Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Nations Capital

After working 12 days straight, Jason had off on Saturday (April 19th) and Sunday (April 20th). Since the weather hasn't been the greatest, we were hoping that we could catch the cherry blossom trees in full bloom. Typically the trees bloom early April but they had delayed a bit this year so we were hopeful. Spoiler alert...this post is a very accurate and honest representation of our trip. It wasn't the most enjoyable family experience but I hope that I can look back and laugh in a few months at some of our struggles. You've been warned...HA!
My mom offered to keep the kids so we could go and explore but we thought that it would be a fun outside trip with the family.
Mistake #1
Road trips are so much easier without the kids, just FYI.

After a hectic morning of packing, we crammed into our rental car (yes, our car is still in the shop) and started the drive to Washington D.C.
The drive was a little longer than we originally thought and when we were about 40 miles outside of DC, we googled kid museums in Baltimore. Neither one of our kids enjoys car rides so we were desperate to get to a destination, wherever that may be.
We pushed forward and made it to DC and we were determined to have fun. We wanted to see the cherry blossoms, we wanted to show the kids some historical buildings and we wanted to enjoy the beautiful weather.
Mistake #2 and #3
The cherry blossoms had already fallen off and the trees were green. April 19th is too late in the season, just FYI.
Kids under 3 years old don't really care about historical buildings, just FYI

We started out walking in the parks that connect the Washington Monument and the Capital building. Both the kids loved seeing all the people and watching the different soccer matches in each end of the big open fields.
We weren't even half way up the path and Amelia wanted to walk, Barrett was crying because he was hungry and we started suggesting that we just go back home. Told wasn't a great start to the DC trip.
After a couple of whispered words (some not so nice), we decided to not force the historical buildings on the kids, to break out the kite and the big blanket and to just breathe. Breathing is something that I don't do very well. I prefer to have a structure and a plan but when everyone is miserable because of me and my attitude, I have to change!
Things immediately took a turn for the better once we visited some food trucks, ran/crawled around in the grass and stop trying to plan out the day instead of just letting the day happen. My mom and Barrett made themselves comfortable under a shade tree and we took Amelia to explore a little bit more of the nearby area.
We were exploring for about an hour when Amelia started asking for Barrett so we decided to go find Nannie and Bear. We wanted to explore more but we didn't push the issue. We obliged and we ended up having a great rest of the day. We kicked a ball, flew our kite, played tag, sang songs and made an effort to just enjoy the moment.
After we had enough of the shade tree, we headed back to the car. We stopped at an ice cream truck where we each picked out our own tasty treat. We were walking and without prompting Amelia to share, we saw the following:
 Amelia was sharing her Hello Kitty ice cream with her brother...such a sweet little heart! By the time we made it back to the car, Barrett's face was covered with pink sticky ice cream. He enjoyed every taste of that sweet treat.

Even though we used the National Mall in DC like it was a park instead of a time to explore and sight see, we ended up enjoying the day. Having a weekend off together doesn't happen very often and I'm thankful that we had some time together.

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