So, when I read my friend Trece's blog and saw that he not only was able to fit in a rocking ""Hookin' Horns" race pic AND a FIGJAM reference, I decided I had to
A little background on this trip: I've blogged before about the places I want to go on vacation, both with and without the kids. I rarely got to travel growing up, so I feel like exposing my kids to different parts of the country and things other than Texas is a key responsibility as a parent. It's a great way to spend focused time together, and it creates (hopefully) positive memories for them to carry with them into their adult lives. I'd really wanted to go camping in the Grand Canyon this summer, but I was vetoed by the three boys (!!) since two of them already had a week of camping under their belts from Scout camp. So, off to DC we went. The boys are just the right age for this kind of trip - we didn't freak out if they escaped our eyesight for a second or two in the crowded museum halls, knowing they'd find their way back to us. They were able to absorb and appreciate all that we saw, even and especially the parts that were not so much "fun" but so educational and enlightening, like the Holocaust Museum and the Gettysburg Battlefields. I think if we'd taken this trip when they were younger, we would have been very frustrated by lines and wait times and impatient kids who didn't see the point in a lot of things that happened 236 years ago. But we got it right, I think. Hearing the excitement in their voices as they described each day of the trip to their grandparents really made me glad that we were able to do this with them.
There were a couple of places where cameras were not allowed, such as the Holocaust Museum and the National Archives, so I have no photographic evidence of those. Which is fine. Some things need not be captured in a photograph to be remembered. Hands down my single favorite part of this trip was seeing the flag from Ft. McHenry in the Smithsonian, old and scarred, under dim lights. Knowing that this worn, battered piece of fabric inspired the national anthem gave me chills, especially as a choir had just finished singing it in the rotunda of the building right outside the exhibit.
|My husband is a nerd. It's OK, he knows it. This model in the basement of the Smithsonian Air & Space museum rocked his socks off. I had to work to convince him NOT to buy the $40 pizza cutter shaped like the Enterprise.|
|Order Muppets of the highest, um, order. Hidey-ho! Kermit the Frog here!|
|Ghost tour in Alexandria did not disappoint. Lots of great tidbits about colonial life, historical anecdotes and a good wholesome dose of spooooky!|
|The Air & Space exhibit at Dulles was worth the extra drive out of the city. The recently grounded Discovery was on display and if you aren't impressed by seeing this up close, then, well, phooey for you.|
I have to add two bonus pics to this entry. The first one I want to share because it will forever and always be the image I have in my mind when I think of this trip. Our friend Christy took us on her night-time tour of the monuments and we ended up at the Lincoln Memorial. This shot was an afterthought, just something I barely framed before I hit the shutter. But, when I was uploading photos later, I thought, yep, that's it. This is why I wanted to do this trip.
And this one? Well, the Marine Corps Marathon was my second marathon and probably still my favorite. I had to drag the kids and hubby here for a couple of reasons on this trip. And, standing here in the bright sunshine at around 11:30 on a Sunday morning, with a sweeping view of the city in front of me, I realized that I want to come back and experience it again, as I did the first time. I want to get to it at the finish line of a marathon. I have a lot of work to do between now and October 2013.