Monday, April 13, 2015

Washington, D.C.

Spring Break has come and gone. Our family was more than ready for a little break from school and work. However, we certainly didn't get any rest during our week off. Instead, we headed north and walked more than any human should ever walk in a week's time. Leave it to me to try to cram anything and everything possible into any given situation. We had decided to take the kids to Washington, D.C. Since we were already headed that way, why not just tack on New York City and Philadelphia. Makes perfect sense, right?

Our week began in Washington, D.C. We spent three days exploring the city. And by exploring, I mean walking our legs off. If you've ever been to Washington, you know that you could easily spend a week there and still not see and do it all. Since we only had three days, we knew we had no time to lose. 

On Day 1, we walked by the White House. The roads around the White House were blocked off even to pedestrians that day, so we couldn't get very close.

We also headed up to the Washington Monument. There was some kind of kite flying festival going on around the Washington Monument. Let me tell you...they picked the perfect day for flying a kite. The wind was so crazy that it almost knocked us over when we were standing up near the monument. I should also mention that it was bitter cold. Who's idea was it to head north on Spring Break anyway? (Ahem.)
By the time we finished up there, we were seriously starting to worry about frost bite. Our plans had to change a little bit for the rest of that day and evening. We had originally planned to do more walking and outdoor activities, but we went on to a museum instead. 

The National Museum for Natural History was fabulous! We spent hours walking through every exhibit. I took lots of pictures of things like the Hope Diamond and various animals, but I'm sparing you by only posting this one of our new elephant friend. (P.S. My favorite part was the mummies. It was gross, but so interesting.)
After hours in the museum warming up, we braved the cold to walk (a long way) back to the car. We headed to check in at our hotel, and then to get some dinner. After all that walking, we were really hungry so we just looked for something close to the hotel. We found a cute little Italian restaurant, so we were happy.

The next day, we bought a one-day Metro pass. The kids both loved riding the metro, and we were on and off that thing all day long.
First, we headed over to Ford's Theater. You have to go early to get a time stamped ticket to come back for the program and tour later in the day. The Park Ranger program was really interesting. I thought it was one of the best things we did in Washington, D.C.
The National Archives building was really neat too because we got to see the original Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. By the way, "DON'T TOUCH THE GLASS!" Haha! There are guards standing around who will remind you not to touch the glass where the documents are located. Most of the writing and signatures are so faded that you can barely make them out. No photography was allowed either, so I didn't get any pictures inside.
Library of Congress
The Capitol Building (getting some work done on the dome up there)
Supreme Court
Inside another Metro station. We felt like the subway system in Washington was easy to figure out with clean trains and stations. Also, we mostly felt safe and had no problems. Our NYC subway experience was quite different, but that's another story for another day.
We went back by the other side of the White House.
The Lincoln Memorial
The Jefferson Memorial
That evening, we ate at TGIFriday's because again, it was close to the hotel. Who needs an excuse to eat at Friday's, right? 

On our last day, we went to the National Zoo. It was the nicest weather we had all week. There were lots of animals (obviously), but I was mostly excited to see the giant pandas. Claire's class had been watching the live cam at school, so she knew all about the new baby panda. It was our first time seeing a panda in person since there are only about three places to see them in the U.S.

Parker and Claire's favorite exhibit was probably a giant anaconda. It was unbelievably huge. Seriously. If I described how big, you'd never believe me. had something furry in it's grip that it was saving for later. I'll spare you by not posting a picture! Just trust me, it was awful.

That evening, we went back to the same Italian place again, partly for convenience to our hotel and also because we liked it the first time.


Unknown said...

Love reading about your trip! You packed a ton in. :)

Karen 'Girl' Friday said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen 'Girl' Friday said...

Enjoyed all the pictures and reading the descriptions. Even though it was a lot to do in a small amount of time, I think you all seemed to have a wonderful trip. Except for that one little thing about the NYC subway. :-) And I'm glad no one touched the glass!