Friday, August 31, 2012

Are We There Yet? Going to the Mall


We didn’t exactly hurry out the door today, even though we were excited to see DC.  We made time for a little mirror fun before leaving.
And once we were out, we had to figure out the whole metra ticket process before we could actually go anywhere. 
The train was a whole world of fun and excitement for the kids, especially the youngest three.  Their enthusiasm even encouraged several strangers to break the code of subway silence.  J thought it was pretty strange that one of the unwritten rules is that you ignore everyone else that’s riding the train with you.
Our first stop was the Hirshorn, one of the art museums in the Smithsonian family.  This piece of art below was the kids’ favorite.  Not hard to see why.
But I loved wandering around and looking at the different sculptures, as much as B would permit.  I especially loved this one. 
It speaks to me in so many ways.  And maybe someday when I am not so tired, I will elaborate on that.  But today is not that day.
Next up was the Air & Space museum.  Which would have been much more enjoyable if Shaggy didn’t have to keep fielding calls about the closing.  Gosh!  It was like we were trying to buy a house in a few days or something and everybody needed something signed or faxed or authorized.  After lunch, he decided he better bail and go back to the hotel to deal with it all.  I strongly encouraged him to take B with him and give her a proper nap.  He was reluctant but did it anyway.  Bless him.
Because it was the most beautiful thing that could have happened today.  It left me free to explore this amazing city with my troopers.  B is not a trooper, not yet.  She’s mostly a landmine that endangers all the troops.

We learned a little more about air and space before going on to explore some fountains and walk around the capitol. 
And we got a little lost looking for the Library of Congress.  But even though we were all extremely hot and very tired, it was totally worth it. 
The Library of Congress is absolutely amazing.  I could spend days in there, wandering around admiring the beautiful details of that place.  The saddest part was that they won’t let you take pictures in Jefferson’s library.  So sad, all those amazing old book with their beautiful and colorful covers.  But the rest of the library that I was able to see had me drooling. 
The kids thought it was pretty cool, but they were more about pushing buttons and then hurrying me out the door to get ice cream cones. 
I plan on going back to the library someday.  And getting lost.  By myself.  With my camera.
After some ice cream,
some more metra,
and some walking, we met Shaggy and B at the Marine memorial for the Tuesday night parade.  The Marine band and the silent drill team are such great performers.  I’ve seen them once before, but for Shaggy this performance always brings back a whole slew of memories from when he was a young Marine stationed at 8th and I in DC several decades ago. 

Taps always makes me emotional, but this time I also found myself feeling grateful that we are a society that builds memorials.  I am glad that we remember the lives and the sacrifices of those that have gone before us.  I am glad that we create meaningful symbols that honor them.  It unites us, it allows us to feel more connected to one another and to our history.  Knowing where we came from is a large part of knowing who we are.  Death is inevitable, our observance of it is optional.  But that observance says a lot about our values.
B pretty much did her best to disturb us and everyone around us.  We did our best to sush her.  When that didn’t work, we ignored her.
After the parade was over, this Marine wanted a picture with J because she thought his shirt was funny.  He shied away at first, but when she offered to let him hold her sword, he was all over it.
On our walk back to the hotel, J found these cool, colorful berries.  That boy is always finding amazing things in the great outdoors.  Leave it to him to even find natural wonders in the thriving metropolis of DC.

I don’t really have any idea what tomorrow will bring.  We haven’t had a moment to plan it.  All I know is that we are once again enjoying some sightseeing (mostly because B was absent for a large part of it today) because we have to do something while we wait for our house to become ours.  We’ve got to live in the now, because we’re not there yet.

1 comment:

Mom said...

Maybe when you're in the Library of Congress again, alone, you can ask to see your grandfather's papers. Maybe you have to make arrangements ahead of time. By the way, I love J's shirt too. You should have had one when you were little - "Brother for sale."