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Tabberone's Travel Guide
Washington DC Area

Last Updated Sepyember 20, 2011

The Washington DC Area includes suburban Virginia and suburban Maryland.

For those not used to heavy traffic, look out. We had a nice view of the daily backups on I-395 just before it crossed into Washington. Slow, slow and slower. It also appears that the police are more concerned with terrorist attacks and searching grandmothers for deadly weapons than patrolling the highways for speeding vehicles. It appeared that the average speed of traffic was at least 10 MPH over the posted limit and more than that on the Interstate Highways.

Arlington, VA
When in the DC Area in September, 2011, we stayed in Arlington. Crystal City is a section of Arlington.

DoubleTree Crystal City
300 Army-Navy Drive, Arlington, VA
We stayed at the DoubleTree Crystal City because it was the hotel used by the reuinion we were attending. They offer a business package which combines parking, breakfast and an internet connection for a discount but all three are still over-priced. Saturday night, with 350 people trying to get to the reunion banquet, the hotel blocked off one elevator for exclusive access to its over-priced top-floor nightclub. This created very long waits and full elevator cars. It is doubtful there was enough demand for elevators to the Skydome Lounge at 530 pm and 6 pm to block off the elevator for paying guests. Piss-poor prior planning on the part of the hotel.
Parking - Underground parking garage but it is not free to guests. If you have difficulty in tight places you do not want to use this garage. Parking is tight and there are a lot of columns in the way. Street parking is metered.
Negative - They charge a daily fee for parking for guests which we consider to be highway robbery.
Rooms - Nice large flat screen TV. TV station selection adequate. Plenty of lights and electrical outlets. No in-room safe however even though the room brouchure said there was one in the room. Housekeeping very efficient. No refrigerators or microwaves but this hotel caters to the business class which generally does not want them.
Bathroom - Only one electrical outlet in the bathroom. Sink area was small for two people. We did not know that American Standard made a piece-of-shit plastic toilet seat but there was one in our room. It was dangerously loose. Shower had one inadequately small shower shelf for soap, shampoo, etc.
Negative - The DoubleTree Crystal City charged for the internet connection.
Dining - The Lobby Bar was efficient but over-priced for drinks.
      Cafe Restaurant - The Cafe Restaurant opens at 6am for breakfast. Their breakfast buffet is adequate but very much over-priced at $20 per person. Other food for lunch and dinner is similarly very pricey. We ate our lunch and dinners elsewhere.
      Skydome Lounge - their attempt to get players. Top floor with a dress code. We did not go there.
Fitness Center - Open 24/7. Large, roomy and a fine selection of equipment. Top quality.
Nearby - Pentacity Cafe a short walk right next door. Convenient for snacks and drinks if you are staying at the hotel at half the price and good food. Closes at 430 pm.

Dollar Rent A Car
Reagan National Airport, Arlington, VA
When we booked our flight we also reserved a rental car. We decided to try Dollar Car Rental. We consider it a bad choice.

We used Frontier Airlines for the flight. The airline web site had a link for car rentals. We have used these type of links before and never had a problem. The woman at Dollar Rent A Car made a point of telling us that the information we provided on the airline web site was not in her system and went through the sequence again, somewhat rudely, as though we were idiots. This did not happen when we used Alamo Car Rental. Everything was in the Alamo computers. So what is the problem with Dollar Rent A Car?

When we called Dollar Rent A Car about being picked up, the person on the telephone sounded clueless and did not seem to have any idea where their shuttle was. We have used Alamo in the past and Alamo also does not invoke an early return penalty or late return penalty as does Dollar Rent A Car. And, we wanted a standard car, not the Ford Crown Vic they gave us and the 18mpg that it got.

Alexandria, VA

Afghan Restaurant
2700 Jeff Davis Hwy, Alexandria

Parking - Large parking lot with overflow parking across the street. It may not look very fancy from the outside but the food is very good and not expensive. Decor is simple.
Food - They only offer authentic Afghan food so do not expect to get anything else. We ate there for dinner and at their lunch buffet. The buffet opens at 11 am and is usually crowded so we suggest you wait until 1 pm or so for the buffet. There were no labels for any of the food at the buffet. Dinner is excellent as well. Do not expect overly-attentive wait staff and the place is low-key.

Black Hawk & Central City, Colorado Cripple Creek, Colorado Las Vegas

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