DC Day #3: Monuments + Museums

April 5, 2023


Started the day off with another run (5.5 mi). I got slightly lost on the way back but it was fine. We did breakfast at the hotel which was again . . . okay (perhaps less than okay, because one of the staff kept chastising everyone for using the wrong trash can, even though the trash cans were not marked in any obvious way and we basically just sat there feeling like second graders in a school cafeteria rather than hotel guests, but whatevs).


Then we headed to the Washington Monument – we had tickets we scored online (“large group” option since there are 7 of us – it worked!).

sunny but a worthwhile shot nonetheless
pic from the top!
monument viewing
on the way down
great pic of the girls with my parents!
surveying our options around the mall . . .

Mall + Museums

We needed a bathroom, so we started with the Museum of American History just because it was the closest. It actually turned out to be pretty cool! My mom was excited about the Julia Child exhibit. AND at this point we were hungry so we headed to the cafeteria with low expectations and were pleasantly surprised.

my mom next to Julia’s kitchen

Some kids had chicken fingers + other kids/adults had more interesting fare like a southwest option that included sautéed hibiscus!

Then we headed to Air & Space. We had 2pm tickets and at first were dismayed to find a line out the door BUT it went fast once they opened the doors to our group. We watched a planetarium show and at least 3 of us napped. (Sightseeing is tiring!)

How many jokes are centered around this planet name?! Haha.

Then we headed to the sculpture garden and fountain there. LOVE this area.

Retook a famous (in our family) shot from 2013! Annabel, ages 13 months and 10 364/365

Then — as one does — we ended up just hanging out on the mall. We had ice cream and kids played. It was relaxing and we were SO lucky with yesterday’s weather!

hanging in the grass

Dinner @ Jaleo

We ate at Jaleo (one of your recs). I had TWO Jose Andres restaurants on our itinerary and I am not sorry about it! This was one of my favorite meals . . . ever?!

Kids were great and tried pretty much everything including squid + rabbit confit. Our server (who was awesome!) was impressed.

Enjoying squid!
Thumbs up all around

Once at the hotel I recorded a podcast ep on travel-related thoughts in real time. It was a great day AND I just slept 10 hours because I 100% needed it. (No run today).

We are headed on a little day trip + rented a car for the day (Turo!). AND it’s A’s bday!!!! Definitely will celebrate our newly 11 year old today.

Okay! To be continued!


  • Reply Lani Inlander April 5, 2023 at 8:29 am

    Happy Birthday A! What a full, perfect DC day. Great job planning! Haha. You’ll love love love the area you are going to today.

  • Reply Elisabeth April 5, 2023 at 8:55 am

    Happy Birthday to Annabel!

    This trip looks awesome. The weather. The food. The time with family. Yay! And we love recreating shots of past pictures. What a fun memento from your trip <3

  • Reply Kathleen April 5, 2023 at 8:56 am

    So glad you enjoyed Jaleo! It’s a favorite with our whole family too. And if you’re ever at the sculpture garden in the winter, you can try ice skating – the fountain turns into a rink!

  • Reply Miriam April 5, 2023 at 9:52 am

    What a beautiful week in DC!! These will be lifetime memories for the kids. So happy it’s been wonderful!

  • Reply Doris April 5, 2023 at 10:22 am

    Hooray for the weather – DC is showing you its finest! Happy birthday A! Your mother is the cutest.

  • Reply Flavia April 5, 2023 at 10:23 am

    The 2013-2023 photo is sweet. Time flies! Happy Birthday to A! We’re birthday twins (although I’m + about a million). 😂

  • Reply Elisabeth April 5, 2023 at 10:35 am

    Happy Birthday, Annabel!

  • Reply Liza Khan April 5, 2023 at 3:21 pm

    DC resident here loving seeing you enjoy my city! If you end up in or near Capitol Hill I have loads of recommendations for the best neighborhood in town!

  • Reply Alyce April 5, 2023 at 8:10 pm

    I’m so glad you had a great meal at Jaleo! I wanted to recommend Zaytinya because it was once my favorite DC restaurant but my most recent visit was a little disappointing. Maybe I was just there for an off day. But I love Jose Andres and all of his restaurants and I want them to be successful and busy!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 5, 2023 at 8:15 pm

      Oh nooooo! We are going tomorrow! Hopefully will be decent even if below its peak!

      • Reply Alyce April 5, 2023 at 10:33 pm

        I was worried that with Jose doing so many things, the attention to his older restaurants were waning, but if Jaleo was great, I’m sure Zatinya will be too. Some of my disappointment probably stems from the impossibility of re-experiencing my first visit (10 years ago, courtesy of a gift card wedding present from my husband’s co-clerks, when we were fresh out of grad school and still pretty broke and it was a very big deal special occasion meal out). I distinctly remember it also being the best meal I had ever had, which is a pretty high bar for any subsequent next visit.

      • Reply Cate April 5, 2023 at 10:50 pm

        One of my favorites – I think you should be confident heading in. I have a hard time being convinced to eat anywhere else when I’m in DC.

  • Reply akapulko2020 April 6, 2023 at 2:57 am

    Happy birthday to A who shares a birthday ( the year as well) with my daughter!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 6, 2023 at 8:23 am

      happy bday to your 11 year old!!!!

  • Reply Elissa May 25, 2023 at 2:21 pm

    We visit various museums around the country and we always enjoy the cafeteria food. Surprisingly good in most. Anyways, very late but glad you all had a good time!

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