Last year, when we began planning the trip up to D.C. for Heather’s graduation, the plan was to fly up Friday afternoon and stay a whole week, allowing the boys to miss their last three days of school.  (Yes, today was the last day of school – eep!!)  However, a Plan B became necessary when we realized that employment just might not happen in time to pay for four plane tickets up there.  Indeed, it was a good thing we came up with Plan B (thanks again for that shove in the right direction, Mom!), because employment has not yet come along.

So, per Plan B, Jason, Dad, the boys, and I all drove up last Thursday and returned Monday.  (Mom already had her plane ticket booked, the lucky girl!)  Our plans for a week’s explorations of our nation’s capital were squelched, and we instead devoted Sunday to seeing as much as we could without dropping from exhaustion.*

Of course, Saturday was graduation, and I’m sorry to say I have no pictures.  The event itself was spectacular, but I was just far enough away that my little point-and-shoot gave me horrible photos that weren’t worth the effort.  The evening before was the family reception…and boy, was that yummy!  I mean, fun.  It was fun.  The food was yummy.  On second thought, these kind of events are all about the food, so I’ll go back to my original statement.  The reception was yummy!

IMG_9198Left to Right: Me, Mom & the Graduate

So, Sunday, Jason and I took the boys downtown.  I lived in Northern Virginia as a child, but this was Jason and the boys’ first visit to the area.  I insisted that we begin with the Lincoln Memorial.  To me, this is the most moving of the monuments, or maybe it’s just the clearest in my memory and thus the most sentimental.

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We have decided that they really need to build a Metro station nearer this monument.  We hoofed it from the Foggy Bottom station, which isn’t bad at all, until you realize you have a looong day ahead of you, and there’s no Metro line between you and the Mall!

That’s okay, we determined; we’ll make it!  (Insert whiny children.)

I’m glad we walked it, though, because we got to see the Vietnam Memorial, and the new-to-me Vietnam Women’s Memorial, in addition to the new World War II Memorial.  Not much I can say about those, except how beautiful and moving they are.

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I promised myself that I’d keep this from being an image-heavy, detailed posting of our entire trip…so, just for you, the highlights of the rest of the day:

A walk to the Mall * A rest on a bench * Gawking in the Museum of Natural History, to include: * Whales * Fish * Dinosaurs * Mammals * Quartz, Minerals, & Gems * Meeting good friends at the Museum of American History, to include: * Really expensive pizza and hot dogs * Kermit * Science Experiments * Funny photos * Trains * Ruby Slippers * and a Metro Ride to end the day.

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Seeing Washington from a grown-up point of view was a different experience for me.  We’ve put it at the top of our list for a full week’s vacation as soon as we can manage it.

Of course, as we drove back on Monday, the highlight of the trip was Bench Monday.  Bench Monday makes me happy.

2009-May18-blogAt a Rest Stop Somewhere in North Carolina

*We did, in fact, drop from exhaustion, but we managed to belay it until getting back to Heather’s house that evening.

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