I married a procrastinator and I, myself, am a procrastinator. Not a great thing, but we also don't get too upset with each other because we kind of understand how each other works. I'm leading with this because we had "planned" to go to bed at 9pm so that we could wake up to leave at midnight.
Yeah. That didn't happen.
I went to bed at 10:30pm waking in a daze to find Kevin sometime later because he hadn't gone to bed yet. He, I think, went to bed around 11:30pm, and I woke up at 1:30am to take a shower and Kev was back up at 2am or so. Meredith had left for my parents the day before and the boys went to bed fairly easily. I wasn't sure what they were going to be like when we woke them up about 2:45am, but they were excited and grabbed their pillows and blankies and headed for the van. They were up for a bit, but soon fell back asleep.
We were under the impression that this day was going to be the more difficult of the two, as far as driving was concerned. We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived in DC around before noon, no worse for the wear. I'm going to post some pictures now, so you don't turn me off too quickly.
Nine hours later we arrived in Arlington and Uncle Jeff offered to take the boys to the park while Kevin and I took a nap. The boys found the sprinkler system in the grassy area next to Jeff's apartment and I could hear their screeching delight all the way up on the fifth floor! They were happy to be there.
We went to lunch at this great Peruvian restaurant called Super Pollo. It's a casual place where you carry your tray to your table. Kevin and I have been to a sit down Peruvian restaurant in Miami that was incredible. I don't know what seasonings they traditionally use, but I think we're going to have to scout out one around home because it's really good.
Jeff had been talking to the boys about going mini-golfing for a while now, so that was our next stop. I was impressed that there were no club or ball throwing in frustration. Not that they would ever do that...nor get that sort of behavior from their mother.
That night we packed sandwiches and headed to the National's game. This was a special treat for the boys because their beloved Adam Dunn now plays for the Nats. My favorite part of the game was the mascots race. I love a live-action mascot race and really hope that the Reds decide to do one in the coming years. The Nationals' version is hilarious. Four former presidents--Abe, George, Teddy and Tom--are included with their over-sized heads. The picture above is of Teddy and naturally became my favorite because he has never won a race. The overall standings are: Abe (140), Tom (91), George (86) and a goose egg for Teddy. Because of this there is a Let Teddy Win movement. It was awesome to hear the entire stadium screaming "GO TEDDY" while four people literally ran a race. This isn't a goofy trot around the field; the Presidents are running their hearts out and it was hilarious.
It's a nice stadium. There's not too much architectural detail to set it apart from other ballparks, but there isn't a bad seat in the house and it does have a nice water view where you can see a battleship and in another direction you can see the Capitol building.
The Nats won, by the way, beating the Mets 2-1.
We had left by that point, going to see the monuments before anyone fell asleep. It was too late for that, though. We drove by some of the major sites and decided to stop at the Lincoln Memorial to walk around. Charlie was out and Jeff stayed with him while we took Lou and Ben to see Abe.
They were so funny about it, asking all sorts of questions. Why is there this gigantic man sitting in a chair? Was he a real person? Does he live in there? How did he die? Is his body in there? I guess it does seem pretty bizarre, especially when you go at night and everything is lit up and you have people crowding around taking pictures of a giant made out of stone. Must be very confusing to be a kid. After numerous attempts to explain the situation, Kevin told them that all they have to do is remember that they were there and they'll learn all about it in school.
No vacation would be complete without some ball being played. The next day we went to a nice field with a batting cage that the boys wanted to try out that is across the street from Jeff's complex. Kevin and Jeff's cousin Dean was in town, having a weekend break from his time at a nearby Naval base, so he was able to play baseball with the boys and join us in our sightseeing.
The subway system was a real treat. I'm a big fan of public transit and I think DC's is one of the best. The boys were fascinated by the whole process, if not a bit scared at first of the speed of the trains. And then there was the time that Dean saved Ben's life. Jeff tried to explain to the boys that you have to stay on the right side of the escalators because people who want to pass you go on the left. It was rush hour and Benny was on the left side. I was carrying the stroller; Kevin had Charlie; and Jeff was with Lou. A stampede of people were rushing down the escalator and Ben's eyes widened in fear. Those people weren't going to stop! Dean swooped down and picked Ben up, high above those people who were about to step on my second born. What are they, cattle?
Our first stop was the International Festival they held on the Mall, with different countries having tents with entertainment, food, and demonstrations. That didn't hold a lot of interest for the boys, so we headed to the Air and Space Museum, which was definitely something they could get into.
I should mention that this particular day was Uncle Jeff's birthday and we were delighted to be able to celebrate with him! For lunch Jeff wanted to go to Clyde's in Chinatown, which has an old time feel to it with lots of woodwork and brass and large paintings of sports moments. This is the boys in front of "The Sultan of Swat."
Not far from Clyde's was the National Portrait Gallery. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of my favorite exhibit there, of Norman Rockwell paintings on loan from Steven Spielberg and George Lucas (I have a lot to say about that if you want to chat with me sometime). The boys' favorite part was the "Hall of Champions," which held paintings, drawings and sculptures of icons in sports.
This is from when the six of us jammed into an ancient, tiny elevator in the museum. It was interesting--a security measure in this building was to wear the diaper bag on the front of me. I don't get how that is safer than on my back.
I would have gone into the museum just to look at the architecture. It is a gorgeous building.
I had Benny and Louie stand in the middle of the courtyard to take this picture. Such an interesting ceiling design.
Jeff grilled out for us before we went to his hockey game that night. What a treat for the boys to see their uncle in action on the ice--even getting sent to the penalty box!
The game didn't start until 9pm so we went to bed as soon as we got back. We needed a good night's sleep for our trip to the Cape the next day. We had no idea what we were in for!
(Whew. I guess with not having posted anything for awhile I've gotten extremely long-winded! I'll try to edit myself better for the upcoming recaps of the vacation.)