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We had our first and only full day in DC today!  First time in the whole week, we ran.  We ran from our hotel to National Mall and back, totaling 7 miles.

It was 6am and we totally beat the crowd.

Running was the best way to tour this morning.  We ran by White House, WWII Memorial, Reflection Pool, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and Korean Memorial.  This gave us the rest of the day to tour the inside of buildings and museums.

Lincoln Memorial had no crowd at 6:30am! Here is an awkward self-timer selfie.  We circled back to this area in 15 mins and tour groups were arriving already.

Korean Memorial

We got back to hotel after running exactly 7 miles.   Pit stop at Au Bon Pain for breakfast.

After washing up, we came back on Metro back to National Mall.  The Capitol looks magnificent close up.  It blows SF city hall out of the water.  It is the US Capitol after all.

We had a reservation for 1:30pm to tour the Capitol but the time conflicted with the White House tour time we got.  

The line without reservation was too long, we decided against visiting the inside. I heard the rotunda looks beautiful.  We will have to save it for next time!

There is a tunnel that connects the Capitol to the Library of Congress.  Inside of the Library looks like something you would see in old time Europe.  Such a beauty.

Historic books on display

A couple was doing a wedding photo shoot! So pretty.

Next, Air and Space museum.  Nothing here caught my attention really.  I heard the Air and Space museum in Virginia is much better.

For lunch, we went a mile away to Nando peri peri chicken.  It was SO good!  We need this chain in SF!

Good spices and sauces to complement the moist chicken.

During lunch I found out that I am not allowed to bring my purse inside White House.  So we went back to hotel to drop off my purse and went to White House to tour INSIDE!

We went through a few layers of security.  Then we got inside just past East Wing.   Many photographs of recent First Ladies were displayed in this room.

This display shows china sets used at State Dinner Services by various presidents.

Obama’s set.  Good color!

Green Room

The rooms we toured today are still being used for events.

And my favorite part of the tour was coming out of the front door of the White House! 

I could see crowds of people by the fence, taking pics of the White House.  I’m not gonna lie, I felt special standing on the front steps of the White House and seeing the crowd!

It was such a cool experience to set foot in there and see it up close!

I highly recommend this tour.  You just need to book it 2 months in advance through your Congressman. 

Our next and finally stop was Museum of Natural History. 

Hope Diamond… a rare blue diamond with so much history.

But I found this sapphire to be a lot prettier and shinier.  Love this!!

We came back to hotel after the museum and it was already 4pm.

Later, we went out to dinner with husband’s friend who lives in DC.  Nice bar bites at a British pub called The Alibi.  My first time trying Scotch Egg and it’s good!

Beef Wellington with filet mignon was my fav.

Random sign 🙂

We hung out til 9ish which is pretty late for us 🙂


Tomorrow we are going back to NY>SF!


Day 5!  We got up early and went to Louvre by 8:15AM.   Since we got there early, we had the opportunity to take some pictures without big crowds in the background.

    

They opened at 9AM but because it’s the free museum Sunday, we expected long lines. We purchased a 6-day Museum Pass that gives us priority access on a regular day. But on free day, there is no priority access and it’s all fair game, we got in line with everybody else.


When doors open at 9, the line moved rather quickly to pass through security. About 15 minutes for us.

 
We followed the signs pointed to Mona Lisa and beat the crowd. There was already a crowd when we got there.

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It got a lot worse later.

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Our plan was to see the masterpieces first, so we looked for Venus de Milo next. 

Museum is huge but directions are well marked for those famous pieces. We had no trouble finding them. Only a few people were at Venus so we took the time to soak it in and read her history.

And other famous pieces:

  
We walked through several collections including Napoleon’s apartments and dining room.



We got tired and hungry by 11:30am so we left Louvre.

 
We looked for Palais Royal a few blocks from Louvre to take pictures outside. The place was pretty empty. Success!

Then we took metro to La Marais (Jewish Quarter) to look for the famous falafel place. It was easy to find. The place is supposed to open at 12. We got there at 11:50am and they were already seating people.

We were so hungry and ordered 10 pieces of falafel to start.

 

A falafel pita pocket for me. Chicken schnitzel platter for my fiancé Vince.

Everything tastes very good! I don’t know if it’s the best falafels I’ve ever had but it’s pretty good. They’re bite-sized and super crispy. I would go back! The fries were pretty amazing too. I’ve had so many kinds of fries (they’re french after all) on this trip and these were one of the best.

 
We had a big satisfying meal and wanted to walk around. We crossed the Seine River and went to Notre Dame.  The line to get in was long and it was cold and misty. We decided not to go in. We aren’t getting good use of the museum pass! Louvre was free day and then this!

But we did go down below Notre Dame to see the archeological crypt museum to see the remnants of the old Paris from centuries ago. Lots of history lesson there.

Our next stop was Pantheon. I wondered how it is different from Rome’s Pantheon. They’re actually totally different!

The interior is HUGE!

  

There is a pendulum inside. It was created hundreds of years ago to prove that the earth revolves around the sun, not vice versa.

It’s a gigantic place!

Our apartment is near by so we walked to a patisserie and a bread shop to pick up some stuff for dinner and breakfast.

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All the walking on this trip caught up to us and we both were really, really tired. We ended the day early.

 

We kept our dinner pretty simple at the apartment. We weren’t that hungry after the big lunch. 

Bread with cheese and foie gras.
  
And then olives and squid marinated in olive oil. We finally finished our bottle of champagne from NYE.  We party hard here 😂

  

Then a take-away crepe of chicken, cheese, tomato, and onion.

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Our desserts were a flan and a custardy cake from earlier patisserie.

  
 

Next stop: day trip to Belgium!