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Behind the Scenes of Our Trip to Washington DC

East coast here we come! We recently visited Washington DC, and it was a first for me.  You know how some trips are relaxing and rejuvenating, while others are “Let’s see as much as we can, while we’re here.”  This one was the latter.

It started out something like this…. 

Day 1: “No school!  This is awesome, the hotel has a pool!” - kids.

Day 2: “I don’t want to walk... I’m tired.  Why do we have to walk?” - kids. 

Me: “Wait, what? We haven’t even started.” 

By the end of the week, everyone got used to the sightseeing, the walking, and overall, we had a great time.  We covered about 80k steps, that's a lot. 

Trip highlights:

We went inside the White House! This was a rare experience, they allow very few people inside.  We received an official letter from Trump and Melania welcoming us, and that was cool. 

Security is tight, as you can imagine. You can’t bring anything inside, even a purse, but you can bring your wallet and phone for pictures. 

I brought my clutch/wallet and started to panic when the big sign in front of me said you can’t bring any makeup, of any kind, inside.  I had a lipstick with me.  

I pictured myself getting escorted out by security.  While I was in line, I contemplated quickly tossing it into the nearby bushes, when no one was watching and maybe coming back afterwards to find it.  It was my favorite Trish McEvoy color.

When it was my turn to go through security, we did get searched several times.  Even the K9 dogs come up and smell you. Luckily no one noticed, or cared about the lipstick.  

The White House was beautiful, simple, historic and memorable.  As I walked down the halls, I pictured what it must be like for a President’s wife and kids to live there. We're yet to have a female president. 

Would you ever want to live there? 

More highlights: 

We stood exactly where Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28th 1963, and found ourselves there, on the same day, same place, 56 years later.  That was a coincidence. 

Visited the National Archives, where we saw the original Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and Constitution.

US Bureau of Engraving and Printing, where you get to see real money being printed.

Ted’s Bulletin restaurant was a bust. Didn't like it. 

Walked through the Washington Mall, spent lots of time there.

Arlington National Cemetery, witnessed the changing of the guards, at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 

Saw the National Monuments- Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington, Vietnam, WW2, etc.

Did the Hop on - hop off bus tour.

Visited old town Alexandria, the harbor,  and ate some great clam chowder at the Fish Market restaurant. 

Strolled through Georgetown and got ice cream at Thomas Sweet. 

We experienced the Lincoln assassination walking tour, which walks you through the last day of his life, and ends at Ford theatre. That was cool.  

Lunch at the Capital Cafe, in the National Capital cafeteria.

Dinner at the Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington’s oldest restaurant. 

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

Air and Space Museum.

Holocaust Museum - we walked through just a few areas, as it was a bit heavy for the little ones. 

George Washington’s house at Mount Vernon. We spent half a day there, and it was well worth it.

Private tour of the National State Capitol building, underground tunnels and congressman's office, courtesy of our Congressman John Curtis's staff.  They were so kind, and really bent over backwards to make our experience special.  

We got to go down onto the Senate House Floor, while it wasn't in session, and sit in the seats of the Supreme Court justices, a rare experience and went out onto the speaker's balcony, where the president gives his speeches during inauguration. 

First time on the DC metro.  

We didn’t know how to use it, so an officer helped us load our cards to get started.  Riding the metro was fun! My kids laughed every time we passed “Foggy Bottom.”  

We figured out the maps, figured out the metro, and all got a kick out of it.  Except for the time we tried to leave, and the metro card balance went empty.  

You can only load your card and pay before you get on the metro, or with cash on your way out.  We were stuck, there was no way out. All I had was my debit card. 

 A friendly officer must have felt sorry for us, looking like typical tourists, and came over, with a stern warning.  “I’ll let you out just this time, go pay with your card over there, but now you know how it works. Cash only!”  Yes, sir.  Won’t forget that one.

We came back and explored the city at night time, when it was less crowed, and it was magical.  

We left Washington D.C. with happy hearts, good memories and a greater appreciation for this country, and those who sacrifice for it.  Learned so much and grateful for this little family of mine, that we go to experience this together. 

What's something you want to experience before the year is over?  I'd love to hear.  

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