We took our first trip as a family into the DC area last week. I was excited to see familiar places & to experience them again with my children.
We were a little disappointed (especially the kids) to learn that the Washington Monument was closed for repairs from last year's earthquake...although I'm secretly grateful, as I think they (and by they I mean Madeleine!) should be older before making that climb. I have fond memories of being in the sixth grade, wearing my newly purchased black Hard Rock Cafe D.C. t-shirt and climbing step after step after step, pausing to rest & take pictures with the state-inscribed stones for NC and TX. Maybe one day, they'll have those memories too.
The kids really impressed us with how long they walked...I think we both anticipated hearing that they couldn't walk any more, but they were troopers, walking from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial and back again.
We all enjoyed the World War II Memorial; it was the first time for me to see it. I love this picture of Nathanael. I'm sure that here, he was just thinking about how much he wished he could jump in the water, but one day, I imagine he'll stand there, just as wistfully, remembering with a grateful heart those who gave their youth and service and lives, protecting our country...our world.
I love the Lincoln Memorial. It always invokes strong emotion for me. But Lincoln did seem a *little bit* smaller than the last time I stood next to him. The children loved climbing all the little steps and the "big steps" here...
One thing that surprised me was all the construction. In my previous three visits (6th grade, 8th grade, newlywed), I don't recall much construction. I remember fields of bright green grass, lots of people, and Ben & Jerry's ice cream stands on The Mall. People wading in between Washington & Lincoln. The reflection pool has quite a different feel without water, as it's repaired/improved. ;)
I have no memory of this tree from years past, but my children will probably always remember it. It might have been the highlight of the trip for them. It's a tree perfect for fairy pretending, climbing, and relaxing, its trunk is worn smooth in places by human hands, and its branches and leaves provide such lovely shade from the bright sun. We would all love to have this tree in our yard!
Always thankful for people willing to take a family shot for us. (Amazed that the youngest is smiling here and not her brother. Not normal for family photos.)
Preamble by Mike Wilkins, 1987
I loved this piece of art on display at the National Portrait Gallery/Smithsonian American Art Museum. We learned the Preamble during Classical Conversations this year, so it was fun to read through this with the kiddos.
We also went the Smithsonian Museum of American History...but didn't last long there before going to dinner at The Old Ebbitt Grille.
The other highlight for the kiddos was riding the Metro. :) Of course.
I'm excited to continue to explore this area while we're here...and in the future, teaching the kids a little bit more about what we're going to see & do first, so that they're a little more familiar and appreciative of what they see!
Do you have a favorite spot to visit in the DC area? Please share...we're working on our list of places to visit during our year here!