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Monday, October 3, 2011

A Trip to Washington, D.C.


In case you haven't noticed, I've been on a little blog break...
1 week off to prepare for our trip. 
Another week off to go on our trip. 
And yet another week off to recover from our trip. 
(It seems to take me awhile to get back in the swing of things.)
AH (Awesome Husband) had a business convention in Washington D.C.,
and the family along with Nana and Papa (my in-laws) decided to join him.
Yep, for the first time ever, I (the former school teacher who preached--don't miss school ever!)
took my kids out of school for a week!  I shocked the school and myself!
Oh, what a trip we had! 
I may be taking them out of school more often?!  (Don't tell them I said that!)

Here's some highlights of our trip to Washington, D.C.

*The Metro

When you visit Washington, D.C. you have to figure out the Metro system.
Jessica and Jacob loved planning out the routes and lines to get where we needed to go.

 
*Memorials
Pictures can't capture how incredible these memorials are and what they represent.

 

Lincoln Memorial 


Both kids loved this monument,
later in the American History Smithsonian they got to see Lincoln's hat.

National World War II Memorial

Look closely at the green arrows on the far right.
While we were here, we saw a dozen secret service agents in black suits walking around.
They were guarding a woman who was getting a private tour by a park ranger.
We heard someone ask an agent who the woman was...his answer,
"We're not at liberty to tell."


Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial
(Just recently opened! (9/2011)

This huge memorial was purposely built in a direct line between
the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials
to represent the 'line of freedom' in America.


Vietnam Veterans Memorial
So many names, so many lives lost.


Check out this picture!!
Due to the recent earthquake that D.C. experienced,
the Washington Monument was closed for repairs.
Also, the Reflecting Pool was all torn up. 
We were told that they are no longer going to use city water to fill the pool. 
Instead they are re-routing water from the Potomac River.



Arlington National Cemetery
Miles and miles of white tombstones in perfect rows.
You get goosebumps thinking of all the soldiers that are buried here.
We saw President John F.Kennedy's grave site.



Iwo Jima Memorial
(Marine Corps Memorial)
A beautiful tribute.


*White House Tour

We were able to get passes for a White House Tour! 
(Thanks to early planning and AH's cousin who works for a WA State Representative.)
7:15am we arrived with no cameras, purses, bags, etc.
  (Nothing was allowed, except for your ID!)
We were shown just a few rooms in the White House,
however...
As we were peeking in the rooms, the President's dog, (Bo)
was being walked down our hall by a White House staff person. 
Jacob bent down and petted Bo as he walked on by!  Pretty exciting stuff for a 9 year old!

*The US Capitol


No food, no water, no water bottles, no CANDY or gum allowed inside this building!
The kids couldn't believe it as they watched the security men throw away their candy!
After a few tears, they finally let us in.

Coffee with Washington State Senator Patty Murray resulted in gallery passes to see the House of Representatives and the Senate in session.
Once inside and 3 security checks later, they took all cameras and cell phones away...
(thankfully they give them back!)
we were able to sit and watch the State Senators vote on an amendment.
Later, we sat in on the State Representatives and heard a bit of a heated discussion
involving money needed for the 'hurricane hit' states.
So fascinating!

Library of Congress


Located  right behind the Capitol was the Library of Congress.
The Great Hall was gorgeous!
The kids were a bit disappointed when they found out they weren't allowed to touch any books.

*Museums

Love the Smithsonian museums!


National Museum of Natural History


So many fun things to look at, but the dinosaurs are always the biggest hit!



 Inside the National Museum of American History
my son couldn't get enough of all the war exhibits


and we couldn't pull him away from the president's podium.



The National Air and Space Museum was spectacular!
Touring spacecrafts, cockpits and even seeing the Wright Brother's plane!


We got to see an amazing, super cool 3-D IMAX
of astronauts repairing the Hubble telescope in space!


The kids really enjoyed the US Postal Museum as well...

BUT their favorite museum was the International Spy Museum!
(Sorry, no pictures allowed--TOP SECRET!)
Cool spy gear, air ducts to crawl through, hidden doors, and lots of tools designed just for spies.

*Mount Vernon
(George Washington's Plantation)


We took a little drive outside of the city to visit this mansion overlooking the Potomac River.
The Visitor Center was full of films, displays and models of George Washington that the kids loved.


Taking a break on George and Martha's back porch!



Jacob really enjoyed the gift shop, plus...
he was chosen (as a Boy Scout in the crowd) to lay the wreath on George Washington's tomb for the wreath laying ceremony while we were there!!! 

*The National Zoo

Did you know that the perfect time to go to the zoo is in the rain?
It's true!  No one is around and the animals actually come out!



 
Our daughter, Jessica (who we adopted at birth), was so excited
to meet up with her birth grandparents on this trip. 
They live in Maryland.
We spent the day together catching up and enjoying the zoo to ourselves!
Super fun!

*The Nationals Baseball Team

AH plans every trip around a baseball game...sometimes two games!



He couldn't leave D.C. without seeing a Nationals game!
He also managed to slip in an Orioles game on this trip as well!!
Whew!  A great trip, but why do I feel the need for a vacation to recover?! 

2 comments :

  1. Looks like a wonderful trip - I went to DC when I was a teenager with my family and still remember it fondly - shhhhh...I'm getting ready to take my kids out of school for a week for a trip too and as a former teacher, I'm completely okay with that :)

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  2. Michelle, what a wonderful trip!! I loved visiting DC when I was younger too! Jacob looked like he had a blast of a time!

    Kim

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