A Road Trip: Thirty-Four Sweet Hours

inspirational virgil quote

This weekend we took a quick road trip to Washington D.C.

Somehow we packed three or fours days worth of touring into 34 hours.

DC road trip

We practically had monuments coming out of our ears.

We left home at 9 am on Sunday morning, drove about 100 miles, and then stopped for brunch at The Diner in D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood.

If you’re gluten-free, I highly recommend the pancakes. YUM.

My guys want you to try the tater tots.

brunch Adams morgan

Tater tots are good for your taste buds.

After pancakes, bread pudding french toast, and a veggie Reuben, we walked to the National Zoo.

Note: The ape house is NOT good for your nose.

gorilla yard national zoo

After mouth breathing my way through the ape house, I’d opt for a day outside too.

We walked A LOT. In 34 hours, I clocked 47,000 steps on my pedometer.

That’s about 20 miles.

tortoise D.C. zoo

I’m moving a little slower today.

Luckily there was plenty of sustenance.

Top Chef Mike Isabella Graffiato

Top Chef alum Mike Isabella’s Graffiato is a fun food adventure.

And that night we had a relaxing moonlight trolley ride around D.C.

Old Town Trolley tours washington d.c.

This was a fitting way to spend Memorial Day weekend.

Memorials in D.C.

The next morning we walked to the National Mall and toured the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

American History car dealership

My son will be waiting a long time to get a car loan at this dealership.

But waiting is not so bad.

We waited in this line at Georgetown Cupcakes (yes, we also toured Georgetown!)

Easy wait when this is at the end of the line:

Especially because the chocolate lava cupcakes were gluten-free.

Then, home again, home again, jiggety jig.

But not before we picked up a souvenir.

D.C. souvenir

How did you spend your weekend? Do you have a favorite tourist spot?

Happy Tuesday!

48 thoughts on “A Road Trip: Thirty-Four Sweet Hours

  1. Family time for me, and it was nice to sit and relax during this crazy busy month! Your pics are awesome, and I am very impressed at how much you walked!


  2. What a lovely visit to the D.C. area. Loved your picture essay of the trip. Glad you and your family had such a good time. That’s a lot of walking. Haven’t been there in 20 years. Did you by chance see the Memorial Day Concert around the Capital? I watched that both nights on PBS. It was such a beautiful weeekend in Ohio. We cooked out and had our daughter over. And, I cleaned out my closets and have a huge stack ready for a charity.


    1. We did see some of the crowd heading toward the concert–that’s when we were on the trolley. I heard it was great! I’m glad you had a good weekend too, Patricia. 🙂


  3. Oh, what fun and great pics! We’ve not been to DC in probably 6 years. But, I especially love the food photos (of course). Those cupcakes…well worth the 700+ miles drive for, as far as I’m concerned. 😉


  4. Unlike you, Colleen, I spent my weekend home either reading blogs and emails or designing two new characters for a book I wrote, so it was VERY enjoyable reading about your fun-filled weekend with your family 😀

    What great pictures (I can’t imagine you weren’t pooped after this whirlwind) 🙂 I leave feeling I know D.C. just a bit better through this post, so thanks for sharing. What I feel–overwhelmingly–is hunger! lol Wow, what food!


    1. I’m still pooped. I think my legs are having a delayed reaction. But it was worth it. And now I will get myself working by the inspiration of your weekend productivity. 🙂 Wow!


  5. I had such a wonderful time when I went to DC (years ago). What a fun trip to do over Memorial Day weekend! Georgetown was awesome. I bought a straw hat with a pink ribbon. I still have it somewhere…


  6. Looks like you packed in a lot in a very short time. 47k steps that’s a lot of walking – I took in a Memorial Day parade and logged a few thousands steps myself. We live close to Chicago – much less than a hundred miles and we’ve visited but never done a sustained visit like you did. It sounds like a fun idea – have a wonderful week! It looks to be a good one.


    1. Thanks, Clay! I do like Chicago. When I lived in Indiana we went several times for parades and museums. We also took the kids there a few years back. They loved Navy Pier. 🙂


  7. Ha! I’m doing the pedometer thing, too, in an effort to get more walking in since I’m sitting so much of the day. (Which must be why I came up with the Heart poem.) This year, our son was in Boston and my husband and I did work around the house, but what a great idea – going to D.C.! I think we’re going to try that next Memorial holiday. Especially for those cupcakes!!


    1. Work days always make it difficult for me to get steps. All that sitting! I have to do at least half on my lunch break or I won’t make it to 10K before bed. Loved your heart photo and poem, btw. 🙂


  8. Looks like a fun time. DC is one of the places on my bucket list. Some day.

    I spent my four days doing DIY home improvement projects and writing. I accomplished everything on my to do list this weekend and even managed to get the lizard outside again – finally. He’s been living in our house (laundry room I think) for a few days.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt


  9. What a great way to spend Memorial Day! Mmmm……tater tots! I need to do a weekend in DC soon.

    We have a Georgetown Cupcake here in NYC and they are amazing!

    Also, thanks so much for the donation to my Wounded Warrior Tough Mudder run!


  10. Great way to spend a long weekend, Coleen! Monumental, one might say 😉 I’m looking forward to an upcoming day trip, wherein a group of us who are rather unfit are going to do a 12km walk. There will be a delicious brunch at the end of it as incentive 🙂


  11. What fun! Especially the food. I’d walk 20 miles just to be able to eat whatever I want. I’m guessing you don’t eat gluten. Are you also vegetarian?


    1. Mostly vegetarian. I was vegan for a couple of years too, but then with the gluten issue, eating became too complicated. I do feel a lot better eating veggie though. Thanks, Lisa. 🙂


  12. Great photo of the Washington Monument! I love Washington; there is so much to do and the limits on building heights make it feel cozy and friendly. After a visit to New York a couple of years back, my son observed that he preferred Washington, as it was “more like Kittery” (as in Kittery, Maine). Of course, Kittery is NOTHING like Washington (although our town government has had its share of dysfunction).

    I also like the fact that Washington is filled with federal middle class worker types, so I don’t feel like a frumpy Mainer as I do in “hipper” cities!


    1. I never thought about the building height before, but now that you mention it, that does make a difference! And I so know what you mean about the “hip” factor! 🙂


  13. Looks like a fun trip. Shorter trips can pack a lot of punch! Love the glimpse of gluten free treats too! The tater tots look great. (Hubby found a recipe and makes them now at home. yummy!)


  14. Good thing you did all that walking girl after what looked like a colossal breakfast. lol. But what a great road trip. I love those kinds of trips with the family. So glad you all had a wonderful time!! 🙂


  15. Oh, how sweet! You’ve made me want to go to DC now. Our family went to the National Zoo a couple of months ago, (my first time ever, despite living two hours away my entire life. Shame.) and I was totally freaked out by the “ape transit line” thing that the apes can apparently use to cross the park whenever they feel like it. I’m sure they’ve taken every precaution but, still, the idea of an orangutan swinging over my head does not make me think “Neat!”…it terrifies me.

    Maybe I’ve seen too many Planet of the Apes movies…


    1. Hi Meredith! I know exactly what you mean! I didn’t see the orangutans this time, but found myself looking up every time we walked past the “orangutan crossing” sign. I don’t understand how the orangutans stay up there. Do they bribe them with bananas or are they wearing electric collars? Either way, no guarantees. And how do they stop them from going to the bathroom? If getting pooped on by a bird is good luck, I guess orangutan poop is akin to hitting the lottery. 🙂


    1. With all the beautiful things you’re creating and putting up on your web site, Barbara, I can’t imagine there’s time for a road trip! 🙂 Always love to see what you’ve created!


  16. Wow, Coleen, I can’t believe you and the family did so much in such a short time. That’s a long time in the car. Good thing you got lots of walking in, too. I love your photos. They’re always awesome. Thanks for all the chuckles, too!


  17. Oh how fun! I had NEVER been to DC up until a couple of years ago, so I went with my roommate for her birthday and we say everything! We rented bikes and it was so much fun! Looks like you guys had a great time!


  18. Yeah, now that I am no longer a student and have some financial resources, it would be interesting to try out D.C. again — unfortunately, my only memories of D.C. are of living in the George Washington U. dorms during the summer when I did an internship there. I had a number of harrowing experiences there, but one of them was waking up at about 4:00 a.m. to find that I was choking on exhaust from about 32 trucks that were idling on the street outside my window. I actually broke into a room across the hall, which had a window that opened to the other side of the building, cranked up the air conditioning and went back to sleep.


  19. Coleen it has been sometime for me since I visited this beautiful city and your post reminded me how much Washington Dc has to offer. Very special travel memories long since gone. You brought them all back and I was there with you. thank you from an x back packer.


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