Highlights of New England: Day 2, September 26, 2010

Highlights from today: (click here for pictures)

(click here for the morning route and click here for the afternoon route)

Robby had said that he wanted to get an early start this morning but he had no idea how early our start would be.  Campbell stirred around 3 and went back to sleep after I handed her her bottle.  Robby and I both thought it was morning when we heard Campbell-it looked light outside and we felt rested.  The next thing we knew, Campbell was fussing again along with Graham.  After giving Campbell her paci, Robby picked Graham up out of his bed and put him in ours.  It was 4.  This isn’t too big of a deal since he wakes up quite often in hotels.  We usually put him in our bed, rub his head and back and he falls asleep after awhile. 


Well, 4 turned into 4:30 and he was still going strong crawling all around us.  Robby sat up and asked him if he wanted a bath.  I thought that I was dreaming-I had to have been dreaming because no sane person would offer a kid a bath in the middle of the night. 

I wasn’t dreaming.  The next thing I know, Graham is stripping off his clothes and playing in the bathtub.  Robby had drank an energy drink on the plane and I assume that he was still under the influence of that drink!  He even called the front desk to get the new internet code (probably not many people call that early).  Soon the noise had woken up Anderson, who decided that he needed a bath too.  Campbell could be heard kicking and cooing in her closet and all this happened before 5!  Reagan and I finally decided that we might as well join the crew so we were all up and ready to be at breakfast at 6. 
We had told the kids that they must be quite in the hall and they did very good.  We were expecting the breakfast room to be empty but we were quite surprised that it was full of a tour group.  Once they cleared out, we were able to get something and sit for a few minutes.  We were in D.C. by 7:30 and were becoming more and more concerned about the rain.  It was sprinkling pretty good and the clouds looked pretty thick.  Because of the rain, we changed our plan of parking in the middle of our walking route and just decided to run into the Lincoln Memorial and then head back to the car.

Since it was raining, we did have to put ponchos on Reagan (who did NOT want to wear one), Anderson (who didn’t care) and Graham (who HAD to have one on) and then Campbell wore the top of Robby’s rain suit.  This left me and Robby with an umbrella each.  We made it to Lincoln and went up the elevator to see it.  Reagan commented that he was a tall president.  We had to explain that he probably wasn’t as tall as the statue.

We took a back picture looking out over the reflecting pool then headed towards the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  By now the rain had stopped and we had decided to just press on and head towards the White House.  My bag was still packed from the plane and I had clothes, coats and a little bit of extra formula (since I had just grabbed one bottle from the ice chest) so were fairly prepared (we should have brought along extra snacks but we thought we would be gone for 1/2 an hour and not 10 and 1/2 hours).  We walked beside a duck at the reflecting pool and Graham came very, very close to falling in but I was able to snatch him!  While at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, it started to rain again.  So we stopped under a tree and put the ponchos back on.  Within a few blocks (probably by the time we put 4 ponchos on 4 little wiggling kids) it had stopped raining.  Robby bought Reagan, Anderson and Graham and patriotic red, white and blue Popsicles since we are in the nation’s capitol.  And it was a good thing they had on their ponchos-the dripping Popsicle juice just rolled right off.  We tried to clean everyone once we made it to the White House but the blue had stained faces and hands (in case you noticed in the pictures)
The kids posed for pictures in front of the White House gates and then we walked to the White House Visitor’s Center.  There was a bathroom there so we stopped to help with the blue sticky that was on everyone.  After the bathroom, the kids found a spot to color a few pictures.  They were so excited to color something they had seen. 

It wasn’t too much further to the American History museum.  We sat in their cafe to have a little snack and something to drink before getting started.  They had a kid area and then another one (that we didn’t play in-Anderson spotted dump trucks in this one and we knew if we stopped we were never leaving those trucks).  Julia Child’s kitchen called my name and the gowns of the First Ladies called Reagan’s name.  She wanted Robby to take a picture in front of EVERY one.  They had one of the elephants from Dumbo as well as Kermit the Frog.  The kids enjoyed standing at the presidential podium (I was back there holding everyone up).  As we headed out, we walked through one area that had tons of trucks, trains, buses and even a subway.  The weather was sunny and warm when we left this museum so our ponchos were put away for the day.

That was fitting since down the street a little ways was the subway stop for us.  We went downstairs, bought tickets and started waiting on our train.  Graham was pretty terrified-the tunnel was kind of dark and an announcer would speak loudly every once in awhile.  He said that he wasn’t going to go on the subway.  Once we were on it though, he was standing up holding onto the rail like everyone else.  Campbell must have known it was something fun because she was kicking her legs as fast as she could.   
We got off the subway and headed to the Capital.  Earlier in the day, I had asked Reagan to tell me what they made at the capital.  I was trying to get her to remember the answer: laws.  But she thought for a minute and replied “water?”  We still have a little bit of work to do.  We did a quick picture stop at the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court and the kids loved walking up the stairs at the courthouse.  By then they were in a running mood and ran to the steps of the Capitol.  Of course, you can’t go up those steps but we did still stop to take a few pictures.  Campbell get so excited when we would take her out of the stroller-she would kick until I was afraid she was going to tip over.  We walked all around the Capitol and took a few more pictures in front of it.

After the Capitol, we headed back through the National Mall by the Smithsonian Museums.  By now the boys and Campbell had fallen asleep and Reagan was getting pretty sleepy.  We walked through a sculpture garden and stopped at a fountain.  Reagan enjoyed sticking her hand in and grabbing a leaf at the bottom.  We were very, very concerned that she was going to fall in but she managed to stay fairly dry. 

The National Museum of Natural History was next.  We walked right to a butterfly area and showed Reagan.  As we were looking we saw a spot where you could walk through a little sections of butterflies.  We noticed we had to buy tickets and headed that way.  Luckily we didn’t tell Reagan since they wanted $8 for one ticket to walk in a 20 foot section of butterflies.  She didn’t seem to notice and was pretty interested in the honey bees instead.  We explored the insect area for awhile before trying to find our way to the big Elephant at the entrance (we had come in the back door-did you know, all of the Smithsonian museums have a back door-we didn’t). 

We then walked towards a cafe to grab another bite.  We had to walk through the dinosaur section and knew the boys would love to see it.  So as we ate we tried to wake them up.  Graham woke up and finished his sandwich, Anderson woke up and his mood was decent but he wasn’t hungry.  Campbell woke up and was ready to eat NOW.  She was soon quieted with her bottle.  Anderson took a few pictures with the dinosaurs but he seemed to be scared of them.  Later, Reagan told him that they were just dead bones.          

We headed back onto the Mall.  The kids walked in the grass, ran in the grass and pushed the buggies through the grass.  We were able to see the Washington Monument and were on our way back to the car (past the Lincoln Memorial).  We took a few pictures of the Washington Monument (skyscraper as Anderson calls it) and pressed on.  It is quite deceiving standing at the capital and being able to see the Lincoln Memorial and know our car was right behind it.  It looked ALOT closer than it was!-Robby just figured out that it was 4.5 miles! (pushing 2 double strollers)
Though it didn’t take us too long.  We walked through the World War II Memorial and the Korean Veterans Memorial on our way back toward Lincoln.  I had shown Reagan the picture of the Lincoln Memorial on the penny and when she found one today, she showed it to Graham.  He told her “I’ve been there”-pretty smart cookie.  Our car was still where we parked it, it was still intact and didn’t have a ticket so what more could we ask for!  The weather had been pleasant (especially after it stopped raining) but our feet were pretty sore.  We walked a total of 7.8 miles (click here for the morning route and click here for the afternoon route). 

We were all pretty hungry, so we made our way to Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street.  We had read about it and then saw the clip of Obama eating here lately.  The area to order was tiny and we had to maneuver the strollers through but we made it.  I sat with the kids while Robby went to order.  I had chili cheese fries, he had chili dogs and the kids had hot dogs.  Well, it is probably more accurate to say that Anderson had hot dogs since he ate his, finished Grahams and finished Reagans.  The food was good but the chili was spicy! 

When we left, it took us awhile to get off of the main roads and onto the interstate.  Helga (gps) was being a little finicky but we finally made it.  Annapolis wasn’t far away at all and we easily found our hotel.  The room is pretty big and we are all spread out.  Graham fell asleep probably when his head hit the bed and Campbell was so tired she had to fuss for a few minutes to get to sleep.  Reagan fell asleep in a flash but Anderson was wide awake for awhile.  I sat by him while I was on the phone with Nonna, and he shoved his feet in my face and asked me to rub them.  His feet must be sore from all of this walking!  Tomorrow is definitely be a less walking day!

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