We're going to be travelling with John's parents who used to live and work in D.C. John's dad spent time working at the Smithsonian, and as children and teenagers, John and his brother visited D.C. museums several times. My MIL has friends that live in Alexandria and D.C., so she was able to recommend a hotel.
I tried on my own to find someplace in D.C. to stay, but trying to determine whether or not the hotel was anywhere near where we wanted to visit, as well as trying to find a good deal, and worrying about whether or not the area was safe or convenient to the metro (and preferably BOTH), I was very glad to have someone local say stay HERE.
And here is where we are staying: The Embassy Suites Alexandria Old Town. I Googled it. I "walked" down the street and around the block (I ADORE this feature of Google Earth). It looks lovely AND it is across the street from the Metro station, which is PERFECT.
The price for all this perfection and adoration is not cheap. With AAA the standard room is $224 a night. We needed two rooms as we're travelling with 4 adults and two children. It turns out that the cost of two standard rooms is the exact same price as the cost of the Presidential Suite, so I booked it!
Now, don't get all excited. I am pretty sure a "Presidential Suite" at the Embassy Suites is not quite the same as say, the one at Hay-Adams, which is described as:
This distinguished and remarkable penthouse suite features a separate living room and one-and-a-half bathrooms. The beautiful living room overlooking the White House, Lafayette Park and St. John's Church includes a large dining table as well as gas-lit corner fireplace. The master bedroom features a spectacular view of the White House.
I'm pretty sure the only spectacular view I'm getting is what looks to be two standard rooms combined (two bedrooms and two bathrooms with a common, larger sitting and eating area). But it will be cool nonetheless.
I booked the airline tickets this morning. I always dread booking airline tickets. You cannot make a mistake. You must be ABSOLUTELY certain of your dates, and airports (there are TWO in D.C. and I must have checked ten times to make sure that YES I was booking into National and not Dullus). When you hit that submit button, that's it. It's over. If you did anything wrong it is very very expensive to undo. I think the airlines should give you a two hour change window, for those moments when upon reviewing your confirmation you realize that you booked you flight for July instead of June, or that you forgot a kid.