We visited just for 24 hours in celebration of Taylor's birthday. Something I want to remember about this trip was the hecticness in between the highlights. I was working on papers and interviews in between activities, and the kids were worn out. Taylor's job was to shepherd two little people up and down busy, dark streets to give me peace to crunch out an essay. It's not easy entertaining littles in unfamiliar territory like that, so thank you Taylor!
(Once I finished that essay, I reread through it, realized it made ZERO sense, laughed maniacally, and then emailed it in. The next time I saw my professor, I sincerely apologized for her wasted time reading that paper.)
Moral of that story is that I'm going to abstain from combining work and family trips from here on out. :)
Anyway, these are the really great parts of D.C., paired with some travel tips from a parents determined to make the best of family travel, and, of course, Arrow's takes on it all.
Driving through D.C. in the evening felt like driving through Salt Lake City at lunch rush. Packed, annoying, but fine. It only makes us want to settle in a countryside town that much more though. Flashbacks of minivans and stick figure families flung themselves at us as we navigated through traffic. The most confusing part of driving in D.C. was the far right lane, which apparently triples as a drive lane / bike lane/ and PARKED CAR lane.
I miss my sensible grid systems.
Now, it may not be instinctive to spend your family vacation at whole foods. But we've had a gift card laying around for a couple years, and figured we may as well use it for dinner.
It felt really nice to end a long, traffic drive by picking out whatever we wanted to try for dinner. Taylor and I both got catfish in pesto sauce, and the kids got upgraded mac'n'cheese that was apparently off-putting from the usual packaged powdery stuff.
We settled in the most adorable Airbnb apartment and slept in the softest beds. Oh boy. I'm still drooling over them.
WASHINGTON D.C. TEMPLE
The next morning (after I finished up some work) we jumped onto some freeway to head to the LDS temple. (Taylor wanted to do some temple work for his birthday.)
We had this conversation on the route:
Chaun: What exit do I need to take?
Taylor: The one after you see the temple.
Chaun: Umm. Okay. But what number is that?
Taylor: You'll be able to see the temple, just turn right off when you see it. That's what everyone says.
Chaun: 'That's what everyone says'? Honey. You've never been here before. The temple could be a couple miles off in the distance. And there are a ton of trees.
Taylor: No, trust me, I think you'll see it.
Chaun: I believe you. (I didn't). But just in case, what's the exit?
Chaun: What?... OH!
Does that picture encapsulate the size? Try this.
People, that is huge! (I think it has seven or eight floors... not counting the steeples.) My whole life this past semester has been partially dedicated to studying architecture, building design, and artistic structure. I couldn't stop oogling at the build of it.
When I ran back to the car at some point, I discovered that we had not only left a window down, but TWO DOORS HANGING WIDE OPEN for easy access in case the window proved too difficult for thieves.
It's ridiculous how much oversight we have.
RANDOM BERRY LADY
A kind lady saw us in the parking lot and offered us fresh berries. That sounds sort of sketchy, but Taylor and I aren't very good at assuming danger, so we accepted the gift.
Wow, they were delicious. Taylor loves fruit too, so it was a cool little birthday present for him.
We had post-temple lunch at a local deli called OLD TOWN MARKET ($$). Little bit on the pricey side, but they made incredible sandwiches. I would definitely go again. (This was the one time I opted not to buy the kids anything since they regularly waste money/food, but this time they were all over our sandwiches. Le sigh.)
Our last activity of the day was at the NATIONAL ZOO for ZOO LIGHTS. (free)
The kids passed out long enough for me to write the worst film analysis paper ever written on La La Land. While I hashed out why exactly the tilt spin shots supported the classic tale of dream chasing (hint: it doesn't), the kids snored in the back seat. Once the paper of illiteracy was submitted, we woke up those chubs and made our way to the zoo.
Chaun: Oh my gosh. Do those porcupines have TAILS?
Arrow: Oh my gosh. Do those pinecones have TAILS?! CRAZY!
Chaun: I'm not saying that I would intentionally scare an armadillo to see it roll in a ball, but I'm also not saying I wouldn't.
Taylor: Did you even read the sign?
Chaun: I know, I know, don't tap on the glass-
Taylor: No, THAT sign
"Exhibit: Screaming Armadillos. As opposed to its hardball roll technique cousins, this species opts to erupt a hair raising scream to ward off potential predators."
I really want to see some bumbling idiot try to scare one of these armadillos in a movie. They could play my character! Or IRL. I'm not picky.
Zoo Lights, hashtag no filter.
It's disgusting how we flirt.
Some other Arrow chit chat to enjoy:
Chaun: Arrow! Did you know we're going to Washington D.C. today?
Arrow: We're going to lotta da city today??
Arrow: That person is brown!
Taylor: Yep, she is.
Arrow: And I'm white!
Taylor: You're more like a tan color.
Arrow: Ah. Yeah. Like some kind of orange. (the fruit)
Sees a tour bus
Arrow: Hi Truck. You're big. Bye.