The United States capital, Washington D.C, is the site of some of the countries most well known and historical buildings and locations. Home to the 3 branches of Government, the capital offers a unique experience to any who visit. (Fun fact, D.C is not a state, merely a district). It is really easy to cross between the borders of Maryland and Virginia, so expect a lot of traffic.
My trip into Washington D.C and Virginia was certainly one I will never forget. What started off as a great road trip eventually ended with a headache. But overall a fun experience.
My girlfriend and I went around the time that the Sakura trees were in full bloom (by coincidence if you would believe that). It was both an awesome experience but also a pain in the butt considering how many tourists were there as well. Nonetheless, it was definitely a sight to see, not sure how it compares to the ones in Japan though.
After our brief stay there, we decided to head down to Charlottesville, Virginia to relax in a cabin and see a close friend of mine. On the way there, during the middle of the night, one of my tires decided it was time to explode. I won’t bore you will all the details but I found out later that it was a manufacture defect and that my other 3 tires was about to go as well. Thus we were stuck in Virginia for 2 days, unable to do anything but argue with the dealerships and insurance, and meet the high and lows of the Virginia tow truck service industry (gas leak + smoking = near explosion). Thankfully my friend came up to see me and was a big help. Without him the experience would of been much worse. Thankfully I was able to get some training in (always great way to get rid of the stress).
The BJJ Experience
My experience at Yamasaki Academy was a pleasant one. I went there to look for another friend but unfortunately he was on vacation with his family. Yamasaki Academy D.C, under Luis Pantoja, is located on the 2nd floor in a gym. The gym itself has a locker room with showers to use. Only thing I had to do is pay the mat fee and sign the waiver. I went there for an open mat so not sure about the quality of the instruction. But everyone there was super friendly and I had a great time rolling.
- Address: 1630 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Charlottesville Brazilian Jiujitsu
My private session with Gordon Emery, the owner of Charlottesville Brazilian Jiujitsu, and one of my closest friend Andrew Silber. Basically, besides brain storming and going over techniques, I got beat up by 2 black belts for 1 hour straight. I would still recommend visiting this gym, Gordon has a lot of cool details on different techniques and was great that he was so open in sharing them.
- Address: 1731 Allied St, Charlottesville, VA 22903
- Phone: (434) 825-6202
This was me after…
Staying and Getting Around D.C
So about this. My girlfriend and I drove (as you are aware if you have read up to this point) but in my opinion, don’t drive in D.C. Take the public transportation and if you really need to, take uber. The traffic here can get ridiculous and definitely don’t want the hassle of driving in it.
I am also a huge proponent of Airbnb. We stayed at a great location, walking distance to all the monuments and museums. We booked early so the price was pretty reasonable. Depending on where you want to go and for how long, there are a lot of housing choices to choose from.
Things to Do in D.C/Virginia
- National Mall – Lots to do here. Many of the museums and memorials are located in this area. All walk-able within half a day.
- Smithsonian National Zoo
- Museums: I believe there are 21. My Gf and I only went to the Natural History and National Gallery of Art
- International Spy Museum: This one we had to pay for but it was really fun. If you are a fan of James Bond and spy stories, definitely for you.
- Arlington National Cemetery
- Government Buildings:
- White House
- National Archives
- Library of Congress
- Supreme Court
- US Capitol building
- Pentagon (and the 9/11 Memorial)
- Bureau of Engraving and Printing
- Madame Tussuad’s Wax Musuem
There are much more then this list here of things to do. Make sure to plan ahead and figure out exactly which spots you want to hit! As always let me know if there are any questions, be more then happy to help!