A Little Bit of U.S. History
(13-17 April 2015)

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The White House in Washington, DC

Hotel Harrington (Washington, DC)

I spent Monday April 13th at the Hotel Harrington in the heart of Washington DC.  You couldn't ask for a more central or affordable hotel!  I got a suite and was delighted as I could work at the little table with their free wi-fi that worked!  I even had a little "kitchen" complete with microwave, small fridge, sink, kettle and tea and coffee.  This lovely old hotel is perfectly located on E Street between 11th and 12th Streets and is so close to everything!  The Metro stop is a block and a half away.  The staff were friendly and helpful and you can stow your luggage anytime.  My bed was exceptionally comfortable as was my little suite.  There is a restaurant linked to the hotel (and a bar) where you can have breakfast.  Even though I was on a busy street, being ten floors up meant that the noise level was very acceptable.  I think for a building this big there could perhaps have been another elevator, but as there were two, each designated to a half of the building, that sufficed.  I really enjoyed my night here and highly recommend this as a stop for any budget-minded traveller.  You can't ask for any more at their rates!  The delightful Elephant & Castle Pub is literally around the corner.
See my TripAdvisor review.

Oakhurst Inn (Charlottesville, VA)

This lovely inn is actually a little row of houses and my goodness, are they cute tucked away on a leafy and pretty street.  My room, #7, was as comfortable as could be and afforded me a wonderful night's sleep.  The sheets were deliciously cozy as were the bath towels in the HUGE bathroom.  I loved the sitting room complete with desk and chair and free wi-fi and all-day coffee and/or tea!  I could imagine a roaring fire in the dead of winter which would be wonderful.  The staff are very friendly and welcoming and knowledgeable about what to see and do.  Their location is a stone's throw away from the very beautiful Rotunda and the South Lawn.  Even though my room overlooked a busy road, the noise level was not bad at all.  My room was so comfortable that I didn't notice anything other than my luxury.
If you don't have to get out and about as early as I did, you can breakfast at their Oakhurst Cafe which is part of the hotel.  The cafe is in a little house just below the inn and is very romantic.  I looked at their menu and they serve breakfasts and lunches, and brunches on the weekend.  Not a huge menu but a little of everything for everyone.  I'll have to try it next time!  You can indulge in a cocktail or two if you like as they have a bar/coffee bar as well.  The aroma of the coffee was exquisite.
I would recommend a stay here as it's quiet, romantic and classy.
See my TripAdvisor review.

Accommodation Contacts
Hotel Harrington - 436 11th & E Streets, NW, Washington DC, DC 20004
Tel: (202) 628-8140   Reservations: (800) 424-8532
Web: www.hotel-harrington.com
Email: reservations@hotel-harrington.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/HotelHarrington
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/HotelHarrington
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/HotelHarrington
Free wi-fi
Off-street Parking available within walking distance (fee).
from $139 depending on what time of the year you visit.
Oakhurst Inn - 100 Oakhurst Circle, Charlottesville, VA 22903
Tel: (434) 872-0100
Web: www.oakhurstinn.com
Email: info@oakhurstinn.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theoakhurstinn
Twitter: https://twitter.com/oakhurstinn
Instagram: https://instagram.com/oakhurstinn/
Free wi-fi and free parking and free valet parking
Rates: from $ (to be advised)

Contacts   Email me
Elephant & Castle Pub
1201 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington DC 2004
Tel: (202) 347-7707
Web: www.ElephantCastle.com
Email: gmdc@elephantcastle.com
Extensive pub menu plus other fare and very worthwhile visiting.  I LOVED my meal and would have loved to have been able to sample other items on their menu.

Metrorail Washington DC
Web: http://www.wmata.com

Bodo's Bagels
1609 University Ave. (UVA "Corner"), Charlottesville, VA 22903
Tel: (434) 293-6021
Web: www.bodosbagels.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Bodos-Bagels/153789084571

Chaps Ice Cream
223 East Main Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902
Tel: (434) 977-4139
Web: chapsicecream.com

Route   Tips

Eight segments in 15 days on Amtrak afforded me the opportunity to see more than I bargained for.  The first segment was from La Junta, CO to Chicago, ILL on the Southwest Chief train; the second was from Chicago to New York on the Lake Shore Limited; the third, my homewardbound journey, was from on the Pennsylvanian from New York to Philadelphia for a few hours; the fourth segment on the Northeast Regional to Washington, DC for an overnight stay; the fifth segment was on to Charlottesville, VA on the Northeast Regional for an overnight stay; the sixth was on the Cardinal to Chicago (overnight trip), and the seventh segment was on the Southwest Chief to La Junta, CO, also an overnight trip.  Why waste a few segments en route when I could see four more cities?  This route with all my stops used up seven segments!  And why not!

TIPS: 1. At Union Station in Chicago, ask Amtrak what is going on as they didn't announce what our delay was and neither did they say which coaches Boston-bound and New York-bound passengers should make their way to on the Lake Shore Limited train.  Instead, they just herded us towards the trains where we all stood around the first conductor waiting to be told individually which coaches were ours.  Instead of one or two announcements to alleviate this bunching of passengers and baggage, we were confused and annoyed.  Organization was non-existent and just added to the 45-minute delay we were already on.
2. Amtrak and Union Station in Chicago doesn't offer free wi-fi to everyone, just to sleeper and business customers.  So, if you're in need of a wi-fi fix, find the McDonald's inside the station and sit down and have something to eat or drink and make use of the generous wi-fi.
3. Take along a little warm blanket as the trains get cold at night, and a little pillow will help alleviate neck pain as there isn't much support for one's neck.  A sleep mask is also useful as the lights in the train are pretty bright at night.

E-mail:  pettprojects@yahoo.com

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