Reader Suggestions: What’s Not To Be Missed In D.C.?

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I’ve turned to my readers before for suggestions in Miami, Montreal, and Toronto, and readers came up big time (as you can tell from my subsequent trip notes from Miami, Montreal, and Toronto ) so I hope to hear some feedback for a short trip to the nation’s capital.

And no, I’m not trying to make my 6 month old son Rafi the world’s most traveled infant (though with his 16th and 17th flight legs coming up he probably could make a go of it), just going to prove that having kids doesn’t have to mean the end of our traveling days!

So what activities or museums shouldn’t we miss? (Stroller friendly is a must these days!) Which local kosher restaurants (D.C./Silver Spring region) should we eat at and what do they each make best? If we have time for one kosher eatery in Baltimore what would it be and what should we get there?

Hit the comments and let’s hear your thoughts!

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88 Comments On "Reader Suggestions: What’s Not To Be Missed In D.C.?"

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Daniel

Newseum it’s a museum about news totally fascinating

stg

When are you going Dan? I’m thinking of making a trip president’s weekend.

Marks

Holocaust Museum
Bureau of Engraving and Printing (It’s a shame they make bills and not coins – I’m sure you would want to see where all of your dollar coins were made!)
Walk by the White House
The Capitol
The Supreme Court
Spy Museum

Marks

Smithsonians

Marks

The FBI museum was shut down by 9/11 but you can go to the Crime Museum instead

Anonymous

there’s a milchig place in silver spring called the pastry oven, great food, great pastries, best parve chesse cake.

FanOfDan

Check out the usmint to see where all your dollar coins went back to!!!!

Ebbs

All museums are equally boring, if you want to go to one then go to the holocaust one.

Wash DC is not a fun place.

Judah

Re: Eatery in Baltimore – Assuming you are looking for something new (not just good) I would say try Umami’s – It’s Japanese I believe (meat). Been there a couple of times no dish particularly stands out but what I got was basically chinese with a twist.

p.s. Nice ambiance too.

Josh

Not sure there’s many eating options there. Have heard of a place called Eli’s Restaurant. Here’s their website http://www.elis-dc.com/ Never been there so can’t comment.

Josh

I’ve heard great things about Pomegranate Bistro in Potomac, MD. Check it out here https://pombistro.com/

Marks

@Ebbs: Depends what you consider fun!

You are correct that there is no rapelling/hangliding/beaches/helicopter rides etc. Even someone who isn’t a big museum person still finds it fascinating to see the Original Declaration of Independence (under heavy security of course) the White House, Supreme Court etc. These are thing we constantly hear/read about but never saw. Seeing them for the first time is pretty impressive.

Anonymous

if you’re coming to bmore UMAMI , Japanese is the best we got. In DC you dont have much of a choice, ELI’s is it. I just heard kosher stands throughout the city.. called wraps to go… check out their website.. would reccomend pomagranite in Silver spring if youre willing to drive a little..

eli

I’m from Silver Spring.
As far as food, the best milchig place in the area is the pastry oven and that is in silver spring. They have a website just google the name. If you go there try the California Panini. The best Fleishig restaurant is The Pomegranate Bistro located in Potomoc MD. This is a very expensive place so if you are looking for something cheaper you can’t go wrong with Eli’s Restaurant located just off of Dupont Circle. If you want fast food there are 2 pizza shops in silver spring Ben Yehuda Pizza (located adjacent to the pastry oven) and Nut House pizza located on georgia and university blvd w in silver spring. There is Max’s Deli which has quick fast food. If you go there there are two good things to try 1. We Meet Again 2. Schwarma. I would stay away from their steak sub. In DC there is a kosher Krispe Creme in Dupont Circle. In DC all of the Smithsonians are free so take advantage. If you need any more help email me. Enjoy.

Chabadour only nik of DC

Hi Dan,
Eli’s is your only option in DC, Reistertown Rd in MD is good.

Jonathan

Silver spring is a litvish town so confirm cholov Yisroel. Pastry oven has half half if that is important to you. Pomegranate is great and similar pricing to Eli’s inDC. Krispy Kreme is not cholov Yisroel.

afight4ever

When are you rolling by? having a Do in Baltimore? would love to stop by and meet.
G F

eli

@Jonathan: Everything in Pastry Oven is Cholev Yisroel and Yoshan. Ben Yehuda pizza is Cholev Yisroel and I’m 99 percent sure that nut house is cholev yisroel too.

Moshe

In baltimore, Umame is really good. They have japanese/ thai food that is pretty good. As a baal tshuva, I used to be a thai food connoisseur and was bummed living in monsey without any pad thai available. Now, living in baltimore, Umame gives me a pretty solid pad thai for pretty cheap ($12 for a big serving) that competes with the non-kosher counterparts. Get some hot sake (a japanese hot alcoholic drink derived from rice) for the full experience. Crispy beef and curry is also really good. It’s also close to the 695 highway which makes it more convenient if you are coming for a quick trip.

This is the only restaurant I could recommend in baltimore. They just opened dougie’s but it’s nothing impressive. You can go if you like overpriced fast food.

Baltimorian

Kosher bite!!!

Avraham

Crime and punishment museum is the best in DC. Make sure you do the police car simulator and the shooting training simulator at the end they are the highlights of it. In baltimore if you want alcohol beverages go yo Umani but they have terrible service and are overpriced. For good service and prices David Chu’s (chinese) is the best. For pizza Eden Cafe or Momma Leahs. For fast food fleishig Kosher Bite.

savta

I bought ten tickets on MegaBus.com and I’ve had to change my plans Does anyone want to go to washington DC on Sunday jan 29 @9am from 33rd & 9 ave returning home Tues Jan 31 @ 3:30pm???????The tckts were were $8.50 but at this point I’m willing to give them away. !!!!!!

savta

If you’re going to washington call your local congressman or senator to request tickets to tour the white house and the capitol. You have to fill out a form for the white with your SS# etc. For the capitol you can easily get the tickets for the day and time that you want. Where are you staying???Hotels in DC are pricey and are full. If you come by car there is no place to park and the hotels charge for parking.

eli

There is a GREAT fleishig Restaurant in the DC JCC, called Distrikt Bistro. Not too expensive and great food. Good hechsher too.

Jonathan's bro

Last time I looked into it the pastry oven is not entirely cholov yisroel. I would call them beforehand. With that said, good parve cakes. Also there is a good place to get a schwarma called pita hut. Pom bistro is very good for Maryland and probably the best. David chus 2nd.

Shimmy

Baltimore doesn’t have anything in the area of fine dining.
For a solid breakfast or brunch, Goldberg’s Bagels (better than NY bagels) and Cocoaccinos should not be missed. There is a Goldberg’s in Silver Spring as well.

I went to David Chu’s once and was sorely disappointed.

If you like sushi, the most innovative sushi chef I know works in an unassuming deli named The Knish Shop. Treat Jimmie with respect, and he’ll knock your socks off. I recommend the volcano sauce – Jimmie’s original recipe. As far as rolls go: try the Volcano roll (not to be confused with the sauce. Don’t expect a regular sushi roll) and the Jordan roll (off menu).

shrek

Dougie’s just opened in baltimore so that is actually ur safest bet bc its great and its something ur familiar with. no risk involved. its on Reisterstown RD.

×—× ×”

Def do Pomogranet bistro and the new menu is cheaper than the old…umami in Balt is horrible and the service is even worse, deff go to David chus instead, good fast service and the food is good too…newseum in dc is nice and ppl really like the spy meuseam also

isac

” just going to prove that having kids doesn’t have to mean the end of our traveling days!”

HA!
Just wait till he is 14 months old!

But all the power to you.

Sky121

If you’re just looking for some sushi head to the knish shop. Great sushi. Great staff. Umami was pretty good (a bit overpriced) and is in the same parking lot as Mama Leahs and Goldberg’s Bagels if you want to pick up some food for the road. Goldberg’s is by far the best breakfast place to hit up. Their bagels are amazing as well as their other breakfast/lunch foods (french toast etc) ..Also I always enjoy a nice steak sandwich from Accents. Foods good but not so much the ambience if that’s what you’re looking for. David chus is pretty good and they give you bigger portions than Umami…. Hope you have a great trip!!

Dan

Wow, thanks guys!

It looks like Distrikt Bistro is much closer to our hotel than Eli’s, is one much better than the other?

Seems like we have to check out Pomegranate.

If we have time for one milk place, should it be Pastry Oven or Ben Yehuda Pizza? What do each they make (cholov yisroel) best?

Has anyone done the tour of the capital? Is it easily doable with a stroller? Interesting at all?

Shmelkeh

I have not been there in a while, but if memory serves, D.C. is full of stairs! everywhere you go you have stairs.
things you should see: Air and space museum, American history museum, you can check out the theater where Lincoln got shot, and the room across the street where he died (you can still see the blood stained sheet) The Archives is also cool.

BMoron

I agree with those who said Umami and Pomegranate are the best restaurants in Balt. and DC respectively. I thought the best of the Smithsonians was the Natural History Museum – really enjoyed that one.

eli

@Dan: dan if you have only time for one go with the pastry oven. All of their food is baked and made fresh at the restaurant because they are a bakery and a restaurant. All of their food is cholov yisrael and yoshen. I live 5 minutes away from the pastry oven and have eaten their many times but if you want to double check you can aske the owner of the store when your there. She is an israeli woman. Also, the food is different during the day and during the night. At night they flip the restaurant into a fancy sit down restaurant with waiters and a different menu. During the day you just take your food to the table. Both, the regular menu and the dinner menu are excellent. For the regular menu I would personally recommend the California Panini and for the dinner menu I always get the creme of mushroom pasta which is very good but there are better choices on the menu. Ben Yehuda Pizza is just like any other pizza shop you will find anywhere. If you want a unique and interesting pizza shop that has a lot more choices and better food than the ordinary try Sienna’s Pizza in Rockville MD. Also, I believe but am not certain that there is a kosher subway at the jcc in rockville md. Enjoy.

Mow

The fairmont. was there a couple of weeks ago got upgraded to a better suite since I came early for check in and since I called the main office for early check in and not them they accommodated me . Btw the 100 dollar dining credit does not work for the spa what I did was I went to the bar and asked them if they had a closed bottle and bought a oban 14 for 115 bucks big ripoff but it only cost 15 gl enjoy

Meir

Double check the museums you go to will allow you to take a stroller in. I recall a few them don’t allow it…. not sure which ones (maybe the library of congress doesn’t allow)

JA

Umami’s and must get the Pad Thai! Get some of their Dragon Roll sushi and some Sake

Nechemia

First DAn, i would def not miss the washington ZOO, a lady I met at glatt mart in flatbush told me to go…fantastic zoo!!! There was one smithosnian we went to cant remeber what its called, but it had all the first lady dresses from the inguarals….your wife would love it (dont forget shes with you too)in baltimore…i have to agree with BALTIMORANS…Kosher bite i love….just be careful normal burger there has MAYO…so tell them to leave it off! i think David Chos great chineese food and very reasonable price as compared to brooklyn…..I hated SUBWAY…lousy lousy service!

Tassojunior

Drug Enforcement Agency museum in Pentagon City is a blast.

National Rifle Association museum in Tysons Corner is scarey.

Phillips Collection and Corcoran Art Museums near Dupont Circle are local art museums worth inclusion. (Of course National Gallery of Art is amazing).

Spy Museum is boring and a commercial RipOff. Not a fan of Newseum either.

ben

@Judah: best dish at umamis is the Udon soup and its not on the menu you have to ask for it. its a japaneese soup with enough in it it can be a main dish.

hi its me

Air and Space musuem is cool.
In Balt: David Chu’s has great food (not the sushi, but the regular chinese food). It’s decently priced and the portions are big.

Momofboys

Was there a very long time ago what I do remember was using a baby carrier a lot-easier to just strap baby on and walk but that is an opinion. Congress and supreme court were on session not allowed in with a baby we took turns but takes the fun out.

Vamoose

Vamoose to Bathesad, MD http://www.vaoosebus.com Heimishe company and they willll guide you to all kosher eateries

Vamoose
TZvee

i wanna see pics of you in the white house. lets see u pull that off 🙂

spy museum is gr8. if you go when its nice weather the walking in general is very nice. they have a whole area set up outside with out door sellers. its fun and relaxing. if your into the history the holocust museum is there which is remarkably amazing! go to a wizards game.

Silver spring resident

Just wanted to emphasize that Goldberg’s in Baltimore is probably one of the best bagel places on the east coast. it is packed every time i go. really worth checking it out and getting an egg’n’cheese.

Re chinese in Baltimore: Umami is more upscale with a nicer ambience and the food tends to feel fresher, but the service is slowish. They have a interesting looking bar and sushi menu. David Chu’s is more traditional “fast” chinese food, but it’s also a local favorite. Faster service (they want to get you in and out to make room for people always waiting at dinner time). Sesame chicken is good and the dinner combo is pretty cheap. But you are more likely to need a tums or mylanta after as opposed to Umami.

Pomogranate is under new management, and should be doing some new stuff. The food was excellent under the old management, but entree’s range from 20-50. Also has a bar and sushi.

Ben Yehuda pizza is good, but its fast food. (They have ice cream– I think CY). Sienna’s in rockville has more of a mexican twist (get the ultimate nachos), but be prepared to be adventurous to make the trip worth it. Nut House pizza is kinda a hole in the wall, but many local’s swear by it. The pizza is distinct- much sweeter sauce and different taste. Give it a try, and the fries are homemade and coated in homemade spice mixture.

Max’s is ‘very’ fast food. People go for the schwarma, that’s about it. As an alternative, consider Motti’s grill, which is located inside KosherMart, a supermarket. Ambiance leaves much to be desired, but at least they do laffa’s with schwarma (as opposed to Max’s).

If you are into frozen yogurt, a new frozen yogurt place opened in downtown silver spring and all of the yogurts are OU certified. (frozenyo.com)

Silver spring resident

re frozen yogurt: but not the store itself, and obviously not chalav yisrael

Jonathan

@Eli please don’t comment on cholov yisroel unless you KEEP cholov Yisroel. Pastry Oven is half half (which is zero to thos who keeps it.) The butter they cook with in the ovens is not cholov yisroel. Ben Yehudah is 100% cholov yisroel and nuthouse as well.
Again pomeranite is the closest restaurant once you leave DC and delicious.

DCer

check out 6th & I historic synagogue google the website for info
let me know what you think

eric

Agree with the very first entry – newseum is totally amazing. Especially since you are in the news/media business!

Anonymous

elis is a geat place, although my parents loved distrikt (iv never been there). i think distrikt is a bit more upscale while elis is a sports bar/restaurant. the newseum was my favorite museum- its modern and very enjoyable. the spy museum is also very good. the smithsonians are mostly old and boring (in my opinion), unless youre a real history geek. the holocaust museum is a must, although its (obviously) extremely somber and not fun at all. in order to take a tour of the capitol you have to register online a few weeks in advance. if you want to sit in the galleys in the senate and congress you must go to your congressman and senator and get passes from their offices- it shouldnt be a big deal (i actually enjoyed walking through the senate/congress office buildings- i thought it was pretty cool to pass by all the offices and meeting rooms), although i dont know if babies are allowed. to get into the white house you have to register online many months in advance. prepare to walk a lot. also, it might make sense to park in one lot for the day and take taxis around town. in silver spring there was a great bagel store- i forgot the name. enjoy your trip- looking forward to your review

eli

@Jonathan: You can call them. everything in the store is cholov yisrael and yoshen. i actually live around the corner from there but you can double check. I keep cholov yisrael too. Enjoy.

Danny

@ Eli’s get steaming fajitas Baltimore is quite a drive for a meal basically with the museums the ones down By the mall are free air@ space is cool but a couple minutes away for 20$ is the museum of crime and punishment and the spy museum btw you have to do Alot of walking as you can’t park near most of the monuments

dc by foot

http://www.freetoursbyfoot.com/dc/

This is an excellent walking tour – it’s free (you tip the tour guide) – very entertaining.

DC Resident

I wouldn’t skip the newer air and space museum out by dulles airport. They basically built a huge airline hanger and have all planes in there, including a replica of the space shuttle. you can also go into a flight tower and listen to live conversations between IAD and pilots landing while watching the planes land. It is a great experience!

allgood

Nuthouse’s pizza and fries (all they serve as far as I know) are both delicious. Unique pizza flavors, great spiced fries (not just the generic frozen fries, they’re homecut). I LOVE NUTHOUSE. Also Accents in Baltimore is a very good fleishig spot, I’m surprised there aren’t more comments for it…try the burger with bourbon sauce.

shelley

the spy museum is really fun. if it’s not too cold they give you a mission and a portable computer and you go around town looking for clues. you have to register for that before. also the duck tour which takes you all over on land and then turns inot a boat. you see all the major sights. although that is outdoors if it is cold.
Eli’s restaurant in washington itself is a great deli, centrally located. good food.
have fun.

Toby

@Nechemia:
DON’T go to Subway in Baltimore…it is no longer kosher.

go gate 99

from a dc local…two sites that were not mentioned…

Sky terrace at the W hotel right next to the White House: http://www.yelp.com/biz/sky-terrace-washington

Ford’s Theater (basement museum) and house across the street great for Lincoln/assignation: http://fords.org/home/plan-your-visit/daytime-visits-fords-theatre/museum

As for memorials on the mall- of course Vietnam, Lincoln, Washington and Jefferson are all well known. The FDR and the Korean Memorial are lesser known but very interesting, sacred and moving. Have fun!

go gate 99

Sorry the sky terrace is now called the POV bar : here is the updated link: http://pointofviewdc.com/

trying123

daven in kesher yisroel friday nights carlbach minyan is great if u need a mikveh there is a great mikveh there as well pm me for contact info if u need

Sheila

My family and I were just there for 10 days last summer early June and we loved Washington DC! We stayed in Capitol Hyatt (which is very close to the Capitol) and did the activities on that side of the Mall (goal is to minimize the amount of walking). Then we transferred to Hilton Garden Inn (which is very close to the White House) and did activities on the other side of the Mall. We were able to do the hotel all on points. No need to rent a car. We had a lot of fun visiting the Musuems of Natural History, Am. History, Holocaust & Air & Space. We did a nightime walking tour through Living Social to see all of the monuments which was awesome. We were one of the lucky families that were able to get tickets to the White House and to the Capitol. If you don’t have tickets, at least visit the White House Museum (free) that is a block away from the White House. If you have time and/or money, rent a car for a day and drive out to Washington Estate – besides seeing his house, they have a really cool museum there and then afterwards head out to the Arlington Cementary on your way out to see the Changing of the Guards as well as some of the famous tombs. If you are going in the spring/summer time, I highly recommend the Subway to Dumbarton Gardens (one of the most beautiful old estate gardens in the USA) (check the website for hours – they only open a couple hours in the afternoon)as well as Washington Cathedrahl which you can do in the morning and it’s down further on the same road. If you want to be romantic, take your wife on a Odyssey Cruise (it’s on Restaurant.com!). Also, since the Washington Monument is closed, go to the Old Post Office Pavilion to see the aerial view of Washington DC. You can even see security guards on top of the White House! Since we went in June, we took advantage of listening to the Navy and Air Force bands playing at the front of the Capitol steps (free) in the evenings. There is so much to do in Washington DC that I don’t think you will have the time or energy to get to Baltimore. We didn’t see the Spy Museum or Newseum since they charged admissions. I have heard good things about them. Have fun!

Jonathan

@eli I did call them. She listed the products that were not cholov Yisroel in pastry oven. So maybe double check for your own good.

sara

Newseum was fabulous. We took our older kids two years ago and they definitely allowed a stroller for our two year old at the time. They have a website and it is cheaper if you buy your tickets online the night before you visit and print them out.
Spy museum is great as well.

SAM

THE KNISH SHOP in Baltimore.THE KNISH SHOP.
Its worth the trip to Baltimore to meet the owner Mosey. Sit and talk with him for 10 min and you will say it was worth coming to Baltimore.
The food is Amazing and his Sushi Cheff named Jimmy is the most original and greatest kosher Sushi chef you will meet anywhere in the world

TRUST ME DAN

TRUST ME

justin

Dan,

Goldbergs Bagels in Silver Spring is cholov yisrael and we would be happy to give you a breakfast/lunch on the house. Enjoy one of the best bagels you will eat outside of NY for FREE! Our address is 9328 Georgia Ave and our phone number is (240)450-4177. Check out our website for our menu goldbergsnybagels.com

Just ask for Justin at the counter to get your freebie!
If you have any questions just email me!

David

There have been a lot of suggestions, I’ll add my 2 cents.

Botanical Gardens, http://www.usbg.gov/, is a wonderful indoor botanical garden. Summer temps, year-round. It’s on the National Mall, next to the Capitol. Another good spot is the elevator to the top of the tower at the Old Post Office Pavilion, 12th & Penn. It’s free, and offers a wonderful view of the city. The suggestion to contact your Congressman for a White House tour is a great one, as are those suggesting the National Zoo, which has a number of great exhibits (Amazonia is very interesting). A hint: the Cleveland Park Metro is much closer to the zoo than the Zoo stop. I particularly enjoy the National Portrait Gallery

As for food, there aren’t a lot of choices. In the city, I think Distrikt Bistro and Eli’s are it. I find Eli’s (fleishich) to be much better. Out of the city there are the usual unexciting pizza and chinese, all pretty mediocre. Aside from the places mentioned, Max’s Kosher Deli is Wheaton is decent (and Metro accessible). Pita Hut is OK (a benefit is that it is somewhat accessible from the Rockville Metro), though schwarma at Max’s IMO is much better. A good place not mentioned is Moti’s, which is located in the Kosher Mart supermarket in Rockville. It’s not Metro accessible, but worth it if you’re up there already.

Gn

Pitahut is closed

Moish

Here are my votes:

-Newseum
-Eli’s(DC)
-Umami’s (B’more)

chaim yankel

@David I believe Pita Hut closed up shop a year or so ago. Max’s Deli is very good fast food in Silver Spring

Yossi W

Eli’s has quite good food.
For kids the national zoo is great. Its very stroller friendly and has free admission.
Parking is expensive but you can often street park for free (especially on Sundays).
Have fun!

sandy

What is there to do in Baltimore itself? Also can kids visit the WhiteHouse? Thanks!

cbkcc1

@sandy kids can visit for sure, email your congressman for tickets as early as you can.
the ships in baltimore are cool but pricey, the inner harbor is cool to walk around. the national aquarium is there as well, fell’s point is neat with ice cream and other fun shops.
@dan so much to do in DC. newseum is great and on of the few you have to pay for. some very solemn exhibits.
if you have time old town alexandria is worth taking the metro down. great place to walk around and be on the water.

Abalt

I would check out the national building museum. It is a great place. Worth looking at the website to see what they currently have, but there has always been lots of cool stuff there.

Abalt

Also, skip the white house. Long lines and you only see really generic stuff.

Fewtreezy

Attman’s for lunch in Baltimore

http://www.attmansdeli.com/

Jaydee

Any Nice hotels not far from Minyan/Kosher in Baltimore area?

Shimmy

I’ve met Justin from Goldberg’s in Silver Spring – great guy! Definitely worth a visit.

Moish

@Fewtreezy: I think this is a Baltimore equivalent to Katz’s Delicatessen in New York, which is “Kosher Style” only.

J

David Chu’s Beef and Onion scallion pancake with plum sauce. Hands down.

sol

the pomegranate bistro is awesome as good as any restaurant in NY, they are in potomic, md Google it. you must check out the monuments at night they are beautiful and much quieter than during the day , take a taxi by the hour so you wont have to look for parking and he can drop you right in front must do nest thing to do in dc by far

Barb

Kosher Pastry Oven is lovely. It’s a classy option for all three meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner. As for the Baltimore restaurants, it depends partially on when you plan on visiting. Goldbergs is a great neighborhood place – all kinds of Jews, usually bustling atmosphere – very informal. I don’t remember when you said you plan to come, but right now it’s open Motzei Shabbos as is Umami, which is next door. BTW, I know that Jimmie has great sushi but I think Umami’s sushi is pretty good too (along with the pad Thai…). Anyway, there are two kosher Dunkin Donuts here so you can always get coffee and pastries to go. And you also may want to check out the largest (?) kosher supermarket in America while you are here – Seven Mile.

Moish

@Jaydee: The closest hotel is the Pikesville Hilton, which is only a few minutes from a few local eateries and 10-15 minute local drive to minyanim.

chaim

someone wrote about giving away those 8.50 bus tickets. how can we contact u by phone

savta

@chaim: yes 845 729 0195 or hlichtenstein@verizon.net

Mike

Be careful in DC there are many speed cameras and the fine is $125 and if its a school zone or work zone its double of that

ben

Dan, can you post a trip report

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