the back that you squeezed in three attractions in 3 hours
Hours 6 & 7/ 6 p.m.-8 p.m.: Pause just long enough to fill yourself with the slightly overpriced Holiday Inn restaurant buffet. Decide the best thing to do after filling your stomach would be to go swimming.
Hours 8 & 9/ 8 p.m.-10 p.m.: Make your way to the rooftop pool. Almost fall over at the sight of 60 kids in the pool. Decide it’s because D.C. closes at five and there’s nothing else to do. Get sucked into the most awesome full-pool game of beach ball. Remark that you have never had so much fun with perfect strangers in an over-crowded pool. Begin to love Washington D.C.-goers.
Hours 10 – 20/ 10 p.m.-8 a.m.: Unwind and SLEEP!
|Fury Friends at Smithsonian Courtesy Bethany Kozak|
Hour 20/ 9 a.m.: Make way to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. Have the most fun looking at stuffed mammal exhibit, ocean exhibit. Become essentially overcome by the Geology, Gems and Minerals exhibit. Fantasize about mining for gold, discovering turquoise in Arizona and finding outrageously beautiful rock segments in Brazil. Remind yourself to keep dreaming.
Hours 21-22/ 10 a.m.-noon: Walk around the National Mall. Look at the Washington Monument. Gaze at the WWII Memorial. Walk all the way to the Lincoln Memorial and complain how far the walk is. Get there, and realize the Reflection Pool is devoid of water. Ruin your photo Op, but vow to return when Reflection Pool nears completion. Walk past White House but don’t get close because it’s too far to walk.
Hours 22-24/ Noon-2 p.m.: Stumble upon The Smithsonian Folklife festival and eat some hot, delicious Columbian food. Run to the Smithsonian Museum of American History. Run through to see Julia Child’s kitchen, an awesome recreation of the Chicago El in the 1950s, see a display of the original muppets by Jim Henson, and take pictures of the hippie/1960s giftshop. Return to hotel to depart back for Philadelphia.
Wrap it up: In 24 hours, we visited 3 museums, the botanical garden, the Capitol Building (complete with tour), The Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, saw the White House from afar….all on foot! This is proof that D.C. is dooable, and ENJOYABLE in 24 hours. Cheers!