“Dad,” said one child to the parent at the supper table one night, “just thinking that, since you’re unemployed, we’d have a place to stay, Abbie’s not in school yet, and gas is cheap…we should take that trip to Washington D.C this summer that we’ve been talking about for years! Seriously! Why are we not packing our bags?”
The very NEXT morning, Mom and Dad left town for a business trip and we kids received a text from Mom stating to mark our calendars for June 25-July 3rd for WASHINGTON D.C. TRIP! To say we were floored would be an understatement!
…and that’s what we did! Except we left one day earlier. Yay for a family roadtrip!
Maggie and I held down the back seat for the trip, and I barely won the award for bringing the biggest book. Thank you nursing textbook. =)
The first night we stayed with some friends in Russellville, AR which is where the first 5 of us kiddos were born.
We thoroughly enjoyed lunch with friends of ours who moved from OK to TN a few years ago.
Guess who won the award for buying the most snacks? =)
Our first sightseeing stop was the American Cultural Museum in Virginia.
It was neat to hear about the influence on America, from people who came over from places like Germany, Scotland, and Ireland.
Well…we just THOUGHT school hadn’t started yet. =)
Sunday evening we happily arrived in D.C. and unloaded all our luggage at Mom’s cousin’s house, where we were staying. He and his wife graciously let us
take over stay at their house on an Air Force base, then we took off to see the sights!
It was really cool getting to see the monuments in real life! They’re not just a picture on a post-card. =)
Thomas Jefferson monument. Washington monument.
Mom especially wanted to see the monuments at night, so we sat around until it got dark. It was definitely worth the wait.
The following day we got to tour Arlington Cemetery.
General Robert E. Lee’s house
This is the view from his house.
We got to watch the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (in Arlington).
Kraig (mom’s cousin) took us to the Air Force Memorial. He currently serves as a chaplain in the Air Force.
Due to the lack of “close parking”, if you ever go to D.C. be prepared to walk, and walk, …and walk some more!
Monday night, we made an impromptu decision to go to a Washington Nationals professional baseball game. This included a ride on the underground metro system which was a first for a few in our family.
I’m sure they won because we were in the stands chanting with the crowd: N-A-T-S Nats, Nats, Nats WHOOO! =)
On Wednesday, we went to the National Archives. You just don’t see immaculate buildings like this out your window everyday back home!
This is the place where the Star Spangled Banner was first sung.
Unfortunately fortunately, Dad and Mom didn’t try to relive this moment in the middle of D.C. on the street corner. =)
This was a common sight. “Now WHERE and WHICH way do we walk from here??” We’re small town Okies what can we say. In our normal life, it does NOT take 25 minutes driving around in a parking garage to find a place to park! Oh wait, what parking garage? Our town doesn’t even have a stop light. =) =) =)
Grabbing a quick picture in front of the “Newseum” by the Daily Oklahoman, a little taste of home.
We enjoyed a tour of the FBI headquarters.
During our tour of the Capitol, we happened to be in the right place at the right time and unexpectedly got to see Senator John McCain and Senator Ted Cruz and quite a few more senators who were passing by. Our tour guide, who works in Senator Inhofe’s office, thought that was just pretty amazing. =)
Tuesday night, we attended a silent drill done by the Marines. Although it wasn’t completely silent because they had an impressive band that played.
Last, but not least, we visited the 911 Pentagon Memorial after dark.
On Wednesday, we went to the National History and Air & Space Museums (Smithsonians). On our way we breezed through the Smithsonian Castle and later ate our lunch here.
Orville and Wilbur Wrights’ first plane
Wednesday evening we went to a Twilight Tattoo. Basically it was a presentation done by the Army on their involvement in each of the wars…
…starting with the Revolutionary all the way through the War on Terror. It was very well done and enjoyable to watch.
After the presentation was over, we grabbed a picture with a General, Revolutionary re-enactor, and present day soldier. This is one of my favorite photos from the whole trip. =)
Kraig took us “out-on-the-town” for coffee and frozen yogurt on Wednesday night.
And lastly, to see the White House, from a distance.
Thursday, we went back to see the monuments – in the daytime =) and toured the Holocaust Museum.
Vietnam War Memorial
World War 2 Memorial
Probably the biggest highlight for most of us came on Friday when we got to have a private tour of the Pentagon.
General Vander Ham is a friend of a friend, and was our “connection” to being able to get in on short notice, PLUS his executive assistant gave us a tour that we’ll never forget. =)
A few facts about the Pentagon. There are 20,000 people who work there – that’s a pretty overwhelming number for a family who lives in a small town comprised of less then 2,000 residents. They make 35,000 cups of coffee everyday and distribute 1,700 cartons of milk a day.
This place isn’t just a “walk-in-the-park”. We took on the challenge of finding the General’s office on this map. You go mom!
On our way home we spent the night with our friends in Ohio and went to the Creation museum on Saturday.
Some of us
like have a strong passion to shop at Goodwill. Needless to say, her petition was granted. =)
We are home again after a fun, memorable, and exciting trip. It sure was nice to spend some quality time together as a family and make precious memories.
Now we are in full gear getting ready to make 100 gallons of ice-cream at the Peach Festival this weekend, ya’ll come!!!