A Vintage Crate + [Travel]

Washington, D.C

I recently mentioned that we were taking our boys to Washington, D.C. for Spring Break. Thanks to all of you who left advice about which attractions were MUST-SEE's. Honestly, there was so much to do and see that we could have stayed for weeks.

We did get to see nearly all we'd set out to, although my feet and back were screaming at the end of most days. We visited the National Zoo, where the boys were happy to see pandas, gorillas, and one very regal komodo dragon. As for myself, I was more interested in watching a peacock court a peahen. (Yes, the females are really called 'peahens.')

We made the rounds through most of the fantastic Smithsonian Museums, including the Natural History, American History, Air & Space, Indian, Portrait, and Art Museums. I only wish we had loads more time to absorb it all.

Luckily, we had the opportunity to visit one of our State Senator's offices... that of Ted Kennedy...maybe you've heard of him? What struck me most in his office were all the personal artifacts, including handwritten letters from his young nephew John, and chewed tennis balls belonging to his beloved dogs. Hey, did you know that canine friends are welcome in the Senators' offices?

Perhaps the most memorable experience (at least for the young'uns) was the underground tram ride from the Senators' offices to the Capitol Building.

The Capitol Rotunda, the domed room in the center of the Capitol building, which connects the House and Senate is absolutely stunning. At the top is gorgeous fresco which was painted by Constantino Brumidi in 1865.

Of course, the most moving of all the places we visited were the monuments and memorials: the Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington, WW2, Korean War, Vietnam War memorials, as well as Arlington National Cemetary. And, of course there's the White House.

All week we watched as the line at the National Archives grew so long that it was wrapped all the way around the corner. On our last day, we noticed that the line was slightly shorter, and we jumped in. I was thrilled to get to see (and show my children) the actual Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and Constitution.

I don't know if it's just me, but can anyone help but imagine Forrest Gump yelling "Jenny!" while standing at the Reflecting Pool in front of the Jefferson Memorial. (No?...maybe it's just me.)

All in all, we had a fantastic vacation, even though the weather was not exactly cooperative. In fact, we encountered hail while riding on the top of the double-decker bus...while the sun was shining! But, our family was not surprised. We always bring stormy weather with us when we travel.