A Quick Sojourn in Washington DC

So here I am, sitting in a Washington D.C. hotel room on a Sunday night. I don't like business travel that starts/ends on a weekend but, in all fairness, our consultants do it all the time. I can handle it once in a blue moon.

I'm in town for a national conference and rather than staying at a $200+/night national chain (i.e. Hampton Inn, Marriott, Hilton, Embassy Suites, etc.), I opted for the Donovan House Hotel. The Donovan is the DC location of the small Thompson Hotel boutique chain. For $189.00/night, I landed a comfortable room in a stylish hotel that is a mere 10 minute walk from the convention center. $189.00 gets you plenty of space, access to a fitness center and you're only a 10 minute walk from this...

Not bad.

Now, I took the super shuttle from BWI to Washington D.C. The cost was $37.00 compared to an estimated $85.00 taxi fare (W-O-W!). Waiting for the shuttle took about 20 minutes and then the ride was maybe 45 minutes long. Thankfully, I was the first stop.

After I checked in, I decided to do some walking... down Vermont to the White House, around the Treasury Building and over to the Ellipse. I thought about walking over to the Washington Monument but decided against it. I would walking further and further from the hotel and I wasn't sure that I felt like it. So, I took a meandering route back to the hotel to where I would pick a place for dinner.

After a few searches on the Washington Post's page, I opted for Luigi's Famous Pizzeria. The editorial review was good enough and the restaurant was easy to find (about a five block walk), inexpensive (My total meal, with tip, was under $20.00) and apparently a Washington staple (in business since the 1940s). How was it? Pretty good... not great but good.

The restaurant had a inviting main dining room with a cozy atmosphere. The sunroom seating seemed a little cold to me and the upstairs room was larger and less cozy. To me, the main room was the spot. I started with a bell pepper bruschetta that wasn't bad and it was only $2.50 for two pieces. The bread echoed what I had read from some reviews - it seemed kind of stale. If it wasn't for the topping, it may not have been worth eating. I then ordered a pizza for one with mortadella, artichoke hearts and green olives. The pizza was big enough for 2 with lots of cheese (far too much for my personal taste) and piled with ingredients. It was a good pizza - heavy - but good. I would go back but not by myself as the pizza was just too much. I topped it all off with an espresso and, again, I was just under $20.00 (incl. tip). Not bad.

The pizza was weighing me down so I headed back to the hotel for an apres-dinner workout. The "state of the art" fitness center (as advertised on the page) includes 4 treadmills, 2 ellipticals and 1 recumbent bike. There's also a weight bench and a set of dumbbells, ranging from 2 1/2 lbs up to 50 lbs. That's enough to get a workout in. I ran through some supersets of compound moves like squats to overhead presses and then called it a night.

Here I am... tomorrow I'll head to the convention. After that, I planning on hoofing it to Union Station where I'll catch a MARC train to BWI. I'll let you know how it went.

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