After living in my own homes for the last 15 years, I thought I would hate apartment living in DC while awaiting our departure. It is actually incredibly convenient. Granted, I will only be here for a total of 7 weeks by the time we go but still. We are only a few blocks from the metro, there is a huge pool and hot tub on site and someone comes and changes the sheets once a week just like a hotel.
Having the boys share a room hasn't been bad. There are moments of hostility but for the most part, they are getting along. There is a row of bar b que grills on the patio - very convenient, and a convenience store- even more convenient. The activities center organizes events for kids and there is always someone outside to play with the boys. We have a dry cleaner on site that offers very fair rates, an outside hose for washing your car and the best part-you don't have to calculate your per diem or turn in receipts, they do it all for you directly with the USG. That's one less thing I have to worry about. Perhaps if we were going to be in DC for say 10 months of language training, I may feel differently. The kitchen is small and there isn't anywhere you can go to be alone in the apartment. I like the comraderie that I feel here with the other residents. It has helped my oldest son (13) converse with other kids his age and feel a bit more comfortable about the lifestyle.
There is a grocery store within a couple of miles (Shoppers) and every other shop you could think of. Ther is a great Chinese Restaurant a few blocks away that delivers for a reasonable price.