Sunday, January 09, 2011

Christmas at the Capital pt 2

From December 2010
Leila, Colleen, Emily and I in front of the Washington Memorial

One of the first places we went was the Natural History Museum. I could have spent a week there. We only went through part of the one building. Leila and the little kids went back to Mom's apartment to take a nap. Emily, my mom and I went on to the Air and Space Museum.

From December 2010
On our way to the Smithsonian

Kate rode in the backpack carrier most of our trip. She is remarkably well behaved when she is back there. But she is now 18 months and has not attempted to walk. I try to hold onto her hands and help her practice, but she still prefers to "knee-walk" or crawl.
From December 2010
Aleah in front of crocheted reef

They had a huge display of a coral reef made entirely of crochet. Most of it was yarn, but included plastic bags, pop tabs, rope, and rags. It must have taken ages to make.

At the Air and Space museum we spent the most time looking at Amelia Earhart's plane and display. Emily has done two reports on her; one in third grade and again this year. She already was quite a fan. It is amazing the courage it must have taken to get into some of those planes. They had a full size model of the Wright Brother's "plane" also. Their safety device to keep them clutched to the bottom wing was a small box that their feet rested in with 4 inch sides. They also had a moon lander that wasn't used in the Apollo program. Amazing.

From December 2010
Corn decorating the pillars of the Capitol.

From December 2010
Leila in front of the Capitol building

We emailed Sen. Grassley's office and they were kind enough to give us a tour of the Capitol Building - at least the Senate side. One of his staffers met us at their office and took us over through the underground tunnels to the Capitol. There is a small tram that runs under the streets. I am sure the tour would have been really great, but unfortunately the kids were tired and temperamental. By that, I mean completely out of control, throwing temper-tantrums like tag-team wrestlers.

From December 2010
Carrying Colleen and Kate

Plus, the tour meant lots of walking: from the bus to the office, from the office to the capitol, up and down stairs, down long hallways, past security, more hallways, stops not for snacks or rest but discussions on where dead senators once sat.

From December 2010
Isn't family togetherness fun?

From December 2010
Leila and her Bikeshare bike

Leila and I went back to the Mall another day, but left the kids at home. We checked out bikes from the DC bikeshare program. They have bikes distributed around the city that can be checked out with a credit card. They are free for the first 1/2 hour and then ~1.50 per half hour after that. Cool idea, but not many were in use. We only saw two others riding them. Going by bike is the best way to see the monuments around the mall. It is a long walk from the capitol to the Lincoln memorial and another hike up to the White house.
From December 2010
Rented bike and the Capitol

We stopped for New Year's Eve at our friends house in Ohio. We have had a tradition of eating Thanksgiving with the Hansens since grad school, but we didn't go this year because it is a longer drive from Iowa. This may be our new tradition. Last year they came to our house. I even watched football on New Years day and the last time I watched a whole game was probably Superbowl of 1993. Nels doesn't even get annoyed with my ignorance. That is when you know you are friends.

From December 2010
Visiting the Hansens in Ohio


Rhamnites said...

I'm impressed that you managed all that with your kids! I'm such a wimp, I wouldn't have tried. Sounds like lots of fun!

Becca said...

Wow--what a fun adventure. I love the bike share idea, too! Sorry about your capitol experience . . . though I can't say it would have been any different for us. hilarious about Kate not caring to walk.