Hello Kennies! It’s been a while! Since the pandemic started I’ve had cancelled trips and changed plans out the wazoo. But, I am very happy to be sitting down at my computer to tell you about an adventure I was so excited and grateful to take!1
D.C. has so much to offer. There were a lot of things that we couldn’t see because of COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter Movement, but the cost of getting to D.C. was insanely cheap. In case you didn’t know, the reason my family needed to go to D.C. this summer is because of my youngest brother graduating from Officer Candidacy School in Quantico, VA. We were unsure about travel when we bought our tickets back in May, but decided was worth chancing to see him graduate (we still watched online, before picking him up from the Marine Corps base). A big plus to taking that chance was that the airline was letting people change their travel plans for free, and Kotah and I did purchase trip insurance on the off-chance that we were going to have to cancel the trip altogether. I couldn’t see that happening, though since we were more likely to change our flight to somewhere else that was open (and safe). 🙂
We drove from Birmingham, AL to North Carolina to spend time with family, and it was cheaper to fly out of Raleigh than Birmingham, so it ended up working out beautifully! The drive to Raleigh was about an 1.5/2 hours give or take. We flew United on the way up and American all the way back to Alabama. A post is going later on about cleanliness and guidelines to be aware of while traveling nowadays. Here’s what I spent:
|TO D.C.||FROM D.C.||Total|
Raleigh > D.C.
D.C. > Charlotte > Birmingham
While we were there, we stayed with friends (cost efficient, lemme tell ya), but on my birthday Kotah rented us a car through Turo for a couple days! He wouldn’t willingly give me this information, but through Turo we rented a 2020 Tesla Model 3 for $85/day. Kotah also paid about $8 +/- in electric before returning the car. To put those numbers into perspective, if I rented a Tesla through Hertz’s Dream Cars program, it would run me around $400/day. The guy who owned it dropped it off and picked it up, and we had the best time driving and riding in it! Once we got downtown, Kotah paid for a parking spot in a parking garage (About $20).
We left the car safely parked, and then hopped on scooters for the day to see the city! If you’ve never ridden scooter, here’s a simple breakdown that I wish I’d had before renting one! Each scooter works through an app by the name on your scooter (Spin, Lime, Bolt, etc.). We used Spin scooters mostly because they were the most charged around us. The app gives you a map of where the closest scooters are, how long it will take to walk to them, how charged they are, and gives you an option to reserve the scooter so no one can come and take it for themselves. An initial hold of $7.99 was put on my card, and by the end of the day’s activities and sightseeing, I spent $27.19 for about four-five hours. One thing that would have helped the cost in that is pausing my ride, but I was either on capitol grounds where you’re not allowed to park your scooter (i.e. any monument I visited), or I didn’t realize that I had the option until later in the week! *appropriately awkward smile* Most places, however, we could have walked to, but in the 30 miles we trekked in the city over the week I was really happy to have the ease of an electric scooter!
Oh, and another thing: the app will tell you all of these rules about wearing a helmet, staying off sidewalks and only scootering in bike lanes, which were all things we were concerned about! However, no one follows these rules, and it’s hard to actually get ticketed for riding on a sidewalk. The cops we spoke to at the endurance to Lafayette Square seemed more concerned with us staying on the sidewalk the off of it for our safety. Other people and tourists riding the scooters absolutely did not care. Do what you will with that information. 🙂
When you’re through scoot’in, the app will tell you where a good place is to park and end your ride. when you see a line of scooters most of the time that means you can park there, but the app is really helpful with the map. Note: there will be a bajillion scooters around town if you need to change to a scooter with a higher charge. Kotah learned the hard way when his scooter died and he had to walk it to park it and grab another one. Haha!
We saw so many cool things even though we are still in a pandemic! Here’s a friendly list of places that we saw while we were there, and are still open as of July 13, 2020:
- The Thomas Jefferson Memorial
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial (gift shop open)
- The Lincoln Memorial
- The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool2
- The Washington Monument3
- Vietnam Memorial
- Korean War Veterans Memorial
Lastly, here are places that were not open, but that we want to come back for!
- The Holocaust Museum
- Arlington Cemetery4
- The White House5
- The African American Museum
- The Smithsonian
- Mount Vernon6
- Shenandoah National Park7
Some unexpected treasures our local friends led us to were great hiking trails not too far from the city!
Do you have any places you would want to see that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments! Oh, and if you do Ken We Go Now?
1 Disclaimer: All COVID-19 guidelines were followed, and every precaution was taken during travel to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.
2 Please don’t be like everyone else and let your kids play in the water. Be respectful to our veterans, please.
3 Tours of the inside are CLOSED, but the monument stands tall and you are more than welcome to stand right next to it
4 The cemetery was open as far as I know, but closed the day of my birthday for families of the fallen veterans and funerals.
5 If you want a tour of TWH you can get one by submitting a tour request through your Member of Congress, but we did not even try it, and could not even see it because all of Lafayette Square was blocked off. I met a couple who gave me the exact words to say to the guard to get to the South Lawn, but we didn’t make it there in time this visit. Maybe next time, and with no secret wording!
6 Mt. Vernon grounds were open, but two things stopped us from going: 1. The actuations mansion was closed except for virtual tours, and 2. The drive from the city wasn’t too bad to get there, but the drive home was almost an hour and we had birthdays dinner plans at the country club. Next time for sure!
7Shenandoah is in Luray, VA
8Hi, Maryland! Nice to see ya.