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Thread: Hello, DC!

  1. #1
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    Hello, DC!

    I'm going to the Washington, DC area in 2 weeks. I'll be staying at the Crystal City Marriot (Crystal City Hotels | Hotels in Crystal City | Marriott Crystal City) and my training class is just a few blocks away. Is there anything within walking distance of my hotel that is a must-see? Any local restaurants that deserve my patronage?

    I won't have much time to sightsee if I follow the training schedule precisely. They've even planned my dinners and "free time"! Dudes, it's not "free time" if you've planned it for me! But I hope to sneak out and see some things on my own.

    Any advice for that area, or navigating Reagan National Airport, or travel in general are much appreciated. (I could especially use a primer on packing toiletries for air travel. I haven't been on a plane since the restrictions on bottle size were implemented.)

    Thanks!
    Janine
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    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    pps. If I had a Clear Quarter Packing Cube, could I put my shampoo and whatnot in it and be airport-toiletry-police compliant? ***please enable this purchase, please enable this purchase...***
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    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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    Since the Clear Quarter Packing Cube is not see-through (fabric in the middle), I doubt TSA would go for it. I use the 3D Clear Organizer Cube for that stuff.

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    Regarding restaurants, this website has options if you don't get first-person accounts ... I verified the "top restaurants" and "where to eat now" recommendations for Seattle and feel like it is pretty legit. Eater DC : The DC Restaurant, Bar, and Nightlife Blog

  5. #5
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    Aaah, good point.
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    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    That site looks great! I'm going to share it with the other poor sap who's attending this training with me. She's about as thrilled to have all her time booked by the trainers as I am.
    backpack and tCook like this.
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    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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    The Clear Quarter Packing Cube is great for non liquid toilettery, on one side and other stuff on the other side such as reading glasses, plastic lunch ustensils, extra napkin, etc...

    But it could be used to house multiple Small, Mini and Pen Pouches housing SD Cards, memory sticks, over the counter and/or prescription meds, food bars, pens, etc.. and

    Paper refills for the FJN fit perfectly on each side.

    I came up with that idea when my husband eyed my Steel Clear Quarter Packing Cube, which was out of the Synapse because I was checking/refilling the content and so was my UV Clear Quarter Packing Cube, he pointed out it was the same item.
    I grabbed a Junior notepad and my pencil nylon thing, put each in one pocket and started an explantion about my Plum FJN refill kit, pointing out color and other details.
    Last edited by backpack; 09-12-2012 at 02:07 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Janine View Post
    That site looks great! I'm going to share it with the other poor sap who's attending this training with me. She's about as thrilled to have all her time booked by the trainers as I am.
    Your best bet is for you and your collegue to get a Metrocard at the airport.


    The second day, get a headache or something, if you both want to get out, eat the same thing at lunch and look like it doesn't agree with you all day.

    Another universal ailment is allergies, huge sneezes at the right time, glasses versus contact, frantic search for tissues.

    The third under the weather thing is girl stuff, it only works if the other person is a girl. Pale and tight face, not hard to do while training, clutching fist in belly area and urgent break to the bathroom.

    Note that I know the symptoms because I had to deal with all of them, for real, at one time or another, sometimes together or with another ailment such as a really bad cold or the beginning of the flu.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tCook View Post
    Regarding restaurants, this website has options if you don't get first-person accounts ... I verified the "top restaurants" and "where to eat now" recommendations for Seattle and feel like it is pretty legit. Eater DC : The DC Restaurant, Bar, and Nightlife Blog
    I used to live in the DC area and most of the recommendations for Crystal City look like chains.

    Here is the info on Crystal City in wikipedia:

    Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Because of it integrates work places, housing and shopping. It has a lot of chains for a quick lunch grab.


    I personally loved
    Firehook Bakery & Coffee House
    locations

    Great bakery and sandwich shop. When I lived there, they had only two locations, they have grown because foodies on a budget love them.



    You need to try Crab Cakes but I don't know of a local restaurant.

  10. #10
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    @dorayme made a knitting kit out of her CQPC! I saw it in person!

    Sounds like the CQPC is a really useful size. I didn't know about it's relation to the FJN. Must add one of those to my wish list, too.

    Thanks for the enablement! :-D
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    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  11. #11
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    Oh @backpack, you are the best.

    I love your Down and Dirty Guide to Faking Impairment. I'm going to print it out and tuck it into my wallet for emergencies.

    I never would have thought to look on Wikipedia for information about a city - thank you! Speaking of Wikipedia, my sister recently sent me a link to the YouTube video for "Gangnam Style," which I love. On a whim, I searched for it on Wikipedia. Jackpot! It's an interesting read that describes all the cameo appearances from personalities that I wouldn't have otherwise known.

    Go ahead, y'all. You can listen to Gangnam Style over and over all day long. I do. There's also a version told from the girl's perspective and sung by Hyuna.

    ps. Love that gratuitous explosion! LOL!
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    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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    Registered User dorayme's Avatar
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    If you want to justify it for toiletries, what about putting the ones subject to TSA inspection inside a quart zip on one side (not the easiest to access and not the less fussy, but will allow you to justify your CQPC) and the non liquids on the other side? The last time I flew though, I put my toiletries into my 3-D cube and they were scanned through my bag. I put it into an exterior pocket on the bag and it was easy peasy, I was actually surprised. If you use the TriStar or WF you can put the 3-D cube into one of the front pockets and it would be easier to get in and out if needed. I have seen some excellent suggestions on use of the Travel Tray, tethered to your bag to hold items you need to remove for security checks.

    If it won't work for your toiletries the CQPC would make a great organizer for all of your chargers and other electronics. Also it's great for keeping unmentionables tidy. As you mentioned you've seen my knitting kit. And as has been mentioned on the forums it also makes a great diaper bag insert to organize baby/toddler things. I bet there are probably a million and one uses for the CQPC.

    Hey, which of your Indigos will be coming with you? Tri-Star and Co-Pilot? How long is your trip?

    As far as packing toiletries, I don't have a ton of experience, but unless you have sensitivities, the simplest route is to go with the hotel provided soap and shampoo/conditioner. Then you only need to worry about toothpaste and lotion, hair products and makeup ;-} I always forget that one because I don't wear any. Many facial cleansers now come in wipes versions that travel without issue. You may also want to bring a smidge of detergent or a Tide pen just in case you have a laundry incident. For deodorant you can go with a solid, the salt crystal rock doesn't leave white dust in your pits. Most stores carry sample sizes of toiletries if you don't already have small containers. If you use specialty store brands, I would mention my up coming travel and ask for sample sizes of their product you use.

    My beauty regime is ultra simplistic so I don't have problems fitting what I need into the 3-d cube. Burt's Bee's is readily available in travel sizes. When I do repackage from my regular size containers, the newer silicone containers are my favorite over the older plasticized ones because they release the tiny TSA compliant amounts without having to get carpal tunnel syndrome.

    Other than that, just give yourself a lot of time before you have to be anywhere. That was the biggest thing I noticed when I flew after 911, lines are longer, and take longer to get through. Make sure you check and double check your flight. On my last flight, my connection was delayed, but there was no additional information to let me know, it just changed after I had settled into the gate to wait. Once I realized that it was getting close to flight time and there was no announcement of MY flight, I asked the attendant and she sent me to a customer service kiosk where I was informed my flight had been delayed due to weather and I was going to have to spend the night. Had I checked a few times in the three hours I was waiting, I would have noticed the delay and been preemptive.

    Oh and wear socks (not handknit) or bring footies so when you have to go through the line and remove your shoes you aren't barefoot on the yucky airport floors.
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  13. #13
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    You need to arrive very early at the airport. Check your airport waiting time, add ample travel time or if doable, get a hotel at the departure airport.


    Make sure you print 2 copies of your e-ticket. Make sure you have ID with you.

    As Dorayme pointed out, socks are essential, in addition to many feet germs, the floors are very cold.

    You need to have a stylish and easy to remove shoe unless you want to bring 2 pairs. A foldable ballet flat is going to be easy to remove at the airport, can double duty as a gym shoe and triple duty as a slipper.


    Due to the need for socks I suggest pants, drawstrings are best but any black pant will do if it is wrinkle free.


    Don't lock your bags, it is a no-no nowadays.
    Make sure you remove all metal from your person.

    Search your purse/Shop Bag for any empty soda or water bottle or lip balm/lipstick which should go into your 3-1-1 bag.


    When you go back,

    check the wait time at your departure airport, Reagan National Airport

    make sure you have packed the night before,
    have one pair of clean socks,

    print 2 copies of your e-ticket the night before if possible, (business center is less crowded)
    Put them and your ID, in a secure area of your purse,

    Check your airport, airline and other travel websites for flight delays.

    Here the terminal map of DCA
    http://www.metwashairports.com/image..._map_large.jpg




    Most hotels use a very drying shampoo conditioner combo which could be ok with you. Try it the first morning and if it feels yukky, get a travel size of your favorite at the local drugstore.


    Metro maps

    Closest Metro station
    Metro - Rail - Crystal City

    Very handy and useful map of Crystal City Station neighborhood.
    Crystal City Metrorail station neighborhood


    Even if you don't take Metro, the Stationmasters map is extremely useful to walk around the area you are staying at.

    If you don't have time to sightsee in DC, Crystal City and the neighborhing Pentagon City are nice in their own way.


    If you think of something to ask about, ask away, one of us on the forum most probably has the answer.


    A picture of the beautiful red head family, including the doggie, would be more than welcome. You are all so cute!

  14. #14
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janine View Post
    pps. If I had a Clear Quarter Packing Cube, could I put my shampoo and whatnot in it and be airport-toiletry-police compliant? ***please enable this purchase, please enable this purchase...***
    I put my toiletries in a regular ziploc bag, and as soon as I am through security, place the ziploc in one half of the Clear Quarter Packing Cube, which has been kept empty for this purpose. Toiletries that are not liquid (brush, washcloth, etc.) are already in the other half of the Cube. That way all my toiletry items are in the same place.

  15. #15
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bchaplin View Post
    I put my toiletries in a regular ziploc bag, and as soon as I am through security, place the ziploc in one half of the Clear Quarter Packing Cube, which has been kept empty for this purpose. Toiletries that are not liquid (brush, washcloth, etc.) are already in the other half of the Cube. That way all my toiletry items are in the same place.
    This is brilliant! Thank you thank you!
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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