Spartan Race / Washington, D.C. Trip - May 2019

What’s up guys! It’s Madison Square Darden with a new blog post. This week, I will recap my trip to Washington, D.C. in May 2019. The main purpose of this trip was to participate in the Spartan Race at Nationals Park and I must say that I had a great time competing in the race. This was my second time completing the race at the home of the Washington Nationals and it was just as challenging as it was 2 years ago. I will do something different with this post as I will post galleries of all of the places and activities I did while I was in the Nation’s Capital. I will still breakdown the costs of the trip and explain my reasoning for the purchases I made.

National Museum of American History

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Spartan Race at Nationals Park

DC Street Art Walk

International Spy Museum

Food while in DC

“How Much Did It Cost?”

All prices are in US Dollars

TRANSPORTATION: $250.32

  • Greyhound, Columbus to Pittsburgh: $35.50

  • Greyhound, Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C.: $43.50

  • MetroCard: $14 onto card

  • Uber: $76.72 ($9.15, $5.87, $4.34, $15.17, $11.02. $11.20, $5.00 (Cancelled), $14.97)

  • American Airlines, DCA to CMH: $80.60

LODGING: $325.04

  • Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel: $325.04

ENTERTAINMENT: $44.33

  • American History Museum: Free

  • National Museum of African American History and Culture: Free

  • Pentagon City Mall: Free

  • National Harbor: Free

  • DC Street Art Walk: $20

  • International Spy Museum: $24.33

FOOD: $201.48

  • Pennsylvania Rest Stop: $11.96 ($8.88, $3.08)

  • Sbarro: $8.13

  • Vocelli Pizza: $22.97

  • American History Museum: $25.25

  • Ben's Chili Bowl: $14.00

  • Jeni's Ice Cream: $12.08

  • Sheraton Gift Shop: $3.70

  • Walter's: Free

  • Granite City: $26.00

  • Savannah Candy Kitchen: $7.87

  • Bob & Edith Diner: $17.35

  • Matchbox: $49.00

  • International Spy Museum: $3.17

MISCELLANEOUS: $167.30

  • Spartan Race - Nationals Park: $91.05 ($59.00, $32.05)

  • Spartan Race Exit Pass: $76.25

GRAND TOTAL FOR TRIP: $988.47 

Let’s put the number into context. For this trip, I did something that I haven’t done in 2 years and that is stay in a hotel. I stayed at the Sheraton Pentagon City in Arlington, Virginia and I had a feeling of deja vu when I arrived on Thursday. I stayed at this hotel in 2007 for the Global Young Leaders Conference. It was a 10-day conference in Washington, D.C. and New York City where I got to learn about foreign diplomacy and how decisions are made in the United Nations. I was nice to see that the hotel hadn’t changed a lot in the past 12 years. I stayed in a room that had 2 beds because it was cheaper to get a room with two full size beds.

For transportation, I took Greyhound to Washington, D.C. because I waited too long to get an inexpensive plane ticket. I broke the trip up into two segments (Columbus to Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C.) it was cheaper to get two tickets compared to one ticket from Columbus to Washington. While I was in D.C., I took the Metro throughout the city. I already had a MetroCard with $4.50 loaded on it and I added $14 to the card. I used Uber a few times when I was in town and used the UberPool option to get around town. UberPool is cheaper than the standard Uber and it helped me save a few dollars. For my flight home, I took American Airlines from Reagan National Airport and I used some of my miles for the flight. I still don't understand why I have to pay $75 to use my miles, but that is another issue for another day.

Washington, D.C. is one of my favorite cities because of the Smithsonian museums. I went to the National Museum of American History and the NMAAHC and I had a good time a both museums. The NMAAHC had a special exhibit about Oprah Winfrey and it was cool learning about her upbringing and her career in television. I also got the opportunity to go to the International Spy Museum. I went on the grand opening day in the afternoon and I had a good time for the most part. As with any grand opening, the museum was crowded and it was overwhelming at times. The museum is interactive as you will get a badge and pretend that you're a spy while going through the exhibits. There are different computer stations throughout the museum where you try to solve a mystery. I will have to go back to the International Spy Museum at a time when it will be less crowded to fully enjoy the facility.

I used Airbnb to book an experience for the first time and I went on DC Street Art Walk. It was cool seeing the different murals and learning about the different artists that were commissioned to create them. The tour took place near and on U Street. I also used Uber Eats for the first time and I purchased Vocelli Pizza and Bob & Edith's while I was at the hotel. The most expensive food purchase was Matchbox on 14th Street. For 2 hours, I had the all-you-can-eat brunch and stuffed my stomach until it was full. I had chicken & waffles, scrambled eggs, lemon strawberry pound cake, and a pepperoni pizza.

The main reason I went to Washington, D.C. was to participate in the Spartan Race at Nationals Park. I purcahsed a code at the Arnold Sports Festival in March for $59. I could use this code for any Spartan Sprint (including Stadion Sprint) race in 2019. The Nationals Park race is classified as a Sprint race and I used this code to reserve my spot. The $32 was miscellaneous costs for the race such as insurance. After the race, I was still on my Spartan Race high and purchased an exit pass for $76.25. Similar to the code I purchased in March, I could use this for any Sprint race throughout 2019.

Thanks for reading this week’s blog post. Next week, I will go over how I wrote “IT’S GAME TIME FOLKS: Quest for 30”. On July 21st, I will be at The Book Loft of German Village for the “Meet the Authors” event from 1 PM- 5 PM. I will be autographing copies of my book and telling some great travel stories. Take it easy and Live for the Experience!