D.C. was a trip that Victor and I took as a “babymoon” before our second was born. I had been itching to go some where since I finally passed all the sickness and exhaustion the first few months of pregnancy brings. We hadn’t been anywhere since the summer and my initial thought was to go back to NYC over Christmas break. When I started looking for plane tickets I soon realized they were not in the price range I had hoped so I started researching places to visit during Christmas time. Victor and I love Christmas so we wanted somewhere that had the spirit of Christmas like NYC. Washington, D.C. popped up and the price was right!
Plane Tickets and Planning
We found round trip tickets through Spirit for $150 per person. Christmas time is a very busy time to fly so I managed to find us a trip right before the crowds started. We flew out the morning of Dec. 18th and flew back the evening of Dec. 21st. I booked our flights on Nov. 10th so that gave me a little over 5 weeks to plan! Our first step was to try to get a tour of the White House, but we were not successful. After that it was on to booking our hotel. After researching things to do, I realized that everything that you want to do is FREE! This is one of the most affordable trips to take because most tourist attractions cost you NOTHING!
We stayed at the Club Quarters Hotel on 17th street, which ended up being just a few blocks from the White House! We usually only book where they have complimentary breakfast but this place was running a special for only $80 a night (normally $200) and it was in a central location. Our hotel rewards had racked up and we got one free night, so we only paid 93 dollars after taxes for our stay! I always read hotel reviews before booking a hotel. I wanted to make sure the price reduction wasn’t because of unpleasant conditions. Needless to say that was not the case. We loved the hotel and had a great view. (See photo below) The room was small but who hangs out in their hotel while in DC…no one!:)
We landed in Baltimore at 10:15 a.m. and proceeded to the Amtrack station. When purchasing your ticket, you want the value ticket! Trains are constantly running. Once we made it to DC we headed to our hotel. Our room was ready before check-in so we were able to drop our bags and change before heading to our reservation at Founding Farmers. This place was awesome and delicious. You have to have a reservation or you will be running a very high chance of not getting a table. The food is locally sourced and fresh. Our waiter was a hoot and cracked jokes about Republicans because we were from Texas. In the photo below we were laughing because he said, “Say I love Donald Trump!” The people next to us did not find that amusing at all but oh well 😉
When we left the restaurant the temperature had dropped about 20 degrees, so we raced back to the hotel to put more clothes on! BRRRR! We then headed to see the White House and as many monuments as possible. We were also able to see the Christmas tree display outside the White House. They had a tree for every state and territory! The subway stations are much farther apart in D.C. than New York so be prepared to walk!
We decided to purchase 2-day trolley tickets, from Old Town Trolley Tours, so that we could hop on and off at the places we wanted to visit. When you are 6 months pregnant, you realize that you can only walk so far! Since everything we wanted to do was basically free we didn’t feel bad about spending money on the trolley. Our trip was a short one, so we didn’t want to waste time walking from place to place. They had a winter promotion where you buy one day and get the second for free. We paid $60 per person and it was money well spent! We started our day at the National Archives. This is where the most precious documents of our country are housed. We were not allowed to take pictures but I will tell you that it is a must see! We moved on to the American History Museum then to the Holocaust Museum.
We then rode the trolley out to the Arlington National Cemetery. If you have the chance to visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier please do it! We were able to see the changing of the guard. Those soldiers show you what pride for your country and dedication really means.
We then headed back into the city and took a short break at the hotel before hopping the trolley and riding out to Georgetown. This is the cutest area with cobblestone streets and fun shops. We of course stopped at Georgetown Cupcakes and then checked out a coffee shop named Peet’s. We managed to visit during their grand opening and got free drinks! We then crossed the street and had some amazing pizza at Pizzeria Paradiso. One of our pizzas had an egg on it and it was amazing! We then caught a taxi to the zoo, which is also free. We didn’t see many animals but we were able to enjoy the beautiful seasonal zoo lights. After that I was exhausted so we road the subway back to the hotel and crashed!
We had booked a tour to visit the U.S. Capitol, which again is also FREE, so we got up and stopped at a breakfast restaurant, Wicked Waffle, that served all things waffles. Victor went sweet and I went savory. Next, we hopped on the trolley and rode to the Capitol building. You have to book your tour in advance so go to the website before your trip. Our tour guide was hilarious! We were able to see rooms that our founding fathers served in, including Abraham Lincoln!
We then rode the trolley around and saw the few monuments we missed and hopped off at the Air and Space Museum. Once we finished it was time pick up our bags from the hotel and head to the airport. Our flight was bound to leave around 8:40 p.m. that evening but ended up getting delayed until 1 in the morning! This pregnant girl sure did sleep on the floor of the airport! LOL! We ended up getting vouchers for the inconvenience and made it back home at around 5 in the morning.
Washington, D.C. is definitely an affordable trip! If you go during the off season you can stay in a central location and get great deals. It was cold but we had a blast! I highly recommend purchasing the trolley pass to avoid walking for MILES. I am not exaggerating when I tell you everything is far apart. There are 19 Smithsonian museums and tons of monuments to visit that cost you nothing. If you want a tour of the White House, get online and write your senator early because it books up fast. We definitely splurged a bit on food because we spent nothing on tourist attractions and I was pregnant so food was a priority! I hope that we can return during the spring with our children one day and see the cherry blossoms. If you want any more tips or tricks, feel free to comment below!