Monday, July 15, 2013

Day Two in Washington D.C.: The National Mall and National Air and Space Museum

Our second day in D.C. was hot and humid.  The perfect combination for lots and lots of walking, right?  Well, the kids didn't agree either.

We got off the Metro at the stop nearest the White House, so we could see the President's home.  It really is a beautiful building.  It would have been even better if there wasn't a group of protestors shouting at the White House as we gazed through the gates.  Even though that was a little unsettling for the kids, it was a good chance to talk about our freedom of speech.

After our look at the White House, we headed to the National Mall.  There we sat next to the WWII monument, under a shady tree, for a picnic lunch.  The boys were terrified/fascinated with the squirrels that seemed to follow anyone with food around.

After our lunch, we toured the war monuments, impressing upon the boys to show respect and reverence to the men and women who fought and died by being quiet and walking carefully.  They really took that to heart.

We walked up to the Lincoln Memorial and read some of his famous words on the walls.  It was neat that Mr. One has studied American history in school, so he was familiar with many of the people and events memorialized around us.  It was inspiring to walk into the Lincoln memorial, alongside so many different people, different colors, sizes and ages.  To know that he and many others gave their lives for all of us to be free.  Seeing pictures of the statue of Lincoln do not do it justice.  It is massive, and you feel a sense of reverence in that place.

After visiting the monuments, we walked and walked and walked back to the National Air and Space Museum.  I knew this would be a big hit for all of my boys.  I was right.  They loved looking at the planes, space artifacts, jets, etc.  I think it was more fun because, for all the boys but Mr. One, they had just taken their first airplane ride only two days prior.  We decided to let them all pick out an airplane toy as a keepsake of our trip.  They were thrilled to pick out their own plane.  We had to get some astronaut ice cream to share as well.

After a macaroni and cheese dinner (it wouldn't be a vacation with Aunt Carla without at least one type of mac and cheese), we drove over to the Jefferson Memorial and walked up the path leading to it.  It was neat to see the Mall at night, lit up and so calm.  I am glad we decided to go back, even though the kids were exhausted and ready for bed.  It was a great sit-and-soak-in-the-atmosphere spot, looking out at the city, the calm Tidal Basin, the cool marble under your feet.  If we didn't have little kids, we would have lingered there for a lot longer.

Finally back home, it was time to crawl into bed and rest up for another fun and busy day.  Thankfully, with less walking.

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