D.C. Does Veterans Day and a Visit to Barry's Place

D.C. Does Veterans Day and a Visit to Barry's Place

As I’m sure you are aware, this past Tuesday was Veterans Day, and for D.C. that means hundreds of thousands of our brave men and women flocking to visit the monuments and memorials erected in honor of their service. As if there weren’t already a lot of visitors coming to the city for the holiday, this year the National Mall hosted a free concert extravaganza, titled The Concert For Valor. The Concert For Valor is part of an ongoing effort by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to recognize and reward our veterans for their service. Earlier last week, the city started prepping for the event and rolling out all the stops including giant TV screens, tents galore and miles and miles of fencing all up and down the National Mall. They even redirected the Metro system for the holiday (getting to work that day was monstrous) and buffed up security for the some 800,000 people visiting.

 

This many people in one place gives me anxiety.

 

Unfortunately, I’m a bit of a slacker, and my friends and I didn’t make it to the Mall until about an hour after the concert had started, and by then the place was jam packed with people. There was a sea of people that stretched from the steps of the Capitol where the stage was, to the base of the Washington monument where I was standing. It. Was. Insane. Now just who was performing at this concert that made everyone turn out in droves? Well quite a number of stars chose to donate their time to the event, including Rihanna, Eminem, Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, Carrie Underwood, The Black Keys, Jessie Jay, Dave Grohl, Jennifer Hudson and Zac Brown Band. In addition to the performers, many actors and public figures such as Tom Hanks and Oprah narrated stories of individual veterans, outlining their struggles, their achievements, and their perseverance. The concert went all night and was tons of fun to be a part of.  It was also very humbling and touching and certainly the best display of appreciation to our veterans I’ve ever seen.


 

See that dot just below the Capitol? Yeah, that's the stage.

 

This week I also got to do something I’ve been dying to do since I got here, visit the White House. For those of you coming to D.C., I highly recommend submitting a formal request to your Senator or Congressman’s office as soon as you get here because shocker, everyone wants to visit and the waiting list is several months long. Unfortunately, taking pictures inside the White House is prohibited, and I wasn’t exactly feeling adventurous enough to sneak a snap with all the Secret Service and Dobermans lurking about. Though I’m sure it goes without saying, the mansion was absolutely beautiful, every detail from floor to ceiling majestic and historic. The artwork collection was of course second to none, containing all the infamous portraits of the Presidents and First Ladies along with several pieces on loan from the National Gallery. (Apparently the President gets to decorate with anything he wants from the Smithsonian?) The tour takes you through all of the staterooms on the first floor, including the East Room, the Blue, Red and Yellow Rooms, as well as the State Dining Room and the Entrance Hall. Each one was as equally as impressive as the last, each with a plethora of history and elegant décor. Now don’t get me wrong, the White House was gorgeous and every bit as amazing as I had hoped, but I must admit, it’s rather small. The whole tour of the public rooms only took about 20 minutes, which was quicker than the time it took to stand in line and go through all the security and clearance checkpoints. (Be prepared, there are about 5.) Regardless of course, it's a D.C. must, and it was certainly well worth all the time waiting to get in.

 

 

It's really more of an egg-shell.

 

 

Hangin' out at Barry's.

 

 

The fact this guy had an AK-47 and an attack dog is only a little terrifying.

 

While you’re over near the White House, stopping at the famous Old Ebbitt Grill is a must. This infamous restaurant is one of the top raw bars in the city and has been the favorite of many a President since it opened in the 1800’s. Due to its popularity and history the place is constantly packed, so reservations are a necessity for getting in, unless you would rather wait 2 hours for a table. If you do decide to take that route, I can assure you that the food is delicious and well worth the wait. I recommend that while you’re waiting, you check out the rooftop bar at the W across the street, which has a specular aerial view of the White House.

 

Ye Old Ebbitt.

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