Wednesday, October 15, 2014

DC Trip, Day 3 (October 12)

Sunday was a better day...for us. Unfortunately, Caitlin's boys decided to have another go-round of the stomach I'm fairly certain that it wasn't a great day for her. We did our best to stay out of their hair, which meant we spent most of the day running around (when all I wanted was an afternoon nap). Still, it was a good day.

We went to church in the morning but only stayed for sacrament meeting because their ward was practicing for their primary presentation the whole two hours and we didn't want the kids to have to sit through all of that. So after a yummy lunch of chicken noodle soup, courtesy of Caitlin (and a lovely change from the PB&J we had on the menu every day this week), we headed downtown once again. We parked in the Jefferson Memorial parking lot and visited the memorial there.

Andrew is named after Thomas Jefferson (Thomas is his middle name) and so, in extension, is Benjamin since he shares Andrew's middle name. Here they are with their namesake:

And here's everybody but me:

And here's everyone hanging out on the stairs, gearing up for the long walk down:

The girls almost ran right into the Tidal Basin at the bottom of the stairs. They stopped just in time but it was a close call—and with how much Rachel was slipping all over the place it made me rather nervous.

But we all made it to the bottom safely and no one even got wet.

The Washington Monument was always on our radar. Miriam needed to be able to see it at all times. If anything ever got in the way of her view she would shake her fist at it and tell it to get out of the way (mostly trees and other buildings). Benjamin wasn't quite sure what it was but whenever he was asked where the Washington Monument was he'd immediately point somewhere (anywhere—didn't really matter). It's featured in a lot of our pictures.

Here's Benjamin trying to pose like Miriam (she just couldn't stop hamming it up):

And then there's this picture, about which Andrew remarked, "There's a whole lot going on in this shot.":

And here's an awesome picture Rachel took of Andrew and me (and Benjamin):

Our walk around the Tidal Basin was beautiful, though I was always worried (in the far recesses of my mind) that someone was going to slip into the water.

Oh, look—it's the Washington Monument...again:

We did a whirlwind tour of the National Museum of Natural History, which was probably a silly idea. It was crowded to the max and the dinosaur wing was closed, which was disappointing. But we did see a few fun things.

Rachel thought this giraffe was hilarious. "That's the most awkward way to get a drink...ever!" she said, before mimicking the pose.

She also wanted to visit the mummy room since that's what she's planning on being for Halloween (I still haven't started her costume):

After touring the museum we went out on the mall to have a snack (evidently they don't mind if you bring closed packages of food into the museums, thank goodness (I was really worried about that, too—not that I ever worry about anything (but I kind of worry about everything all of the time))). While we were eating we noticed some girls kicking around a soccer ball together.

"Hey, Rachel," Andrew said. "I'll give you a dollar if you go steal* their ball away from them."

"No way!" she said.

"Oh, come on," he urged her. "Just run up and kick it."

"No way!" she said.

"I'll give you two dollars," he said.

Rachel stood up, marched over to the girls, and expertly (as expertly as a seven-year-old can) stole the ball from the girls. They laughed about it (as did we) and let her play with them for a few minutes.

So now Andrew owes Rachel two dollars. And Rachel has played soccer on the National Mall.

Miriam hugged as many garbage cans and lamp posts as she could, in honour of Uncle Jacob (though the lamp post hugging only began when we strongly discouraged the hugging of garbage cans):

Here we are approaching the Jefferson Memorial again:

We wanted to squeeze in a visit to the temple visitor's center and on the way we got to drive through the Chevy Chase neighbourhood, which Andrew was super excited about because it's famous. But because I'm super cultured the only Chevy Chase I could picture was the actor. Evidently the neighbourhood came long before the actor.

The Washington DC Temple was beautiful, just as I knew it would be. Prior to 1999, when the Raleigh Temple was dedicated, the DC Temple was "our" temple. I'm at once relieved and disappointed that we don't have to make the 4+ hour drive into the temple anymore. It would be nice to hit up DC a little more often because it's a fascinating place...but it's hard enough for us to get to the temple that's so much closer. So...

The kids loved the visitor's center. There were so many things (touch screens!) for them to play with and we nearly had the place to ourselves so no one was annoyed with their rambunctiousness.

We went outside and asked someone to take a family picture of us and he did...but we weren't entirely happy with the shot (because he kind of missed half of the temple) so we waited around until he left so we could ask someone else. To pass the time, Benjamin began marching around like this, with his tummy sticking out and his chin tucked in:

It was so funny that Miriam couldn't resist joining him:

And then some sister missionaries came out and asked us if we wanted a family picture and we gladly accepted her offer.

And then, bone-weary, we returned back to Caitlin's house where we stayed up chatting until it was unforgivably late. Every single night I vowed we would go to bed at a decent hour and every single night I totally failed...but it was worth it! I haven't seen Caitlin in ages! We haven't had a chance to really sit down and visit since we lived in Cairo.

* In the sporty sense, not the criminal sense.

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