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5 on Friday: 5 Spontaneous Hours Grounded In DC




Happy Friday, ya'll!

This week was nutty - but isn't a holiday week after traveling always a tiny bit bonkers?
Thankfully, the weekend is here and we are planning lots of fun Mainiac things to accomplish this weekend...it's getting cooler, reminding us that in just mere weeks, we will be Professional Shut Ins so the time to enjoy Maine is pretty much NOW.

Ya'll know that I like to spice up the typical 5 On Friday lists, so for today, I'm telling you the story of the 5 random hours we spent tromping around Washington, DC.

I often complain about our travel "Adventures" back and forth from Maine to the South...
and typically, the complaints are warranted.
We've been grounded on the runway to ride out vicious thunderstorms, delayed, stood in the rain to collect our carry ons plane side, canceled, bags lost, separated onto different flights and basically bitch slapped (sorry, that was aggressive!) by the travel gods in the 5 months since we've known about the move.

BUT, last weekend, we scored a major travel victory!

On our way home to Maine via Greenville, SC, we had a short layover in Washington, DC. Typically, we lay over in Philly, which we hate with a fiery passion, so we were already pretty thrilled with ourselves as we waited in line for our Five Guys by gate 35A at Regan International Airport
(if you fly US Air in and out of tiny airports, you will know gate 35A well...
if not, then lucky you!).

I was super into my new travel read, The Paris Wife (which I highly recommend) so I was content to post up at our gate for a bit and read.
Thankfully, I didn't zone out, because I heard the faint siren call over the roar of the crowd at 35A, "anyone traveling to Bangor, Maine with flexible travel plans...."
I didn't wait for the rest.
I looked at Justin and said, "GO!" and we hightailed it over to the US Air agent calling for volunteers to give up their flights.

They were offering travel vouchers and needed 2 volunteers...perfect!
But the next flight to Bangor wasn't until 10pm....and it was roughly 2 in the afternoon at this point.
I didn't care, I'm not working so I didn't have a job to get to in the morning, but I kindly offered Justin an out and said he could go on home, but I was staying.
He decided to hang back with me, earning us $400 in flight vouchers!

We needed to wait by the gate as our original flight was boarding to make sure that they really needed out seats. Turns out they did so we were golden. US Air even checked our carry ons for us so we could be footloose and fancy free while stuck in the airport for the next 7 or so hours....

Times like these are when my Husband's Let's Make the Best Out of Everything attitude is really useful:

Justin said, "I'm not sitting here for 7 hours, let's go explore DC!"
And this is how we spent our totally unplanned 5 hours in DC

1. On the metro


We bought a random Metro Pass that seemed appropriate for a few hours and grabbed a map...off we went in search of something fabulously touristy to do
(and I'm still trying to ditch all of the dollar coins that stupid metro machine gave me for change!)

2. The National Aquarium


The National Aquarium was our first stop...I think we are a bit spoiled by private aquariums like the Atalanta Aquarium because the DC one looks like it must be publicly funded. It's small and not too jazzy, but hell, we were on an adventure so it was a fun way to spend an hour.

(this ray screams Kate Spade to me)

3. The White House


After the Aquarium, we trekked over to the White House because that's what you do when you're playing Tourist in DC.
I had Instagrammed a pic of the metro system saying that we were randomly in DC and Caitlyn of Home Sweet Ruby suggested a bar right near the White House at just the perfect moment...so off we went!

4. Old Ebbitt Grill


Ya'll, I was in leggins and a tunic (not a cute one, like a pajama one) so I was nervous to stop anywhere except maybe a Wendy's...but the lure of a fabulous cocktail trumped my vanity and we spent 2 glorious hours enjoying the raw bar happy hour, Mediterranean hummus plate and endless cocktails. Prosecco may or may not have been involved.


5. Victory Lap


We made it back to the airport and hopped on our 10pm flight.
Our seats were close to the front and we couldn't help but overhear another passenger tell the flight attendant that she had been on the 3pm flight to Bangor (our original flight) and that the flight had loaded, taxied out to the runway, sat there for an hour and then was canceled!

Apparently, there was a horrible storm in Maine and the plane didn't even bother to take off because there wasn't a safe place in the entire state to land it!

Ultimately, we got paid to get off of a flight that ended up being canceled...and most of the passengers were put on the 10pm flight with us! Needless to say, Justin and I shared a mildly inappropriate fist bump over our travel victory.
(Sorry to the other passengers on our flight - trust me, we've been there, and I'm sure we'll be there again soon!)

Have a great weekend!


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Stephanie | Olive and Tate |
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8 comments:

  1. That is SO awesome that you got those travel vouchers!! I totally would have switched flights too! Glad you guys enjoyed Old Ebbitt!! :) I'm super jealous, I miss that place!!

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  2. Hey Stephanie! I've newly been reading your blog and love it. And I'm also (attempting) to do Blogtember. I chuckled at your post because the aquarium is legit the WORST national museum in DC. My dad and I visited when he first moved there when I was in sixth grade, and compared to the New England Aquarium, I remember wondering, "Wait, this is it?!" Your adventure sounded glorious nonetheless ;) and made me quite homesick for DC!

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  3. Every time we have family in town they request going to Old Ebbitt, and even with the thousands of other places we could take them, I happily push through the crowd of tourists to eat there. It is just that good! Glad to read you enjoyed your quick visit.

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  4. How awesome is that?! Love a fun, spontaneous day!

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  5. What a great bonus trip! Just found your blog this week and have really enjoyed reading it. My hubby and I just got married in May, so it's fun to read along with other newlyweds!! :)

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  6. So much fun! I'm going to DC in October, I may make my friend take me to Old Ebbitt Grille! :-) I think you win the prize for best layover! Happy weekend!

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  7. What awesome luck! Hubby and I are wanting to plan a trip to DC next year. This looks like so much fun!

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