November 2008 (Taking advantage of Sierra and Cooper's election weekend school break)
We had fun on our now annual election weekend Washington D.C. trip (this was our second year). Sierra and Cooper's school turns the first weekend of November into a four day holiday, with Monday being a teacher "in service day", and Tuesday election day, closing the school and turning it into a polling place. We would be remiss to not take advantage of such an opportunity.
The main attraction to D.C. is that there are almost endless educational prospects for Sierra and Cooper. We were able to see the Jefferson and F.D.R. Memorials (both of which were new to us) along with the standard Washington and Lincoln Memorials (no slouches themselves) on Saturday. I found myself being amazed (yet again) at viewing the iconic monuments of our great democracy. The ideals on which the country was founded are truly inspirational, and seeing them inscribed on gigantic marble monuments was moving.
John, Sandy and Sophia Chase joined us in the afternoon, coming in from Minneapolis. Sierra and Cooper loved playing with Sophia, who provided a good "counter balance", keeping Sierra and Cooper from pestering each other (or at least slowed the process down a bit). It was really nice to travel and re-connect with old friends. (Hopefully our families can meet up on more vacations in the future.)
On Sunday morning we saw the National Archives, which had originals of the Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, Constitution, the Bill of Rights, Louisiana Purchase, and the 13th Amendment among other priceless documents that are the foundation of the free World in which we live. It was super cool for me, but standing in line peering at old parchment was trying for Sierra, Cooper and Sophie. The rest of the day was spent at the more kid friendly Natural History and Air and Space Smithsonian museums (both of which were big hits).
Monday morning had us taking the Bureau of Printing and Engraving tour (learning how money is printed), poking into the National Art Museum for lunch and a quick peek of some Monet/Degas paintings, and finishing our D.C. trip in the National Botanical Gardens (impressive for parents and kids alike).
Once again we left Washington D.C. with the feeling that we had only seen the tip of the proverbial iceberg, and are looking forward to making the trek on election weekend again next year. Hopefully the Chases will become a part of our annual pilgrimage!
Map of the Washington D.C. Mall area
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