18 Replies Latest reply: Jul 8, 2014 12:25 PM by nuhusker RSS

A Capital 4th and an Insider Get Together

erc Platinum
Currently Being Moderated
As a DC native and local, I have been to my share of interesting Independence Day celebrations at the National Mall in Washington DC; cycling downtown to the Bicentennial display, lugging in coolers, beverages, and lawn chairs before the current tight security environment for several Beach Boys concerts, viewing from the Tidal Basin (Jefferson Memorial area), Gravelly Point (Reagan National airport) and the USMC Memorial (Iwo Jima) with emphasis in the later years on securing a great view with a quick exit (either a secret parking spot or a nearby low use metro stop), but this years was one of the most enjoyable ever (I think it's related to the age/convenience ratio  ).
  
  The Key Bridge Marriott (their second ever hotel) sits at the foot of, that's right, the Key Bridge, which runs from Rosslyn (Arlington) Va. into Georgetown. It is a 14 story hotel (no 13th numbered floor) with odd numbered rooms from xx59 to xx75 facing down the Potomac River toward the National Mall. The 14th floor of those rooms is the site of the former restaurant, The View, and currently serves as a ballroom, so the 12th floor is the top lodging floor and we were fortunate enough through using our Insider way's of securing upgrades, of having room 1265, a fantastic view.
 
         7_4 KeyBridge skyline.jpg
A terrific view during the daytime, especially at sunrise, from Key Bridge to Jefferson Memorial
   Washington Harbour, Watergate, Kennedy Center, Washington Monument

7_4 Fireworks2.jpg
           Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial


  We started off the day with lunch day at Georgetown's Washington Harbour, a collection of several excellent waterside restaurants and then a pleasant walk thru Georgetown and a scenic view crossing the Key Bridge. Georgetown Cupcake? good as they are, I'm too old to wait 45 minutes (often outside in the heat) for a cupcake, so instead, we stop in across the street at Dean and DeLuca for terrific, no waiting sweets.

          Georgetown 7_4 WashHarbor.jpg
Washington Harbour - lots of nice boats dock and grab a bite - nice sightseeing cruises also


  Dinner was an easy walk up Wilson Blvd. where several restaurants meet the need; Piola, Cafe Asia, Red Hot and Blue, and our choice last night for tasty burgers, fried chicken, chili, that would make Hot Shoppes proud, Ray's to the Third. Ben's Chili Bowl, the famous DC institution opened recently and it will be interesting to see if folks actually go for the food.
  
  What a marvelous time looking out the large window and watching - no joke - over what appeared to be more than 80 different fireworks displays that ran from twenty minutes before the 9:10 start of the national mall display until 11:00 pm, a full hour after the national ceremony ended - fantastic (and all the while with the PBS  broadcast and replay playing in the background on television). With sodas, snacks, and a glass or two of wine (ok, maybe a beer also) and the knowledge that when it was over, we didn't need to go anywhere (and I must admit, part of the entertainment was watching the exodus from the city from above) I haven't had as much fun watching an event since seeing the Blue Jays play from the Toronto Renaissance.


    7_4 Fireworks.jpg
We saw over 80 different fireworks displays all along our horizon. Here's one below the Mall's (see it?)
  
  But wait, the holiday isn't quite over yet. It's always inspirational to visit The Arlington National Cemetery, especially on a celebration of our country's great assets, where many tremendous sacrifices were made to provide our freedom and wonderful lifestyles.

Arlington Mem Cemetery 7_4.jpg
              Words aren't necessary as you walk the grounds

Women in Military Memorial 7_4_14.jpg
      The Women in Military Memorial - one of my daughters' favorite stops


        Lincoln Mem_Memorial Bridge.jpg
   A view across the Memorial Bridge to the Lincoln Memorial from the National Cemetery
Here's a travel tip: an enjoyable activity is to take the Arlington Cemetery Metro stop and walk across the Bridge
The stop is just beyond the car on the sidewalk on the left and is an easy and lovely walk into the city

To top off the terrific weekend, we had a wonderful time in Crystal City having lunch and swapping travel tales and tips with vaboywnder and eklektech at Teddy Turner's Ted's Montana Grill (with over two million acres, Turner is the second largest private landowner in America and is America's largest bison rancher - and it showed, deeelicious!)

7_5 Ted's Montana Grill.jpg
vaboywnder, eklektech , Mrs. Erc, Granny Erc, and your humble author
        We had a terrific time and at least half of what I said was true

  And in closing, a fascinating interaction occurred at the hotel. Several exhibitors from Africa, Asia, and South America participating in the  Smithsonian Folk Life Festival were guests of the hotel and sitting in the lobby discussing the wonderful virtues and freedom of America. In spite of the current ineffectiveness of our legislators on both sides of the aisles, it was a powerful reminder of the great country we Americans are fortunate enough to live in.
  
  airforce memorial.jpg
We couldn't have had better weather, look at that lovely July sky.
The Air Force Memorial just down the road from the Pentagon

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: A Capital 4th and an Insider Get Together
    ssindc Platinum 42 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    erc, great report - thanks for posting!!!

     

    Can you say more about the top of the Key Bridge Marriott these days?  Just to clarify - so the old The View restaurant is dead space if there's no event up there? (What a shame!) Safe to assume the awesome fish tanks are gone too?  Anyway, I've met folks there for breakfast (convenient, good buffet), but I haven't been up to the top for more than a decade.

     

    p.s. when we eat at Ted's, it's typically at Ballston...  among other things, great pickles!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: A Capital 4th and an Insider Get Together
      erc Platinum
      Currently Being Moderated

      They do have some rooms up there (by the way, the Concierge Lounge on the 12th has great views of Georgetown University), but the former restaurant is now used mostly for business meetings, wedding receptions, and other parties in search of a nice view.  As often is the case, I concur with your culinary opinion, those pickles (I call them cukes that haven't fully gone over to the other side) are delicious.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: A Capital 4th and an Insider Get Together
    vaboywnder Alumni Steward Platinum 21 Reviews
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    erc,

     

    Great post!  Thanks for sharing your pics from Keybridge.  You guys definitely had a great view of the fireworks from there.  eclektech (Matt) and I enjoyed having lunch and swapping travel tales with you guys.  When I get back home I'll be sure to post some pics from the Renaissance in Arlington.  By the way I got a message from pluto77 on Facebook...she wanted me to say hi to you guys but unfortunately I didn't see her message until after lunch.

     

    PS>  Next time I'll try not to blink when we pose for the next photo.   As you know Eclektech is used to being photographed with the celebs.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: A Capital 4th and an Insider Get Together
      erc Platinum
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hi to pluto (pluto, thought of you when we walked the Women in Military Memorial - thanks for your service).

       

      I just figured your photo was the sly look of a real wheeler dealer. You'll be glad to know you guys are a hit with the octogenarian set, Mom said, "wow, those were some good looking men"

       

       

        Come on, be the first Insider to post a ride on The Wheel .

       

      Thanks guys for taking the time to swing by.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: A Capital 4th and an Insider Get Together
        vaboywnder Alumni Steward Platinum 21 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Ha!  Tell Granny Erc thanks and Happy Birthday!!   We'll leave the big wheel conquest for you.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: A Capital 4th and an Insider Get Together
    77paris Platinum 17 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    erc, thanks so much for posting…..you surely found a fantastic way to fully enjoy the fireworks with the least amount of hassle…very impressive.

     

    Thanks too for the reminder of what a great country the USA still is!!  Glad you had a great 4th with Mrs. Erc, Granny Erc & the MRIs!!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: A Capital 4th and an Insider Get Together
    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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    erc,

     

    What a fabulous report!

     

    Saw the show on PBS (Twice), the weather, entertainment looked wonderful.  Really enjoyed Franky Valli!

     

    Thanks for the post!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: A Capital 4th and an Insider Get Together
    pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Erc, truly wonderful post and thanks for the mention.  Thought of all you local folks taking advantage of the 'tax day' rates in DC (had to give mine up unfortunately) while watching the fireworks on PBS last night (after y'all were probably in bed, ha!) (And as it was 107 here, TV fireworks were a perfect addition to the backyard stuff.)

     

    I've decided that when I retire (Mr. Pluto does not know this yet ), we are shutting up the house (heck, maybe we might even sell it ) and letting a studio apt. in NoVA for about a year so that we can explore the U.S. east coast. 

     

    So many obvious things to love about this Marriott forum, but one that is especially appreciated during this (non-traveling) year for me, is to be able to travel vicariously through the excursions of those (like you guys) who are generously willing to share them with the rest of us.  Many thanks!  Am not familiar with Washington Harbor.  Looks lovely.   Finally, great pic (Vaboy, you look fine and Mom is right - a couple of good lookin' young men).  I think the Coins have some competition with the Erc's in the meet and greet department!  (And those Va boys now too.)

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: A Capital 4th and an Insider Get Together
      KatieC Member
      Currently Being Moderated

      Totally agree, pluto77. I feel like I am there with you all on your travels. The photos are fantastic!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: A Capital 4th and an Insider Get Together
    painedplatinum Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I didn't realize that eclektech was going to be there!!! I thought it was just you and vaboywnder. I would have changed my plans if I knew..... Sorry we missed it. We enjoyed the fireworks from the foot of the Lincoln Memorial. We visited the zoo this morning in the Cleveland Park section and hit up our favorite 2 Amys for some awesome roasted olives and authentic pizza!! I love that place.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: A Capital 4th and an Insider Get Together
    nuhusker Platinum 2 Reviews
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    This is a great post, erc.  First one i've seen after months away from Insiders.  Very inspiiring way to return.  Thanks.  Husker

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: A Capital 4th and an Insider Get Together
      erc Platinum
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hey, great to hear from you, good to have you back. Hope all is well. Have a terrific summer, hang in there bud.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: A Capital 4th and an Insider Get Together
        nuhusker Platinum 2 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        I wetn to tohe USOPEN golf at pinehurst.  Once in a lifetime!  Summer is one day at a time.  But typing on Insiders doesn't take much effec-rt when I can type strainght.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: A Capital 4th and an Insider Get Together
    iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    erc,

     

    Thanks for taking us along with you on the 4th in DC, beautiful pictures and looks like a great time with the "Meet/Greet" as expected.  I love the picture of Arlington, well written.  

     

    However; I do believe Mrs. Erc and Granny steal the show each time!!!  

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: A Capital 4th and an Insider Get Together
    bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Great write up, erc.

     

    Key Bridge is tentatively on my list for the last Saturday in September (need to keep adding to the county list before the days get too short). Not sure I'll do much exploring in the city, but I have another (longer) trip to Arlington already booked for early November.

     

    I always love seeing posts about places I'll be visiting as it gives me ideas of what to see.

    Heck, I love seeing places I'm not going so I know what I'm missing and can make plans to rectify that.

     

    Thanks for sharing.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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