I've always contended that the best way to get to know a new place is by taking a rough heading and going for a wander, map in your pocket so that you can locate yourself if you're really lost. Mrs G and I headed for the center of town on Washington's very clean but rather murky (think industrial Bat-cave) Metro system.
We jumped off at Adams Morgan which I'm told is funky at night but wasn't up to much at 11:00 on Sunday morning (although we could have been in the wrong part of it) - we headed down in the direction of Dupont Circle with lots of fun and funky stores; in particular, exactly the sort of book stores that we both love and could spend lots of money in if we had lots of money. We restrained ourselves and headed on, passing in blissful ignorance within sniffing distance of a kosher Krispy Kreme (think Dunkin Donuts only considerably yummier - probably full of fat Jewish policeman.
Next destination was Georgetown - Olde World, small stores; nothing like the strip malls of Rockville and lots of stuff which we want but will have to wait (with th exception of some lush stuff for Mrs G.) We cut down to the waterfront, straight into a free headlining grabbing concert performance in front of a building that looked like an up market IKEA and turned out to be the new Swedish Embassy.
Back up towards town, we found ourselves wandering past a landmark building - the Watergate Hotel and headed for the Metro. At this point, I looked up and commented "Ooh look, it's the needle thing" - Mrs. G. took umbrage at the perceived sleight to the Washington Monument and off we headed to inspect from close up - a walk of a further couple of miles to round the day off.
I must admit that it's an impressive piece, even from a distance, situated on a slight rise with no other buildings close by it's Washington's tallest building and will remain so due to city rules on building heights.
The city has plenty more to offer - we're saving the many free museums for wet Sundays as winter comes on - in the meantime, we're still enjoying some stunning weather.