Pre-Trip Report: It's Going to be a Capitol Vacation!

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by jillyb, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. jillyb

    jillyb DIS Veteran

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    It’s hard to believe that this time last year we had just gotten back from our first trip to WDW. The post-WDW depression hit me hard! I was definitely hooked and was thinking of ways to get back this year. Initially, I wanted to do a Mother/Daughter trip with my oldest DD, Katie (30). When I brought it up with Clay, he mentioned he’d like to have a trip with just the two of us. So then I started thinking/planning an anniversary trip for our 7th wedding anniversary in November.

    We went on the WDW website and looked at/priced various resorts. We’d stayed at Pop Century for our June 2008 trip with the girls and really liked the themeing. But, this was going to be an adults trip so, naturally, we wanted something a bit more “upscale”. LOL I was in love with Animal Kingdom Lodge and desperately wanted a savannah room. I could just picture the two of us sitting on our balcony early in the morning, sipping our coffee and watching the animals. Ahhhhhhhh…bliss! Well fiddle-dee-dee…too expensive.  Clay really liked the look of the Wilderness Lodge. Hmmmm…I could live with that! That may be doable. Then he saw Port Orleans-Riverside and declared “that’s the place”. Clay grew up in Slidell, LA so I guess this looked like home to him. He wasn’t interested in Port Orleans-French Quarter. He said he’d been there done that with the real thing. LOL I joined the November Vacation Club and then the loooonnggggggg wait began. I think when I plugged in the dates (November 13-18) it was something like a year away.

    Time was crawling by. I printed out TGM’s November Least Crowded Charts s from 2008 and thought about dining choices. I read posts in the November Vacation Club of those who were planning their November trip to see what the crowds were like in comparison to TGM’s LCCs and to get ideas of things to do. I was looking forward to seeing the Christmas decorations and going at a slower pace. Clay and I talked about which parks we really wanted to spend time in. I wanted to spend more time in AK than we were able to do in June and we both wanted to spend more time in Epcot. When we had decided on POR, I wanted to go ahead and book it but Clay wanted me to hold off. I pouted a little about it but held off. Meanwhile, time was going even slower.

    As the weeks turned into months, I was starting to have doubts about whether Clay and I would be able to make this trip; the finances had me worried. And, with the economy going the way it was I was even more nervous. As time progressed and we talked finances it became pretty clear we just weren’t going to be able to have our adults only trip. I knew it was the right decision but I was heartbroken.  Then, on April 6th, I was advised that the position I’d had for eight years was being eliminated and my job responsibilities would be handled in the corporate offices in New Haven, CT. It wasn’t too much of a shock as I’d seen this coming for at least a year. I was given a very reasonable severance package and I had 14 vacation days left (out of 15) for which I was paid. The one thing that came to mind was I was glad we didn’t have a WDW trip booked.
     
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  3. jillyb

    jillyb DIS Veteran

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    In October last year I attended a three day conference in Arlington, VA. One of those days was a short day to allow time for sightseeing. I’d never been to Washington, D.C. and was excited about going. I loved it! While I was there, all I could think about was how much fun it would be to bring the girls. I decided when I got home to bring up with Clay the subject of a trip to Washington, D.C. It was late in the evening by the time I got back to my hotel. I walked my feet off and I was beat! LOL (For my souvenir I bought a fridge magnet that’s in the shape of a foot and says “I walked my feet off Washington, D.C.” LOL) Here’s a few pictures I took on that trip:

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    When I got home I told Clay I would love for us to go there with the girls sometime. He agreed and said he really liked it when he went as a kid. Am I the only person who didn’t go to Washington, D.C. when I was in school?! As time wore on I kept thinking of other places to go on vacation, such as the beach and Great Wolf Lodge. A Great Wolf Lodge had just opened up about 30 minutes from our house and I thought it would be fun to do a long weekend there with the girls. When I lost my job, Clay and I put vacation plans on hold for a while. Then, one day Clay said “Go ahead and start making plans for Washington.” :cool1:
     
  4. wigdoutdismom

    wigdoutdismom DIS Veteran

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    I'm here! I'm here!
     
  5. Charleston Princess

    Charleston Princess DIS Veteran

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    I'm here, too! I am very excited because I would like to take the kids at some point to DC, and I hope to borrow lots of ideas from you! :goodvibes
     
  6. jenjolt

    jenjolt Loves All Things Disney!

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    I love Washington DC!! I can't wait to hear more and see more pictures!!! What a great trip it must have been! Last time I went I was 10 years old but I would love to go again soon!!!
     
  7. golfgal

    golfgal DIS Cast Member<br><font color=green>When did vacu

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    I am in DC now so if you have any questions, ask away.

    This is my first time here so no, you aren't the only one that didn't go with school. Our kids didn't get to go with school either because we knew we would be going as a family.
     
  8. jillyb

    jillyb DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: Thanks for joining in Widgd!

    :welcome: Yay! With you and Widgd here the pressure is on! Ya'll both write such good TRs. I hope I can keep ya'll entertained!

    :welcome: I'm excited to be going back with the girls!
    :welcome: I've been reading your TR and will be taking some pointers from you!
     
  9. mominwestlake

    mominwestlake DIS Veteran

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    Great pictures! Thanks for sharing. I am taking 3 of my kids ages 7, 11, and 12 later in July along with my sister and 9 year old nephew. It's the first time for my sister and nephew. We have booked the Washington Mon. and Ford's Theater. We're staying at the Residence Inn Capitol.

    I am looking forward to reading all your pre-trip planning.
     
  10. MeMom

    MeMom DIS Veteran

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    How is it that wigd and CP always beat me?
    Those gals are always quicker than me!
    I guess I'll blame it on the bum leg. ;)

    I am very interested in seeing the DC pictures. I hope to see it all in person someday.
    And when I do, I can't even imagine how many pictures I will take!!!
     
  11. jillyb

    jillyb DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: I hope you and your family have a great trip! Please come back and post how your trip went and share some tips/pictures.

    :welcome: Glad you're here MeMom! Those young whippersnappers are pretty fast aren't they?! I'll probably have a TON of pictures from our trip. Heck, I got a bushel just from my one day! I hope you'll get to go there one day. :goodvibes
     
  12. Nancy for Disney

    Nancy for Disney DIS Veteran

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    So glad you started a PTR. Looking forward to some more DC discussions.


    We will be there July 11-15. Staying in Alexandria. :thumbsup2
     
  13. golfgal

    golfgal DIS Cast Member<br><font color=green>When did vacu

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    Where are you staying (which hotel)?
     
  14. jillyb

    jillyb DIS Veteran

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    :welcome: Thanks for reading along! You'll have to post some of your tips/pics too!
     
  15. cristit14

    cristit14 <font color=blue> An older <font color=red>I am Do

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    We just got back from DC today. Had a great time, but am really tired now. :)
     
  16. jillyb

    jillyb DIS Veteran

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    Welcome back home! How was your trip? How many days were you there? Would love to hear some details. :goodvibes That's one thing I worry about our trip. I know it's ALOT of walking and I don't want to wear anybody out. I'm thinking of doing a 3/4 day somewhere during our trip but don't know if that would work.
     
  17. Nancy for Disney

    Nancy for Disney DIS Veteran

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    Embassy Suites. Just read on your TR where you said that if you came back to Alexandria you would be staying there. I have never had a bad stay at an Embassy Suites although we don't get to travel much.
     
  18. golfgal

    golfgal DIS Cast Member<br><font color=green>When did vacu

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    I haven't actually been in the ES here but just based on the location I would stay there. It is right across the street from the metro stop where you can also catch the trolley into Old Town. Not that our hotel is all that far away but after walking all day in DC it is just more walking :lmao:. The ES is a good sized hotel here too. It looks fairly new as well.
     
  19. jillyb

    jillyb DIS Veteran

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    That’s all I needed to get into planning mode! :goodvibes As any good planner does, I immediately started doing research on all there was to do and see in our Nations Capitol. There’s a lot!!! I bought the Unofficial Guide to Washington, D.C. and Fodor’s Family Washington D.C. with Kids. I had both read within a week. :eek: I highlighted all the tips and notes of interest in both.

    I signed up for washington.org, a website that has information on planning a trip to D.C., vacation packages and events. I went to the websites for the Smithsonian museums, the International Spy Museum, the Capitol, the White House, the National Zoo, the Metro and Mount Vernon. I read about the Tourmobile, the DC Circulator and the various other types of touring companies in the area. Then I stopped doing any planning. I was on overload! Plus, Clay still needed to talk to his ex-wife to work out the summer schedule for Alison. He had told her we were planning on going to Washington, D.C. this year for vacation but he kept putting off calling her. I didn’t even know when we’d be going!

    Life went on as usual. I would think about planning and then put it off. I did some preliminary searches for a hotel. I wanted something close to the Metro, either free parking or minimum charge for parking and a pool. Yeah…not too easy to find. And the prices!! :faint: I was beginning to think this trip was going to be cancelled before it got started! A trip to the beach or a long weekend at Great Wolf Lodge was looking more doable. Then, one day, I grabbed the calendar and started looking at dates. I was going to go ahead and plan this vacation dang it! I knew June and July were out, so that left August. Alison had told us that she was going to the beach to see her Grandmother but she didn’t know when she was going or how long she’d be there. Well, hopefully it won’t be in August!

    We have Alison every other weekend and, based on that schedule, the only weekend in August that would work was the weekend of August 14th as school starts on August 25th. That was also our weekend so that would work. I picked the dates of August 13-August 18 for our trip. Alison could spend the night with us on the twelfth so we could get an early start on the thirteenth. The hotel search began in earnest! I had highlighted some hotels in the UG to Washington and went to the websites for those I was interested in and plugged in our dates. Wow! The hotels I looked out were way out of our price range or it didn’t have a pool or had a high parking fee or I didn’t like the way the rooms looked. :rotfl: This was beginning to feel like mission impossible! I finally came across an Embassy Suites in Vienna, VA. Hmmmm…free parking, shuttle to the Metro station, complimentary cooked to order breakfast (bonus!!), evening reception, indoor pool; this looks promising. I plugged in our dates and BAM! They have a special going that if you stay three nights you get 25% off each night of your stay. :party: I booked a two room suite faster than you can say ‘Book him Dano!” So, we have a five night stay in a two room suite with one king bed, a sofabed, microwave, refrigerator, free breakfast, evening reception (aka free drinks!!) for $405.00. :banana: Now, the only question was: would we be able to keep this fantastic deal or would the Ex throw a kink in our plans?
     
  20. wigdoutdismom

    wigdoutdismom DIS Veteran

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    Oh my! Don't leave us hanging like this! It looks like such a great trip! I hope you don't have a spoiler on your hands.....
     
  21. Cindy B

    Cindy B <font color=blue>Have taken some furniture polish

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    I'm probably going to be called a dork for this.. but DH and I went to Washington DC for our honeymoon. We were young kids and didn't have much money and needed to be only a few hours drive from NJ.

    DC offered good night life, free attractions, and well a very quiet atmosphere. We love it there!

    PS... Don't waste your money on the Spy Museum. It isn't a free musuem and it seems to be a lot of money for what you get.
     

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