DC Day 2
Big city living is amazing and yet terribly difficult with 5 little people!
We ate out for breakfast/lunch (seriously this vacation is a mess on our schedule!)…this is really very pricey with 7 people. Grace was hilarious though as she thought we were eating at a very “fancy” restaurant and she behaved absolutely perfectly (awesome- maybe the cost was worth that!)
We took a van/cab (to fit us all) about a mile and a half into the Smithsonian – because after the 6 miles yesterday no one was psychologically able to walk anymore this AM-lol.
We visited the Air and Space Museum – which was especially interesting as we spent time looking through the WWII planes and jets and I was reading through a series based on WWII. The Smithsonian museums (as well as the White House and Capitol tours and the zoo) are all free of charge…so we could take advantage of them for as much time as schedules allowed without the concern of costs – and believe me, there was not near enough time to appreciate either of the two museums that we visited…but I am glad we spent some time at each.
Luke was excited to see the “space monkey”. Funny in that I heard several other kids his age saying that same verbiage and when we actually found it there were several others referring to the “space monkey” exhibit!
There was also a 3-D exhibit on the moon and seriously there was a photo of the moon that was so crazy realistic – the kids kept running their hands through the fake 3-D area thinking they could touch it (Ok-I did too!!)
We had tickets to go to the Washington Monument this afternoon. We pre-purchased them at the cost of 1$ though there is no fee if you get tickets on the same day…we figured for 7$ it was worth it to be sure we would be able to enter the monument.
The National Mall and the Memorial is also a national park! The kids were pumped!
We went to the top of the monument which showed us spectacular views of the city….(seriously – the capitol, the Pentagon, the Lincoln Memorial, the White House – there is nothing we couldn’t see from there!)…and then tried to decide our plans.
This is where the “Big City” was a little difficult – we walked again today (after the initial cab drive) and trying to find food within walking distance of where we were was no simple task – we had a few “snacks” from carts and cafés along the way but the opposite of any other national park that we visited this trip we could not easily take our backpack with food and water bottles as they are prohibited in many buildings in the DC area, and we couldn’t drive anywhere as driving was very difficult, nor were there shuttles cheaply available. It was a pricey food day – though we did make up for it in free entertainment (walking all the memorial section of the mall – and a free concert at the Lincoln Memorial).
We visited the WWII Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, and the Lincoln Monument. All very unique and interesting! The WWII Memorial was beautiful – fountains and sunshine remembering the war and those who served.
The Lincoln Monument was awesome – we sat in front of the monument to complete our junior ranger booklets and enjoyed the views as well as the free concert.
The kids also had much fun posing with the Washington Monument in the background!!
The last place we visited was the Vietnam memorial which held a completely different feel for us – it was more dark and solemn and very thought-provoking as we looked at all the names of those who had given their lives for our country.
It was an amazing day.
We walked back to the hotel –and I continue to be awestruck by the number of buildings and architecture and beauty that there is in this city. We passed several beautiful and delicious looking restaurants that looked lovely for 2 (not so much for 7) and Scott and I discussed the benefits of a big city vs. a smaller town for raising a family.
So happy that we were able to visit and we had a lively discussion with the kids at dinner about their favorite parts of the trip, whether they’d do it again, what they’d change and how they perceived the different parts of the US (parks vs. cities, oceans vs. mountains, camping vs. hotels).
The kids were all in agreement that we should definitely do this again!! Scott and I are thinking so too – so now as we finish up this trip we are thinking about how and where we can go next…and how we can do this again!