Last Thursday, at 4:00 pm, Jim found out that he was being sent to a training class near DC for a week. We (of course!) decided to go with him. It's been crazy but I'm so glad that we came! First of all, the hotel we are staying at is wonderful. Truly, I think it is one of the best hotels we've ever been to. First, we have a suite with two rooms, which is great. That way the kids can sleep without Jim and I having to sit quietly in the dark. Second, they serve both breakfast AND dinner, all included with the room! I brought PBJ for lunches, so we have been set. The food has been really, really good. The down side? I'm quite certain I've gained at least 5 lbs. I guess I'll be hitting the treadmill when we get back home! I have to say though, it's been well worth it. ;) Third, the service here is amazing. All the staff is so nice and helpful, and caters to the fact that we have small children. Instead of making me feel like my children are an inconvenience, like some hotels, they have made us feel welcome and cared for. I love it! Also, they have a pool, so it's perfect.
I didn't have much time to research the area before we came, so I didn't know what all there would be to do, other than going right into DC of course. Thankfully, there is tons of things close to our hotel. The kids loved going to Chuck E. Cheese on Monday, and we had lots of fun at a huge mall today. Visiting places like this make me wish we lived somewhere bigger. It would be so wonderful to be close to museums and all the other wonderful things they have for kids. I know there are down sides to everything, but I do wish there were more things for kids at home. However, I wouldn't trade the community and friendships we have at home for any of it. :)
On Wednesday I took both kids, navigated through traffic with the help of our GPS, and drove to the nearest Metro station. I pulled up to the first parking lot, feeling proud that I had gotten there without any trouble. There were chains over the entry, and a big sign saying the park lot was full. Ok, no big deal, this was just one of many lots, and there was a parking garage that had over 5,000 spaces. I would just go to that. I found the nearest entrance to parking garage, only the find the same thing. Full. Hhmmmm. This garage spanned several blocks, so I decided to drive around it, looking for an entrance that had someone attending it. After over 1/2 an hour of looking for on street parking, or someone who worked at the garage, I found an entrance where there was an attendant! She said the garage was full and they weren't letting anyone else in. I explained my sad story of how I was a tourist, just trying to take my babies to see the dinosaurs at the museum. She let me in the garage! After waiting for just a few seconds, a lady came into the garage. I asked her if I could follow her to her parking spot, and got her spot as she left. Not only did the parking attendant let us in and help us find our spot, she came to check on us as we were unloading! She lead us through that maze of a parking garage, right to where we need to go to board the Metro. God is so good! What could have been a disaster, turned out perfectly.
The rest of the trip was fun, without any disasters. Naomi was totally unimpressed with the Washington Monument and the Capitol Buildings. She called the Washington Monument "the white pointy thing". I had to laugh. She did however LOVE The Museum of Natural History. We saw the pretty much everything there, including the butterfly pavilion, which was pretty cool. Naomi really liked the Hope Diamond, and both kids enjoyed the Discovery Room where they could touch things. It was a total zoo at the museum and Nathan just enjoyed watching all the action too.
When we were traveling I carried Nathan on my back, and Naomi went in the stroller. Once we got to the museum Nathan rode in the stroller and Naomi walked. When Nathan was ready for a nap I put him back in the backpack and he fell right asleep. I was worn out by the end of the day but it worked out really well. Having a place for both kids as we were travelling kept them both happy and safe.
The only part of the day that really sucked was that I forgot how motion sick I get. I felt like I was going to toss my cookies the ENTIRE time we were on the Metro. The kids loved the ride, but I felt HORRIBLE. Thank goodness I don't have to do that on a regular basis.
We've had a fantastic trip so far and I'm thankful it worked out for us to come. I will do a post with some pictures once we get home. I have several hundred that I need to sort through first! I will update again when I can.