Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Day 18 of 30 Days of Mayhem: Washington DC Thrice

Cool, wet, rainy.  This pretty much sums up the day.  The positives are that it did not storm, it was not hot, it was not as crowded as it could have been.

Today we took the Metro in to DC.  All of us were a bit gun shy after the near-fiasco in NYC.  But DC in general is pastoral compared to NYC.  Planning wise having DC right on the heels of NYC was not the best choice due to the amount of walking and site seeing we did/were planning for each city.  However, having them back to back was perfect as it made DC feel spacious and sparsely populated after a couple of days in NYC.  I was much more relaxed with the kids, crowds and city in DC thanks to the training/experience of NYC.  I'm babbling, but I don't feel like I'm adequately conveying what a blessing this was.  If we had just come to DC, we would have thought it crowded but we didn't because of our stop in NYC first.

The Metro was easy to use and everyone did great.  When we got to our stop, Michael told everyone it was time to get off the train.  All four of the the children stopped in their tracks and did not move.  He repeated that we needed to get off.  They did not move.  I said, "I'll go first" and stepped off the train, they all fell in line behind me.  None of them were going to step foot off of a train without a parent on the landing. NYC made an impression.

We walked out of the Metro station, got to the corner and encountered a parade.  We watched it for a bit and then headed for the Mall to scope out the crowds and a spot for the day.

Watching the parade
There were very few people set up on the mall so we picked a great spot and set up our stuff.  We brought a couple of chairs and several backpacks with all of our food, water and beach blanket.

When it was time to eat lunch we discovered the bacon, broccoli ranch pasta salad had been left in the fridge.  We made do with sandwich fixings and snacks.

I sat with our stuff while everyone came and went to different museums.  Parts of the day it drizzled, parts it misted, there were a few heavy rains - those were pretty miserable, and parts there was nothing falling from the sky.

Rehm and Charlotte went to the Newseum with Cathi, Marc and Griffin.  Michael, Ruby and Eliza Claire went back to the American History Museum to explore more.  Griffin and Rehm walked to the Capitol and a few other places,

The kids joined in dancing with a group of strangers to YMCA, and the Cha-Cha Slide.  The are now ready to attend wedding receptions for the next 10 years.

Finally, it stopped raining and it was getting close to firework time.  About 15 minutes before the fireworks started, some low clouds rolled in and blocked the view of the top of the Washington Monument. Unfortunately, the clouds did not roll out.

The firework show happened.  We had perfect seats.  The low fireworks were gorgeous.  The high ones, made the clouds pretty colors...It was frustrating.  Having seen the DC fireworks on TV in years past, I knew what we were missing.  I kept thinking, I can't believe they are spending all this money on fireworks we can't see!  It was very anti-climatic, but better than sitting in the rain all day to have them cancelled.

We headed to the Metro station.  On the walk back to the Metro poor Eliza Claire cried and cried.  She is not a fan of fireworks due to the noise they make.  They scare her as she can not always anticipate when the noises will happen.  She had gotten prepared for a major firework show and endured the noise of it, without the reward of an awe inspiring display. All the anxiety and frustration came out over the course of the walk.

 It was crowded walking back to the Metro but not crazy.  The first train on our route was full but the second one we got on with no problem - with all of our kids.  And yes, they made a parent get on first and last with them sandwiched in between.

We got back to Jennifer and Bill's around 11:00, maybe 11:30.

Happy Independence Day!

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