Thursday, May 03, 2012

The Strangest of Places

My friend Karen sent her daughter on a school trip to Washington D.C. this week. She expressed some unease and fear about the trip to our mama tribe. I admit to laughing a bit when someone suggested that I might see this young girl I have know since she was two (Sorry, Nancy). This city is large and covers multiple states. I figured I would keep my eyes open, but we would never see her. Imagine our surprise when a little voice called my name while we were visiting the National Air and Space Museum. There was my friend's daughter with the biggest grin. I grabbed her and gave an embarrassingly big hug. She even humored me when I requested a photo. Aine was so pleased to see a friend from home. It was so funny seeing her here - the strangest of happenings for us.

In addition to the delight of seeing a familiar face, the day was filled with a whole lot of joy and fun. We took the metro into the city and explored. Our goal was the National Air and Space Museum. We spent a long time in the How Things Fly exhibit enjoying all the hands on displays. The kiddos each took a turn flying a plane watching how the wheel and pedals controlled everything. Each stop had something new to try and test. From there we walked through models of spacecraft and learned how to urinate in space. This elicited a load of questions, giggles and queries about other bodily functions. 

At this point everyone was hungry, so Benton suggested a picnic lunch on the lawn outside. As we ate, we watched excavation work being down on the mall. We walked over to the fencing, chatted with the workers and noticed the U.S. Capitol building to our right. Everyone decided to wait to return to the museum; we wanted to see the Capitol. Walking along the path to the Capitol for a better look, we were passed by so many runners and joggers. One big lesson of this trip is always stay to the right! After playing a bit at the pool, we climbed up to the Capitol. Literally. The kiddos walked along the walls and ran on the grass. They loved it. We said hello to the many police officers keeping watch, who seemed to appreciate the kiddos youth and exhurberance. 

Our plan was to walk around the building and then explore inside. A quick energy assessment told me that we were better served going back to the museum and saving the Capitol for another day. It was a good thing we changed our minds, since we passed a sign with rules about visiting. You cannot take knitting needles or snacks inside! Crazy, I tell you. That sign ruled us out! 

Back at the museum I really wanted to see Amelia Earhart's plane, so we headed to that exhibit. We talked about the vastness of the ocean, solo flights, races and a whole host of other things as we looked at the older planes. More mockups were explored as well as balloon baskets.  A paper airplane demonstration was just missed, so we made plans to visit another day with Daddy. Eamon hopes he can try out the simulators with Dave.

The trip was definitely a success. Aine loved creating planes on a computer, Eamon enjoyed the How Things Fly exhibit and Benton was satisfied after seeing the digger.


  1. That is ok Heather, I never thought it would happen either, but it is so neat that it did!

  2. that is so awesome! you know when i lived in montreal i took a trip to burlington and was ran into an old co-worker from albuquerque. i also ran into an old classmate in paris...random but fun connections.

    sounds like y'all are enjoying your explorations!

  3. It seems like you are loving your new adventures. We ran into colleagues at the beach once from home...weird! Glad your daughter got to see an old friend.

  4. what adventures you are all having! so, so fun to experience the city with the kids. i have yet to really travel outside of arizona (most of family is all here) much with the kids but am really looking forward to it. katherine is sooooo ready.

  5. how fun to run into someone from home so far away from home. the air and space museum is great! you are so lucky to get to live n dc!