Saturday, August 24, 2013

DC Day 4

Washington DC Day 4

We headed home today, but not before squeezing in a couple of things.  First of all we went to grab breakfast at the same diner we ate at yesterday, it was awesome.  I would eat there every weekend if it was close to home.  Once we ate we headed over to the National Cathedral – it was absolutely breath taking, the sun was absolutely gorgeous on the structure.   Beautiful – we took the tour and got to walk the structure.  It was worth delaying our trip home by a couple of hours.

Then we headed home – we did stop at South of the Border on the way back just so Kaylee could experience the cheese.  It was great!  Really enjoyed the trip, but glad to be home.

DC Day 3

Sunday we got up and went to breakfast at a local diner – I want to say it was Edith’s diner.  It was really good, excellent food.   After breakfast we drove over to Arlington National Cemetery and took the trolley tour.  It was sweltering hot, but I couldn’t go to DC without letting Kaylee see the sacrifice our Solders paid for our freedom.     After Arlington we grabbed a bite to eat and then went for our 2:15 appointment at the National Archives.

I was so glad we planned ahead and got passes because the line was around the building.  We went in and saw the founding documents of our nation and they have a ton of other exhibits as well.    I think Mama and Jack would have enjoyed spending some more time exploring, but Kaylee and I were super bored.  Once we left there we headed out to the American History Museum …

It was awesome to see the Star Spangled Banner in real life, it was huge, much bigger than I ever imagined.   The transportation exhibit was pretty cool and they had a doll house that was awesome, the dream house of every little girl.   After the American History Museum we went to and got an ice-cream and enjoyed sitting down a few minutes, it was awesome.  It was a good break -  days of walking had started to wear on all of us, but we were determined to see as much as we could.

Once our break was up we headed to the Natural History Museum.  Kaylee and I paid extra and went through the butterfly exhibit; it was pretty cool – not as neat as the one @ the Botanical Gardens in GA, but neat never-the-less.    I think Kaylee liked it – it’s hard to tell w/ her.  Once we went through that we split up for a bit.  Kaylee and Jack went to see something and Mama and I headed into the National Geographic photography exhibit.   There were some incredible photographs and a bench to sit and look at them … it was really incredible.  I loved it.

After the natural history museum we headed over to the Old Ebbitt Grill; it was a recommendation of a friend of mine and it was good, we were all so tired though.  Once we went to dinner we headed back to the hotel and crashed for the night.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Washington DC Day 2

Day two of our journey started out much more rested and ready to face the day.   We ate breakfast at the hotel and then hopped on the Metro to go have coffee with President Obama – yea I wish, but we did go see his house.   We took some pictures of it and some of the nearby statues - I’d also like to point out that there was a person silently protesting a brutality going on in China where live people’s organs are being harvested without their consent.   I haven’t researched it enough to say if the protest is valid or if there is even anything we as American’s can do if it is, but I did find the following website that mentions it if you are interested in looking further.

After our White House visit we went to a nearby gift shop and did some souvenir shopping  - I really liked the store, I think it was the official White House gift shop, if not it certainly gave that impression.  Then we headed off for a day at the Smithsonian, with our first stop being the Air and Space Museum.   We saw airplanes, planets, a 3D movie on something Jack or I neither one can remember (it was just good to sit down).   Jack seemed to enjoy it – Kaylee, well I have no idea if she did or not – Mama and I went along for the ride.  

We ate lunch in the cafeteria at the Air/Space Museum and boy was it hectic!  It advertised to serve Boston Market and McDonald's, but there was only like 1 Boston Market item on the menu, so it was pretty much McDonald's.   We got our food and were… well not too happy, but it was edible.  Mama got the Boston Market option and I think we all wished we would have done that. 
After lunch, Art was on the agenda – we headed over to the American Art Museum and started looking around.  After 20 minutes I could tell everyone was bored out of their minds and we were tired.  Reading it – it doesn't seem like much – but with all the walking these few items we did took it out of you.  I bet we walked 10 miles a day during the trip, we had gotten the Trolley Tours tickets, but they were never where we needed them (I since received a full refund).   So given how tired we were and the fact a long night ahead of us I changed the agenda and we took a break.  We went back to the hotel, crawled under the sheets and took a couple ours nap.

Once we woke up we hopped in the car (note I said car vs. metro) and headed to go see Union Station.  Yes we drove to the train station vs. taking the metro.   We had reasons, but it still seems silly.  We had dinner at East Street Café’, an Asian restaurant that looks over the shopping and we really enjoyed it.  The food was good and the atmosphere was awesome!   We were the only patrons as they close at 7, which made it even better I think.  The station was neat, the one in NY is prettier, but it was still neat to see.  Plus I love watching all the people coming and going.

After dinner we hopped back in our car and went for our monuments tour.  We saw Abe Lincoln, Roosevelt, WWII, MLK and Vietnam.   We also so the Washington Monument form a distance – it is closed for remodel due to the EQ last year, but it was still pretty even with the scaffolding around it.  I’d also like to note that the week we visited was Boy Scout Jamboree week – so there were millions of Boy Scouts in DC and it was really apparent during the Monuments tour as they were everywhere, like large ants.   I will have to say though, for that many kids, they all seemed very on their game and well behaved.  So props given to that… still like ants though.  There was one statue we went to see that is Einstein reading (I don’t seem to have those pictures for some reason), but anyway – you could crawl on the statue, one troop was getting pictures and they completely covered him up, it was insane.  Like Ants I tell – Millions of Ants.

By time we got done with MLK it was close to 10 PM so we headed back to the hotel and crashed for the night.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Washington DC Day 1

This was written a month or so after we got back so my memories aren't as fresh as they were – should have done it sooner, but such is life.   We arrived on Thursday night around 10 pm and all of us were tired – then I didn't sleep well that night so our Friday was tempered by the fact that most of us were running on steam that and the fact it was raining when we got started.   However we overcame and overall had a pretty good day – even if I did start out grumpy.

We got up and left the hotel around 7:30, headed to the Metro and headed to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to get our tickets so we could see money being made later in the day.  This was Kaylee’s first metro ride and I hope she enjoyed it – through the trip it was really hard to tell if she was super bored or just not enthusiastic.   I did the best I could so I’m not going to worry about it, but I digress.

We got our tickets and then headed to Le Bon Café which is right down the street from the US Capital and had rave reviews online – they weren't wrong.  It was just a tiny café, you ordered at the counter and they brought it to you.  Nothing fancy, but the food was absolutely delicious.  I got French toast and loved it.    Then we headed to the Capital Building and were fortunate enough to get a tour even without reservations.     It was interesting hearing her talk about the different things with the capital, the empty tomb meant for George Washington (typical Gov’t forgot to plan and ask if he wanted to be buried there), the fact that states send statues for display and the gorgeous architecture.   Jack and I saw the outside last time were in DC, but this was my first visit inside.

After our tour we walked through the tunnel to the Library of Congress and WOW!  It was amazing; I want to go back and spend an entire day in here just looking at the architecture and exploring.  We took a tour and stayed through most of it, but as we were all dragging and Kaylee was bored out of her mind we did skip out of it a little early, but oh I want to go back.   The color and beauty is just astounding. 

We headed down and ate lunch at the Café in the Supreme Court Building – the food was good, but they really need a better organizational system.  There are different lines for the different food depending on what you want (salad, hamburger, stir fry), but no marking as to where to go or that there even is different lines.   It was stressful but the food was great – I had a chicken noodle dish that was cooked to order – awesome!
After that we headed up to actually see the Supreme Court building – very solemn and graceful.   We sat in on a lecture where they explained all the procedure that goes with the court, most of it pomp and circumstance, but it was interesting and it got us off of our feet for a bit! 

Once we finished with that we had a little bit of energy from sitting and were ready to catch our tour to see the money being made.   We got there a little early and were able to exchange our tickets, which was great.   The tour was alright – Jack absolutely loved it, the rest of us were less impressed – but each to his own J  It was cool to see I guess, but I just expected something different, not sure what.

Then we headed to Georgetown for Pizza.  We ate at Pizzeria Paradiso (again due to Internet reviews) and it was worth it.  We got there and had to wait for a table… the trip there required quite a bit of walking, or we were just so tired by then that an inch would have been quite a bit – unsure which is which.  Anyway, once we got there and were waiting for a table outside there was this little 2 year old boy that kept running up and kissing Kaylee’s knee, it was so cute.   He had a crush, it was so cute J
After dinner we headed back to the hotel and I collapsed in my bed not to be seen till Morning – Jack went to Target for some stuff, a bag, some other items we needed but I was so tired I don’t even remember him getting back.    

And that was all in day 1 J  I didn't take as many pictures as I normally would – was tired and some areas you couldn't take pictures in.  Plus it was low lighting in some areas and I just didn't feel like stressing about it so I didn't.    The ones I did take are above though, enjoy!  

Jamaica Day 2 and Part of 3

I'm relaxed - I mean really relaxed and it feels amazing.  Yesterday after the post they showed us a new room and I was really undecided...