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Washington D.C. / Arlington, VA

Our trip to Washington D.C. was to serve one purpose, to see my best friend of over 15 years and meet her 6 month old baby, Penny. Caitlin and I met in High School and our friendship blossomed in college and then it just stayed in bloom forever. She has been by my side through everything and I knew I had to go see her and that sweet little lady before she wasn’t a little baby anymore. It is definitely a trip I foresee happening every couple years, our kids will for sure know each other. Our flight went really great again, I feel like Kett has become such an amazing traveler. I of course was prepared for everything and anything and tried to accommodate him and his needs in only being 18 months old and still not talking. I know this has to be a tough time for him to not be able to verbally let me know how he is feeling.

Once we landed is when all hell broke loose. After getting off the plane and heading down to baggage claim, neither of the baggage claim lanes were labeled so it was just complete chaos of which lane was for which departing city, people were everywhere. After waiting about 40 minutes they finally started them up and another 45 minutes later our bags were no where to be found. Kett just finally started to break down, sitting in a line with so many other people whose bags also did not make the flight. He started throwing the loudest, biggest fit I have ever seem him throw. It was disastrous, everyone around was staring, some even tried to play with him, some just laughed or smiled like they had been there before. I really had no idea what to do, I mean he was in a car for 2 hours on a plane for 3 hours and then sat in his stroller for now over 2 hours at this point and he was just done with the day.

We stayed in their house in Arlington, VA and for the first couple days we just cooked and drank wine and played with the kids, went on walks with the dogs, brought them to the local pool, did story time at the local library, it really makes me wish we lived closer.

We did get to play tourist some, rode the bus, went to the Hirshhorn Museum, got really inspired by a lot of the artwork there. We then walked to get lunch at Oyamel, around 2 just after the major lunch crowd and it was perfect timing taking two little ones!

On the way back we stopped in and walked through the National Gallery of Art for the last couple hours it was open. I got to admire so many of the pieces I only dreamed about seeing when I read about them in Art History. Kett stayed asleep pretty much the whole time.

The next morning we woke up and Caitlin dropped us off at the National Air and Space museum, they had a story time at 10am dedicated to the moon landing. All of D.C. was celebrating the Apollo 11 fifty year anniversary and a festival was even going on in the lawn of the National Mall all weekend. It was pretty daunting with the amount of people at the Air and Space museum but we persisted none the less. Kett enjoyed all of the airplanes and spacecrafts out on display. It was really hard getting around and reading with a toddler in a stroller but I think on a less busy day it would have been easier. We ate the lunches I packed in the cafeteria and face-timed with Frank.

Kett then fell asleep and I walked around the festival area outside, it was so unbelievably hot out I am glad he was sleeping through it all. They had tents up that had pieces from the moon landing and replicas of things and all kinds of experiments happening, it was so much fun. Walked through the sculpture gardens.

Upon waking up we went to the National Museum of American History where we spent about an hour in the Wegmans Wonderplace, a cute little children play place, before strolling around the rest of the museum. They had some printing presses set up with old type kits and I was pretty much in heaven. Old cars on display, including the wood side paneled van from my childhood which I thought was pretty funny.

The United States Botanical Gardens were a dream, any kind of botanical garden is right up my alley. I love learning new plants and where they come from and seeing plants I’ve seen before but never knew the name. The have a children’s area with a little play place and a grow garden where kids can play and plant their own plants in the dirt. Kett had a great time sweeping up the place, he wouldn’t let it go and dragged it everywhere.

We then met back up with Caitlin and Penny and headed to the National Portrait Gallery. We were all hungry and decided to get dinner from the little cafe in the glass-ceilinged courtyard which gave Kett the opportunity to play in the scrim fountain, by far the best little place for kids to hang out. I recommend bringing an extra change of clothes in case they get too wet. He had so much fun playing and running, also pretty sure everyone else who was there also had fun watching his little screams and giggles. We then walked through the gallery, its nice because everything closes at 5pm in D.C. but the Portrait Gallery actually stays open until 7pm.

The morning before we had to leave we all went to walk around the Georgetown area and play at the waterfront. We then got lunch at Pinstripes which has all kinds of indoor games and family fun entertainment while you eat. We of course got some pizza and broke a glass you know, family fun! The heat was pretty unbearable so even if we did have the rest of the day I don’t think we would have stayed any longer than we did. It was just too much for the little ones and for us. So we went back freshened up, grabbed our bags and headed to the airport to head home.

Washington D.C. I thought was a great family friendly city. I can’t wait to go when Kett is a tad bit older. We missed the National Gallery of Natural History I know he would have loved that. It will be fun to visit again in a couple of years.

Where are your favorite places to visit in DC?


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