11.05.2008

Washington DC Review: Part 1

Before too much time passes, I must document more of our recent jaunt to Washington DC. The main reason for our trip was for this, but we made a little vacation out of it as well.

We arrived Thursday afternoon in Virginia. After guidance from a helpful little person at the airport we navigated public transportation without any trouble. That's right, we loaded up all our *stuff* onto the city Metro bus and rode into DC. It only cost us $6.00. We were conveniently dropped off at a Metro rail station and with the help of a nice attendant we purchased our Metro fare cards and made our way to the Blue Line.

Did I mention it was in the MIDDLE of rush hour? And we were wheeling our oversize luggage and corralling a curious five year old? Yep. Good times.

Once we made it to our stop (King St.) we got directions to our hotel from another helpful Metro employee. Around the fourth block I could contain the hysterical, exhausted laughter no more. I am sure we were quite the sight. Scott even compared us Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Cue more hysterical giggles.

We soon saw a welcome sight:


Our hotel! Turns out there was a shortcut to the Metro, so on other days it was only two blocks instead of four. Small mercies, right? Yes, I realize we DID NOT pack light. I'm sorry, I am a girl to my core and have to have options.

Friday morning we were scheduled for our White House Tour. After breakfast at the hotel we made our way to the Metro station. We were thrilled to be able to tour the White House, but slightly disappointed you were not allowed to bring a bag or camera. I totally understand, and we obeyed, but it put a kink in our downtown sight seeing plans since our hotel was about 20-30+ minutes from inner DC. So, no bags, no snacks, no bottled water, no camera. I carried my Metro and hotel card, my cell phone, Burt's Bees lip balm and a little cash. It was somewhat freeing.

But look...I snapped pictures with my cell phone. At least.

We could not take any pictures while inside. I expected that (hey, the no camera rule), but still, my heart hurt. It was surreal to actually walk on the grounds and THEN actually walk INSIDE. I am still pinching myself.

Once we were inside, and the novelty of the student guide wore off, Annelise started the i'mhungryi'mthirstyi'mhotmyfeethurtcarrymecaniseethepresidentidon'tfeellikemyself chorus. Repeat as necessary.

So, needless to say we did not linger over each exhibit or dawdle in each room. Well, just a little. Just to walk through each room, so full of history, was amazing. To stand in the East Room where President Kennedy lay in state that first night that fateful November weekend, where distinguished guests from all over the world were entertained; the State Dining Room where history has dined; walking through the beautiful Blue, Red and Green Rooms where history has happened; to be so close to the West Wing and the Oval Office; to imagine I was Jackie Kennedy for a few minutes (okay, in reality a bit longer).

Too soon the tour was over and we exited through the entrance where Annelise promptly began collecting leaves. She did say she liked the Blue Room the best and the fact one of the gentlemen gave her a picture of Air Force One. I am thankful she did not venture under the velvet ropes or do a cartwheel in the foyer. Small mercies.

We took a few pictures with our cell phones to document our visit. You'll have to take my word that we actually went inside I guess.

The North Entrance and Fountain (facing Lafayette Park)
More obligatory pictures.

We had wanted to tour the Visitor's Center before out tour, but we were too pinched for time, so we went after. We looked at a few of the exhibits, but Annelise of course made a beeline for the kiddie tables to color.

I bought a few postcards and an uber cool pop-up book about the White House. I am only pretending it's for Annelise, it's really for me. But I'll let her look at it WITH me.

We thought we would make our way to the Old Post Office Pavilion for lunch, but then we saw the restaurant Kristi had recommended, Old Ebbitt Grill. Hooray!

Even though we had to wait a while, it was sooooo worth it. I felt like we were eating with Washington's In Crowd or something.

After lunch we made our way over to the DC Armory to pick up my race packet. Seeing all the other runners at the expo was very exciting. It started to sink in that the race was truly ginormous and only 2 days away.

After the MCM Expo it was time to head back to Alexandria. We did not get to do as much as we had planned that first day with the timing of the tour, navigating the Metro, handling the ups and downs of a five year old and all the walking in between. We were okay with that, we were tired and wanted to recharge our batteries at the hotel. Plus I desperately needed a caffeine injection. Annelise loved riding the Metro (she called it the express) because on two of the trains there was a newspaper with an ad for HSM3. 'Nuff said. Later Friday evening we walked around Alexandria a bit and had supper at an Italian restaurant near our hotel. Lights out was pretty early too. All in all, a fabulous first full day in DC.

Stay tuned for more riveting Washington DC memories coming soon to a computer near you. You might even want to pop some popcorn.

7 comments:

  1. The handsome Steve and I spent 4 days in DC this summer with 3 kids under 10. I think you know what I'm sayin'

    At least yours didn't out number you!

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  2. Oh I know! I totally give props to parents that travel with more than one child--good for you!!

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  3. You did more in DC on your first day here than I have done in my 33 (almost 34) years! We're only 30 minutes away and it's very, very sad that I've never toured the White House. Tomorrow my sister is coming to visit and we're going downtown to see the Capitol and US History museum on Friday. I can't wait!

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  4. Anna: That will be wonderful! We wanted to visit the Smithsonian US History museum too, but it was closed until November--perfect timing for y'all! Have fun!!

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  5. great stuff! ya'll did a lot, five year old and all! I'm so glad you could go into the white house! and the lunch looks delicious! and the "express"...sounds like she is a city girl! :)

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  6. I'll be reading all your DC posts with interest and taking good notes. We're planning to take our summer vacation in DC next June. With THREE kids. **yikes**

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  7. heehee...I have MANY books I pretend are for the kids but are really for me. We should do a planned-simultaneous-day post on that....

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