WASHINGTON DC ON A BUDGET

Hello, dolls!! Hello, Sunday! <3 We are finally graced with crisp weather here in Baltimore. I can’t wait to see the green leaves turn into orange and brown soon! I’ve been busy packing for our trip and getting our house in order before we leave for vacation. As much as I want to say, I can’t wait, there is one thing that is currently bothering me right now…I hope this turns out to nothing SOON!

When my family was here during my maternity leave, I made sure we will spend each day doing something memorable. We missed a lot of special moments together since I live a gazillion miles away so when we had the opportunity to be together for 5 weeks, we felt like it was Christmas every day.

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One of the places on our list was Washington, DC. I live about an hour away from DC so it’s always an easy trip for us. There are so many things you can do in DC! A and I go to DC a lot and each time in awe.

Would you believe me if I told you we spent less than $250 that day? Including lunch, dinner, and sightseeing! See below how my family of 7 (and a half) did it in one of the best places to visit in the US!

We did not intend to do a low-cost trip to DC, but as I look at the pictures below, I realized this is such a great post for families who are adamant about visiting Washington DC because of the notion that it could get expensive. Well, it could, but if you know where to go and with proper research, your wallet will thank you later 🙂

Lunch: $80 to $100 

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One thing about my family, we love simple comfort food! So I spent my morning researching about casual restaurants that we shouldn’t miss in Washington DC, Ben’s Chili Bowl came up in all of the articles I read.

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A and I have been going to DC together for more than 5 years now but we never heard of Ben’s Chili Bowl! I was very excited to try this DC Landmark especially because I LOVE chili!

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I ordered the chili salad bowl. It was very simple — lettuce, tomato, cheese, and sour cream.  I love how they have a healthy option on the menu.

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Everyone pretty much got a burger. It’s a must try when at Ben’s Chili Bowl. They are not too big so you have room for other delicious sides too.

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There are 2 ways to enjoy chili — on top of a hotdog or loaded on fries and topped with cheese. This was sooo good I had to stop myself from eating more!

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Now tell me this is not worth driving to Washington DC for?? 😛

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Baby A was less than a month old in this picture. He looked so different!

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Sightseeing/Activity: FREE!

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Museums in DC are free so after lunch, we decided to go to the National Air and Space Museum. I knew my Dad would love it because they have the best exhibition for vintage cars and warplanes.

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Seeing monumental stuff from the past gives me jitters. To be in the presence of something that made history is something that makes me realize why I should be grateful for the things that we have now.

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We went to Washington DC in July so all the museums were packed! We tried to enjoy as much as we can but it was sooo hard to see most of the exhibits without trying to get through lines and lines of people.

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All smiles because we are all together again. 

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The National Portrait Gallery is my favorite museum in Washinton DC. It is only convenient that it is a stone’s throw away from DC Chinatown. I’ve always told my Dad about it so when we were all finally in DC, I told them we should go.

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The National Portrait Gallery is my favorite because of two things, the indoor garden and the scavenger hunt! I told my siblings we should do it while my parents relaxed with baby A.

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I felt like a kid again doing it with them. We split into 2 teams for more excitement — it was indeed one of my best moments in DC!

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We walked to Chinatown and everyone was excited! We felt like we were all in Manila again walking to one of our favorite restaurants after going to church on a Friday night.

My Dad took us to Quiapo church every Friday growing up. We would then eat at a Chinese restaurant, usually older than us, and start our weekend together.

DINNER: $100

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Chinatown Express was our restaurant choice that day because of the hand-pulled noodles and delicious pork dumplings.

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Two favorite men in my life.

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Roast Pork Belly over Rice

Everyone loved this! The skin was so crispy and the meat was tender and very flavorful. Made us feel like we were in the Philippines eating lechon kawali.

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Seafood Hand-pulled Noodles

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Pork Hand-pulled Noodles

There are 2 dishes that you MUST try at Chinatown Express — dumplings and the delicious hand-pulled noodles. Everything on the menu is good but these two are phenomenal!

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Dumpling overload! A and I love watching the lady at the window roll the dough for the wrapper and crimp the sides as she fills it with pork and vegetables.

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Washington DC is a great place to visit with family. If you know the right places to go to, you don’t have to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on each meal.

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OOTD

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Since it felt like a hundred degrees that day, I decided to wear something light. White is always my top choice when putting together a simple outfit.

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I had to pick something that is accessible to nursing baby A too so a light white long top and a cute skirt were my picks that day.

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xx

R<3

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