Monday, June 24, 2013

Washington DC part 2

So, I returned home from my trip. It's always nice to go away, but it's nice to come home too. I was gone May 16-21.  About a week later, I told my husband that I would like to take the boy to DC sometime. He said why don't you go now?!  He looked up flights for the boy and myself and they were double what I paid to fly out there, so he suggested I drive! I mulled it over, cancelled two appointments and started packing for the boy and myself. A couple of times I wondered if I should go, after all, it would just be me driving and would the boy do well on a long roadtrip? It would be almost two days of driving and an overnight in the hotel each way.  He did just fine!

I brought my daughter to DC when she was the same age. I have to say that I think my daughter enjoyed DC more than my son and she was certainly better behaved!

So we made the trip on June 9 and returned home June 17.  We stayed with my cousins again, though we didn't see much of either of them.

The first day we went into DC, we took a bus tour of the city, which I had never done before in all the times I had been there. I am super glad we took the bus tour because I saw things in DC that I had never seen before.  The nice thing about this tour was that you could stop at any of the stops and hop back on another bus an hour later if you wanted too. The first day we spent on the bus almost the whole day. We got off and visited the Lincoln Memorial, along with the VietNam wall, and the Korean war Memorial. It was well worth the price for the tour and it helped me and my son plan the next two days.

We also stopped at the National Museum of Natural History. This was a favorite and we went back each day to this Museum. And we were briefly at the Air and Space Museum. I thought my boy would like this more than he did!

We also saw all the monuments in DC, the embassy's, the Watergate hotel (which I had never seen before), and a ton of other buildings I never knew about.

Each day we drove about 30 minutes to a parking area and grabbed the metro. Both of us got to learn the metro very well!

The second day we went in we started at the National Museum of Natural History. It was fascinating. We saw dinosaurs, skeletons, minerals, the hope diamond, and so much more.  This is the day we went to the Holocaust Museum, because I brought my DD214 with me. We got in right away and it took about 3 hours to get through the Museum. It was sad, and humbling all at the same time. In 1999 I took a trip to Israel with my husband and we went to Yad Vashem. Yad Vashem has a childrens museum and I just weeped the whole time we were in it. So very sad.

We also went to the National Museum of American History. Again the boy was not as interested in this as I thought he would be. I couldn't help comparing my two children and the contrasts in each visit. My daughter seemed more interested in the monuments and the American History Museum and my boy seemed more interested in feeding the birds and dinosaurs! And my boy is not much of a walker, whereas my cousin and I don't recall the girl complaining about walking!

The third day we spent at the Spy Museum. My son enjoyed that. And,w e saw the lady from May that let me and my cousins in! I told her I was back with my boy and that we actually paid to get in!! We both laughed about that and I told her again how thankful we were for her generosity.  We visited the National Museum of Natural History again and this time we went through the Butterfly exhibit.  Then we went up to the Zoo and saw Panda bears!!  That was the end of our three days in DC and it was fabulous. And the weather was near perfect for us, compared to June or July!

I know I am missing a ton of what we did, but we had three 10 hour days in Washington DC and it was great. Overall my boy tells me he had a good time!

Next time I go, I want to go to the National Geographic Museum and the Newseum. We didn't have time for either of these and I didn't even know there was a National Geographic Museum!

We left my cousins house and had a good drive home. There was some rain starting out but then the rest of the day was clear. We made it to Rockford Illinois the first night, then it was just about a five hour drive home the next day!

So glad we made the trip out there!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Washington DC

Each year for the past 6 years or so, I have been flying out to Maryland to visit my cousin. She grew up in New Jersey and I was always very close to her and my aunt.  My aunt had moved to Maryland also, and my grandma had moved in with her. Before I had my little boy I would fly out there three times a year to visit with my grandma and aunt. Then my aunt died, and a year later my grandma died. Then I had my boy, and a few years ago I started visiting my cousin.

This year I went in May, after my school was out for the semester and before my boy was done with school. I usually go in August.  I have wanted to go see the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, so my cousin, her partner, and I went. But we couldn't get in. All the daily tickets were given out by the time we got there, and the online tickets were sold out until late June.  But we did learn that vets could get in anytime by showing their DD214. BINGO!! Lisa (my cousin) and I are vets, but neither one of us carry our DD214 with us. No one that I know of carries it with them.  So instead, we went to the Spy Museum.  When we got there, we looked at the prices for entry and I said out loud, but quietly, that it was more than I wanted to pay to get in. My cousin and her partner agreed. At that moment the lady who lets you in line to get into the museum after you pay walked over to us and agreed that it was a lot to pay and to follow her. She let us in the museum for FREE!!  Later on toward the end of the museum we saw her and thanked her for letting us in because we really enjoyed the museum!

Along the walk to the Soy Museum, I saw buildings that I have not ever seen in DC and it was a fascinating walk.

We didn't do much else during my visit, but that is ok. I enjoy being there with them and we always have fun. I go to work with them three of the nights I am there. They own a cleaning company and clean office buildings in the evening.

I'll write about my second trip to DC in the next post.