National Harbor, DC, and Cirque… oh my!

I love weekend getaways!  What a super way to spend some time away with your family and recharge your batteries.  Traveling to new places is so much fun and when mixing new places with ones you’ve visited in the past, you are able to enjoy the new with the familiar.

This weekend included a trip to National Harbor in Maryland, very near Washington, DC.  I had never visited this area before and will most definitely visit again now that I’ve seen everything it has to offer!  We spent an amazing night at the Gaylord National Harbor Resort (OMG!  This place is huge and super fancy!) and toured around the harbor area.  So much to do!

  • For $15 per adult, you can take a ride on the Capital Wheel, five rotations around and worth every penny!  The ride is gentle and can seat up to eight guests in an enclosed pod with air-conditioning.  Children are a little cheaper and despite the height of the wheel and my fear of being so high up, it was fabulous!  We could have gone around for much longer. Being able to see so far in each direction was such a delight, nothing like what I expected.
  • Take your shoes off and walk in the sand at the sculpture called ‘The Awakening.’  This sculpture is the coolest and looks like a man emerging from the sand.  Don’t forget the selfies at each piece (the head, hand, foot, etc.)
  • Peeps and Company store.  Need I say more?  I didn’t even know there was such a thing.  This store is packed with Peeps merchandise and other goodies from the Just Born family.  Outside is a VW Beetle decorated in true Peep fashion that makes for a great photo-op.
  • Many other stores and restaurants are located in the immediate vicinity, everything within walking distance.  Basically this area is like a little town and even offers residential living, office space, entertainment, and a beautiful walkway along the Potomac River.

So the Gaylord.  Swanky!  Revolving doors and everything.  This resort has it all including stores, eateries, bars, interior landscaping, and views for days.  I will be back.

Despite all the greatness at the resort and the area itself, the highlight of this portion of the trip was seeing Cirque Du Soleil’s performance of Amaluna.  This show has been in the National Harbor area for a little while now and actually moves on to setup in Atlanta today.  Breathtaking, jaw-dropping, visually stunning… I can’t rave enough.  I have never seen a Cirque performance before and I am finding myself Googling it to see where and when I can see another.  The strength and talent of these performers is unparalleled.  Although these shows aren’t cheap, they are worth every single penny.  Go.  Now.

After the plush night at the Gaylord, we hopped up this morning and headed into the city for a day at the Smithsonian National Zoo.  In late September, I wasn’t expecting the temperature to top out around 90 degrees but it sure did.  Blech.  The zoo offers lots of shady spots to rest though so we made out ok.

The highlight here?  Watching the Asian river otters be fed!  Those nine little otters sure love their fish!  I’ve seen otters several times in the past but always am amazed by their intelligence.  Love!  We also saw Bao Bao, the one year old Giant Panda born at the zoo last year.  When I say saw, I use that term loosely.  She was up in a tree the entire time.  I had no idea that pandas really spent that much time in trees but now I know.  Carousel ride, tamarinds, sea lions, and clouded leopards, oh my!

That’s it for now, new adventures await!

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