Gardens, Baseball, and a Free Day in DC and Northern VA

View of the Capitol Building from inside the US Botanic Garden Conservatory.

View of the Capitol Building from inside the US Botanic Garden Conservatory.

I took a few days off so that we could go to a baseball game in Washington D.C. It was a Thursday afternoon game so we slept in and head up to the metro stop se we could be in D.C. around lunch time. After grabbing a quick sandwich and a cupcake from Curbside Cupcakes, we headed to the United States Botanic Gardens. One of the last times I was in D.C. I went to a Safe Kids event and walked right past the Botanic Gardens, and since they are free, it’s an easy decision to make that a quick stop when you are in the area for another reason and don’t have a ton of time.

Love this tree!

Love this tree!

There are three sections to the Botanic Gardens: Conservatory, National Garden and Bartholdi Park. The Conservatory is the indoor area with many sections ranging from medicinal plants, to cacti, to orchids. This is also where the “Jungle” is…the large room with high humidity and warm temperature. This room is the center and makes up the peak of the building. There’s a really cool view of the Capitol Building from the walkway in here.

Lovely water feature

Lovely water feature

Outside and next to the Conservatory is the National Garden. This area has a Butterfly Garden (not so active while we were there), a Rose Garden (which wasn’t at its peak…but that’s flowers for you!), a Regional Garden which is for plants who thrive in our climate, and a First Ladies Water Garden (which was dry). So, it doesn’t sound like we went at the best time of the year, but even still, this place is beautiful and peaceful, and in the city, it’s just a nice place to be. We figure the outside gardens are very busy at lunch time.


Across the street is the Bartholdi Park, named after the man who created the beautiful foundation. He also happened to create the Statue of Liberty! This is a lovely area with benches and tables all over for people to enjoy the fountain and flora all around. While in the National Garden, you may be able to forget you are in the city, which is not the case in the Bartholdi Park. It is lovely, but there aren’t really any barriers between the park and the road. We just sat there for a good while enjoying the sound of the fountain and people watching.


We weren’t sure how early to leave for the game, but we were out of quick things to do, so we headed back to the metro and did our transfer…we left at the right time. That’s for sure. It was already crazy crowded! Since the roads are blocked off by the stadium and it was an area of D.C. I hadn’t been to before, I felt so out of place. But the stadium is beautiful. The set up felt a lot like Jiffy Lube Live where you walk in the gate, but you don’t really feel like you are inside yet. There are bars and restaurants, then you walk under the really high seats and there’s a bunch of food, drinks, yummy things there.


Our ticket was a “Beltway Burger Pack” ticket, so the fourth inning I went up to get our food. It took an entire inning since everyone else had the same thought! The seats weren’t bad, but you can’t see the big screen at all, and our section didn’t have a monitor to watch either. But I knew we had cheap seats, so it was all fine. As a bonus, the Nationals were holding a Post-Game Concert Series that is INCLUDED with your ticket. About  a half hour after the end of the game, the Plain White T’s began their performance. We moved to better seats since it was general admission at that point, and hung out and enjoyed the performace! So, for $33 we got to watch a baseball game, eat dinner (burger, fries, and a drink), and got a concert. Not bad!! I love a good deal. I even got our hotel at an amazing deal thanks to AAA, and we got a breakfast sandwich included with our room.


Plain White T’s

Friday I was on my own since I took Sean to work. But it worked out great! I got to nap, and then pick up Sean for lunch around the corner that was amazing! Kapao is an Asian restaurant that you have to try if you are in Ashburn. Then, I went to my massage appointment that I got for 45% off. Did I mention, I love my deals?! Very nice place, Aria MediSpa in Sterling. After that, I saw Malificent at the theater next door for FREE! This was thanks to movie passes I was given for Christmas.


Then it was the perfect time to pick Sean up from work and head to dinner. We had heard great things about a restaurant called Melt in Leesburg. Since we don’t usually drive through Leesburg, but around, we’ve never been. But it’s a burger place and Sean and I love our burgers. Besides, this gave us a little more time for traffic to die down a bit. The burger was delicious! Definitely worth the stop.

So, Thursday and Friday were jam-packed full of driving, fun visits, good deals and delicious foods! I love our quick trip to our nation’s capital, but mainly I just like finding delicious places to eat!


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