We spent the weekend in Washington DC. Clover and Evan had planned the trip, and we tagged along because we are like that. Gilbert had been sick on Wednesday, so we were unsure if we were going to actually go. But Thursday dawned on a bouncy, good-as-new Gilbert, so we chanced it and headed down, arriving late that night around 10. Friday dawned on a vomiting Elsie, who had caught whatever Gilbert had. Sadness! Justin nobly offered to stay back in the hotel with her all day, but she seemed pretty perky and hadn't thrown up in a while, so I decided we could chance it. And we were lucky! Until mid afternoon when we tempted fate with a bit of an ice cream sandwich. Oops. Gilbert had melted into a puddle of tears, sorrow, and unwillingness after several miles, and Clover offered to carry Elsie so Gilbert could ride in the stroller. Therefore, Clover got covered in vomit. All down her back. Yep. Picture Evan and I ineffectually dabbing at her with wipes and a few paper towels on a sidewalk in front of the Capitol Buildings. Until we realized she was already wet, so we might as well pour some water on it, so she could at least be unsmelly. Or rather, less smelly. Everyone else was heading on a tour of the Capitol with Evan and Clover's congressman but Clover and I veered off and headed back to the hotel with Elsie and Gilbert in tow.
She won the most long suffering aunt award!
And don't expect amazing shots of DC landmarks. Washington DC with eight young kids is a different kettle of fish. You do a lot of counting to eight, cheering up, encouraging, and bribing with cold water and ice cream. So these are pictures of our personal version of DC.
Fountain in the park in front of the White House. We arrived just as they were shutting down this park, due to security issues. After awhile, we saw a motorcade leave, which apparently was Obama, heading to the Capitol to encourage votes on his trade bill. Which was defeated. While we were there. It is terribly thrilling to be right where the news is happening. But I would have also liked to have gotten closer to the White House. Apparently Obama is fairly security conscience, so the shutdown may have been for the safety of the motorcade. But I am not sure.
Lily explaining something to Gilbert
Security and the flower water-er
For some reason, Gilbert would only hold Aunt Clover's hand,
These buildings are right in front of the White House and look homelike. Which is interesting. Can you imagine living next door to the White House?
This was as close as we got.
The girls desperately wanted to see the White House. Some boy in Orianna's class, while everyone else was telling her to take pictures of the Capitol, monuments, etc, told her to take pictures of the forks they use in the White House because he had heard that they were fancy. I was exceedingly sorry to disappoint this kid.
Rilla was not into the picture
Elliott is mid run, to make sure he got this picture on his iPod. He was quite the photographer. Between his iPod, Cheyenne's iPod, Orianna's camera, my camera, and Clover's camera, there were a lot of pictures taken.
A snack break. Aunt Ashley had packed up all these awesome snacks. The kids loved them!
Washington has a lot of groups. A lot of groups with similar hats or shirts. I don't know what is up with that. Ha! We saw several group leaders walking around holding up umbrellas and the like for people to follow.
Lincoln got bird poop
There is a lot of incredible stonework in Washington
Window washers were fascinating
A shady stop. Did I mention it was 90 degrees? Well it was.
There are a lot of trees and shadiness though, so 90 isn't as bad as it could be.
Hot and tired boy
Escalators were a constant source of joy
The girls were fascinated by parking meters and taxis.
Lunch in front of the Air and Space Museum
The ill fated ice cream sandwich break after the museum.
The Capitol Dome is under construction, so it wasn't as beautiful as it usually is.
Another shady break
The Botanical Gardens. Walking by was a bit torturous, but the kids would have been bored pretty quickly. This, the Art museum, the Museum of Natural History and the Native American Museum are ones I have on the list for next time. Which might happen in five years when the kids are older.
I believe I was taking this picture, when Elsie's ice cream sandwich reappeared in liquid form.
Cool Ceiling on one of the Capitol Buildings.
After this, Clover and I decided to head back to the hotel. We didn't know where we were going, so we wandered around the building trying to find the way out, passing the Ways and Means Committee room, as well as lots of other Committee rooms, Congressional Offices, a Congressional barber shop, an in house deli.... It was all fascinating.
Iwo Jima Memorial, which was right near our hotel. We walked there after a rest, a lovely swim, and a fabulous lasagna supper, courtesy of Clover. The hotel we stayed in had in room kitchens, so Clover brought food to feed us all. She is pretty great.
And in case you ever need to know, the Virginian Suites in Arlington is a pretty awesome hotel.
Looking toward Washington from the Iwo Jima Memorial.
Iwo Jima feet
The whole lot of us, minus Clover who was operating the Camera
On the something or others by the Carrollon from the Netherlands.
Waving bugs away at Arlington Cemetery, Which is next to the Carrollon.
Beautiful and poignant