Turns out my kids are amazing travelers and seem to have a thing for cities just like their mom. We drove up to D.C. on Tuesday for a twenty-six-hour trip and did as much as their tiny legs(and the parking meters) would let us. We started our trip with a visit to my dad’s gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery and then we went to some of his favorite haunts which felt really strange…really strange. But isn’t that what you need to do with your memories? Visit them and tease forgotten ones out of the deep folds of your brain? Because that’s what we did and it hurt but ultimately made me feel closer to him than I normally do. We walked the streets of Arlington and D.C. with a ghost by our side. Justin and I shared stories…great big stories filled with laughter and memories of times gone by. Our hours were filled with as much family lore and tales as actual history and tradition.
We devoured a very early dinner at Ray’s Hellburger and filled our stomach to tour the monuments. After realizing the streets in D.C. are not easy to navigate between 4 and 6:30, we visited the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, Vietnam Memorial and peeked at the White House. We did it all in forty-five minutes because of the parking meter(well, they aren’t meters anymore but those little things you pay at stopped at 4 and we couldn’t figure out what happened at 6:30 so we just walked really quickly.) We were walking so quickly that Eva slipped down a few steps at the Lincoln Memorial and at one point we had to let the ones with the longer legs go on ahead to save the car from whatever fate lay ahead of it.
From there we moved on over to Georgetown and went to my new fav store Lush. I wanted to buy some of their awesome face masks but they were sold out and you can’t order them online because they are fresh and need to stay refrigerated. Have no fear, I found something else to satisfy my need for beauty products. Then we checked out some more shops on our trek to Georgetown Cupcake but never even ended up going there because the line was insane. The kids got fro-yo instead and Justin and I took them down to the river, sat at a bar and had a beer and raw oysters. I’d prefer that to a cupcake a lot of days…a lot not all.
The kids and I dropped Justin off the next morning after we had breakfast at my dad’s old Starbucks and went to the zoo on one of the hottest days of the summer. I got a little lost going around DuPont Circle and felt like I was in a Chevy Chase movie but my most awesome fourteen-year-old co-pilot found the way using the GPS. We trekked up and down and all around the free zoo(after $22 for parking and $41.50 for three sandwiches for lunch). For me, the highlight took place in the first ten minutes when we saw the pandas hanging out munching on bamboo. I take that back…the highlight was spending the day with my kids without them arguing. We were on the same team the whole day…and we wanted to be on the same team. No one bickered. No one teased, poked or prodded. We just moved together as one not-so-little family and that was the happiest moment of my twenty-six-hours out of suburbia.