On April 4th, we left for our trip to Washington DC and area. We got a later start than hoped for, but that's to be expected, right? We were glad to have the DVD's to help pass the trip, although our portable DVD player gets tired and stops working after a while. We stopped at a rest stop for lunch and were asked if we were part of a church that required us to wear red and yellow. LOL I explained that was just to help keep track of the children.
We arrived and Uncle Bob and Aunt Sandi's house around 6:30pm and quickly got settled. Sarah and Rebekah slept in Katelynn's old room. The boys slept in the basement on couches, a futon, and a mat. John and I each got a couch in the living room. That night for dinner we had Papa John's Pizza. After dinner, the children stayed up watching the first part of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" on Uncle Bob's projection screen.
The next morning, we were up and out early and drove to Maryland to attend Bishop Cummins Reformed Episcopal Church with the Crums. It was a lovely Palm Sunday service. Unfortunately, Trey and Jeffrey didn't feel very well. Even Rebekah was feeling less than great, probably in part due to lack of sleep. After the service, Jeffrey threw up on the front steps of the church. *blush* Trey was considerate enough to wait until we got to the Crums' house. Jeffrey felt better after throwing up but Trey was sick until Monday morning. He was a real trooper though - he sat at their outside picnic table with an empty ice cream bucket. The rest of us had a nice soup and salad lunch, and then visited for a few hours before we drove back to Uncle Bob's house. After a quick dinner of sandwiches, the children watched the rest of Clone Wars.
The next morning, Trey was feeling better, so we drove into DC. It was raining on and off, so we didn't get to see the monuments up close like I had hoped. Perhaps next time. Instead, I took the children to the Smithsonian Museum of American History. It was very crowded (a rainy day during Cherry Blossom Festival) and overwhelming. The lines were way too long for the things I wanted to see (the Lincoln exhibit and The Star Spangled Banner), but we did see the Ruby Slippers and go through an exhibit on home construction and one on Edison.
Instead of the picnic on The National Mall I had planned, we went back to Uncle Bob's house for lunch. On our way to DC in the morning, we had stopped at Einstein Bros. Bagels and so we had bagels for lunch. Yummy!
After lunch, we drove to the newer Air and Space Museum called The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. It is near Dulles Airport and is the nicest of the Smithsonian Museums in my opinion. One thing that makes it particularly nice is lots of chairs for tired mamas. It is a huge museum, but with lots of fun stuff to see. The boys especially liked seeing the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, the fastest jet in the world. Seeing a Space Shuttle was cool too. Trey still preferred the Patriot's Point Museum in Charlotte, SC though, as they let you touch the planes there.
Back to Uncle Bob's house for dinner. I had made Beef Stew before we left home and froze it. John heated it up and served it to us, Bob and Sandi, and their houseguest, Natalia. While it was heating, Natalia was very sweet and played piano with Rebekah. She further endeared herself to me by having seconds on the stew! After dinner, the grown-ups watched Dancing with the Stars. Tivo is neat!
The next day was Zoo day. First, we drove to Tyson's Corner Center and went to the Lego Store. For the boys, this was the highlight of the trip. They each got a Lego set,mostly with their own money. They were extremely disappointed that we didn't let them open them until the morning after we got home. After a quick lunch at McDonalds, John drove us to the National Zoo. On the way, we drove through Chevy Chase and saw lots of cool, old apartment buildings. By the time we got there, Rebekah was asleep in her car seat. John elected to stay with her while I took the other children through the Zoo. We loved it! Their favorite animals were Sarah - the pandas, Trey - the diamondback rattlesnake (near which he found $10), Bobby - the armadillo, Jeffrey - the tiger, and William - the red pandas.
While we were in the Zoo, John found a really cool park with a winding road through it called Beach Drive. It was refreshing to drive through the park before hitting the traffic on the Beltway. When we got home, I spent time getting packed and organized for our trip home. For dinner that night, Bob treated us to Five Guys Burgers. Mmmmm... Then the boys watched Spiderman while the grown-ups fell asleep watching the result show for Dancing with the Stars and girl's basketball. The boys were pratically the last ones asleep with the movie ending at 11:15!
The next day, we had a long trip home. I don't know about anyone else, but I was sure glad to sleep in my own bed that night!