A Travellerspoint blog

Washington D.C.

Day 2: Hi Ho! Kermit the Frog here...

sunny 68 °F

Woke up to a gorgeous day in DC. Started off heading over to Dupont Circle, and grabbed a coffee at Filter. Their French pressed "morning brew" was a nice way to start the day. The streets of DC were filled with every urban cliché you could think of: the guy in a suit riding a Razor scooter to work, the construction workers cat calling as women walked by, and even the well dressed panhandler begging with his empty Starbucks cup. Yep, I actually kind of miss being near the city.
Filter Coffeehouse

Filter Coffeehouse

I then started my trek through the National Mall towards the museums. I must admit it is almost surreal to see all of these buildings and monuments that I'm so familiar with but have never seen in person until now. My first stop was the Holocaust Museum. Though everything in DC is free, this museum requires a ticket so they can control the size of the crowds going through at a time. The ticket I received was good in an hour, so I looked around the other temporary exhibits in the museum while I waited. Once inside the permanent exhibit, it immediately became very humbling. The way the museum is designed and the path/timeline it creates is both brilliant and beautiful, amidst the subject matter of absolute horror and sadness. It took me almost 2 hours to view the permanent exhibit, but there is enough content here to easily have spent double that amount of time.
Holocaust Museum

Holocaust Museum

It was already well into the afternoon at that point, so I decided to hike it up to Capitol Hill for lunch. I grabbed a few slices at We, The Pizza. This place is also owned by chef Spike, though I thought the food at Good Stuff was much more enjoyable. While eating outside, I got to see Spike's dad running the show for a bit. Then I grabbed another Good Stuff milkshake for the road, and walked around the Capitol Building for a while.
Some more good stuff

Some more good stuff

Creeper at the Capitol

Creeper at the Capitol

Next up, it was time to hit up some of the Smithsonian museums. I started with the Air & Space Museum. It was SUPER crowded here, so I didn't spend a ton of time. Really cool to see remnants from the Apollo missions though, as well as an original glider plane from the Wright Brothers. After that, I strolled through one of the art gardens and then hit the American History Museum. This place had everything from the Star Spangled Banner to Julia Child's kitchen. However the highlight for me was seeing an original Kermit the Frog puppet that was donated by Jim Henson (I obviously have simple needs).
Air & Space Museum

Air & Space Museum

American History Museum

American History Museum

My idol

My idol

After 8 hours straight of trekking, I headed back to the apartment and met up with Julie and Shannon. After a little r & r, we hit up the ChurchKey bar for some drinks. The place was cool, and had an amazing beer selection. Then it was time to call it a night since Julie had one more day or work ahead of her. The weather for day 3 is shaping up to be even better than today, perfect to see all the monuments and memorials left on my list.

Posted by juliejakicic 06:56 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Washington D.C.

Day 1: ...good stuff

sunny 58 °F

Well, since Julie has seen DC before and this is my first time, this travel blog is about to have its first TIMMY TRAVEL BLOG TAKEOVER!
Let's do this!

Let's do this!

I flew in Thursday evening and was met at the airport by Julie and Shannon. We immediately set off to the first stop of the trip, the Pentagon Memorial. Though very beautiful, at first glance the memorial seemed very simplistic. However upon further investigation, there was actually a lot of thought put into it. Each bench represented a person or family that was lost in the Pentagon attack on 9/11. The names were engraved on the sides of the benches, and the benches were facing 2 directions. For someone lost in the Pentagon, you would read the name facing the Pentagon, and those lost in the plane you would read the name facing the sky in the path of the flight. The benches were arranged by birth year of the victims, and a wall along the side starts at a height of 3 inches and ends at 71 inches, the age ranges of the victims.
F31CC0F82219AC681752415EA9A82C56.jpgPentagon Memorial

Pentagon Memorial

Since I arrived late in the evening, there wasn't much time left for sights. So we headed to Good Stuff Eatery to grab some dinner, the burger joint owned by Spike Mendolsohn from Top Chef. The burger and fries were super tasty, and the toasted marshmallow milkshake was AWESOME!
Good Stuff Eatery

Good Stuff Eatery

Didn't even get a picture taken before I devoured it

Didn't even get a picture taken before I devoured it

We had enough time to make a quick post-dinner stop to see the White House and drive past a few monuments/buildings, then it was off to Shannon's as she graciously let us invade her apartment for this long weekend. On to day 2, with a full day ahead of me.
White House

White House

Posted by juliejakicic 06:15 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Ireland: Dublin

Bonjour, Dublin!

rain 47 °F

For our last day in Dublin we started off the morning site seeing. We walked over the Ha'Penny bridge, walked O'Connell Street, walked by the old Jameson Distillery, saw the church that inspired the story of Dracula, saw Christchurch, walked around St. Patrick's Cathedral and the cathedral garden.

Our hotel

Our hotel


Ha'Penny Bridge

Ha'Penny Bridge


James Joyce statue on O'Connell Street

James Joyce statue on O'Connell Street


Old Jameson Distillery

Old Jameson Distillery


St. Michan Church

St. Michan Church


Christchurch

Christchurch


St. Patrick's Cathedral

St. Patrick's Cathedral


St. Patrick's Cathedral

St. Patrick's Cathedral

After site seeing we got all gussied up and went to the fancy-pants Shelbourne Hotel for high tea. The hotel bell hops wore throw-back uniforms and there were beautiful fresh flowers in the hotel lobby. The tea was a first for both of us and something we'd definitely do again! We started with tea and coffee, then they brought us an assortment of finger sandwiches, then an assortment of desserts. The sandwiches were good but the desserts were definitely the highlight of the tea.

Shelbourne Hotel

Shelbourne Hotel


High Tea

High Tea


Desserts

Desserts

Across from the Shelbourne Hotel is St. Stephen's Green, a large park. Lucky for us, it stopped drizzling right after tea! The trees are just starting to bloom and there are beauuutiful swans in the ponds! I imagine the park is amazing in the summer.

St. Stephen's Green Arch

St. Stephen's Green Arch


St. Stephen's Green

St. Stephen's Green


Swans

Swans

Tim wanted to have his OWN high tea, so we went to the famous Davy Byrnes pub for a pint and an Irish coffee.
Davy Byrnes

Davy Byrnes

Tonight we went to the pubs again. Hooooly crap. The French have officially invaded Dublin. There is a France/Ireland rugby match tomorrow and I'm pretty sure all of France is here to support their team. The pubs that we were walking in and out of days ago were packed and flowing out into the streets tonight. I've never seen so many berets or heard so much French. There were vendors in the streets selling French and Irish rugby scarves. We managed to find a table at a local microbrewery and I finally had fish and chips! Then we went to O'Donoghue's for a pint and finished the evening back at The Temple Bar in Temple Bar. It was PACKED. Excusez-moi! We found a "secret" spot at the bar Tim had spied the night before and had the whole corner to ourselves. The house band was playing all sorts of interesting songs. The Irish must be huge Tracy Chapman and Bruce Springsteen fans. We heard them over and over at all the pubs. Then tonight they broke out "She'll be comin' 'round the mountain" which the ENTIRE bar of 600 French and other citizens sang at the top of their lungs. Interesting. Did we sing along? Of course we did!

Porterhouse Microbrewery

Porterhouse Microbrewery


O'Donoghue's

O'Donoghue's


The Temple Bar

The Temple Bar


Secret nook

Secret nook


"She'll be comin' 'round the mountain..."

"She'll be comin' 'round the mountain..."


Crazy crowds

Crazy crowds

It's sad to say goodbye to Ireland but we definitely enjoyed ourselves and I have a feeling we'll be back. Perhaps during warmer weather. Slán go fóill, Ireland.

Posted by juliejakicic 17:17 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

Ireland: Dublin

Shopping, drinking, and ice cream....oh my!

rain 45 °F

We woke up this morning to the screeches of seagulls. This is slightly better than the screeching osprey that we're used to, as the seagulls seem to take breaks. It was a rainy day today in Dublin. Not a heavy downpour, but a steady drizzle/mist.

We had a "full American breakfast" at a local tea shop. The bacon was the best we've had so far and even though the "pancakes" were crepes folded in half, they were delicious. And I can't forget the fresh scrambled eggs!

Tea Shop

Tea Shop

Full American Breakfast

Full American Breakfast

We spent most of the day exploring Grafton Street, a shopping area, and the surrounding areas.

Grafton Street

Grafton Street


Shopping Mall

Shopping Mall

Halfway through the day we came back to the hotel and napped. You know how you can stick your arm out in front of an elevator and it will stop and reopen? Apparently the elevators in this hotel don't have that feature. I was almost cut in half today.

After our nap we hit up the pubs. Our first stop was the Stag's Head Pub, founded in the 1800s. Our second stop was Brazen Head Pub, the oldest pub in Ireland. It was founded in the 1100s! We had a drink at each and then spent the rest of our evening in the Temple Bar.....in Temple Bar, founded in the 1700s. We had delicious goat cheese croutes and had our beers next to a window where we could people watch. We were also directly across from an ice cream shop. I eventually couldn't take it and I had to run across the street and bring an ice cream back to the bar. Not without being questioned by some weird man, of course. I'm a weirdo MAGNET!!!

Brazen Head Pub

Brazen Head Pub


Stained glass in Sag's Head Pub

Stained glass in Sag's Head Pub


Temple Bar

Temple Bar


Drinking in Temple Bar

Drinking in Temple Bar

Tomorrow we have reservations for high tea! So excited!

Posted by juliejakicic 16:22 Archived in Ireland Comments (3)

Ireland: Dublin

A day of high, highs and low, lows

This morning we took our time getting up before saying goodbye to Galway. We decided on gas station blintzs for breakfast and stopped at three places until we finally found them. Yum. Then we drove straight to the Guinness Storehouse on the edge of Dublin.

The Guinness tour was really cool. It's a self-guided tour through 6 levels of Guinness history, all within a giant Guinness glass. There are interactive sections and a Guinness Academy where you learn how to perfect the Guinness pour. Then at the very top level you get to drink your Guinness at the Gravity Bar which overlooks the city at almost 360 degrees.

94544BDD2219AC6817853D4EEF565741.jpg
Inside Guinness Storehouse

Inside Guinness Storehouse


Layout of Storehouse

Layout of Storehouse


Barrels

Barrels


Tim trying for the perfect pour

Tim trying for the perfect pour

Passed the perfect pour test

Passed the perfect pour test

We took the tour a step farther and signed up for the Connoisseur Experience, which has only been available for 6 months. We were the only two that signed up!!! This was a pleasant surprise since, as you've read, we've either been experiencing stores that have been closed or tours that are full. The Connoisseur Experience takes you behind the scenes to, "Dublin's most exclusive bar, and the maybe the most exclusive in the world, with the worlds largest corporate archives available to the public". We went to the "hidden bar" and had the whole room to ourselves! The room was decorated with paintings of Guinness family members and archives of recipes, etc. We tested four beers: Guinness Black Lager, Guinness Draft, Guinness Extra Stout, and Guinness Foreign Extra. Then Tim asked some questions about the holiday release and when the bartender asked how Tim liked it, Tim said he never had a chance to try it before it sold out. One walkie talkie call later and we had a taste of the holiday release as well as two bottles to take with us!!!

Empty Connoisseur Bar

Empty Connoisseur Bar


Connoisseur Bar

Connoisseur Bar

From the factory we drove to the parking garage by the hotel and.....AN HOUR AND A HALF LATERRRRRRR we found it. If I was to give anyone advice about traveling to Dublin: do not take a car, I repeat, DO NOT take a car into the city. Leave it at a car rental place, drive over a cliff and report it stolen, anything but the city!!! Dublin's street signs SUCK! Street signs are on the sides of buildings. Sometimes they are there, sometimes they aren't. Half of them have the lettering washed away. The other half have vines growing over them. They are never lit up. Aaaaaand streets change names each block! Because of this disaster, we are skipping the day trip to Newgrange tomorrow and we're going to spend the day exploring the city instead. The poor Pixo is grounded till we have to leave for the airport.

After that mini-disaster out of the way, we went to the Fitzsimons Pub in the Temple Bar area to have dinner and listen to some traditional Irish music and watch traditional Irish dancing as well! It was a good end to a long day.

Fitzsimons Pub in Temple Bar

Fitzsimons Pub in Temple Bar

Ghost stories at the pub....

Ghost stories at the pub....

Posted by juliejakicic 16:09 Archived in Ireland Comments (2)

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