Like most red-blooded 'Mericans, we absolutely love Washington, DC! We've been there a number of times but we still find new things we haven't seen and done before. We took the entire family when Kira was 3 or so, but we were excited to share it with the new batch of kids.
DC was one of our planned-gotta-be-there-by-a-certain-date locations as we wanted to be in the capital on Kira's July 4th birthday. We told her the country was celebrating her birthday with fireworks and we needed to be there.
The first couple of days were very uneventful. There was a "hurricane" coming through so it was very rainy and gloomy. We just stay around the campground, went running and did chores (laundry, Wal-Mart for supplies, got our mail, etc.)
July 4th was the big day: Kira's birthday! We got up late (it was still a little cloudy) and had "birthday muffins" in the campground cafe. Just before lunch we had Kira's birthday party with of course cake, ice cream and presents. We called Scott on Google Hangouts and we all sang "happy birthday" to her together. Pretty cool!
We finally found the metro station and took the train into DC. The girls loved the metro! We only took it one day due to the cost (it was cheaper to drive in and park) and they kept asking to take it each day.
The entire day was filled with walking and seeing 'things':
- National Mall
- The Capital
- Supreme Court
- Vietnam Memorial
- Pedicab ride past the White House
- Lincoln Memorial
We stay for the better part of the evening at the Lincoln Memorial waiting for and watching the fireworks. Probably the best fireworks display we've ever seen. They wrapped up around 10pm and we started back to the metro with the thousands (I mean thousands!!) of other people from the fireworks show. The entire walk to the metro was a mess and the line was backed up for what seemed like hours. We waited for quite a long time (like everyone else) and finally punted and walked 10 blocks or so to another metro station. The girls were super tired but didn't complain once. Kira was a trooper leading the way. We ended up getting home after midnight and everyone piled into bed.
The next day was a late morning. Cathy made pancakes and mimosas and we listened to Prince during breakfast. That made her happy. We planned a light day, only visiting the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. We wandered aimlessly around the museum for a couple of hours and watched an IMAX movie about the Hubble telescope. The girls loved the space toilet (above). We then came back home for an early evening. The major events for the the next couple of hours included a trip to Gamestop for Kira's birthday present and Hali wrecking her bike and ripping her knee off.
The next day was a big sightseeing day and we thought we were going to miss major parts of DC as Hali couldn't walk due to her lack of cycling skills. Fortunately, the RV park rents wheelchairs so we strapped one to the back of the Jeep and headed to DC.
We did the 'hop on hop off' trolley tour around DC for the day and went to:
- Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial
- FDR Memorial
- Arlington Cemetary
- Ford's Theatre
Every time that I go to DC, I always make time for a stop at Arlington National Cemetary. This time was no different. The girls liked the cemetary (especially the changing of the guard) but it was a lot of walking. We ended up putting all three girls on the wheelchair and pushing them around. Next time they get to push us. We arrived just before closing time at Ford's Theatre and this really nice lady took us to the front of the line due to the wheelchair. Everyone really liked Ford's theatre and the kids got a great history lesson on Lincoln. She also gave us a great recommendation for pizza at Pi Pizzeria (great micro brews!) around the corner. Probably one of our top two meals so far!
Our last day in DC we decided to go to Mt. Vernon and do the "George Washington" thing. Sooo glad we did it. After working most of the day, we took off in the early afternoon to beat the afternoon heat. The drive through the VA countryside was gorgeous!! The kids had a blast touring the house and grounds. The Education Center at the end of the tour is amazing!! It walks you through different chapters in Washington's life and is very interactive. They learned so much more than they ever could have from a book about Mt. Vernon.
After Mt. Vernon, we headed back to DC as we missed seeing the White House (it had been blocked off for a private event during the weekend). We took a couple of photos and then walked to a small restaurant that I had been to before during the TopCoder Open. After that we headed back home and got ready to leave the next day.
Dates: July 2 - July 8
RV Park: Cherry Hill Park, College Park, MD