Money Diary: A Weekend in Washington, D.C.

girl standing in front of a wall of projected diamonds

I spent three days in Washington, D.C. and here’s a log of my expenses:

Pre-vaction spending

Transportation – Boston to Washington, D.C. I used airline points on a one-way. RT $114

Hotel – My sister K. used her credit card points and I used my reward on the hotel, so it was free. $0

Entertainment – ARTECHOUSE museum tickets (3) $53.76

Self-care – Mani & pedi, with tip $60

Total $227.76


9:00 am – K. calls for an Uber and we’re off to the airport.

9:38 am – K. is hungry so we stop by a Starbucks. Two lattes and a croissant comes to $12.82. I use my gift card. $0

12:15 pm – We land in Washington, D.C. and K. calls an Uber from the airport to our hotel. I CashApp her half. $6.31

12:48 pm – We check in to The Madison and since I’m a Hilton Honors member, I get a discount for an upgrade. Instead of $75, it’s $25. Why not? $28.74 (with tax)

1:50 pm – I’m starving! We took a cab to a Laotian restaurant Thip Khao. $15.44

2:00 pm – You know that saying, “when you’re eyes are bigger than your stomach”? Well, that’s what happened here. We order tam muk hung (papaya salad), duck laab, chicken thigh skewers, and chicken hearts. We finish everything except for one chicken thigh skewer. I feel bad about leaving it behind, but I was extremely full and we don’t have a fridge in our hotel room. For my half $58.95

3:00 pm – K. realized she forgot to pack a bunch of items. We Uber to Nordstrom Rack so she can do some shopping. I CashApp K. $8

4:00 pm – Our hotel isn’t too far so we decide to walk back. We stop in a Peet’s Coffee. I order the Horchata latte with oat milk. It’s extra sweet and I don’t taste the horchata. I take a few sips and end up ditching it. Back at the hotel, I start getting ready for dinner tonight. $6.89

8:30 pm – The Madison doesn’t offer free water in the rooms like most hotels. I stop by the hotel’s shop in the lobby to grab a water before we get picked up by K.’s friends V. and D. $3.30

8:50 pm – We arrive at Kith/Kin. I’ve read great reviews about this place and it should be amazing. We ordered the grilled octopus, gumbo, jerk chicken, and braised oxtail. Everything was so well prepared and the service was exceptional. The girls ordered the Fountain of Youth to drink and I ordered a glass of the Blindfold, a white blend. It was an expensive glass, but so worth it. Kith/Kin definitely deserves to be in the Michelin Guide. We split the bill four ways. $74.93


12:00 am – After dinner, we stop by a 7-Eleven so I can buy a gigantic bottle of water for the room. When I know I don’t have available drinking water around me, I get anxious. And I sure as hell am not drinking faucet water. Who does that? Please stop. $2.09

12:15 am – We arrive back at The Madison. K. is drunk and wants to take drunk photos around the hotel.

12:30 am – We head up to the room and we stay up laughing about stupid things. I take off all my make-up and get ready for bed. We watch Straight Outta Compton on TV until we pass out.

8:50 am – I wake up already starving. I have to meet online with my classmates in a couple hours to work on a project, and I know I won’t have time to prepare for the meeting and get ready to go out to get breakfast. I order two Detoxify pressed juices and an avocado toast from Toastique on DoorDash. $43.24

2:00 pm – My meeting just ended and K. comes back from lunch with her friends. I’m hungry so I look on UberEats this time for food. I want something small to hold me over until dinner. I order fresh spring rolls from Sprig and Sprout. I’m a spring roll connoisseur and I’ve had better. It wasn’t as fresh as I was hoping it would be. $19.25

3:15 pm – K. and I watch a Jurassic Park marathon on television and look for a place to get dinner tonight. While we decide, I start getting ready.

5:30 pm – K. calls the Uber and we arrive at Clyde’s. We sit at the bar while we wait for our table to be ready. K. and I order drinks, oysters, and crab claws for appetizers while we wait for V to arrive. K. gets the bill.

6:05 pm – We get seated at a table and V. shows up. We order more drinks, crab cakes, brussel sprouts, fish and chips, and tater tots. We split the bill three ways. $46.32

8:30 pm – V. drove so we hop into her car and head to ARTECHOUSE, a digital art exhibit by Zach Lieberman. It fuses art with technology and house music. After checking out each room, we hang out at bar where the bartenders make you a custom drink depending on what you like. My drink is extra strong, so I don’t finish it. I should have stuck to wine, but I didn’t want to be basic. V. takes care of the bill. Thanks girl!

10:45 pm – I pay for parking because V. is nice enough to drive us. After the museum, we head back to the hotel and V. heads home. $11


7:30 am – I wake up early for no reason and I’m hungry. I do some research on the best dim sum restaurants in this area. We don’t want to stray too far from the hotel since we have to catch our flight home later today.

10:15 am – I found a restaurant that is open early. We walk to Da Hong Pao from our hotel. We order steamed flowering cabbage, roasted duck, shrimp rice crepe, shrimp dumplings, vegetable dumplings, tripe, fried crab claws, congee, and fish balls. The vegetable dumplings sucked; everything else was on point. I pay. $60.23

11:15 am – K. has been having stomach issues since we landed and wants to find a juice bar. We walk up the street a couple blocks to Jrink. We both order the Beauty Elixr. I pay. $16.96

12:05 pm – We check out of The Madison and K. calls an Uber to the airport.

12:45 pm – K. is craving sweets to she stops by XX Crepes in the terminal. She orders Nutella and strawberries and a bottle of water. I say I’m only going to have a bite or two, but I end up eating half. We hang out at our gate until we board.

4:05 pm – We land back in Boston. We head to baggage claim to grab our involuntarily checked bags and continue to Central Parking. K. calls an Uber.

5:00 pm – I pick up my car and I head home. This weekend was great girl time.

The Breakdown

Transportation – $154.75
Accommodations – $28.74
Food & drink – $332.16
Entertainment – $53.76
Souvenirs – $0
Other – $60

Total spent $629.41

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