Labor Day in the District

Washington Travel Blog

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Lovely Labor Day weekend in Washington

Labor Day is generally when everyone packs up and high-tails it to the beach for one last hurrah before Summer comes to an end.  But not me; I stayed in DC this weekend and took advantage of the smaller crowds downtown.

First of all, the weather was absolutely amazing.  Highs in the lower 80's, mostly sunny, breezy, and no more of that reched humidity that had plagued us over the past week.  Based on the weather report, I convinced a friend to come into town to check out some touristy stuff, before we were to go to the DC United match.

Friday night, we went to the Rock and Roll Hotel and saw Hot Hot Heat.  They probably peaked about six or seven years ago; back then, they sold out the much larger 930 Club well in advance, a show which I attended.

  Well now, after one poorly reviewed new album and another good but low-selling album...they're trying to build themselves back up.  What better way to do so than by playing fun little dives that hold maybe 350 people?  The show was a blast, as most events at Rock and Roll Hotel are.  Cheap beer, good music and good times with friends. 

Saturday, we started out at the World War 2 Memorial, trekked to the Lincoln Memorial (my first time going there!), then wandered through the Vietnam War Memorial and then found something I didn't know existed: the Memorial to the signers of the Delcaration of Independence!  What a hidden gem this place is, on a little island on a pond in Constitution Gardens.

  The memorial has each signature etched in gold, with the name, occupation and hometown of each signer, all separated by state.

Next, we headed to the mall to check out the Sculpture Garden.  It's not very big, takes maybe about an hour if you're slow and take some time to relax by the large fountain in the middle.  Some sculptures are bizzare, and some are really cool looking, like the staneless steel tree, the thinking rabbit and the iron spider!

After this, we decided to check out the Civil War exibit at the National Archives, right across the street.  Very cool exibit!  Lots of old photographs, original documents and reproductions of documents, going all the way from the buildup and start of the conflict, to reconstruction.

Constitution Gardens

Finally, it was onward to the American History Musuem for a quick visit.  We had two things we wanted to see: Julia Childs' Kitchen and Kirmit the Frog!  Both were very cool, especially the kitchen.  They basically took her kitchen and transplanted it right into the museum. Very cool. The exibit also featured pictures and video, all of her utensils (including the bizarre ones that most of us don't know exist) and all of her books.

Finally after all of this, we ended in Lafayette Park, right across from the White House. Ate hot dogs we got from a street vendor and enjoyed an always amusing protest. After all of this, it was quite difficult to conjure up the energy to go out, but we ended up at the DC United match in time to tailgate with a 12 pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Signers of the Declaration of Independence
  At the tailgate, another friend joined us, and then we were joined by several other nice DC United fans who were drawn to the PBR.  It has a way of doing that :)

As far as the game, yeah, they lost again.  However, as we were walking in, intent on buying the cheapest seats available, we were approached by a man who was just giving away three tickets.  We said, sure, why not?  Then we looked and saw that they were $75 suite box tickets!  We asked if there was a catch, and he just said, no, it's all good...enjoy!

We found the box, and turns out, the box belongs to the local Spanish language radio station, La Nueva 88.7 FM, who sponsor DC United.  The owner was in there with several of his friends, including the guy who gave us the tickets.  They were extremely welcoming, providing peanuts, popcorn and pizza.  Also, we all got a chance to practice our Spanish!  By the time the game was over, my friend got the email address of the guy who gave us the tickets, who said we were welcome back at anytime over the remainder of the season.

The best one

At the end of the match, we met up with some friends of one of my friends, and all decided to walk to Eastern Market to hit up some bars.  We stopped in the Bannana Cafe & Piano Bar first...but weren't feeling the scene.  Too many old people, and a rather lame piano player.  So we ended up at good old Molly Malone's, the place where I spend many a morning during World Cup.  We watched the last part of the LSU/UNC football game, and then called it a night soon after, because we were all so tired!

But this is why I love DC...almost everything I did all day prior to the last bar was...FREE!  Granted, free DC United tickets don't come around that often (especially sweet tickets like these), but it was just another string of good luck on an already awesomely free day!

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Lovely Labor Day weekend in Washin…
Lovely Labor Day weekend in Washi…
Constitution Gardens
Constitution Gardens
Signers of the Declaration of Inde…
Signers of the Declaration of Ind…
The best one
The best one
Sculpture Garden
Sculpture Garden
In Julia Childs kitchen
In Julia Childs' kitchen
South lawn of the White House
South lawn of the White House
View from Lafayette Park
View from Lafayette Park
Small group of Colombus Crew fans …
Small group of Colombus Crew fans…
View from the suite
View from the suite
The suite!
The suite!
Washington
photo by: b93sp