It’s part three of my recap of our summer travel adventure!
Our flight out of Milan left at 6:30am. We stayed at the hotel airport in the international terminal, so we didn’t have too far to go. It was about 4am when we got into the airport and the line to check in for our airline, TAP Portugal, was out of control. Thank goodness, I had checked in online the night before because we were able to to get in the super short line (after standing in a long line for about 15 minutes and not going anywhere), so that put me at ease because I thought we were never going to be able to get to our gate on time.
Once we were all seated on the plane and ready to go, we were informed by our pilot that a baggage handler strike had LITERALLY just begun, but not to worry because it would more than likely be resolved in about 30 minutes and we’d be on our way. Three hours later, we’re still on the plane and the pilot informs us that the strike has not resolved and we’re going to go to Lisbon without anyone’s checked baggage. GREAT. At that point we already knew we were going to miss our connection to Boston, so my anxiety level was at an all-time high.
Once we arrived in Lisbon, I ran to the customer service desk and got our new flights squared away. We were going to be in Lisbon six hours longer than planned and now we were scheduled to go through JFK (instead of Boston) and then not land in DC until 11pm. We had 30 euros in comped food credits, so we enjoyed the wonderful (I’m not being sarcastic) airport food in Lisbon then headed to our gate to camp our for a couple hours.
Oh, I forgot to mention that at this point, I had already broken down into tears on the tarmac in Lisbon because of a mistake by the airline desk employee in Milan who checked our stroller to Boston instead of gate-checking it like I asked. The airline employees wouldn’t give me my stroller (even though I saw it come off the plane a few feet away from me) because of this mistake. I thought for sure I would never see that stroller again. More on that in a bit…
Our flight to JFK took off a little later than planned, but the ride after that was smooth. A miracle of all miracles happened, though, and the luggage I thought we wouldn’t see for a while actually met us at JFK! Woohoo! I was hoping our stroller would have made it, too, but it didn’t. I was assured that we would have it the very next day, but that wasn’t the case. We actually didn’t get it until five days after we arrived back home in San Diego. 🙁 Womp, womp.
After all this, all we wanted was an uneventful trip from JFK to DC. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. That flight was delayed almost two hours, so we landed in DC after 1am. Since we didn’t travel with a carseat for Cecilia (we didn’t need one in Italy), we were stuck on how we would get to our Airbnb at that time of night. We ended up having to pay $150 for a town car with a carseat, but by that point, we had been through a nightmare of a day and didn’t care.
Whew! Just re-living that almost gave me a nervous breakdown.
Now, let’s talk about our time in DC!
We really loved our Airbnb. It was in a “hip” neighborhood near U Street that was filled with adorable row homes, trendy restaurants and some upscale shops. It was also really close to the Metro so getting to the center of the city was really easy. Both Travis and I had never been to DC, so one of our days there, we decided to hop on one of those touristy buses that takes you to all the big sights. It was hot and muggy and we were so exhausted, that I was totally fine seeing all the monuments from a bus versus walking around them myself. Next time, I definitely want to take more time to walk around the National Mall and go to more museums.
We knew that we’d only have time to hit up one museum, so the one I chose for us to visit was the National Museum of American History. I’m not going to lie — the number one reason I wanted to go was because they have an exhibition called Food: Transforming the American Table with Julia Child’s kitchen. It was incredible for me to see it all put together and the exhibit as a whole was really interesting.
Other exhibits I enjoyed were Ella Fitzgerald at 100, America on the Move and The First Ladies. My favorite exhibit, though, was especially for kids and called Wonderplace. Cecilia could have spent all day there if we let her – she even threw a very loud fit when we finally had to take her out. There were so many things for her to enjoy, but her favorite (and mine) was the kid-sized version of Julia Child’s kitchen. It was INCREDIBLE and I highly recommend it for kids o to 6 years old.
While we were walking back from the museum to the Metro, we spotted The Carousel on the National Mall and Cecilia took a ride.
Another thing we spotted while making our way to one of our Metro trains? SHAKE SHACK! They have a location in Union Station and once I saw it, I ran to it! We had a cheeseburger, fries and (of course!) a strawberry shake. I loved their crinkle cut fries and their shake will go down as one of my favorites of all time. Now, I’m even more excited for their San Diego location to open.
Other than trying to squeeze in all the touristy things while we were in DC, we really just tried to relax as much as possible and re-acclimate to being back in the country and spending time with family who live in DC and Travis’ dad and step-mom who met us there.
We hope we have another chance to visit, because we enjoyed the city and want to see so much more!
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