Destination: Washington, D.C.

Tales of a Travel Chaperone

Funny story concept well executed by the man doing the chaperoning of fifth graders to Spain: Dave Barry. 

Our group consisted of four dads, 18 moms and approximately 27,000 children. There was no way to get an exact count: They move too fast.

Our group assembled at Miami International Airport (motto: “Our Motto Has Been Delayed”). All of us wore identical ill-fitting T-shirts with our group name printed on them. That’s how you let everybody know that you’re a group of sophisticated world travelers.

The Washington Post Magazine covered similar ground this weekend. John Kelly joined a group of junior high students touring Washington D.C.

I began to recognize the symptoms of Stockholm syndrome about four hours into my day touring Washington with the eighth-graders of Centreville, Mich. I was starting to identify with my captors.


The ‘Bill Clinton Ate Here’ Effect

Wherever former President Clinton eats, crowds follow. Writes David Segal: “[F]ew phrases are more bankable to restaurants around the world than this: ‘Bill Clinton ate here.’” Here’s why:

It’s widely (and correctly) assumed that he has good connections everywhere he visits, so he’s unlikely to wind up at a dud. More than most celebrities, he seems like a person who appreciates good food, and before he had heart surgery, he was known for his wide-ranging appetite.

And when Mr. Clinton visits a restaurant, everybody in the room knows it. Douglas Band, an aide who frequently travels with Mr. Clinton, says that his boss introduces himself to every diner, as well as every waiter and every kitchen staff member. He will always pose for photographs and sign guest books. Someone from his staff will send a thank-you note a few days later.

Anyone who trails in Mr. Clinton’s dining path will eat well, but should know that his taste in restaurants, when he actually selects them, runs to the bright, lively and unfussy. The white table cloth, 10-course prix fixe experience is not his style.

I’ve happily followed in Clinton’s dining path, here in D.C. and elsewhere. I regret waiting until my final day in Little Rock, a Sunday, to track down one of his favorite spots. Alas, it was closed.


What was the World’s Tallest Building in 1884?

The Washington Monument. Kottke has a lovely graphic contrasting the monument with its 1880s competition. We’ve come a long way from the Mall to the Burj, huh?


Among the Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D.C.

Celebrating the arrival of spring and powerful words on a visit to the FDR Memorial

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Travel Ghosts

Larry Clark contemplates the power of monuments and memorials -- and the fleeting moments we spend with them

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Six Cities to Explore Martin Luther King’s History

Lorraine Hotel National Civil Rights Museum Photo by Victor Chapa, via Flickr (Creative Commons)

From Atlanta to Washington, D.C., Larry Bleiberg highlights the must-see places where the civil rights leader lived and made history

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Photo You Must See: Moon Over the U.S. Capitol

Photo You Must See: Moon Over the U.S. Capitol REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang
REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang

The three-quarter moon rises over the dome of the Capitol in Washington, D.C.


Dan Brown Tourism Hits D.C.

That was quick. Two weeks after the release of his latest, “The Lost Symbol,” and the Dan Brown-themed travel stories about the city where it’s set—Washington, D.C.—are already piling up.


Judging India

Delhi rail lines Photo by The Wandering Angel via Flickr, (Creative Commons)

In New Delhi, JD Roberto deemed much of what he encountered backward and barbaric. But his moral compass was about to be reset.

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Moon-Gazing Around the Globe

Full moon over London Photos by cybea via Flickr (Creative Commons)

From Puebla to Paris, 12 photos by moonstruck world travelers

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Pet Airways Begins Flights for Pampered Animals; Humans Still Out of Luck

Beginning today, Florida-based Pet Airways will fly your critters to and from New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles. The new airline promises that pets will be constantly attended to and treated as first-class “pawsengers,” with rates for one-way flights—for Fido only; you’ll have to book on a regular carrier—starting at $149. Representatives are confident that the high prices are well worth it, offering peace of mind against the “severe emotional and physical harm, even death” that can befall your pet traveling in the cargo hold on human-centric flights.

The airline has even started a blog featuring everything from the latest in-flight pet news to expert tips on keeping fit with your dog on the road.


Finding Hawaii on the Mainland

Aloha Tavern by Nerd’s Eye View

I’m not sure why I’m surprised when, on the mainland in the middle of rural territory, I find a town named “Aloha,” or when a festival in Seattle brings thousands of Hawaiians out to listen to traditional music and see hula. The Hawaiian diaspora is extensive—hey, it reaches all the way to the White House these days.

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Signs of Shrinking Vacation Syndrome on Capitol Hill

Even our elected representatives aren’t immune—and at least one of them isn’t happy about it. Senator Chuck Grassley told President Obama how he feels in a colorful tweet on Sunday:

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Samurais and Maharajas: It’s an Asian Art Summer

I’m fortunate to live in a city that’s home to one of the best Asian art museums in the world—the Smithsonian’s Freer-Sackler Gallery—but I’m not averse to traveling to see a really great museum or exhibit elsewhere. In fact, on a trip to Dublin last fall, I spent an entire afternoon immersed in the wonderful Chester Beatty Library, gazing at Persian paintings and Islamic manuscripts. I know, I know—I was supposed to be out drinking Guinness, but I couldn’t help myself.

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Eight Great Travel Stories of Serendipity and Kindness

Eight Great Travel Stories of Serendipity and Kindness Photo illustration by Jim Benning

To mark our eighth anniversary, we've collected eight favorite stories from our archives that show how one person, or one small act of kindness, can alter our sense of the world

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