Since the 4th fell on a Saturday this year, I was given Friday the 3rd off of work. I wanted to make use of this rare long-weekend and finally visit my study abroad friends in DC! Magically they have all moved there within the past two years, so it made it easy to get the gang back together.
I woke up at 4:30am to catch my Friday morning flight. I planned to take public transportation and feared the TSA line would be long due to the holiday, so I wanted to give myself plenty of time. I live about 8 miles from the airport. At 5:30am, I decided to check the Lyft app. Lyft functions as a cab service, but is MUCH cheaper and more millennial-friendly. You request a ride on the app, a driver accepts the job (usually within 10 seconds!), you are shown a photo of the driver and the car, and then you can track the car’s location as it drives toward your location. After the ride is complete, you pay completely within in app – even tipping! I had a $20 credit toward a free ride, so I decided to use it.
My Lyft driver picked me up at 5:30am and I made it to the airport, through security, and even ate breakfast… all by 6:00am. My flight didn’t depart until 7:52am, so I decided to walk every square inch of the airport. I can’t say I found anything exciting… other than the outstanding number of coffee shops!
I arrived in DC at 3:45pm. I took another Lyft ride to the closest metro stop (seriously… Dulles airport isn’t connected to the metro! They offer a $7 bus that takes 45 minutes – ridiculous!) and then two different trains to arrive at my friend’s house in Chevy Chase, near Bethesda. We caught up and eventually got ready for the night. Our other best friend was hosting a BBQ on her rooftop patio in Arlington. We took the metro to that and it was a blast! We played Beer Pong and Flip Cup and it was a great way to kick off the 4th of July.
Afterward, we all went out to a couple different bars and met up with Andrew and Chris – two other friends from study abroad. It was a blast! I don’t have photos from this night, but I resolved to take many more on July 4th!
We spent the day recovering and eventually going downtown. We went to a cool bar called Redline where you have taps on your table and pour your own beer! Between the 7-8 of us, we consumed 300oz of beer! After that, we ventured onto the Mall to try to see the fireworks by the Washington Monument. I think we got a great spot.
I always believe that it isn’t the 4th of July without a hot dog. Our friend Tori felt the same way about ice cream, so we made a pact that we would hunt them down! We stopped by a food cart and got our fill. For $2, it was the best hot dog ever!
On Sunday morning, we all got brunch by Dupont Circle. It was a fancy Italian restaurant so we all indulged in bottomless mimosas. Of course, this resulted in a drink-off. We lost count, but I’m pretty sure I won! Afterward, we had several hours to kill, so I requested to go to the Tidal Basin. It is my favorite spot in DC because it is so tranquil and relaxing. We walked around and took selfies before finally heading back to Caroline’s house so I could get ready for my flight.
I usually fly Delta, but United had the best flight times for this trip. My cross country flight was 4.5 hours going east and 6 hours going west. This is quite a lengthy flight and they didn’t even give us peanuts or pretzels! You could BUY food, but the only thing free was water and soda. Ridiculous! For the price customers pay, I expect a few measly peanuts. I am flying Delta (and got a free upgrade to Economy+) during my flight home in two weeks, so I expect a better experience!