Washington DC – Food, Culture, People and Apple Picking

14 – 18 October 2010

For my last three nights in Washington DC I stayed with another couch surfer. I had an amazing time with Monica, it really sealed the couch surfing deal for me – no better way to travel!

Beer Garden
The night that I arrived another couch surfer was also staying the night, Yi from China was studying medicine in Japan and was over in DC for a conference; he was fun but slightly difficult to communicate with at times which just made the experience all the more fun. Monica, a friend of hers, Yi and myself all went out to a German style beer garden. We enjoyed soft pretzels and one litre steins of German beer before heading next door to a more club like scene.

Apple Picking

On Saturday I was invited to go apple picking with Monica and her family, although I still had a lot of museums I wanted to visit I decided apple picking certainly had the potential to provide me with a richer Washington experience than more museums.

I was glad I went. I got to go to areas I wouldn’t have been able to get to with public transport, I enjoyed a nice American breakfast, I picked apples, tasted hot apple cider and a flight of local wines, and I even got to try home cooked Indian food. It truly was a rich experience in the simple pleasures of life, a day I’ll remember for a long time.

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Maryland Crabs
That evening after spending the day with Monica and her parents we met up with some friends of Monica’s and ate freshly steamed Maryland Crabs on the Washington waterfront. We had too many to finish, I’ll repeat – more freshly steamed crabs than one could manage! Later we had a few drinks and then headed into another area of DC where we went to a couple of bars and clubs, the music was not me so when we moved on I was happy.

Now I’d heard of Ben’s Chilli Bowl, it had been recommend to me as one of those MUST DO Washington experiences although I’d also been warned that you wouldn’t want to dine there on a regular basis – It was a Washington DC institution, not a health food parlour. They serve chilli over fries and hot dogs with a healthy dumping of melted cheese over the top of everything! I was looking just for a taste, but somehow we ended up ordering over ten dishes, probably one and a half per person – it pretty much filled me up till late afternoon the following day!

Lastly to wrap up my Washington experience I enjoyed walking around one of the local flea markets which Monica recommended.