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Old 2 Nov 19, 10:44 AM  
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jocat
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Five Days in Washington DC – October 2019 - Pre-Travel/Travel Day

Five Days in Washington DC – October 2019

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Pre-Travel day

I thought I’d sneak a quick Pre-Travel Day paragraph in here too - it doesn’t deserve a full post as it involved me working until 6pm. Martin had put the last minute bits in the case and packed the car before I got home. We grabbed something quick to eat, checked in online for our flights and then left the house at 7 pm.

We had an uneventful journey to the Premier Inn on Bath Road, arriving at 8:45 pm. We checked in and discovered that, for a change, we only had a short walk down the corridor. However, we soon saw why. We’d been allocated a disabled room. I have to say though, we were a bit disappointed - the room seemed quite grubby and in need of a major refurb. But when you only pay £35 for a room, you can’t grumble too much! It was only going to be a place to sleep.

We unpacked our overnight bag, grabbed a soft drink from the bar and relaxed until we went to sleep at about 10:30 pm. Not a very rock and roll way to start a holiday.

Travel day - Friday 25th October 2019

After an awful night’s sleep (think we’d get a herd of elephants above us ), the alarm went off at 6:50 am. I jumped in the shower first and Martin followed - he doesn’t have hair to dry like I do. One thing to note, why does Premier Inn have a new policy of only giving you one bath towel? We did notice it last night, but forgot to go and ask for another. Another reason why I’m glad that I had the first shower.

We left the hotel at 8:15 am and headed to the car park which was just 5 minutes down the road. For the first time in ages, our usual Long Stay car park wasn’t available and there aren’t actually that many alternatives if you want to keep your own keys. This time we were parking at the NCP Flightpath on the Bath Road - we have actually used it before, but it had been several years and seemed much smaller than I remembered. We turned left after the barrier and found a space straightaway though.

We only waited about 5 minutes for our transfer minibus to arrive, but then waited a few more minutes for it to get on its way. We left the car park at 8:42 and reached Terminal 3 just 8 minutes later.

It didn’t take long to do bag drop and clear security and just 15 minutes after we’d been dropped off, we were sat in The Curator and ordering breakfast. Martin ordered a full English and I opted for a bacon sandwich, both with orange juice. The bill came to £24.20.





We’d finished by 9:40 am and browsed the shops in the terminal. I needed to buy the contents of Boots it seemed. My eyelid was a bit itchy and slightly swollen this morning, my electric toothbrush had died on me, despite only being charged yesterday, and my right ear had been blocked for a couple of days along with a sore throat - time to buy some decongestant I feel. Think I had a bit of a bargain actually, when I managed to buy the three items I needed for £11.

We wandered to WHSmith’s and bought me a meal deal, just in case I don’t eat the plane food, then also went back to duty free and bought a bottle of perfume. That was our shopping finished and we settled down near an information screen, awaiting the gate number to be displayed.

Our gate was number 25, which for a lovely change was only a 2 minute walk away. We spotted our plane through the window.



We found a seat at the gate easily, then boarded at just after 11 am and were soon enjoying a glass of prosecco each.





After a near miss when Martin nearly knocked my prosecco over with his elbow, it happened to the couple in front of us. We’re not sure they were actually a couple, as they didn’t argue about it at all. 😆

There was an announcement when four people didn’t join the flight, so we had a slight delay while they offloaded their bags. What happens to these people to stop them boarding their flight?

We pushed back from the gate at 11:40 am and we had the slowest crawl to the runway ever. We were constantly moving, but very slowly, so it took a good 20 minutes. With a bit more of a short wait, we eventually took off at 12:07 pm.

I’d taken some travel sickness tablets about an hour ago, and having had a drink of prosecco, I was starting to feel a little sleepy. I got my neck pillow out and leaned against the window and started to doze. We’d obviously moved higher than the cloud, as the brightness of the sun soon woke me up. It was good timing though as the cabin crew were just doing the first drinks run.



I had an orange juice, while Martin had a beer. I had a nice surprise with my pretzels when two packs were stuck together.



About 45 minutes later, lunch was served. We’d had an email a couple of days ago, inviting us to pre-select our meal. As we were sitting in the back row of PE, we decided to do this in case they ran out of our choice. We both opted for the chicken and mushroom casserole and that was exactly what we got, so the system works!



For someone who doesn’t usually eat plane food, I finished the whole meal. Once the trays had been collected back in, I soon settled down and drifted back off to sleep.

I probably had a couple of hours sleep in total, although only in 15 minute bursts. I woke up properly at 4:30 pm and was suddenly ravenous. I decided to eat my sandwich. The cabin crew also brought the drinks trolley round at this time - we both just had a soft drink this time as we were very thirsty.

I decided to start looking for a film to watch and ended up picking ‘Yesterday’ - I’d seen a trailer for it at the cinema when we went to watch Rocketman. It was just okay, and was probably ideal for a plane film.

As the film finished, afternoon tea arrived. Because I had eaten my sandwich earlier, I just ended up eating the scone. Martin enjoyed his smoked salmon sandwich though.



There was now just 45 minutes until we were due to land. We landed at 7:58 pm UK time, making it just before 3pm in Washington. Within 3 minutes we were parked up at the gate.


It took a few minutes to disembark, then after a short walk we boarded what looked like a cross between a monorail and a bus. It really didn’t matter who rushed off the plane first as we all had to wait for everybody to board, before transferring to the immigration hall.


The hall was busy, with kiosks only available to those with global entry, diplomats or crew. Although the line was long, it continued to move, and we were through within about half an hour. Our baggage was next to the carousel waiting for us, and after a quick toilet break, we made our way out to Arrivals door 1 and ordered an Uber.

It said that out Uber driver was 7 minutes away, and when he was just 1 minute away, he cancelled on us. We actually saw him go past with another fare inside.

The app soon found us another driver and we waited another 7 minutes for him to arrive. He rang to say he was on his way and checked where we were waiting. We soon saw him and by 4:15 pm we were on our way into the city.

The journey took just over an hour, but we had a lovely chat with our driver - he’d originated from Nigeria, but after a brief spell in London, had moved to Maryland 9 years ago.

He gave us some tips on where to go and talked about a variety of subjects - even US and UK politics. Often a bit of a tricky subject, but not this time.

I got my first glimpse of the Washington Monument out of the window.



We soon reached our hotel, left our cases with the doorman, and were directed up to the 8th floor to check in.





We were allocated room 910 and were very happy with what we found. The room was extremely spacious with lots of storage. We unpacked, freshened up and headed downstairs to the 2 hour nightly reception for a beverage. I was really thirsty so just ordered a Diet Coke while Martin had a beer.

We then went for a wander to pick up some drinks and snacks for the room. Just up the road was a Walgreens, so we’d soon loaded the basket with some water, orange juice, Diet Coke, fruit, granola and yoghurt, a chicken wrap and a couple of muffins.



Once back at the hotel, we called back to the bar for another free drink - this time we had a beer and a glass of wine. Soon we were back in the room relaxing for the rest of the evening - we just hadn’t got the energy to go back out. Perhaps if we’d been closer to the main sights, we may have felt differently. We were seriously flagging by 8pm so decided to get an early night ready to start afresh tomorrow. Think we only managed to stay awake until 8:45 pm. Must try and stay up longer!
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Old 2 Nov 19, 03:14 PM  
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A good travel day once you got away from the PI! Did you complain about the bad night?

The food on the flight looks pretty good!

And not good on the first Uber front. Must have got a better offer. Though free drinks at the hotel is a big plus!
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Old 2 Nov 19, 06:29 PM  
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A nice smooth travel day but shame about the Uber, it's so annoying when that happens!
Your hotel looks really lovely
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Old 5 Nov 19, 08:49 PM  
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I don't think I spotted a Walgreens the whole time we were in DC. I'm kind of glad it wasn't just us who was in bed and asleep early on the travel day.
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Old 9 Nov 19, 01:26 PM  
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Originally Posted by Melbatb View Post
A good travel day once you got away from the PI! Did you complain about the bad night?

The food on the flight looks pretty good!

And not good on the first Uber front. Must have got a better offer. Though free drinks at the hotel is a big plus!
Hi Mel. No we didn’t complain at the PI. I just couldn’t be bothered the night we got there, and was going to say something when we checked out, but there was nobody there. Just a place to leave your keycard.

Yes the food was good, which makes a change for plane food.

I’ve had that happen with Uber in the UK before, but never abroad. It’s definitely annoying when they’ve agreed to the trip and they then cancel.

Originally Posted by smithlane View Post
A nice smooth travel day but shame about the Uber, it's so annoying when that happens!
Your hotel looks really lovely
Yes, very annoying on the Uber front, but think things happen for a reason as the driver we eventually got was lovely. Very chatty and helpful.

The hotel was definitely lovely.

Originally Posted by Goldia View Post
I don't think I spotted a Walgreens the whole time we were in DC. I'm kind of glad it wasn't just us who was in bed and asleep early on the travel day.
We saw a a couple of Walgreens, which were useful to pick up water and soft drinks when we were out and about. They’re just not in the areas where we spent most of our time - thought there were a distinct lack of snack or drink options close to most of the outdoor tourist attractions.

I’m absolutely rubbish on travel days. They just completely wipe me out. I’m always in awe of people who can keep going on their arrival days.
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Old 10 Nov 19, 09:38 AM  
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Flight sounds good, did laugh at the people in front not arguing about the spilt Prosecco. Surely that’s almost divorce proceedings 😂

What a faff with the Uber, not what you need after a long flight but the hotel looks lovely and making good use of the evening social there !

Hope you aren’t getting a cold with the need to stock up at the chemist.
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Old 13 Nov 19, 02:17 PM  
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Great start, hotel looks lovely and PE looked like a good choice!
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