Long Long post ahead. At the end you will find a slide show. We took almost 500 pictures, but I’ve only included a few here.
**Cliff Notes Version**
We went to: The National Cathedral, Arlington Cemetery, Iwo Jima Memorial, National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Vietnam Memorial, White House, Capital Building, Pentagon, American History Museum, Bureau of Engraving and Imprinting, Air and Space Museum and the National History Museum. Phew!
This whole trip started in November when Avery decided she wanted to go to the White House. It is a long process to get a White House tour so I spent a bit of time filling out all the paperwork. We were all so thrilled when we got word that our tour was scheduled, only to find out a few days before we left that it had to be canceled for security reasons. Boo Hiss. But that is okay! We decided we were still going to have a total blast and will keep reapplying for a tour until we can get in!
Our trip started with us leaving at 6:30 on Sunday evening. We bent the law a little with our travels (6 people in a Lexus SUV. No, the SUV does not have three rows. Yes, the children were in their appropriate car safety seats. Yours truly may not have been). The drive was very quick! I had my headphones, Eclipse and a box of tissues. I was comfortable. When we arrived at the hotel we accidentally woke Delaney up. She stayed up for the longest time. Joni, meanwhile, passed out and kept the rest of us awake with her horse impressions. Lyz and I kept giggling and waving our phones across the room at each other. (Yes, one car, one hotel room, six people. We love each other and don’t like to be separated, what can I say?) At some point Avery decided that sleeping on the floor made her cheek hurt (she was not directly on the floor, she had a whole bed of blankets and pillows leftover from my nest in the car). So she climbed into bed with Lyz and Chris. Chris did not like this and went to sleep with Delaney. Lyz and I were still awake laughing at Joni.
Bright and early Monday morning Delaney had us up and running. We had breakfast at the hotel and then kept discussing what to do first. We decided to head to the National Cathedral since the museums didn’t open until later. The Cathedral was beautiful! On the way to the Cathedral we passed the Washington DC Temple (LDS) on the highway. Chris says next time we go to DC we will stop there for pictures too. My parents were sealed for time and all eternity in the DC Temple. And while I am not a religious person, I totally appreciate the architecture of both religious buildings.
We walked around the Bishop’s Garden while we waited for the Cathedral to open and then walked through the Cathedral. Chris and I have a very similar mindset when it comes to religion and were both impressed when the church didn’t spontaneously burst into flames when we entered.
Next we intended to go to the Iwo Jima Memorial, but ended up at the Arlington Cemetery instead. This actually worked out really well. We were able to witness a funeral. It is very moving to witness a funeral at Arlington. We watched with respect and tears in our eyes. Well, until Delaney was done then her and I went for a walk.
Then we headed back to the Iwo Jima Memorial. I had no idea it was that big!! We managed to get off track a little bit again and found the Pentagon (we were denied a tour of the Pentagon, but that’s okay!)!
We stopped at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and did a rubbing of an officer that Chris knew. I hope that we never know anyone else added to those walls. And that is all I could think about the entire time we were there. There were some very nice groundskeepers there who helped us out…just wanted to shout out to them!
We next went to the Lincoln Memorial and to see the reflecting pool. I had been telling Avery that many years ago I went to a March and listened to the speakers with my feet in the pool because it was a terribly hot day. She was excited to see it. And it wasn’t there! They are rebuilding it! We walked up the stairs and stared at Abe, read the walls and took lots of pictures. Then we spent some time looking over the way at the Washington Monument.
Next it was off to the Vietnam Memorial. Lyz looked up her POW/MIA bracelets name and we took some pictures of her with it.
Finally we were off to my favorite part. The American History Museum! Chris had rolled his eyes when I said this is where I wanted to go. American History is so boring. Amazingly everyone really enjoyed it! I don’t think they realized what the museum really housed. Lyz, Joni and I spent forever in the Innaguaral gowns section. We looked at the ruby slippers and I got to see Julia Child’s kitchen!! (Avery and I walked around saying Bon Appetit a lot.)
After our full day we headed out to dinner and then back to the hotel to crash. (well, after a short side-trip on a hunt for duct tape). I was given the instruction to shake or poke Joni every time she snored. Avery was given the instruction to stay in her own bed, if she did we would go to Ihop for breakfast. Amazingly everyone did as they were told. Our second night was way more restful than our first.
Up early again we headed to breakfast and then off to the Bureau of Engraving and Imprinting where we had an 8:45 tour scheduled. Which is all fine and dandy except for when traffic is way worse than you expected and you cannot find parking and it is raining cats and dogs. Chris booted the five of us out of the car and went off to find a parking space. I ran in and explained we were late and they were perfectly okay with it. Chris managed to join us right on time. Chris and I spent a lot of the tour wishing for free samples. We measured ourselves against a stack of money to see how much we are worth and then headed out for the rest of our day.
The Air and Space Museum was what Chris had been looking forward to. I was thrilled when we went to the IMAX movie and they explored Orion up close!! That made my day! We looked at space toilets, we took a quiz (in which I beat those members of our party that played) and ate lunch.
Off to find the White House and the Capitol building! More pictures, some chatting with the White House Police (where we found out that the Israeli Prime Minister was staying at the White House which is probably why our tour got canceled). Then some pictures of the Capitol Building and off for another museum.
Then we drove around trying to find another parking space. As we drove Avery pointed out a cool metal tree. I said “That must be the Sculpture Garden” which gave me four eyerolls. Yah, whatever Heidi. After finally finding a parking space we realized the easiest way to walk to where we were going was…drumroll please….
THROUGH THE SCULPTURE GARDEN. Teach them to roll their eyes at me.
We had some fun taking pictures in the Sculpture Garden and then headed into the Natural History Museum. My favorite part there was the gems and jewels. I like me some gems and jewels. I also really liked the giftshop where I bought myself a statue of an angel…she is a Blue angel. I love her.
And then, it was time to head home. So in 48 hours we managed to squeeze all of that in, and still have a wish-list for the next time we head to DC. Thank you CLAD+Joni for an awesome trip! I had so much fun!!
And now for the slide show. All of the pictures included in this slide show were taken by Chris. He did a totally awesome job!!