On Saturday, Washington DC was waking up slowly after a crazy Halloween night. I decided to take it easy and enjoy a peaceful, quiet, perfect local Saturday morning. Still completely jetlagged, I woke up around 7 am, with barely 4 hours of sleep in total. I had a nice breakfast at the hostel, sayed goodbye to the friends I had made in the past couple of days and checked out of the hostel.
Over the past year, I have checked-in and checked out of so many hostels that I’ve lost count. Most of the time, departure are bittersweet. I am always sad to leave a great place and my new friends, but excited to go to a totally new place. However, you never know, you might always come back sooner was expected. This was no different and I was very sad to leave this great hostel.
I made my way to Rock Creek Park, a very large national park in the north of DC. It is not easy to get to some parts of it without a car, but buses or the red metro line can take you close enough to it. This is a typical place to go on week-ends for the locals to walk around or to do some sports. I went there to enjoy the fall colors and take in some nature, within the city. After getting slightly lost, I finally found a path and enjoyed a nice walk there and did some people-watching. This is a beautiful park that would deserve a full exploration. When you are tired of visiting museums, don’t hesitate to go there to breathe and relax. After a couple of hours, it was time to leave this beautiful place and go enjoy another typical week-end activity in the capital…
A short bus-ride away, I got to U-Street and to the famous Ben’s Chili Bowl restaurant. This restaurant dates from 1958 and has never changed. It has seen many changes in the district and has grown over the years, but the essence of it still remains and the furniture is even original. The secret recipe has never changed either and we would not have it any other way. I am not a great connaisseur of American food, but this is something that I imagined very usual and comforting food. I got the classic half-smoke chili, which consisted of a delicious hot-dog covered in chili con carne, a side of fries and the homemade lemonade. The lemonade was refreshing and delicious and the half-smoke was quite tasty. It is nothing fancy, but this is great comforting food and it is perfect on the week-end after a night out. Around noon, a lot of people were coming in to eat in or taking food away. I would probably be a regular too, if I lived nearby.
All and all, it was a lovely saturday morning and a perfect way to conclude my time in Washington D.C. I have learned to like the capital and get past through this image of a “too-perfect” city by doing more local and less touristy activities. I have been there three times and I wouldn’t mind coming back there one day, and keep on experiencing it like a local.
I picked up my bags at the hostel and made my way to Union Station, a very clean and very organized station, where I boarded an Amtrak train to Baltimore. The trains are so comfortable here. It was a short journey, but I had a great big seat, a plug and even wifi. I looked at the fall landscape zooming by the window and 40 minutes later, I arrived in Baltimore, Maryland, ready to take on new adventures.
Don’t forget to follow Taralynn’s adventures in France on Voyages et Vagabondages!