Seeing as it has been almost a month since I went to Baltimore, I guess I should finally get around to posting about it, right? ;) Towards the end of June I flew to Baltimore for a wedding a mere 24 hours before when I should have left for camp. Getting on a plane and leaving the state when all of my stuff was packed and ready for camp was a very odd feeling.
Now I can’t go somewhere fun and not do any exploring, so I turned those 48 hours into a whirlwind trip. All in all, I was on the ground in Baltimore for less than 48 hours. I was nervous about my outbound flight because it was looking quite full and, as usual, I was flying standby. I was also concerned about my return flight, although not because of how full the flight was but simply because I was afraid something would go wrong on the one trip that I really needed to get back home from in a timely manner. =D
I obviously managed to get on the flight to Baltimore. In fact, I was on the ramp literally about to step onto the plane and make my way to my middle seat spot when I heard one of the gate agents calling out my last name. Normally this would freak me out because I would assume I was losing my seat to a paying customer. However, I knew that lower priority standby passengers had already been given seats, so in this instance I was merely curious what they wanted. The reason they wanted me was because one of the First Class passengers who had checked in never actually showed up at the gate. Normally an open seat in First on a five hour flight would have been offered to a premium customer, but at this point there was no time for that and almost everyone was already on the plane. I was asked if I had a non-rev voucher for First (I did) and next thing I know I’m sitting in seat 3D and being offered a drink. Score! I never thought I’d ever manage to get a seat in First on a cross country flight as it’s pretty unheard of as a non-rev.
And later when I heard the flight attendant asking the passengers in the front row which meal they wanted I was happily surprised to realize that I’d be getting a meal on the flight! And yes, I had a beer plus countless other non-alcoholic drinks. My glass was never empty the entire flight. And it was a glass glass, not a plastic cup mind you.
The dinner was pretty classic airplane food, but the apple pie type dessert was actually really delicious.
Now combine my happiness from the First Class seat with the fact that I had gotten a perfect parking spot (in the shade!) at Sky Harbor, being offered a double upgrade on my rental car at BWI (it was a 2014 Jeep something or other and I loved it), and being the very last person to check into the hotel that night thus me getting a suite instead of the standard room, and I was a pretty happy girl. I’m pretty sure it was my “luckiest” travel day that I’ve ever had.
I had all day Friday set aside for sightseeing in Washington DC and also had plans to meet up with some wonderful friends for dinner. I woke up early that morning, saw about 20 messages on my phone that had arrived in the five hours I’d been asleep, and I tossed my phone across the bed. Avoidance at it’s finest. Turns out the groom and some other people I know were hanging out down in the hotel lobby, so once I finally woke up enough to sort through my messages I went down to see everyone briefly before heading into into the city, which was a great way to start off the morning.
I’ve been to DC before, so I wasn’t overly concerned about seeing anything in particular on this trip. I did end up trying something that I really liked, which was biking around all of the monuments instead of trying to walk the entire National Mall in the heat. Anyone who’s read any of my travel posts before will know that I’m a huge fan of renting bikes, and my favorite thing to do when traveling is use bike share program if one is available. DC has Capital Bikeshare, and you can get a 24 hour pass for $7. I grabbed a bike fairly close to Union Station (where I parked the Jeep) and biked around all the monuments. It’s now my biggest tip that I tell people when they ask about things to do in DC. If you want to see all of the monuments quickly, bike around them! Some of them (like the Lincoln memorial) will need to be explored on foot, but you can always stop biking for that part. If you’ve been to DC before and just want a refresher of all the monuments, do it on a bike!
I decided to do one museum in the afternoon in order to get out of the heat. I’ve already been to a bunch of them before, but I’d never been to the Air & Space museum. Seeing as I now work for an airline, that needed to be remedied. The place was packed, but I enjoyed the museum a lot nonetheless.
The highlight of my day on Friday was meeting up with some friends in Alexandria, VA. They used to be part of my bible study in Phoenix but have since moved to the DC area. I’d never been to Alexandria before and I’m so glad that they picked a restaurant in that area so that I would end up over there. They showed me around a bit after dinner and I absolutely fell in love with it. I’m hoping to go back and visit them for a full weekend and explore the area even more in the future. Thanks for the great evening Cara & Dillon!
Saturday was all about the wedding. I got to see the groom and all of the groomsmen at the hotel that morning and had breakfast with them. That was particularly nice since weddings tend to be hectic once they actually get going. I also got to spend the day hanging out with a groomsman’s wife and she was an absolutely fantastic wedding buddy!
The wedding was beautiful, and I don’t have any pictures that will do it justice, so I’m not even going to attempt to describe it. One thing I will say is that you could easily see the love that the bride and groom had for each other, and I love weddings like that. I’m beyond thankful that I was able to be there on Danny & Brittany’s wedding day to witness their marriage.
One thing I will point out is that the wedding had a travel theme. Talk about my kind of wedding! I loved every last detail the bride did.
I left the wedding a bit before the bride & groom did in order to make it to the airport on time…and it turns out that my precious flight home was delayed three hours. I may or may not have panicked slightly upon hearing that news as I figured the flight was likely to be canceled if the problem was mechanical because I knew they didn’t have another plane at BWI to use as a backup (oh the things you can find out when you work for an airline). Luckily, the flight did happen, and the plane was only three quarters full, so guess who got another unheard of seat in First? They had re-routed most of their premium customers on other flights so there weren’t many left when the flight did finally leave, and I was more than happy to take the last First Class seat.
Washington DC remains one of my favorite cities to visit and I look forward to more trips there in the future. Hopefully I’ll be able to explore more of the outlying areas like Alexandria next time I’m out there.
What I enjoyed most about the trip was seeing two couples, one just starting their new life together, and another one living their life together to the fullest while seeking ways to serve God. I’m thankful to call all of them my friends!