Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Trippin' in the District (written April 2007)

Last Friday (April 6), Dan came home from work early and we all piled into the car and drove to Washington D.C. We were planning to leave around noon (2 at the latest), so of course we left at 4:30. In spite of our late departure, we still arrived by 1 a.m., so I was pretty impressed with us. Dan drove the whole way, and we only stopped once...that is almost unbelievable, considering we had three children under the age of 8 in the car with us. We spent Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights at Dan's sister's house in Falls Church, Virginia. We were planning to sleep on an air mattress in the living room, but Melinda's roommate spent the weekend with family, so we had her king bed all to ourselves. Esther was comfortable in her portable crib, and the boys slept on the floor in Bug's room.

We were planning on spending Saturday visiting the museums with Dan's cousin Carma and her family, who were down for the weekend from New York City. When Melinda talked to them Saturday morning, they were headed to the Air and Space museum, and we were just waking up. She told them we could probably be there in 90 minutes or so. We first drove to Rockville, Maryland, to pick up my brother James and get a quick tour of his house. He had an ultimate frisbee game that afternoon, and had left his cleats at work, so our next stop was the World Wildlife Fund headquarters downtown. We found a parking spot just across the street from the entrance. James took us up to his cubicle, where he had some presents for the boys. Then we went down to the exercise room in the basement and played on the balls there. When we finally left it was a little after 1, and James had to catch the metro back to Maryland for his game. We got back in the car and went to find a parking place. This, of course, took a long time, and by the time we had parked, everyone was starving. Melinda had invited a friend from the Ukraine to meet us on the Mall, so we tried to find her in the Botanic Garden. It was hot and muggy inside, and the people were packed together like sardines. We were trying to maneuver the giant, unwieldy blue jogging stroller (which Esther refused to sit in), so everything seemed to take twice as long. Our next stop was the Museum of the American Indian, where Melinda had told us we could get all kinds of Native American foods in the cafe. Dan was craving a Navajo Taco, so we stood in the 30 minute line to get in. Esther was beside herself by this time, so I sat and nursed her while everyone else went to get food. We finally hooked up with Carma and Greg at the outdoor sculpture garden near the museum of African Art. They were exhausted by this time, and headed back to their hotel, after spending the day waiting for us to arrive. The kids ran around together for about 15 minutes, and then we parted ways. Our next stop was the Museum of Natural History.  So much for meeting up with them in about 90 minutes.

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