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  • Day 1 • November 3, 2015

    Exterior of the Embassy Suites at the Chevy Chase Pavilion in Washington D.C.

    Well, the time has finally arrived for yet another awesome adventure to Washington, DC! I left home at about 7:30 PM and took a taxi to South Station to take the overnight Amtrak train to Washington, DC. Upon arrival at South Station, I enjoyed relaxing at Club Acela, Amtrak’s executive lounge, which is similar to lounges found in airports across the country. I preboarded the train at about 9:00 PM for a 9:30 PM departure, and sat in business class. However, a major difference from last time that I traveled business class is that the seats were cloth, not leather, just like in coach. The only real difference between business class and coach class this time is that I had a larger headrest!

    The ride was awesome! I enjoyed a few servings of wine in the café car, surfed the Internet, and slept for a bit. I arrived into Union Station, the main train station in downtown Washington DC, at about 7:00 AM. I took Uber to the Embassy Suites at the Chevy Chase Pavilion, and man, was there traffic! We got hit with every red light, so it was a 45-minute ride, when in all reality, it should have taken 20 minutes! Upon arrival, I checked in, but unfortunately, my suite was not ready yet, so I enjoyed fried eggs and homefries at the hotel’s free breakfast, and then took yet another Uber down to a friend’s house in Dupont Circle. The next five days are going to be more than awesome!

  • Day 2 • November 4, 2015

    Exterior photo of the Big Hunt—a very popular old dive bar on Connecticut Avenue in Washington D.C.

    Today, I spent the day hanging out with an old friend, Jen, from Keene State College! Since my suite wasn’t ready yet, I spent a few hours at her apartment in Dupont Circle, then we started our adventure. To kick it off, we ate at BGR the Burger Joint, and man, are these burgers amazing! In addition to the burger, I enjoyed fries with roasted garlic!

    We then took a bus up to the hotel, to both check me in and to orient me to the property. Jen really enjoyed checking out the suite! After that, we went to load my rail and bus passes on to my smarttrip card at the CVS and at the rail station, both of which are located right below the hotel. Unfortunately, my smarttrip card isn’t working! Because of that, I had to get a new smarttrip card, which took some time. Finally, the passes get loaded and we start a mini pub crawl in Dupont Circle!

     We went to two bars: The Big Hunt and Lucky Bar. Happy Hours are great here because the drinks are much cheaper than during the day. We enjoyed a few DC specialty beers and made our way back up to the hotel for their awesome free happy hour! I enjoyed some wine while Jen enjoyed a type of mixed drink. We also found out that they have burgers and other food that are $2 off during the happy hour, that can be ordered at the bar.

    After the happy hour, we had dinner at Medium Rare! This is a steak restaurant with a fixed menu: bread, salad, steak, and hand-cut fries with their homemade steak sauce. It was amazing, and the steak melted in your mouth! After that, we went back down to Dupont Circle and went to Madhatter’s, which resembles a dance club. We just walked through it to check it out, and there actually were a few people dancing, even though it was a Wednesday night! Our last bar of the night was Maddy’s, a laid back sports bar and we enjoyed a last beer. I arrived back at the suite at about 1:30 AM. Thursday will be full of even more surprises!!

  • Day 3 • November 5, 2015

    Photo of an outdoor festival in the Washington D.C. neighborhhood of Adams Morgan—a culturally diverse neighborhood in Northwest Washington, D.C., centered at the intersection of 18th Street and Columbia Road

    To start off today, I enjoyed the hotel’s awesome breakfast! I enjoyed two eggs and homefries, which was awesome! I then took the Metro out to Royal Farms, which is a gas station and a restaurant that is famous for fresh, hand-cut chicken fingers! The closest Royal Farms is out in Suitland, Maryland, which is about an hour train ride, and I enjoyed chicken fingers and fries!

    After that, I took the Metro back into the city, and went out to George Mason University for the first part of the Northeast Conference on Public Administration. The event today was held in Founder’s Hall, which is on the Arlington campus of George Mason University. The session was about Public Administration, networking, and selling yourself for employment. It was very informative, and it was a good preview for the actual Northeast Conference on Public Administration tomorrow.

    Following the event at George Mason University, I made my way back to the hotel and enjoyed the nightly manager’s reception. I met someone from Seattle, Washington, and enjoyed a few glasses of wine. I then made my way to Adams Morgan and met up with a friend, Shaheen, that I met on the couchsurfing website. We went to Pasta Mia, a great pasta place in Adams Morgan. Interestingly enough, they weren’t willing to modify any of the pasta dishes whatsoever. For example, I wanted grilled chicken on one meal, and a different kind of pasta for another. But since they weren’t willing to modify any of the dishes, I settled for ravioli in an awesome cream sauce. After that, we grabbed one beer at Larry’s Lounge, a bar in Dupont Circle. Since it was a warm night, we hung out on the patio and enjoyed our Sam Adams. I then made it back to the hotel and prepared for the annual Northeast Conference on Public Administration tomorrow!

  • Day 4 • November 6, 2015

    Today was a busy day! I got up at 5:45 AM and ate breakfast at a 24-hour diner, which is about a 5-minute bus ride down Wisconsin Avenue. I enjoyed a double mushroom and Swiss burger, along with homefries! I then took Metro Access, Metro’s door-to-door service, back to Founder’s Hall for the actual Northeast Conference on Public Administration. I presented my case study, Accessibility of the Boston Subway System for the Visually Impaired, in front of five students and practitioners! It was awesome, and I attended several other presentations. One that stood out was learning about how the government takes advantage of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets. There was also a welcome session, and a lunch. I met several students from the University of Delaware, and another member of my cohort presented as well!

    After the conference, which ended at about 4:00 PM, I took Metro Access back to the hotel. Man, was there traffic! I got back at about 5, and Jen, Tyler, Emily, and I enjoyed the nightly reception. In addition to wine, I also got dinner, a burger with smoked gouda cheese! After that we hung out in the suite, and went downstairs and enjoyed a few drinks at the Cheesecake Factory! Tomorrow will be another awesome day!

  • Day 5 • November 7, 2015

    Interior photo of a crowded Grand Central bar in D.C.

    To begin the day, Tyler, Emily, and I relaxed in the suite for a bit, since it was raining out. We then separated, and I took the metro up to Hard Times Cafe, a sports bar up near George Mason where I went yesterday. The chicken fingers, burger, and fries were great, and I first was introduced to this place when I visited Emily in College Park this past winter. After that, I went back to the hotel, rested for a bit, and made my way downtown, where I hung out with Shaheen again for a drink at Lucky Bar. I then went back to the hotel again for the nightly happy hour. Yes, there certainly is a lot of back and forth traveling today! But since I have the Metro passes, why not indeed! I then met up with Jen, and we walked around Adams Morgan and enjoyed the awesome nightlife! We went to Shenanigans and Grand Central, two of the liveliest bars in the neighborhood. Grand Central had a patio, so in addition to drinks, I enjoyed a grilled chicken sandwich for dinner that night. After that, I made my way back to the hotel. What an awesome day, and tomorrow is our final day in DC!!

  • Day 6 • November 8, 2015

    A photo of Baltimore-Washington at dusk. In the background a photo is taking off. In 2010 BWI was ranked as the best airport of its size (15–25 mil. passengers) in the world by the Airports Council International based on its 2009 Airport Service Quality survey. The airport also won second place for North American airports in the

    To begin the last day in our Nation's Capital, I enjoyed the free breakfast by having two fried eggs over hard and homefries, just like on Wednesday and Thursday, and checked out of the hotel. I then met up with Emily and Tyler in College Park and we made our way to Looney’s Pub to enjoy the world champion New England Patriots smash the Washington Redskins, which they did! The appetizers, beer, and cheese steaks at Looney’s were awesome!

    We then made our way to Emily’s apartment. Emily took Tyler to Baltimore/Washington International Airport for his flight back to Boston, and I slept until around 7:00 PM. After Emily got back, we went to an amazing pizza place in College Park, where you can make your own pizza called Blaze Pizza. At about 8:30, I took the Metro back to Union Station, relaxed in Club Acela for a bit, and enjoyed the train ride back to Route 128. Believe it or not, coach class was much more comfortable than business class! Unlike the ride down, I only got coffee at the café car before our arrival, no wine this time. I got The Ride from Route 128, and arrived home at about 9:30. What an amazing trip to our Nation's Capital once again!!