It was a fine time. We learned lots of lessons...had more than a few disappointments, but are excited to go back now.
Here is a pic of Bubba on his first ride on the Metro. We dropped H at the bus and had to run home for something, so never actually followed the bus. The bus went straight into the city and we went straight to the Metro station next to the hotel. We rode the Metro in thinking we didn't want to park, etc.
We arrived about 45 min to an hour after the bus, right when the kids were entering the Archives, which was perfect. We met right up.
Here is a really dark pic of H looking over the DOIndependance. I was really into the Archives and couldn't help think of National Treasure the entire time!
After the Archives we went walking with the group H was in (not very exciting or a good use of time, but we learned a lesson.) We went into the Senate Building and ate lunch, looked around for Senators (not really my thing since there was so many other things to do) and got a Representative from NC to give us Gallery tickets (by suggestion of a security guard in the subway to the Capital-almost every person in the Mall that worked there was overly nice and helpful.) We had to meet the group at a certain time for our Capital tour and did that. It was good, beautiful, but was very short. After the tour we went with our special Gallery passes and looked at that, the Rep's were supposed to be meeting about the bail out package, but were on break. So we went to the Library of Congress and hung out 'til we were supposed to meet up again.
Then we took H to meet back up with the group at Union Station for dinner. Where we passed her back to the Chaperone for the 3 hour trolley tour that we did not have tickets for. We then met up the teachers and parents and there was a mutiny by the parents about waiting 3 hours for the kids. We all wanted to go back to the hotel and wait and sleep. We worked that out and were headed to the Metro, when one of H's friends parents said she was going to stay because she didn't want to drive back alone. We (I) offered to drive back with her rather than go on the Metro, adding about an hour to our trip.
We went back and slept.
Friday was a bust. We got screwed in traffic...met up with the group late and H was back in the gallery (decision made by her chaperone) so we spent forever trying to find her and get her back with us. We then, with no clue, walked about 2 miles to get to the Bureau of Engraving to show the kids the money being printed, not realizing that the free tickets were gone by 9 am. Hoofed it all the way to the White House lawn (about another 2 miles), to find it closed because of a VIP, then to the FBI building (about a mile) to find they don't give tours anymore (our guide book was from 1997!). D was so angry by this point that we were all surly and crabby and only had 15 minutes to tour the Portrait Gallery before we were to leave for our Monument tour.
We toured the Monument, which was awesome and highly recommended. Then sat and waited for 30 minutes to tell the teacher we had Hannah and were permanently splitting from the group. By the time we walked back up to the Mall to the National Gallery it was closing in 20 minutes and we ran through. We toured the outside sculpture gardens talking about how the day was a bust and how D thought we were doing one thing and all we ended up doing was walking. D and I (mostly me) decided that we really stink at communicating and need to really plan our vacations so everyone's expectations are met. We found a bunch of things we wanted to see after everything had closed and the one museum D wanted to go to was still under construction and wouldn't be open until late November.
We rode the Metro up to Bethesda where our van was. We ate dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Bethesda and drove to Havre d Grace where P & E live. They lived much farther than we ever expected and we didn't get there until after 10 and we were all so tired we were practically in tears.
On Saturday we ate B & Lunch with P & E and walked around HDG. It is on the N side of the Chesapeke and very cute. We then jumped int he van at 2:30 and drove S to IKEA. When we got off the exit we got lost and had a big meltdown. D was PO'd, I was PO'd and the kids were crazy tired and fighting. We recovered and made it inside. We found a couch that we both liked and were walking thru the store at a very fast pace. I didn't pick up anything I wanted thinking that we were getting the couch. At the end of our fast walk thru the store we stood at the couch trying to decide if we really wanted it/could afford it. I was hungry so I suggested we go upstairs and eat meatballs to conserve time (we were supposed to check in at the B & B at 4 and were obviously super late). By the time I was done, D said since we weren't standing there anymore he didn't want it. I was PO'd and we left after spending a whopping 1.5 hours at the IKEA.
We drove like crazy people to David's surprise B & B and it was way further than expected (as usual) and we didn't get there until after 9:00. We were met by the proprietor and taken inside to find that the 2 bedroom/living room suite was: door less, our kids were at the top of a common staircase in the house and we had no way to lock our room or theirs, it was super musty and there was dog poop and pee in our rooms because their dogs had come up and left us a present.
We sat there really mad deciding that we had made another bad choice, as was the theme of the trip, and decided that we were less than 100 miles from home and we would leave and go home. We arrive home at 11:45 and went to bed.
I didn't have a horrible time, but I am realizing that D and I are not communicating and need to start talking about things!
More pictures later...