Our professional neighborhood is the first suburb in Virginia across the Potomac River from Federal Washington. Multiple families, friendly neighbors, walking distance to the Northern Virginia bike trail ( with connections to 90 miles of bike trails in the metro area) and the Metro. (You can reach all 3 airports by public transportation. Ask me about how.) We are 30 minutes in to Washington by Metro and 20 minutes by car (in non rush hour).
We love the international flavor of our area...over 100 languages are spoken here, and there are multiple restaurants that reflect these ethnicities.
There's museums (many free), Embassy functions, The Kennedy Center, The Shakespeare Theater, The Folger Theater (Shakespeare) The White House, The Capitol, Smithsonian Museums: (Air & Space, National Art Gallery, Natural History, American History, etc.) , a Metro, hiking, restaurants galore, and little room for boredom. Washington, DC. (DC as we call it) is known for classical theater, by the way, perhaps more so than any other American city.
If you'd like a brochure I've put together of
an Insider's Recommendations of 30+ Things to Do in Washington, DC that Most Tourists do Not Know About, email me.
I can possibly arrange for tours of the White House or Congress for you with enough lead time. ( I formerly worked in Congress for 7 years.)
For those who want maid service (for a slight fee), let me know.
We can offer a couple days hospitality (for 1 -2 people) from time to time when we are home and not in a position to exchange.
We can/will exchange a car. Negotiable. You need one for day trips out of the area.
We also can recommend many historical/quaint spots down state in Virginia that are virtually unknown to tourists that make Virginia the delight it is. Brits, foxhunting is still legal in Virginia, so if you miss it, ask us about it.
(shift to 3rd person description of ourselves).
Just as Julia, a 5th generation Virginian, has taken her British Literature students on a tour of England and its literary spots -- thereby opening up new vistas to them -- so she can also take you "deeply" into the fabric of early America, as can David, a 7th generation American and 2nd generation Washingtonian. (He's a first class mathematician and computer scientist, but he loves history as well.)
We are in the "house swap" phenomenon not merely to secure less expensive vacations but because we like people, sharing our home, and opening up new vistas to people. Going beyond the "tourist traps" and seeing into the homes and hearts of a nation(and humanity) is our great joy. We are known for hospitality and once hosted a delegation of Russians who were here for the 400th Anniversary of Williamsburg in conjunction with the English Speakers Union, of which we are members. http://www.esuus.org/esu/ (It's a great organization with branches all over the world...founded by Winston Churchill.)
While we love Russia (and Russians) and the UK (as our ancestors hail from Cornwall, Lincolnshire, and Scotland -- also Germany, to be fair), we are keen to see other places such as Italy, and we're begging our South American neighbors from Bolivia and Chile to take us with them the next time they go. (They are such great representatives of the heartbeat of South America.)
David studied his junior year at The University of Edinburgh, for example, and we've been back twice. Julia studied for a portion of her Masters at the University of Virginia at London University and in the now former Soviet Union (and has been there 4 times). She also did a stint in British Literature at Exeter College/Oxford and has lectured in English as a Foreign Language at Novosibirsk State University in Siberia...hopes to go back to Siberia DURING SUMMERS once retired from full time teaching. She'd like to work on the Great Baikal Trail (GBT) and even to become a travel agent who puts together educational tours that are not "fluff" or surface level.
We are putting an addition on in the fall of 2012, so come back to the site about Christmas for more photos.
Also, in addition to 3 bedrooms (with 2 queens and 1 double) we have two pull out sofa beds: 1 double and 1 queen, so technically more than 6 people could sleep here, but things might get a bit cramped.
For those wary of summer heat, we have central air conditioning as do most people and businesses. (How do you think we survive otherwise? It's manageable.)
While we dropped our private pool membership because we have a pool at our health club, there are several excellent pools in the area, and a world class acquatics center, supported by a local swimming Olympian, will likely be completed by mid to late 2013.
Read about it and Arlington itself. http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/parksrecreation/forums/northtract/parksrecreationforumsnorthtractnorthtractoverview.aspx
Here are but a couple more sites for your review of our "stimulating" area and things to do nearby:
http://baltimore.org/attractions/ Accessible by commuter train with a connection from our Metro stop.
( or) http://mta.maryland.gov/sites/default/files/BrunswickCamdenLines.pdf
P.S. It takes about 5 years to "do it all", so no less than 2 weeks for a trade is advised. You will only brush the surface in that time.