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United on a Fam Trip to Washington DC

United on a Fam Trip to Washington DC

Rachel Mc Anaspie, who has worked for American Holidays as a Senior Travel Consultant for the past 10 years, recently returned from Washington DC as part of the United Inaugural Dublin to Washington Direct fam trip from June 8th – 11thJune. Rachel filed this report for Irish Travel Trade News:

Washington Fam 1

Our fam trip group at the Albert Einstein Monument; apparently if you touch its nose you are meant to gain knowledge, but I’m still waiting...

We met at the airport bright and early on Friday morning, when Pat Reede and Massimo Larini from United were there to greet us all. There was a lot happening at the airport due to the fact that it was United’s inaugural flight to Washington DC, so there was a fantastic party at the gate with champagne and treats! The four guys at the gate party singing everybody off were brilliant.

I was lucky enough to be upgraded to BusinessFirst, so I had the pleasure of experience the comforts of a flat bed, an individual seatback monitor, and not to mention the delicious cookies that are baked en-route to your destination. It is a seven-hour flight from Dublin direct to Washington DC, but with the great entertainment on board it literally flew in (lol)!

On arrival into Washington Dulles it’s a simple 5-10 minute walk to the baggage reclaim area and our driver from Reston Limousine, and the transfer to the Dupont Circle Hotel took between 30-40 minutes. Check-in at the hotel went smoothly – the lobby area is bright and spacious and the hotel bar is quite a lively spot for after-work drinks on a Friday. The rooms in the hotel are spacious and mine looked directly on to the Dupont Circle Park. A fantastic cocktail reception was laid on by the hotel and we enjoyed dinner and drinks in Kababji Grill, a lovely Lebanese restaurant just five minutes walk from the hotel.

Washington Fam 2

Massimo and Pat are United on a tandem!

Washington Fam 3

The rest of us Bike N Roll solo

Next morning we were up bright and early to have breakfast and hop on the metro to the Bike N Roll check-in point. We were all given our bikes, helmets and water and Alex our guide took us out on a three-hour guided tour of Washington’s monuments, including the White House, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. It was a fantastic way to experience Washington DC and Alex is extremely knowledgeable and polite. Some 250,000 Girl Scouts from across America all descended on the National Mall to celebrate 100 years of Girl Scouts when we were there, so it was extremely busy navigating around the crowds, but in my opinion it is still the best way to see the sights.

After all that cycling around, we had a delicious picnic on the national mall and then our next stop was the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue. The Newseum is a 2,500 sq m building housing exhibitions on the Berlin Wall, 9/11 and a fun 4D movie to entertain you. It’s well worth a visit and from here you can take a stroll up to Capitol Hill! We had cocktails at the W, famous for its rooftop lounge that looks directly at The White House – and the views from the lounge are amazing!

Washington Fam 4

I visit the White House … but for some reason Barack wouldn't open the door!

Sunday morning was shopping day and Washington DC is a shopper’s paradise. Georgetown has lovely quaint shops, downtown has Macys, Pentagon City has malls, and en-route back to the airport we stopped in at Leesburg Outlet Mall, similar to Woodbury Commons in New York. Everybody managed to grab some bargains and came out with happy faces!

I will definitely return to Washington DC as two nights was a little short, but from my whistle stop tour of it I would sum it up as a very clean, safe and chilled out place for a great long weekend.

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 50 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 40 years.

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