A Woz Adventure to D.C. Part Two

We left off after visiting the Capital, on our way to the Washington Monument.

We are New Yorkers, so we walk a lot.  We are used to walking a couple miles - even Henry is!  So we didn't really think twice about walking to the Washington Monument, we just set out for it.  But first, we needed to find some lunch!  We pulled out our phones and just found something...we ended up going for a place called the Green Turtle a few blocks away.

Some Cherry Blossoms.  We were there for the yearly festival, unfortunately the Blossoms were very early this year, due to our mild winter.  We saw very, very few blooming trees. I was a bit bummed, but gives another excuse for a return visit!

I loved the old architecture.  It was beautiful!

Despite seeing NYFD fire trucks on a daily basis, Henry was still pretty excited to see this one!


Our lunch was good!  Joe and I both had some tasty salads and I believe Henry had pizza.  After lunch we set out to find a bit of dessert to fuel our afternoon.

Henry and Joe were elated to find the Red Velvet Cupcakery.  I'm not much of a cupcake person, but I spied a Starbucks on the next street and a latte was calling my name.

I love this picture of H!  :)  This was inside Starbucks.  I snuck a bite of Henry's Peanut Butter Cupcake and it was delicious.

Back on our mission, we went back down to the Mall and started on our trek.

National Aquarium - we didn't make it there this trip, though it gets very good reviews!

After much, much, MUCH walking we were finally getting close!

It was neat to see in person!  The base was closed due to repairs needed from our recent earthquake.

After we gazed up at the Monument, we pulled up some grass and just relaxed in the sun for a while.  Henry ran around and made friends with every dog that was within a 10 foot radius.  The area is big and grassy - it reminded me of the Great Lawn in Central Park with lots of people relaxing together.

We talked over a game plan for the rest of the day.  There were fireworks tonight and I really wanted to see them, I love fireworks!  There wasn't enough time to go back to the hotel, but we had several hours to kill before it got dark.  The Lincoln Memorial was waaaaaaay down there.

Should we walk that far?  



No.  I'm too tired.

What else are we going to do?  Sit here for hours with a toddler?

That's laughable!  Okay, let's go.

We did NOT feel like walking that far, but we did.

WWII Memorial

We walked and walked and walked!!!  It was a loooooooong haul.  But...we made it!

It's BIG!

From the top of the stairs -- it would be so much prettier if the reflecting pool wasn't under construction, the grass was green and the Cherry Blossoms were blooming!  Sigh!  Must return!!!

Despite the construction, I was still happy to finally see it all!

After seeing the Memorial we decided to head to where we would want to be for fireworks.  From doing research online I found a couple spots that would provide a good view.  We decided to head for one that was in a park.  It wasn't a quick walk...we again weren't looking forward to that walk, but...we did it!

On the way we came across the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

Walking around the lake.  There were many low branches and NO railing!!  It was a pretty walk at least!  It would have been fantastic if the Cherry Blossoms were blooming!

The Jefferson Monument across the lake.  NO WAY were we walking that far! (but in reality, we ended up not that far away...!)

We kept walking, and walking, and walking.  We came across some tents for the Cherry Blossom Festival and checked those out - found a map and spoke to one of the Park Rangers about where exactly to go to find this park for the fireworks.  We were going in the right direction.  

We continued on.  Walking, walking, walking.  I had to go to the restroom and we were getting hungry.  Walk, walk, walk.  We finally made it to the park.  

There was NO ONE there.  No one!  And no bathrooms.  No tents for the festival.  Hmmm...this was not the "hot spot" for the fireworks that we expected.  We stood at the shore and looked across the Potomac. 

And I realized THAT is where we want to be.  I could see a PINK stage - that is where it was happen'! We'd surely find a restroom and food there!  Soooooo...more walking.  Over a giant bridge and down a hill. But we were there!  There were tons of food trucks - but first things first, BATHROOM!  We walked, and walked and walked.  I couldn't find one!  I pretty much refuse to do a porta-potty, so we ended up walking several blocks away from the river to a local grocery store with a clean restroom...and a line out the door.  Thankfully it moved fast.  That complete, we walked back to the festival and got into the first food line.  It was LONG.

And didn't move for a good 5 minutes.

I walked forward and found out they were running out of food.

The fireworks were about to start, we ditched the line to find a spot.

In hindsight, Henry and Joe should have stayed down at the festival for food and I should have gone out on my own for the bathroom, then they could have gotten us all food.  But, that's not how we did it.  We did end up with a nice spot though and enjoyed the fireworks!

The boats in the river lit up in pink lights and little boats designed as Koi Fish "swam" around before the show started.

And finally!  The fireworks!  We had walked a good 5 miles for this!  Henry asked manyyyyy times during the show where Cinderella's Castle and Tinkerbell were!  It was cute.

At the finale, they lit up several of the docks!  It was neat!

After the show we tried to scurry into a food truck line - we were HUNGRY!  But...they were all closed!  So, we thought if we saw something on our way to the Metro, we'd get it, otherwise we'd figure something out.

So we walked with the crowds about 10 more blocks to the Metro.  And finally could SIT!  It felt sooooo good to sit!  At our stop we decided to take a "short-cut" that ended up being a bit longer.  LOL  But, we cut through the Marriott hotel and helped ourselves to some Cherry Blossom infused water.  We were SO thirsty and hungry and just exhausted.  The water was refreshing!

Stealing water!

Back at our hotel we still hadn't eaten and we debated on ordering pizza again...but just decided to order room service instead.  I'm so glad we did!  It was expensive, but delicious!  I had a quesadilla and Joe had this fantastic meatloaf:

Henry munched off both of us.

Then it was time for bed.  We were so tired we were loopy!  We all slept VERY well that night, Henry literally fell asleep within seconds.

The next morning was Easter!  We had thought about trying to find a church service to attend, but we didn't really know where any churches were, so we just decided to make it a slow morning, spending time with each other and we talked to Henry about the importance and meaning of Easter.

After breakfast the boys went for a swim while I ran upstairs and hid plastic candy eggs all over our hotel room.  Henry had a BALL trying to find them!

His big gift was this set of Presidential vehicles.  He loved it!

We continued our slow morning by just hanging out in the hotel room, resting our legs and watching cartoons.  We were all sore from the previous day.  Eventually we headed out, we were meeting up with my Disney friend Missy for lunch!

It was wonderful finally meeting her in person!  She's fantastic!!!

We shared Disney stories and future trip plans, of course!  And she brought Henry a DC Nationals baseball shirt, which was unexpected and so kind!!!

After we parted ways, Missy was off to work and we were going to the Zoo!  I'll share that and the rest of our day next time!


A Woz Adventure to Washington D.C.

I've wanted to visit Washington D.C. since I was 12 years old.  My brother got to visit and I was fascinated with things he came back with and the stories he told.  I didn't understand it all, but I knew it was important and I wanted to experience it all.  Years went by and I never went, even when I lived in New York City as a single with money and time...I still didn't go!

So this is a trip 20 years in the making!

We visited April 6-10, 2012.  Henry was on school break, it was Easter and Joe's birthday was on the 10th!  We had a lot to celebrate!

Since we try to travel as frugally as possible, charter bus transportation won out.  4 hours on a bus with a 4-year old.  Could we do it?  Of course we could!  Henry is a great traveler.  It was a breeze.

boarding the bus in NYC

We stayed at the Embassy Suites in Crystal City.  We had a King Sized, 1 bedroom suite.  It was a great hotel, we really enjoyed our room and space.  Henry's favorite feature aside from the bathtub?

of course!

Our first night in DC we just relaxed.  Even after doing nothing for four hours on a bus, we were wiped.  We found a mall nearby and had Potbelly's sandwiches for lunch and just wandered around a bit.  We came back to the hotel, went swimming and then ordered in pizza and just vegged.  It was great.

The next morning we woke up and went to the Embassy Suites breakfast that is included in your rate.  I really loved this - I'm a BIG breakfast fan and a buffet never disappoints!  

Henry was quite excited to eat Fruit Loops for breakfast since I never buy them!

We all ate well and were soon on our way into the city!

waiting for the Metro.

walking toward the Capital - we had a tour scheduled for that morning

After going through security, a queue and a bit of wait time, we were soon on our tour.  First up was the Rotunda.

absolutely beautiful!

The rotunda is 96 feet in diameter and 180 feet in height. It connects the House and Senate sides of the building.

there are 8 giant paintings - four are of revolutionary period scenes and the other four are early exploration scenes

these paintings stretch around the rotunda and are painted in a way to give an illusion of actual sculptures. The scenes take you through America's history

the fresco on the ceiling, "The Apotheosis of Washington"

Next up was the Hall of Statues.

Each state gives two statues - they must be marble or bronze and they can choose whomever they would like, any dead historic figure. They are placed throughout the entire Capital building.

The House of Representatives used to meet in this room, but it quickly became too small.


And the final stop on our tour was the Crypt.

those columns support this massive building!

this is the center of Washington D.C. - all roads stem from this point

Overall this tour was nice, but we were really hoping to get to see the Old Supreme Court Chamber and more.  It was quite short, maybe about 30 minutes.  Worth doing, but the prep to actually go inside the building - the security line, waiting in queue, etc. actually took longer than the tour itself!

The Capital is connected to the Library of Congress via an underground tunnel, so that is where we headed next.

it was AMAZING!

the actual library, which we viewed through glass.  Only researchers are allowed in.

Back outside we decided we'd go see a few of the monuments around the Mall.

a glance back to the Capital

part of the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial

Washington Monument.  Waaaaaay over there...

I'll stop here for now - our first day was a BIG one.  We took it much easier the following days!