Travel

Dream Trip Day 4: D.C. BABY!

Driving into D.C., looking out the left window:

Me:  Wow, this is SOOOOOOO cool guys!  We’re actually here, look at it all!  I know you’re young, and you may not even realize it now, but srsly girls – this day is a big deal – I mean just look at all of this… really important stuff – Today is a big day girls, Big!  HUGE!!!

Miss J:  Can we go to Macy’s?

Miss J was obviously looking out the other side of the car at the big Macy’s sign.

KT and I just started rolling!  Random would be a total understatement for this crew.

And a big day it was. HUGE.

We started with a tour of The Capitol.  Unforgettable.  A political person I am not, but this stuff was interesting. There was so much history and heritage covered on this tour, from simple facts about our forefathers to tear-jerking stories of how America came to be the nation as we now know it.  The building was amazing – covered with astronomical amounts of genius creativity, character, and detail carved, painted, and tiled  into every crevice, floors to walls to ceilings.  And every inch of it had a story all it’s own.  The very presence of precious history surrounded us. It was truly surreal.

We met up with my friend Karen at The Supreme Court.  Karen and I met at my friend, Nikki’s birthday dinner last year and have since kept in great touch via Twitter.  She’s an amazing girl doing big things and making her dreams happen.  She’s also incredibly generous.  After Miss J came to live with me, Karen brought over a ridiculous amount of clothing for us to go through and Miss J made out big time.  And now with that giving heart, Karen took a day off from her intern job in D.C. just to hang with us and be our tour guide.

The Supreme Court was Jacey’s favorite – “I like the little houses,” she said – speaking of the cased models.  It was cool to see her study so intently the huge buildings in model-scale size for her little eyes to take in.  The Supreme Court is also Karen’s favorite – she has super cool pictures of Ben Affleck in that courtroom.  Very cool.

Starved, we headed for grub at a local Mexican restaurant surprisingly called Tortilla Coast. Surprising because while they served delicious queso and chips, they had a horrible concept of not serving their homemade tortillas as a complimentary appetizer.  And when you buy them, you get six.  Very different from home for sure.  “They don’t know how to do anything,” Jacey said – who is not accustomed to having only 1 tortilla but rather gorging at $1 Taco Tuesdays with an abundance of tortillas to devour to her heart’s content.

We took the subway to the Washington Monument.  As awesome as the far off Lincoln Memorial view and the humongous Washington Monument pillar was, the subway may or may not have been an even greater experience for the girls.  The loved it.  Each time we boarded their smiles widened and they stood the entire ride, every ride, using the center aisle lined with poles as basically a playground.  Thank goodness Karen was with us or the process of getting subway cards and figuring out where to go would have had me jacked.  We saved sooooo much time with her leading the way.

We walked our way… walked and walked and walked our way… over to back side of The White House.  So much walking in fact that we actually debated walking around to the front of it because the girls’ legs were about to give in. SO glad I made the executive decision (despite the long tired faces) to go the extra mile – which is how long it may as well have been for them.  Such troopers.  At the front we got to stand along the gate and see firsthand the very home and front door of our Nation’s current and past presidents.  Unreal.  That still has not sunken in for me entirely.

We also got to meet and talk to 43 year old Concepcion Picciotto, the little old lady who lives out the calling she says God has given her by sitting directly across the street from the White House in protest of war.  Pretty interesting story, you can check her out here.

We headed back to the site of the National Mall to take in a view of The Smithsonian and a ride on the 1947 Smithsonian Carousel, and then headed for our last stop, the Arlington National Cemetery.

Wow.

I cannot really say in words what it felt like to walk those grounds.  The visual of white tombstone after white tombstone after white tombstone after white tombstone after thousands upon thousands of white tombstones was numbing.  And the silence surrounding the graves, deafening. After seeing JFK’s gravesite we made it to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier just in time to see the “changing of the guard”.  This was Miss J’s favorite. It. was. AMAZING.  I recorded the whole thing and then right at the very end a horrific thing happened. My phone died. 😦 Ugh.  That will have to go down as my 1 big disappointment of our vacation because I SO would have loved to have that forever. Ugh. Crap. Boo. Dangit. Grrrrrrr. Sigh.  And #$^!#?!@&#!!   Maybe if I hadn’t taken this short clip first there would have been enough juice… :-{

Oh but wait… there was that one other little disappointment.

We walked all the way back through the cemetery, all the way back to the subway, rode the subway to Union Station which we walked all over to find the cheapest tacky tourist T’s we could find, and then made our way on tired feet to the garage we had parked in that morning only to find the garage door…

Closed.

All day parking and til’ 7pm parking are two very different things. That’s all I have to say about that.

Did I mention what great troopers my girls are?????  So we ate our to-go fast food while we waited… and the girls played while we waited… and we updated statuses and took pictures and filled out postcards… all while we waited.  Finally our rescue came and we were off.  Dropped Karen at her intern crib, grabbed gas and snacks, nursed sunburns, changed into comfy digs and we were Philly bound.

Peace out D.C.  What an experience.  What a humbling experience. I look forward to the girls making mention of you over the coming years as they come to realize with each school year how truly awesome and special an opportunity they experienced by visiting your great land.

Highs:

For me, definitely the Capitol Tour and the changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Also…  the very end of this amazing, yet utterly exhausting day, we switched up bed partners… and my little tired girl smiled at me from her pillow and said, “Hi partner.” 🙂

Lows:

Dead phone = video fail of the century

The garage door.  Closed.

Souveinirs:

T’s, postcards, magnet, shot glass, snow globe, monkeys, and of course, American flags.

Scripture of the day:

From Fostering Hope Devotion Day 20:

There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.  Proverbs 18:24

Song of the day:

My President is black by Young Jeezy

As we stood outside the White House, KT made sure to play this on her iPhone to capture the moment appropriately.

Random:

Fattest squirrels ever.  Seriously.  The get fed a ton by everybody so they don’t scurry off when you get close.  Nobody loves to chase squirrels as much as Jace.  She goes into ninja mode to try to get as close to those furry guys as possible.  But apparently D.C. squirrels can take ninjas.   They didn’t run from her.  One squirrel totally bowed up to her.

And the security posted around the White House don’t play son.  Don’t ask me how I know that.

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3 thoughts on “Dream Trip Day 4: D.C. BABY!

  1. great stuff…memories…memories…memories!! things that will last a life time fosho!! thanks for the post and all the pics!!

  2. What an amazing day!! I don’t know how you got all of that in, in one day!! Waiting to hear about Philly!!!

  3. “Hi partner” …….priceless and precious!!!!!! I know exactly how you feel…the history of that place is overwhelming, isn’t it? It makes your heart fill with pride. I can also understand the “walking”!!! I’m so glad you enjoyed yourselves!! Be careful on the rest of your journey!!

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