Have you ever been so excited to travel somewhere and then when you get there and it’s a complete disappointment?
So far I’ve been relatively lucky. I can’t say a bad thing about London and would love to go back again. A piece of my heart forever resides in Greece and I’d visit Paris again but only in the Spring. I’ve never gone somewhere and thought, “Is this really it?”
That is, until I went to The White House.
My second day in DC began at The White House. Thankfully it didn’t end there because I would have been extremely disappointed to leave on such a low note. The White House legitimately looks exactly like a post card. It looks almost fake and wasn’t the least bit impressive.
Twenty minutes of my day was wasted visiting our President. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if there had not been so many protestors, news crews or large crowds but I’m used to visiting areas where a lot of people are. I’m officially going to be that person that tells you to skip the White House because it’s a waste of time when there are so many other things to see in DC.
With that said I continued my journey and head to the United States Botanic Garden. I was completely floored with how many flowers they fit in one place! At first I was convinced the US Botanic Garden was larger than the Brooklyn Botanical Garden in New York but that isn’t true. Still, they work with the space they have and filled it to the brim with so many different plants.
The United States Botanic Garden is one of the oldest gardens and was established in 1820 thanks to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.
What I found really interesting was a coffee tree (first picture above). Doesn’t it look so cool!? The coffee tree is native to Africa. Coffee beans are the seeds of the coffee fruit, which is called the coffee cherry.
After admiring all of the different flowers and plants, we walked right back outside and across the street to the Capitol Building.
The United States Capitol–or Capitol Building–is home of the United States Congress. It’s huge. Forget the White House. You want to be impressed? Head to the Capitol Building.
We unfortunately didn’t get to go inside because I hadn’t planned anything for my trip ahead of time. I normally schedule tours and buy tickets in advance to see the big sites but this was a trip we decided to take on a whim. I can’t wait to head back so I can schedule a tour of the Capitol.
If you’ve ever gone inside please leave a link to your blog post below! I’d love to read and look at pictures from your DC adventure.
After walking around the entire Capitol building we started towards our next adventure—The National Zoo!
There’s something about the zoo that thrills me. I remember visiting the Bronx Zoo as a little kid and driving through the zoo to see the monkeys. I’ll never forget being so afraid when one jumped on our car and started to hit it. It was abolustely terrifying but it also solidified my love for the zoo.
While I love to visit all of the different animals and learn about them I do feel bad they aren’t in their natural habitat and can’t roam freely.
The main reason we wanted to visit the zoo was to see the Giant Pandas.
The National Zoo is home to the cutest Giant Pandas. They have Tian Tian who is the more demanding on the Zoo’s two adult pandas and Mei Xiang, whose name translates in English to ‘beautiful fragrance.’ You can also see their cub that Mei Xiang gave birth to in 2015, Bei Bei. You can watch the Pandas on their official website here.
The pandas were so beautiful but I enjoyed seeing the other animals too. They had elephants, lions sleeping in the sun and a whole bunch of gorillas, apes and monkeys! You could easily spend the entire day at the zoo because it’s so big so if you’re traveling with kids keep that in mind.
I was completely exhausted and hungry after visiting the zoo so I convinced my friend it was finally time for dinner. We took a Lyft down to Chinatown so we could eat there and see the Friendship Archway.
We were surprised and disappointed Chinatown is only four or five blocks. They have many restaurants lining the district so finding authentic Chinese food wasn’t difficult but we were looking for the shops and stores we normally visit in New York’s Chinatown.
Even though it’s small I would still recommend Chinatown as a place to visit because you can get some really good authentic Chinese food! It was a pretty crowded area too. With some of the restaurants people were lined out the door waiting to get in.
Since I was hangry I refused to wait more than five minutes for food. We ended up eating at Chinatown Garden. It was quick, affordable and the cushioned seats were just what I needed after a full day of walking around. The food was good. Was it the best Chinese food I’ve ever had? Probably not but I’d still go back again if I was in a time crunch. The place got really crowded once we were done eating so it is relatively popular.
Have you ever gone to DC? Were you underwhelmed by the White House too? Let me know in the comments below.