It was a rainy morning in Philadelphia and I woke up kind of late in the morning which led to a late departure towards Washington. The heavy downpour over the city also meant it was not ideal for any more sightseeing, and I had another gloomy day of driving. This time the drive was even worse with the wet road conditions, and how the Prius was lacking in grip along some stretches of the highway. Fortunately the electronics in the vehicle was able to help me out. Initially I had planned on having an early lunch at Penn’s landing before making a straight journey towards Washington D.C. However the lack of dining establishments in that area meant I headed straight to the Delaware Expressway on I-95 towards the State of Delaware. The drive led me to Christiana Mall in Delaware where I was able to stop for lunch.
It was also here that I discovered the pleasure of tax-free shopping since there is no sales tax on anything purchased in the state. Thus what you see on the price tag is what you pay. With this in mind I made it a point to stop over in this mall again on my return trip from Washington to New York and saved the location into my GPS. I had a hamburger from the food court of the mall before walking around the shops which also includes one Apple Store. After my short sidetrip to the mall, I returned onto I-95 which also became known as the JFK Memorial Highway once we crossed into Maryland. The drive passed by some national park and was considerably narrower and slower compared to other stretches of the highway. Lucky for me, the downpour seems to have subsided a bit and I was able to cruise with ease, save for the occasional slow traffic at some stretches around Baltimore. By the time I arrived at the W Hotel in Washington, it was close to 6pm. I passed the keys of my car to the valet, and proceeded to check in at this pricey hotel.
Arriving at Washington on a weekday is expensive and while the W is pricey, it was reasonable compared to some other rates on hotels in this area. The W branding and its location within walking distance to the White House was a plus. I was provided a room facing the F street and the hotel was very crowded during my stay in town. While the room was really small compared to the spacious suite I had the night before, it was nicely furnished and impeccably clean. The bathroom was also of a good size with a walk-in shower. There was a nice alcove seating area at a corner facing the TV and it was a cozy place for one person.
After settling into the room and getting shower, I left the hotel for dinner and got recommendations from the magazine in the hotel room for Zentan at Donovan House since I was craving for some sushi and sashimi. Canadian chef Susur Lee is behind this establishment that is located inside a chic boutique hotel. Its location on 14th Street at the corner of the Thomas Circle roundabout meant it was at most a 5 minute drive. While the small restaurant is pretty packed, it was easy to get a seat for one by the sushi bar. I had some salmon sashimi with ikura sushi for starters before having 2 additional sushi rolls for the main. The spicy fire cracker roll was delicious, but it was the fire dragon roll that was fulfilling. Both sushi rolls were generous in their toppings and tasted very rich in their flavours. Definitely a place to come back for great sushi rolls while in Washington!
While I thought the night was still early, and wanting to see more of Washington before the day is over, I took a drive to the Potomac riverside which has nice views of Key Bridge and the Arlington skyline. The Key Bridge connects the district of Georgetown to the district of Rossyln in neighbouring Arlington. However as I stopped for some shots, the rain returned for the night and it signalled the end of my day as I returned to the hotel for a night’s rest.