Thursday’s vacation day was the most ambitious of them all. It had all the elements for train wreck. An early wake up time, a three plus hour car drive, lots of walking and museums. It had been seven years ago B.O. (before Olivia) that we last went to Washington D.C. so even Julia and Mia didn’t have memories of it, making it a good time to go back.
The drive up wasn’t too bad, especially since I wasn’t driving and went in and out of consciousness. Cathy wisely pre-paid for our parking so we didn’t have to worry about that. If you haven’t noticed from my blogs my wife does all the planning for our vacations and pretty much everything we do. If you don’t have a Cathy, I highly recommend you get yourself one.
We first headed to the National Archives which I had never been to before. Being able to see the original Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights was mind blowing for me, just awe inspiring. For the girls? Not so much. I asked Julia on the ride home if it resonated to her to see those original documents.
She said it was cool but we discovered she hasn’t really had any formal history classes and hasn’t learned about those things. From what I can remember when I was 11 we already had, but I know times and teaching had changed. Regardless my wife and I are determined to continue to force this history down our daughters throats whether they learned about it or not. I will say the archives had a lot of interactive displays which kept our girls entertained and allowed Cathy and I shifts of exploration.
From there it was the Museum of Natural History which is a place the girls really wanted to see, especially Julia. It was a big hit, especially to the wallet because that is where we had lunch. While not as bad and Ellis Island for lunch price wise, it was close. I guess when entrance is free they have to make their money somewhere and they chose the café to do it.
We hit the Museum of American History next and that is where the girls interest started to wane which is unfortunate for me because I was excited for this stop. It can be expected; we were probably four hours into the day, not counting the car ride so tiredness and crankiness was high. How did we counter this predicament? With the most walking we would need to do for the day. We headed out for the Lincoln Memorial and it I had to estimate the walking distance I would put it at “a hell of a lot.”
It probably isn’t really a great distance but all things considered it seemed like it. On the way to the Lincoln Memorial we saw the Washington Monument, War World II Memorial, constant Olivia whining and me threatening Julia, good times all around. We had six o’clock dinner reservations and hopes to hit the Air and Space Museum but fatigue won the day. Instead we headed to the White House and Mia decided one day she will live there. I decided if that happens I will be the guest who doesn’t leave.
We ended the day at Old Ebbitt Grill, a restaurant that pre-dates the Civil War. On our two previous trips Cathy and I wanted to eat there, especially Cathy. Our expectations were high and let me tell you they were met. Dinner was incredible and the service was great. I was surprised how fast they got our food to us and it was a great topper on an overall great day. It was a long day filled with long car rides, a lot of education and of course a good deal of whining but over all a good topper on our vacation.