Sunday, July 26, 2009

DC: Metro, Museums, and Monuments (aka: Blisters, Boys, and Bathrooms)

We have Official Blisters to show that we saw Washington D.C. properly!

Saturday, Washington, D.C.
We got ourselves together, and made the drive to D.C. It was a longer drive than we thought due to traffic. On a map, it’s only 120 miles, but driving it takes much more than two hours! We arrived, checked into our very cool hotel (we were room 1001 on the tenth floor, and at the corner of the triangle shaped building overlooking Thomas Circle. A beautiful roundabout with traffic, people, and great architecture. I took pictures from the balcony, hope they turn out! I haven’t even started to upload the millions I’ve taken!

We went downstairs, walked two blocks to the Metro station, bought tickets, and made ourselves familiar with the “subway/train/monorail” as Ethan called it. Then got off at Smithsonian, and walked the Mall area. We just missed the closing of the Museum of Natural History, so we toured the sculpture garden, outdoor sculptures-very thought provoking, then the Air and Space Museum-out of this world! (heehee) We ate dinner there, then as we came out there was a huge storm blowing up! So we ran-walked to the Metro, took our train back, then had to walk in the rain back to the hotel. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be-we weren’t totally soaked.

We watched the end of the Hulk movie, ordered Chinese (at 9:15pm!), ate again, and then then went to bed. If the kids’ room hadn’t been facing the east, they might have slept in just a bit longer. They were just so tired! It is an invigorating, busy city though. I can see how they don’t want to sleep.

Sunday, Washington, D.C.
We rode the Metro into the Smithsonian Mall area again. We went to the Museum of Natural History first since it was closed yesterday when we showed up. Actually, it wasn’t closed, but you had to get in by 5 or 6, then you had to leave by 7:30 I think. I’ve already forgotten. It’s data you hold in your head as long as it’s important, then it’s gone.

What a fascinating trip. This alone was worth the drive/trip. We saw so much in one day, my head can barely hold it all. All I can say is Clay was in Heaven. He loved everything. He would run from one thing to the next, he made the volunteers and employee guides turn their heads, he couldn’t take it in fast enough. He was the perfect age, and just was amazed. I can’t say enough-I lost him twice and started yelling his name, then got downright mean. I was so worried, and there were sooo many people there!! He could only think of himself. He wants to be a paleontologist, and working for the Smithsonian preparing fossils would be a dream. We encouraged him, but then he’d be far from us. (Kinda scary not knowing what your kids will do when they are grown.)

Anyway, we saw dinosaurs, early plant and animal life, ocean life (and a 32 foot long squid *real* if you can imagine), rocks, minerals, land formations, the Hope diamond and so many more real gemstones it’d make your head spin (all more lovely than the last), insects, birds, ate lunch, saw more, gift shopped, and went out to sit on the grass for some ice cream and decompression.

What we consider relaxation, the kids considered playtime! Clay ran around and chased the pigeons (naughty boy), Ethan peed on the grass (I know, SO Not Okay-he started to have an accident, then sat, pants down (while I was changing his underwear, and finished on the grass), then I insisted on seeing the Lincoln Memorial.

We walked the very long walk from the National Mall past the Washington Monument (truly beautiful, surrounded by flags), and then past the WWII Memorial with the massive slabs for each state and wreaths on each. There is a long walk beside the Reflecting Pool before you actually make it to the Lincoln Memorial. I wonder if they planned for it to be so far away. Anticipation builds as you near it. We stopped a couple times to rest, as it was so very hot. There are some trees, but they only block about half the path from the sun. Clay walked along the water (to be able to tell us about all the duck poop along the sides), which only stressed me a little. After walking along the subway, it wasn’t as death-defying. He was fine (it’s just me). I know he’s growing up, and I’d hounded him so much in the museums, I just had to let his leash out a little.

Emphasis on Museum and Lincoln Memorial Restrooms: What is with the messy bathrooms? Why can’t women sit on the toilet properly? Could they avoid the messes/toilet paper nests (and newspaper nests)? When you balance above the seat, please be courteous and wipe it off afterwards (and flush or trash your nest). I don’t want to sit in the drips. If after I flush, there are no splashy bits on the toilet, that means what was there before me was not toilet spray. Ick. I’ve had to clean the toilets BeFoRe I use them! I’ve seen the nastiest bathrooms in the last day! What a pity for our national city.

We took the elevator up to see Lincoln. It was as great as I’d thought it’d be. He almost glowers over you! I took a close up of his face, and thanked him for all he did. I had to explain to Mary Claire all he did. There were so many people, so it was hard to explain in front of them too, but it was worth it. I photographed the walls, the pillars, the eagles, and then we took photos on the steps out front. It was wonderful. I just insisted, so I was thankful they’d all trekked that far just for Lincoln (and me).

Then we headed north back to catch another Metro towards our hotel. We’ve picked up the luggage, car, and now making our way back to Philadelphia. What a great day! The kids are sound asleep in the back seat, as I type away. The rain held off (but should hit later tonight). I’m just pleased with our trip. Valuable time with family, beach playtime, enriching museum time, and education to boot. Could it get any better? We’re only five days in, but precious time. Thanks for your prayers. I know God heard you (and me too!). I’ll keep you posted.

Tomorrow is Philadelphia-touring: Manayunk (my fave!!), Chestnut Hill, Philly cheese steaks, the Love Statue, Liberty Bell, and maybe Hershey or Crayola? We’ll see what gives in the morning. We can’t do it all. Tuesday night is dinner at Rita’s, and I don’t know about Tuesday day. Hmm..more to come! : )

Say a prayer of thanks for Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and all of our founding fathers for their time and dedication to giving us a land of freedom.


Gigi said...

Hi Holly! Hope all is well. Sounds like you are having fun on your holiday to the east coast. Tell the kiddies hugs and kisses from me. I can't wait to see them again, and you and Ches.


Gigi said...

I called Mike, he hasn't returned my call and it is 9:42 a.m. Therefore I have to go to the property up north. Just keeping you up to date.
I can't wait any longer. L&H

Holly said...

Did you give him your cellphone number??