Washington DC

Matt captured such a genuine moment between Courteney and myself.  This ended up being one of my favorite pictures from the trip.

Three years ago after a music festival and our first road trip together Matt and I made a stop in DC to see the Mall for the first time.  It was a horribly hot day and almost everything was under construction (there wasn't even water in the reflection pool) but it ended up being the most perfect day ever because we sat in the exact spot of this picture and he told me that he loved me for the first time. So of course we had to sit in the spot and reminisce about it and as usual I cried.

To get to NYC for the summer, Matt and I chose to drive up from Jacksonville, Florida – with a stop in DC.  We drove 10 hours on Wednesday and stayed with my friend Courteney, who lives in Arlington, Virginia, a suburb of DC.  Courteney got Thursday off of work so Matt and I decided to stay a half day, take the train into DC and walk the National Mall.  Matt and I had stopped in DC once before to see the Mall but unfortunately most of it was under construction at that time. Seeing it this time around in its full glory was amazing. Not only was it not under construction this time but we got lucky enough to enjoy a beautiful sunny 75 degree day.

When Matt and I travel we tend to do it on the cheap.  DC is such a great city for this since everything outdoors is free and relatively close to one another.  There are also park rangers walking around giving free tours.  The National Mall area, has a series of national landmarks dotted around a lake. Each monument provides a unique perspective on a historical figure and the time each person lived.  While walking the mall can be a long day, beautiful weather can make walking outside a better option than museums or inside tours.

I highly recommend the route we took, pictured below. It took us about 3 and a half hours but we were going along at a leisurely pace.  I would say the earlier you can get there the better because the tour buses come everyday (even weekdays, usually field trips) and it can get SO packed. I would recommends starting at the White House and walking clockwise around the mall pictured below.