In a fit of optimism, I loaded the Terrors in the car and headed off to Washington D.C. without the DH. Yes, I loaded up three boys into a car and drove forever and a day without the love and aid of the one other person that can yell at them with impunity. Call me psycho.
The drive went well. I must highly recommend audio books. They last forever and Harry Potter keeps them mighty entertained. Other than the usual stops for bladder relief and food, we charged straight through, staying an hour outside of D.C. to save a little coin on the hotel.
We started off at Arlington Cemetery. While it was a challenge keeping the Rookie in check and I had to explain to the Terrors who JFK was, it was a good trip. My grandparents are there, along with one of my Uncles. So after we did the tourist side of the cemetery we headed down to the Columbarium. We found my Grandparents’ and Uncle’s niches. The boys put stones and flowers on the little ridge at the top of my Grandparents’, but Danny’s was too high for them to reach. So I put my cold hands on the Rookie’s back, making him squeal. I think Danny would have liked that.
It was emotional for me: I hadn’t been there since they had died. I warned the boys, but Jack had a really hard time. As we left there was a funeral taking place. The twenty one gun salute had us all a little rattled, so it was with great pleasure that we headed out with the aid of the world’s most useless navigation system and got lost trying to get to the hotel.
After much urban bush-whacking and switching to Google maps on my phone, we managed to find the hotel. There was oohhing and aahhing at the fact that we had two rooms (thank you Embassy Suites) and then made our way to the Monuments and Museums portion of the vacation:
Sensing a theme, are you?
We pounded the pavement pretty hard while in D.C. proper. Then we headed out to the suburbs and stayed with our former neighbors and J’s best friend. We all braved winter temperatures to attend opening day at National’s Park. No Obama, the kids were really upset, but we learned that chili fries will work as hand warmers in a pinch.
Our very last day was spent winding through the farms and estates that line the route to Monticello (what did you expect? Jefferson is O’s favorite president!). Wait, J spent that time furiously trying not to give in to his first case of motion sickness and barfing out the open window.
What else? The Rookie woke up one morning with an infected finger. The boys destroyed our friends’ newly finished house. I ate my weight in tomatillo salsa (thanks again, Douglas!). We saw two families we knew from home (The Rookie: see that girl? Me: yes. The Rookie: She’s in my grade at school). We survived the drive home.
The rest, as they say, is history.