We are trying to take advantage of being on the East Cost, and so we had a quick weekend get away to Washington DC. We stayed at One Washington Circle hotel and it was AWESOME. We arrived very late at night, and I think the hotel clerk felt bad for us. Rusty and I were both exhausted and the three children were running around like banshees. She upgraded us to their biggest room—which is probably bigger than our NYC apartment. King sized bed for us, full kitchen, two bathrooms. Ahhhh…..
Washington is significantly hotter than NYC, and we felt like we were melting the entire time we were there. We couldn’t quite face the heat so we decided to do the Smithsonian Museums during the day and then tackle the monuments at night when it was hopefully a little cooler. We visited the American History Museum, The Museum of Natural History, and the Air and Space Museum. Halle and I LOVED the exhibit with the First Ladies’ dresses—it was so fun to see the style changes throughout the years. At the MONH, the run away favorite was the butterfly exhibit. They could have stayed all day! We were walking past the gift shop and Blake saw this cute little stuffed giraffe. For whatever reason he immediately fell in love with this giraffe and we could not leave without it. Blake isn’t usually like that, so I gave in and bought him the overpriced giraffe. He said it was his friend and he named him Fly Guy. (Anyone read the Fly Guy books??)
By Air and Space everyone was a little tired…. We passed the carousel on our way out, and of course I was not going to get away without letting them go for a spin. I will be sad the day they are too grown up for carousels. Blake again named his horse Galaxy.
Halle and Josh both have an old camera we let them have for our summer adventures, and they must have taken 1000 pictures between them. Also on this trip we let Josh and Halle ride the elevator at the hotel without us, and you think we’d given them permission to visit the moon they were so excited. Josh especially loved this new found freedom, so often times we had to wait for 3 elevators. One for Halle, one for Josh, and one for Rusty, Blake and I.
We went back to the hotel to cool off in the pool before heading to the monuments. I’m happy to report that it cooled down to 97 degrees instead of 102 😉 I have never been so hot at night time. I think I was sweating out water faster than I could replace it! Even through the extreme heat, seeing the monuments with my kids was an amazing experience. We didn’t get to see even half of what I wanted to because it was just too darn hot to walk very far.
That night a major storm rolled in—the wind was whipping, and buckets of rain were just dumping from the sky. We were tired enough that we slept right through most of it, and were surprised to wake and find tree branches down EVERYWHERE and about half of DC without power! Unfortunately, the rain did not chase the heat away.
We decided to hit the water and go on a cruise of the Potomac River. Rusty and I think this was our favorite thing we did on the trip. We leaned so many interesting facts about DC and the surrounding area. We stopped off in Alexandria and ate some yummy ice cream on their cute little main street. The kids loved being on the water, and passing under all the bridges along the way. It was also very beautiful to see the monuments from the water.
Next up was the Tomb of the Unknows at Arlington National Cemetery. I think this is a beautiful tribute to our war heroes. On our walk back, we saw Fly Guy sitting on a fence post—Blake must have dropped him in the and someone propped him up in hopes that we’d come back for him. We hadn’t even noticed he was missing yet, but I am so glad we found him! I can only imagine the sorrow if he had been lost.
Raise your hand if you are jealous that we got to have an adult night night out with these cool cats? The adults went to dinner while the kids ran wild at the Sampson house. The kids were so glad to have some friends to play with, and Rusty and I were glad to have some fun, adult conversation! Paul and Lindsay also took us to see the 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon. It was a beautiful, serene tribute to those that lost their lives, both on the airplane that crashed into the Pentagon, and the workers inside.
Our final day was focused on the man who started it all—George Washington. We went out to Mt. Vernon and toured his estate. Apparently DC resides in some sort of time warp, because Mt. Vernon is 16 miles from DC and driving 50 mph it takes 45 minutes to get there. Figure that out.
The 4 1/2 hour car ride back to the city was filled with funny kidisms such as, “Blake, keep your hands to yourself.” “NO! NEVER!” and this good one from Josh concerning the iphone. “Mom, I have a really great routine. First I play Megarun, then Madagascar. IF I have bonus coins then I do Skylanders. Last is Jet Pack.” If only other aspects of his life were that organized!
I think Jersey has the best views of NYC and the drive back through the Lincoln Tunnel was breathtaking. I still feel so lucky to live in this amazing place, even if it’s only for the summer.