I did it again. Lost our camera. Only 16 months after the last time. There is something seriously wrong with me. Cameraitis, perhaps. And it’s a shame, too. Because yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day and I had some great pictures of the girls at the different presidential memorials. Instead, you’re stuck with a stock photo of the Jefferson Memorial. Sorry.
We visited the Capitol today. Along with a lot of school groups. We had tickets for a general tour that we obtained from our senator, but those tickets did not allow us to visit the actual Senate chamber. All hope was not lost, however. While in the visitor center, we learned that having a non-US citizen spouse can be a very useful thing. We walked up to the Senate appointments desk, mentioned that my husband was French and that I had dual citizenship, and faster than you can say veto, we had four tickets to the Senate gallery. The irony of it had me smiling for most of the rest of the day. The Senate was in session, although they were not debating anything of huge import. Only a few senators were on hand, but I was able to point out a few recognizable faces to Chloe, including Senators Schumer, Kerry (at least I think it was him – he was a little too far away for me to know for sure), Dodd and Franken.
Took a lovely boat ride to Mount Vernon today. What fun! The trip was restful, the weather gorgeous, the grounds beautiful. The boat gave the girls time to relax, so we didn’t have to endure an overwhelming amount of whining or moaning about the amount of walking.
We decided to forgo the political animals today in favor of the real kind.
Due to chilly and cloudy weather conditions this morning, we made a last-minute decision to ditch the National Zoo (tomorrow’s entertainment, perhaps) in favor of some Smithsonian fun. As it turned out, we did an impressive amount of walking – I’d estimate about 4 miles.
We finally made it. I had forgotten how horrible the traffic is when you approach D.C. A million times worse than New York. And we were lucky. Cars traveling west on New York Avenue were stopped for miles because the police decided it would be a wise idea to have a checkpoint (I have no idea what they were checking for). Really? A checkpoint on one of the most trafficked thoroughfares around the capital? All I know is that I’m glad it didn’t affect us. I had already had enough driving into the city, with the husband trying to provide directions from his free iPhone app. Only problem is that he’d tell me that I needed to turn at the precise moment I needed to be turning. Not helpful when the highway has four lanes, the exit is off the right lane and I’m speeding along in the left lane.
Made it to the hotel near Dupont Circle and the girls are happy as clams. Not because of the pool, not because of the free happy hour (ok, that’s really an adult thing), not because of the free breakfast, not because of the free Internet. They’re ecstatic because the bed has a great cylinder-shaped pillow that they can use to chase each other around the room. Kids are so easy to please.
We walked to our first choice for dinner tonight, Pizza Paradiso on P Street, but there was an hour wait. And people were eating outside in windy 50-degree weather. Needless to say, we had to find another option. We ended up at a good Thai across the street. No, the girls were not adventurous (although they both tasted the sauce on my dish). They ate steamed chicken and rice, which was fine for Sophie but not for Chloe. Too bland. Can’t win with the 9-year old. Either too spicy or too boring. Oh well. At least she remained relatively calm.
Tomorrow we will explore the National Zoo. None of us has ever seen a real panda, so it should be a treat.
Sophie is dying to see Obama at the White House. I haven’t burst her bubble yet, but I will eventually have to confess to her that we were not lucky enough to get tickets for the tour. We’ll have to settle for a photo outside of the gates, and she’ll continue to admire Obama from afar.