Saturday 14 July 2007

Capitolizing on vacation


Corwin takes a close look at the Washington Monument, which is smaller than he had been lead to believe

The morning was consumed in preparing for departure. We’re reasonably sure that all of the kids ended up in the correct cars, and none were left in the house, but frankly we didn’t check that carefully. We all had spares.

After leaving the shore, we drove over to Washington D.C., which was just a short detour off our return route home. I should probably ask for product placement fees, but we stayed at a downtown Embassy Suites which was just a few blocks away from the federal downtown area. The hotel let us check in early, which provided parking, so we were all set for a forced march to the National Mall which, as we understood, would infuse our children with a sense of history and our nation just from contact.

The walk down to the Mall wasn’t bad, it was only hot and humid, not hideously oppressive. It was about 5 blocks to the METRO station, after which we rode in air conditioned comfort and checked another box in the Charle’s transportation bingo. The main issue was that the word “Mall” made the boyen think we were going shopping, which they like even less than educational expeditions.

We arrived at the Mall in time for lunch, which we took in the Old Post Office which was, oddly, an indoor mall. It had airport level security, which seemed just a bit odd to us, as how could you hijack a shopping mall with box cutters? I suppose they wanted to feel as important like the real buildings

After fortifying ourselves with grub, we ventured forth on to the historic ground. We saw the Capitol Building, the White House, the Reflecting Pool,and the Lincoln Memorial from a distance. We then toured the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum on the Mall until it closed. Alice thought it was OK, the boyen thought it was wonderful.

After we got booted, Mom tried to get the kids to visit some other historic site, but Alice had spotted a carousel on the Mall and whined until Mom gave in and off we went. Mom initially rode on it with Alice because we figured Alice would melt down without parental support, but instead Alice cried until Mom left and she was able to ride all by herself. We then bought some ice cream from the attached snack shop, except for Charles. He declared that he didn’t like any of hte pre-packaged items for sale, so we didn’t buy any, after which he collapsed in abject misery because he had no ice cream. Naturally, by this time the shop had closed so Charles ended up getting nothing. It’s not clear he learned anything from this.

Everything was closing, so we wandered over to the Washington Monument. We couldn’t go inside, but we could see the outside as closely as we liked, and watch the planes landing at the nearby airport. In time, though, the childrens’ historical awareness glands filled up and we subwayed back to the hotel, where, being in the down town area of DC filled with a fabulous variety of restaurants with a world spanning cuisine, we had a pepperoni pizza in the hotel restaurant. Historical absorption wears out the same mental muscles as cultural absorption.

Posted by Dad about Family at 23:23 | Ping URL
Comments

Love the pic. So, are you ready to come home yet??

Posted by: Deborah on 19 July 2007 at 11:53

We’re already back, I’m just behind on posting. Check the date.

Posted by: Dad on 19 July 2007 at 13:36

SOrry, hadn’t checked the date. Have you rested up? soccer starts one month from tomorrow!!!

Posted by: Deborah on 19 July 2007 at 20:26
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