On Tuesday I packed up the Mom-in-law, the twinks, the big kid, some overnight clothes, and a bunch of maps and headed south for Washington D.C.
On four hours of sleep.
Which is probably a large part of why it was that it took us 6 hours to get there.
On account of that detour I took through New Jersey.
New Jersey is NOT on the way to Washington D.C. if you start in State College, PA, but I went there first anyway.
Here is a photo of the twins in their Christmas shirts to distract you from how incredibly stupid that detour was:
We got there and checked into a Best Western by the Beltway and even though it was past it's glory days--it was really a pretty nice hotel. It was CLEAN, it smelled good, the service was good, it had a free continental breakfast, and it was incredibly inexpensive for the area. Lanham, Maryland. There. Now you know where to stay the next time you want to bring your kids to Washington D.C. but can't afford $280 per night or more.
Anyway, we ate, we returned to the hotel, two hours and much giggling later, everyone but me finally fell asleep. I worked. Finished around 1am.
We got up at 7:30 am, took turns taking a shower, ate at the continental breakfast (the twins made fast friends with "Ms. Jo" which is short for Josephine. We learned a lot about Josephine and she learned a lot about us.), and the drove into D.C. We parked at an underground parking garage a block from the place where we were renting an electric scooter for Gaye. The all-day rate was $2 less than me buying metro tickets for us all. And the drive into D.C. wasn't bad at all, honestly. (Although I should have bought gas earlier in the trip. S'okay. Worked out fine.)
We found the scooter place, decided the scooter was pretty cool. Walked and scooted from there the block to the Museum of Natural History.
We saw natural things.
Stuffed, formerly natural things.
and lots of gift shops.
We were there for hours, then ate in the museum cafeteria downstairs, which was far more expensive than . . . well, anything else we did in the whole trip. Don't ask.
From there we walked and scooted over to the air & space museum, but we hit the sculpture garden on the way (not my photo)
and waved at the Merry-Go-Round at the Smithsonian from a distance with a promise to visit it soon. (Photo not mine. I borrowed it from Christopher George at http://christophertgeorge.blogspot.com/2007/03/grab-brass-ring.html. It is his photo and after a few days of linking here so that my loyal readers get a feel for what we saw, I'll unlink because . . . I'm not sure I should even be showing the photo here without permission.) Honestly, we didn't even get close enough to the Merry-go-round to see it this well.
Okay, so we hit the Air & Space Museum and discovered . . . that we were just plain exhausted. So we saw a funny old black and white short and we looked at the exhibit of the planets, and we visited the highlights of the Museum of American History--which are temporarily in the corner of the Air & Space Museum. I took many photos of Mr. Roger's sweater:
Because I hope to knit one like that for all the boys (big and small) some day.
And then we agreed that the Smithsonian is more than our merry band can do in one trip and we'll have to go back soon:
And we drove home, this time, skipping New Jersey and Delaware. It went much faster that way.
We still took longer than we should have.
20 minutes from home we sat for an hour while police cleared the hull of a burnt-out truck. (We don't think anyone was hurt.)
And then, happily, we were back home.
Can't wait to do it again . . . without the New Jersey part.