Washington Travel Guide
If you’re tying to figure out how the world moved around prior to Google Maps, then now’s a good time head down to the museums of the Smithsonian. The Air and Space Museum is holding a new exhibit all about getting from here to there—and back again—so set your GPS to Gallery 213 on the second floor of the east wing.
The exhibit–Time and Navigation–aims to transport visitors back hundreds of years, for a sneak a peek into the tools of the trade from the past. Clocks, compasses, and other navigation devices will be on display, basically anything which deals with keeping accurate time. In total there’s around 144 different objects on display, and they’ve got things broken down into five sections: Navigation for Everyone; Navigating at Sea; Navigating in the Air; Navigating in Space; and Inventing Satellite Navigation. No word on if they have a special place to discuss the bummer that is Apple Maps.
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Not too long ago we heard about one of those special new Starbucks heading over to LAX—the kind of Sbux with the wine. While it will be a little bit more time before that sucker opens to the traveling public, in the interim we can take a flight over to Washington-Dulles International Airport because they just cut the ribbon on the very first airport location of Starbucks Evenings.
HMSHost—they’re the ones behind many of your favorite and not-so-favorite airport restaurants—partnered up with Starbucks for this spot at the airport. It’s kind of just like any other airport Starbucks in that they’ll still serve up lattes and frappuccinos, but there's a twist.
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The fall tours of the White House Gardens may have already come and gone, but the holidays bring other special, Presidential events. For example, there's the lighting of the National Christmas Tree, which goes down December 6 on the Ellipse nearby the White House.
This will be the 90th annual National Tree lighting, which gives it a full decade more seniority over the Rockefeller Center Tree, and the night promises "nationally known entertainers and a United States military band," plus the President's message of peace.
Look at your chair right now. What is it made of? What's its shape? Is it comfortable? No matter your answers, there's a good chance that chair pales in comparison to one most commonly found in airports. Hear us out.
The strikingly modernist terminal building of Washington-Dulles International may have been designed by Eero Saarinen, but...those stylish rows of black chairs inside? Credit for these goes to Charles & Ray Eames. Perhaps you've heard their names before? They were, after all, behind other iconic furniture designs such as the DAR and No. 670, but without a doubt it's their "Tandem Sling" you'll likely encounter the most in your lifetime if you fly through US airports with any regularity.
Dulles, believe it or not, was the first airport engineered to accommodate jets. It opened in 1962, the same year the Eames' Tandem Sling was copyrighted, which isn't a coincidence; the Tandem Sling debuted with the airport, also counting the freshly built Chicago-O'Hare Airport as a client.
You'll still see (and sit on) these chairs at these airports today, not to mention the fact that many, many other airports followed suit. We snapped the photos below just a few days ago at Detroit-Metro, for example.
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BAM! Last night at 10:46pm the National Zoo in Washington, DC welcomed a new baby panda into the world. We noticed that something was amiss outside Jaunted's zoo-adjacent DC headquarters this morningnews vans were gathering to take pictures and video, because Anchorman is far closer to reality than anyone in broadcast journalism wants to admitand so we investigated.
The result of the investigation was the picture at the top of this post, with the reporters doing interviews with cherubic crotch-dumplings and their mothers, and the news about the baby panda. YouTube video of the birth is embedded below and the relevant Twitter hashtag for updates is #cubwatch. Zoo travel social media completionism, is what that is.
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The National Zoo, which as we've mentioned before is mere feet away from Jaunted's Washington DC offices, is literally a work in progress. When you walk through the park you see construction everywhere, with signs promising that huge changes are right around the corner. In the meantime they've managed to get baby otters and baby monkeys and baby cheetahs and baby wolvesall of which combine to ensure that visitors remain interested and distracted while the under-construction buildings and exhibits inch toward completion.
And just to make sure that people stay interested, zoo officials are hosting an evening of beer drinking on July 12. As a description, we can't do much better than the blurb on the official event page: "Conservationists around the globe are plagued by the same question, 'What can we do to help?' Here at the National Zoo, we have an answer: Drink beer." We like all of the things in all of those sentences.
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Wow. One of life's greatest mysteries has been solved via a simple WhiteHouse.gov video. We speak, of course, of the existence of a presidential passport. It does exist!
Although President Obama does not have to endure annoying boarding procedures when he flieswaiting for Group C to be called, worrying about overheard cabin space, hitting up Sbarro's in a fit of hunger desperationit's comforting to know that he must still pass though immigration.
Notice that it is a black passport, the color of Presidential-level passports (versus the red of diplomatic and navy blue of normal citizen level).
Tax Refund Vacations / Washington DC Travel / Politics Travel / Museum Travel / DCA / IAD / BWI / → All Tags
Tax day has come and gone, and you're probably excited to get the direct deposit of your big fat tax refund. Probably. The economy may be on its way back up, but you should try to stretch that tax refund as far as you can...like with a little "you did a great job last year" trip.
Now that the stress and worry of tax day is over, you can focus on more important things, like where to go with that tax refund. Ultimately, the government returned your money, and it might be patriotic to spend that money in our nation's capital. Washington DC isn't all stuffy politicians, but it can require some stuffed pockets.
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Spring fever is scheduled to hit much of the East Coast today, as high temperatures in Boston, New York, and Washington, DC are all expected to be like way above normal. That’s a good thing especially for residents of the nation’s capital, as the warmer weather means that it’s almost time to celebrate the arrival of the city’s most famous residents—cherry blossoms. The 100th anniversary of the National Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off on March 20 and runs through April 27, but everyone knows only Mother Nature decides when things really get underway.
There’s always predictions and forecasts when it comes to anticipating the peak blooms of the cherry blossom trees, and it sounds like things should arrive a little earlier than usual. That’s not too surprising considering this year’s winter—or lack thereof. National Park Service officials have run the numbers and reviewed the graphs, and they’re thinking the pink and white blossoms will look their best between March 24 and March 31. That doesn’t mean that other dates will leave you disappointed, but they do anticipate that the last week of March will be considered the peak bloom period.
They’re all part of one big happy family that is the US Military, but when it comes to football, members of the Army and Navy are far from friends. For the like one millionth time—actually it’s the 112th meeting—the two military academies are set to meet for a little game of football on December 10, just outside Washington DC.
The game has a long history of being played in Philadelphia, but this year a change of venue brings the teams—and the fans—to FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. That won’t stop military men and women from making the road trip out to the DC suburbs to cheer for their respective branch of the Armed Services.
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Have you ever entered a fancier doctor's office and been directed to "take a seat," and then looked around and thought, "hey, this isn't all that bad?" Of course you have; an experience like this is common enough, but what isn't so common is finding that exact same feel in an airline lounge.
Every so often we fly through Washington DC's Reagan National Airport and, this last time, we actually had enough of a layover to warrant spending some time drinking the complimentary coffee and soaking up the tarmac views from the US Airways Club in Concourse C.
Getting there: The lounge is after security, but up an elevator before you head down the concourse to the gates. A simple silver plaque lets you know this, and upstairs you'll hit the regular reception desk. It's here however that you may encounter problems if you're a Star Alliance Gold member, but not with US Airways. The receptionist at first wouldn't allow us entry, because we weren't traveling on an international ticket.
WRONG. Star Alliance Gold members (*of airlines other than Continental, United and US Airways) are allowed up there, so long as they're traveling on a Star Alliance flight in any class that day. Explaining the right to enter a lounge is not only embarrassing but it also immediately sours our impression of the place.
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When we have to fly US Airways we don't exactly jump for joy. After all, we've not had the best of luck getting our luggage back or even convincing friends the airline still exists. There's not a whole lot of options for one-ways from Detroit-Metro to New York-LaGuardia however, and thus we occasionally find ourselves stuck on a layover at Reagan-National Airport.
After yesterday's experience plane spotting from the US Airways club overlooking the C gates though, we must admit that we regret it doesn't more often. Fourcount 'emfour special liveries were on the tarmac. We were like a kid in a candy store (an adult in an airportha).
Above is US Air's retro ode to PSA (Pacific Southwest Airlines) whom they merged with back in 1987. The plane is smiling! Here's the other three we snapped: