Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Washington, DC - Day 1

We drove from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Washington, DC in one day! And we survived!!! 9.5 hours of drive time turned into about 13 hours travel time. It was a beautiful drive, though.

We had a total of two days to take in DC. We took a deep breath, knowing we could not even scratch the surface of all there is to see. We really just hoped to pique the interest of the kids, so that they would want to come back someday with their families and maybe bring their parents along. ;-)

I have an appreciation and love for history that I did not have in high school. I hoped to spark that love in some of my offspring. It may have worked. ;-) Everywhere we went, Sugar would say in wonder, " This is the actual ...." Pretty soon, my mischievous boys were saying things like, "Sugar, this is the actual ketchup packet that I used on my burger." and "This is the actual gum that TE chewed when he was at the actual Air and Space Museum." But all their teasing did not dampen her quest for real history. That's my girl!

So, on the first day...deep breath...here goes....

We rode the Metro (train) to the Mall.

We saw the White House from a distance.

We went to the Washington Monument, but did not go up.

The Lincoln Memorial from a distance.

We visited some exhibits in the Museum of American History.

The actual C-3PO and Dale Earnhart's actual helmet.
Kermit, the actual frog.

We had lunch with a friend that Steve has known since college. It was so good to see her again. We enjoyed catching up on all the latest. It's funny that we're still talking about college with our college friends, but now were talking about our kid's college. How did that happen?

About that lunch.

We had been staying in hotels with decent complimentary breakfast buffets. So, each morning, Cupcake would try a little bit of everything...some eggs, hash browns, bacon, sausage, waffle, fruit, cereal, and yogurt. She really likes a variety and has a hard time making choices. Since it was free, (or paid for, really), we allowed her to try many things. She only took small portions and didn't waste too much. So, this day we had lunch at the cafeteria in the American History Museum. Everything is a la carte and P-R-I-C-E-Y. Cupcake did not understand that this was not like the hotel. She chose a BBQ sandwich and macaroni and cheese. While Steve and I were getting our bearings and looking for the other kids, Cupcake set off to help herself to a variety of things. Things like the tiny $5 fruit cup, the $4 baby bag of chips, or the 12 gummy bears for $1. The room was spinning as we are saying "No. Don't touch that... Oh Baby, you can't have that.... Hold your tray and come with me.... No. No. That's not for you." At one point, Steve practically leaped across the cafeteria to stop her from touching the salad bar. She loves cucumber and it was calling her name. Phew! I saw my wallet flash before my eyes!

Note to self: Next time, give her the pep talk about expensive a la carte food before we set foot in the place...or better yet, next time, find a Subway or Taco Bell, where a family of 6 can eat for under $40.

After lunch, we visited the National Gallery of Art, both the classic and the contemporary buildings, as well as the Sculpture Gardens.

At the entrance...

The Classics

A Rembrandt
This may be my favorite painting ever. The lions are incredible.

In the sculpture gardens...

(I'll be really honest here. We do not have an appreciation for most modern art. I love, love, love the classics. I could look at Rembrandt's all day, but the contemporary museum was filled with what I call "not art". We had some good laughs at what counts as art. But we did find some real treasures.)

This one made us laugh.
This is the name of the piece...
and the "art" itself...hmmm.

Now here's some REAL art. I completely understand what the artist is trying to convey...

I rolled my eyes at this one until I read the name plate. Each block is painted the skin color of an actual person. It ended up being a great conversation starter.

This one was very interesting. It was gigantic. It covered a large wall. And it was made entirely from fingerprints. Now that's cool!

Finally, we saw half of the Air and Space Museum.

The actual Spirit of St. Louis that Charles Lindbergh flew over the Atlantic.

Cupcake with the Wright Brothers...

Our first day in DC was Sunshine's 15th birthday. After we got back to the hotel, Steve and I went out in search of a birthday cake. We had no luck finding a cake, so we celebrated with ice cream sandwiches. Gifts came after vacation.

We crawled into bed, exhausted.

Blessings to you,

1 comment:

Kim said...

Welcome to the area! (And we're really sorry about the prices at the museum cafeterias ... we nearly never eat there... always smuggle some tide-me-over granola bars in).

Enjoy our actual history!