Since I had been in Washington DC all week for a MarkLogic training event, I decided to talk Kaitlin into flying into Dulles Airport (IAD) to meet me for a weekend of sight seeing. There was a jetBlue flight out of Orlando at 1:15pm with plenty of seats open, so she was able to fly standby and even got a legroom seat! Since I didn’t have a whole lot to do that morning, I went over to the airport and did some freelance work while waiting for her at the terminal.
After the plane arrived, we rode the courtesy shuttle to the Hertz rental car location slightly off airport property and picked up our Nissan Versa. Hertz is great for travelers under 25 because they have a gold club membership which waives the age fee. We then headed to Chevys for an appetizer while waiting on some of her friends to get ready to go to dinner.
The next day, we got up a bit early and toured the monuments, then headed to Vapiano for lunch in Chinatown. Vapiano is a newer chain restaurant that is gaining popularity in the DC area. You get a menu, and after deciding what you’d like to eat, you walk up to the chef line and tell them your order. They’ll ask you how spicey, what extras, etc you want, and then cook your meal right in front of you. To pay, you simply tap a RF card against the computer and it adds the items to your total bill.
After lunch, we were off to see the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, which I had been to a few times, but Kaitlin hadn’t. The museum offers several rotating exhibits, so even if you’ve been there before, there’s always something new. The oceans exhibit is excellent, with lots of video, as well as fossils and preserved marine animals. Most famous, the dinosaur exhibit is good as well, but that’s never been one of my key points of interest. Once the museum closed at 5:30pm, we walked around the National Mall and took photos in front of all the monuments.