Washington DC and NYC trip: Part I

I just realized I haven’t been updating anything for a while. I was on my summer vacation around mid August then got busy when I got back to Japan. Now I’m kinda sick – sore throat and such – I hope it doesn’t get worse. Good thing is, I finally get to stay home and do nothing but drink a lot of water and rest. So yay, more time to blog!

I planned my summer trip a couple months before going. I chose the US because I my tourist visa is yet expired and some of my close friends will be around during that time. I was actually thinking about trying couchsurfing. In case you don’t know what it is; you can check out their website here: Couchsurfing

The idea of Couchsurfing is that you can stay at a stranger’s place, sleeping on their couch, learning about the area and hopefully becoming good friends with your host. Of course, it’s free! That’s why it’s so popular. It can be risky too. You have no idea who they are. I heard both good and bad stories about it but I thought hey why not! Anyway, when I talked about trying it out to my friends, most of them thought I’m crazy and told me not to do it. One of my friends made me promise I’ll not do it this time since I’m going by myself. Fortunately, my friend in NY decided to move to Manhattan and got an extra space so I was able to stay with him and his roomies.

I departed from Narita Int’l Airport by ANA. Again, was so lucky and got upgraded to premium Economy – extra legroom..whoop whoop! I was either watching movies or sleeping which made it felt like only a couple hours before reaching the US of A! Things went smoothly. The customs guy was nice and friendly. My suitcase was out early. I thought it would take me at least an hour to get out but nah..it was really fast. My friend, let’s call him P, trained me about trains/subways in details but it was still confusing to me. (I mean I know I would be fine since I survived trains system in Japan which can be overwhelming sometimes.) I don’t feel embarrassed asking for directions so that helped a lot. Finally, I made it to Penn Station. My first problem was no wifi. I had to turn my service on to text P because I arrived way earlier than we estimated. I waited for a while until P found me. It’s been 2 years since I last saw him in Japan. I was really happy about it and so glad it felt the same like when we were in college.

P and I walked around and got some to-go Bonchon fried chickens. We came back around Madison Square Garden, watching free live concert, and then it was time to go hop on a bus to Washington DC! We went with Vamoose bus and were lucky to be able to sit in the very front. There were wifi and outlet to charge your phone – super convenient. But because it was the latest bus, almost everyone were sleeping. It took around 4-5 hours until we arrived in Arlington (Rosslyn). Another good friend of mine, B, had a hotel booked the same weekend, so we 3 shared a room. It was spacious and just 2 mins away from subway. We could also see a river from our room. It was awesome.  =)

The next morning we woke up a bit late and went to get P some coffee. Apparently he can’t function without coffee first in the morning.  Later, we walked crossed the bridge to the city and went straight to the famous cupcake place called Georgetown Cupcake.    

It took me forever to pick since there were quite a lot of flavors. I think I got Red Velvet and Chocolate Square. Both were yummy! P thought it was way too sweet but I like sweet stuff so I was satisfied.

Georgetown Cupcake

We continued walking for a while until we reached the very main tourist spot, the White House. To be honest, we almost walked past it – it was not as big as we expected. I remember I just stood there, confused if it really was the White House. There were so many tourists so we just took a couple pictures and kept walking. We went to Washington Monument, National World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial – all those must-visit spots. I think my favorite one is National World War II Memorial. There is something about it that’s so serene and I felt like I could have sat there for hours.

We walked so much that day that we agreed to go get smoothie and get back to a hotel for an hour or two nap. B would be back from the wedding ceremony in a couple hours and we planned to hit some bars that night – sooo…we really needed some good naps. zzZ

Jumba juice

Around 11ish we went to this Jazz bar..I don’t remember neither the name of the bar nor the name of that area. Maybe Dupont Circle. It was my first time at a jazz bar and I had a blast. Very nice music and fun atmosphere. Drinks were really cheap like $8/drink. We got some free drinks due to some luck and as I’m a light weight I got drunk pretty early. I didn’t remember some parts but my friends let me know the next morning and yikes I was so thankful they looked out for me. Some guys would take NO as a YES and that’s not nice at all. There was one thing I remember after jazz bar though. We went to this place called, Jumbo Slice Pizza, and boy did they have the biggest slices of pizza I’ve ever seen in my entire life! We bought one Pepperoni and 3 of us couldn’t even finish it. We ended up giving the rest to this guy we were chatting with.

I had no idea what time we got back to the hotel but glad we had an amazing time together and got back safely. I think I started to fall in love with DC. 🙂

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