Saturday, October 10

We're home from DC!

We're home from our trip to Washington DC! We left last Saturday, flew into DC and visited Ryan's brother and sister-in-law, Josh and Ramona, and we all got to meet baby Christopher for the first time. Beth was so happy to finally hold him (she's been talking about it for months now!). In addition to the excitement of seeing everyone, we had gorgeous weather and sight-seed as much as we physically could!

hiking through the airport

cousins, meeting for the first time!

they loved each other so much, beth always wanted to hold him and luke always wanted to grab chris's face!

We arrived at the airport early Saturday morning. People in the airport stared at us, I'm not sure they had ever seen two kids in slings before! They looked at us like we were crazy for traveling with two kids, but it really was a piece of cake. Ryan carried Beth on his back in a Beco baby carrier, I carried Luke in my pouch, and each of us carried a car seat and a carry-on bag. It was a lot, and we looked odd walking through the airport, but it really went pretty smoothly!

While we were waiting to board our plane, Ryan and I noticed a priest standing alone in the corner reading a paper. I thought, "Hmm, I know him..." and a few seconds later it hit me- it was Cardinal Dainel DiNardo! The Archbishop of our Archdiocese, and the newest Cardinal! He was alone and dressed simply- a black suit and roman collar- so I second-guessed myself for a second. As starstruck as I was, I sure as heck wasn't going to pass the opportunity to meet him! We introduced ourselves and made small talk; he was headed to DC to say the Red Mass the next day. I wished I'd have gotten a photograph or at least asked him to bless the kids, but I struggle to think straight in situations where I'm nervous so you'll just have to take my word for it that we met him!

Anyways, we arrived in DC and once we got our rental car, drove out to Josh and Ramona's apartment. Oh, the happy reunion! We hadn't seem them since the spring and had never met our precious little nephew, and Beth was so happy to finally meet and hold "Baby Chris."

Sunday was Christopher's baptism and party! He did really well, he happily sat through the entire service and didn't cry during the water part. It was my first experience with a female minister (at a Lutheran church), I have to admit as a cradle Catholic I was a little weirded out!

the baptism of christopher daniel, now a child of god!

beautiful boy

Monday Ryan, the kids, and I set out to see DC. Our first stop was the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Catholic church in the US! It was amazing, and reminded me of my trip to Rome in 1998. It had so many nooks and crannies (and I'm a fan of nooks and crannies!) and I just loved peeking around every corner and would be amazed that the rooms were just way bigger than I expected! We stayed for awhile and had lunch there (there was a cafeteria in the basement!).

trekking to the national basilica. beth is on ryan's back and i had luke in my pouch. they lived in the slings all week; i think ryan and i need professional massages!

this is a serious jesus. one that the devil should cower from!

enjoying some "free" time outside of their slings, before lunch at the basilica

pretty girl

Next stop after the shrine was DC! We drove around for awhile to see the town, and wound up parking just south of the Washington Memorial. We planned to walk the National Mall- and we did- but oh boy we had no idea what we were in for! At the end of the day, right before we were heading back to the car to call it a day, someone told us it was a four-mile round trip. Ya, no joke. We had a stroller and two slings- the kids took turns riding in the stroller and in the slings though we found we made the best time if we were pushing an empty stroller!

Tuesday we decided to take it easy. The kids were sleeping horribly (both waking up multiple times throughout the night and Luke waking up for the day at 5 am!) so we just needed to stay in and rest. Luke had a morning nap then we walked to Ikea for lunch; yes Ikea was walking distance! How jealous I was! The kids took afternoon naps then we decided to drive to a pumpkin patch (because we're not the types to fly halfway across the country to stay inside all day!). It was beautiful: rolling hills, gigantic sunflowers, hundreds of pumpkins all shapes and sizes, hay bales and corn husks. It's the sort of pumpkin patch I've been dying to find around here! The kids had so much fun, and we got some great pictures!

walking distance to ikea!

Wednesday was another busy day. We met Ryan's high school friend for lunch then headed to the National Zoo, which was rather disappointing. The best part were the gorillas, and we saw those the first 10 minutes we were there! It seemed it was "off season" as a lot of the exhibits were closed. We finished there then weren't sure what to do with ourselves, so we went back into DC to find Arlington Cemetary. The kids were sleeping in the back so we decided not to get out, we drove through a part of it though so at least we were able to see it.

at the national zoo. beth wanted to hug the panda but he was too big!

Thursday we started our day with the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, which was very cool. Beth loved all the animals that had been preserved, and the funniest part was when we went to the dinosaur room. Beth had been so excited to see the dinosaur bones (like in one of her books), and we went into the huge exhibit hall and she seemed rather disappointed. I made a big deal about it and said, "Look, Beth! We're finally here!" and she said, "They're like in our mall." HAHAHA! Why go all the way to Washington DC to see the dinosaurs when you can just go to the mall? LOL.

breakfast at einstein bros

the museum

i got a kick out of this. my kids are marsupials. ;-)

the infamous dinosaurs

After the museum we drove to the Pentagon. We couldn't quite figure out parking, but we drove by the 9/11 memorial and figured that we didn't want to get out since the kids were sleeping in their seats. Then we drove around DC for about an hour trying to find a spot for lunch during lunch hour- our mistake was listening to a loaned GPS instead of just finding a fast food spot. Since the downtown area was incredibly crowded and busy, we decided to drive out a little to find lunch. Well then we were in an area where we felt sort of...unsafe, so lunch was greatly delayed. We went to some aquatic gardens thinking it would be a little touristy, but we couldn't have been more wrong! No food there either, so we hiked around the marsh (which was cool), thinking it would make a circle around the marsh. Big fat no- so at the dead-end we turned around to hike the .7 miles back with two kids on our backs.

hiking around the marsh

Exhausted and tired we went home, devoured food, and passed out!

Friday we went to Baltimore to visit Josh's place of work, Johns Hopkins. We had some yummy crabcakes for lunch then walked around campus and met some of Josh's colleagues and saw where all the genius work happens! Afterward we drove to the Harbor and walked around there for a bit, it was very cool but I wish we'd have had time to tour the boats or the money to go to the aquarium! Wanting to beat Friday afternoon traffic, we hit the road early to drive back to DC and have some of Josh's yummy chili for dinner!

visiting the johns hopkins campus in baltimore, where josh works. i felt pretty old bringing my kids on a campus, haha.

at the harbor

We left for the airport at 11:30 on Saturday. Luckily we gave ourselves lots of time, because we were overly-confident in our abilities to get ourselves to the airport and didn't have a map. We got soooo lost and sooo confused, but in our defense the highways and interstates in DC are royally screwed up. By the time we dropped off our car, took the bus to the airport, had to empty our checked back of a few items (since it was 58 lbs, sheesh) and ran across the airport, we made it there only minutes before they started boarding! Eek!

The flight home seemed longer than the flight there, and once we finally were home...Well, I don't think anyone has ever been happier to see home! Beth kept saying, "It's nice to be home!" We had such a great time, and the weather couldn't have been nicer. We saw everything we wanted to see and came back with fantastic memories. :-)

coming home!


grandma c said...

Wow! What wonderful pictures...and vacation. Good looking family!!

Julie said...

I love the pics of all the kids together!

Kyla and Michael said...

It looks like you guys had a blast!! What beautiful shots! Beth looks so pretty in front of those bright pink flowers. Congrats on the baptism of your new nephew - what a blessing! Can't wait to hear all about it!

mama schmerb said...

What fabulous pictures. Matthew says the picture in front of the capital will come in handy in future class projects on family vacations!
I am really in shock over how BIG Beth and Luke look compared to little Chris.
How wonderful for the families to get to visit and be with each other!
My beautiful grandbabies...:)

Caroline said...

Awesome pics! I love the one of Ryan and Beth in front of the sunflowers, beautiful!

Grandpa Paul said...

Great post!!

Kyla and Michael said...

oh WOW! What a wonderful trip! I just LOVE the pic of Ryan and Beth in front of the sunflowers! He should totally frame that for his desk! :) You guys saw and did a LOT while you were there!

I love the Basilica too! When my sister was there training for her missionary work, we would always go there for mass when we visited because it is just so incredible!

site design by designer blogs