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.
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.
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.Kristi had recommended, Old Ebbitt Grill. Hooray!
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.