Some times, as a parent you take on a big adventure, hoping against all odds that you can pull it off gracefully with children in tow. Some times those adventures flop and you are left wondering if you were crazy to even try. But sometimes you succeed and you celebrate your success for waaay tooo long. This would be one of those crazy successes.
Mon Amour had a conference to attend in Washington DC and since he had been home for less than a week before said conference and would be leaving less than a week after it finished, the girls and I decided to join him. He would be busy all day, so we would mostly be on our own, but we would technically be together.
And, we would get to hang out in our cool hotel room on the 14th floor of the conference hotel! (funny story: you know how they skip the number 13 when labeling floors? Well, we would count the floors together on the way up, and it was convenient fir Papillon cause she skips the number 13 when she counts anyway! ...11...12...14!)
Of course we wanted to do more than just hang out at the hotel and twiddle our thumbs while waiting on Mon Amour. So we bravely got our car out of valet (I have a mild phobia of valets...I always ended up feeling like an awkward middle schooler around them for some reason) and headed down to the National Mall.
This was officially the most adventurous part of our adventure. It was like 105 degrees and blazingly sunny every day that we were there. On top of that, driving in DC is only for those trained in aggressive driving tactics and for lunatics. Due to the lack of left turn arrows, I had to embrace my lunatic driving side a couple of times. Then there is the parking. The first day we lucked out and got the very last free parking spot on the mall. Parallel parking spot, just exactly the size of my car (practically) and I nailed it on the first try! With someone watching me impatiently from the car behind me! Score! The second day we were less lucky and drove around for 35 mins before parking at a metered spot and paying a small fortune for the pleasure of that terrible spot. Oh well.
First stop: The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum! I always forget how impressive that place is. Papillon was not in awe as much as I was, but I do believe she enjoyed herself.
Side Note: Try not to be discouraged when the "friendly" old man at the information desk, when asked what a 2 year old might enjoy seeing, says "Oh, well she is really too young for this museum". He is clearly crazy. Papillon enjoyed the room with all the planes, the room with all the "moons" (planets), the kid-specific hands on area, and the in-museum McDonalds where we got ice cream.
It is a great museum for little kids. Apparently that friendly old man is not as much of a grandfather-ly type as he appeared.
Hibou also enjoyed the adventure...and by enjoyed, I mean that she slept in the sling the whole time. Go Hibou!
After our Air and Space museum adventure we headed back to the hotel to relax and cool off. This should have been the easy part of the trip. But I quickly learned that I set my expectations waaaay too high for the supposed napping part of the day. Getting all three of us to sleep in the same room at the same time proved very tricky and very aggravating. Who knew this would be the hardest part of the adventure!! Thank heavens for PBS Kids.
Day 2. Possibly only 99 degrees this day. Woot! And off we went again! Admiring the flowers while we waited for our car.
Today's stop - Natural History Museum! I thought Papillon would love the elephant. But it was hugely crowded, and combine that with the lack of napping the previous day and she proved to be more overwhelmed than impressed.
Her favorite area (other than the gift shop with all the stuffed animals...) was the bug area. It was fascinating to me to note that the creepy-ness of bugs is not actually innate. She was Oooing and Aaahhing over bugs I didn't even want to look at! (Like the 8 inch long black and red centipede! Ick!)
We then decided to buy ourselves some lunch. The PBJs waiting for us back at the hotel just didn't sound appealing enough. Though, after discovering that 1 slice of cheese pizza and 1 fountain drink cost you $10 at a Smithsonian....I really wish we had opted for PBJs. Oh well. Live and learn.
Hibou enjoyed sitting in the stroller while Papillon and I ate our [one slice of] pizza. She looks so grown up! (Papillon was slightly jealous!. "Papillon's stroller! Move baby!")
Smile for the camera, Papillon. "Cheese!"
After taking Papillon and Hibou to two of the coolest museums around, we decided to go on a low key afternoon walk (some clouds and the threat of rain brought the temperature down to a "pleasant" 95 at this point. Woohoo!). On this low-key time-filling walk, Papillon discovered her favorite part of DC. A random statue to some random historical doctor.
We hung out here for a long time. Watching people walk their dogs. Pointing out the "triangles" (Vs, and Ms and Ns) on the statue writing. Playing Ring Around the Rosy by herself. She positively loved it.
Back at the hotel that night it was time to finish off some pizza (some slightly less expensive non-smithsonian pizza). Papillon wanted to "cut it in half"
And then preferred to eat it crust-first.
More snuggling on the amazingly comfortable bed.
The last day we had time for one last walk. We trekked all the way down to Dupont Circle and watched the pigeons. Papillon also loved this activity. It's the simple things in life.
All in all, I would say that our trip to DC was a huge success. Everyone had fun. No pone passed out from the heat. And we got to see little glimpses of Mon Amour here and there.
And then we all got pink eye.
You can't win them all.