It’s the third and final installment of our spring break trip to Washington D.C.
Our little family thoroughly enjoyed the nation’s capital and declared it one of the best family vacations we’ve ever been on. The people were so friendly, the food was so good, transportation was clean, it was easy to navigate and walk almost anywhere, the history was rich, the landscape beautiful and almost every activity/museum/visitors center we visited was free. It was such a good place for our family of six to visit and we’re already thinking about when we’ll go back.
And now, the fourth and final day our trip (spoiler alert: we end on a HIGH!)…
Good morning from D.C.! We started off our day by walking to…
…the International Spy Museum. So, this place was a bust for us. Boo. #itwasboundtohappenatsomepoint The funny thing is, this is the only place where we had to buy actual tickets and it was the only place we didn’t enjoy. We wanted it to be more about real spies…and it did have some info on real spies…but it had way too much info on fake spies (i.e. James Bond movie spies). We went, we saw, we were unimpressed and we left.
Heading into the Spy Museum…
…and heading out :).
Next stop, Georgetown! We were so excited to see this area of D.C.! Please note, Ashby thinks she’s a supermodel here 😉 .
This particular day just happened to be March 7, which is my dad’s birthday. So, I texted Meagan (who lived in D.C. for a decade) and asked her where we should have lunch in Georgetown and she said J. Paul’s…and ironically enough, my dad is Jonathan Paul, so we knew it was meant to be :).
After a delicious lunch at J. Paul’s, we walked the streets of Georgetown.
Everyone was having the best time!
Of course, we HAD to eat a cupcake from Georgetown Cupcakes!
So, first thing that morning, we went online and reserved tickets to visit the Holocaust Museum. Tickets were only a dollar a person, but you had to have reservations that are made the day of (instead of walking right in). We had made our reservations for 2:30 that day. We left Georgetown and made our way there…
…this museum was phenomenal. We stayed for about two hours but could have stayed all day. We watched every short film, we toured, we read, we talked…it was a very intense and yet special part of our trip because we were really able to reflect and discuss some horrible parts of history. I have a feeling that people are going to ask me what age is appropriate for kids and here is my answer: it depends on your kids. While we were in there, there were kids of all ages, so it most definitely is a kid-friendly museum. Because our kids have been to Anne Frank’s house, they’ve toured an actual concentration camp and visited many other historical spots from WWII, this wasn’t a new discussion for us. I appreciated how the graphic (very graphic) movie footage was up high and behind a curtain so that children could not view it, they offered a “kid museum” that talked about children living through the Holocaust, so I do think it’s appropriate for kids…but that’s for you to gauge.
After the museum, Smith wanted to play catch outside, so they played (he brought his glove and ball…because you know, #boypriorities )…
…and the three girls ran around and burned off some energy.
This was our warmest day in D.C. (mid-60s), and we enjoyed being outside!
So, after this, we went back to our Airbnb, changed clothes and headed out to dinner. Shame on me because I have no pictures from dinner and it was fantastic because friends, IT WAS A GERMAN RESTAURANT! You guys know how much I love German food (it’s my VERY favorite!), so I was pumped when I read online before we left that D.C. had this one particular German restaurant that was authentic and kid-friendly. We loved eating at Cafe Berlin! The food was sooooooo good!
We left Cafe Berlin and we headed to the White House to meet Kerri for our private tour of the West Wing. The night before, we had to submit copies of our passports to the Secret Service to grant us security (I had someone comment and ask me about this). Thankfully, Andrew just happened to have had those copies on his phone (as we prepare for our summer vacation). We had no idea what to expect, but we were excited!
Waiting at the entrance for the Secret Service to let us in :).
Eeeeeeks! We’re heading inside the West Wing. #someonepinchme #noseriouslyPINCHME
Annnnd…that’s where the pics stop (for now). We were not allowed to take pics inside the West Wing, so I’ll paraphrase. One of the VP’s staffers was this adorable girl (and friend of Kerri’s) and she gave us the grand tour. We went inside, she showed us where the situation room was and then she was like, “do you want to go outside and see the rose garden”. Um, yes! So, we walked outside (under those famous arches you always see on TV) and checked out the rose garden and where Marine One takes off. While we were out there, we were able to look inside the Oval Office from a distance through the window. It was so surreal! There it was RIGHT THERE. After our rose garden tour, she walked us back inside and down this hall, we passed the Roosevelt Room and the Cabinet Room and then BAM. There it was…the Oval Office. I just didn’t think we would see THAT. We were happy looking at it through the glass from across the rose garden…but no, we got to stand there at the threshold of the Oval Office for 20 minutes and just take it all in. Just us. Looking inside. It was probably the coolest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I just kept thinking about the men who have occupied that space and the amazing things they’ve done for our country: FDR, Kennedy, the list goes on. It was so cool to stand there and just look. (And yes, I thought about Scandal while I was standing there too 😉 ).
After we finished looking at the Oval, we headed to our next stop…
…the press briefing room. As you can see, Smith is ready for his first job.
So. Much. Fun!
There’s Kerri again. I’m seriously going to have to have a fifth kid just to name him/her Kerri 🙂 .
We left the press briefing room and stood under where the residence is…
…blurry but happy!
One more picture of the West Wing before we made our way over to the Vice President’s office…
…where pictures were allowed 😉 . This is in the drawer of the VP.’s desk (we had permission to look!). Former VP’s have all signed it. Isn’t that cool?!
The VP has a small office in the West Wing and then this office is where his staff is located. It’s called his “ceremonial office”.
Kensington sitting at the VP’s desk (formally President Roosevelt’s desk inside the Oval Office)…
…Ashby wanted to sit…
…and so did Madeley. A lot can happen in six months. One day, you’re a Chinese citizen in an orphanage and then six months later, you’re an American citizen with a family sitting at the Vice President’s desk 😉 .
We exited the White House and then walked around front for one more view…
…and just like that, our trip to Washington D.C. was over.
Whew! Three posts on one little trip.
Did we do everything in D.C.?
Does that mean we need to go back soon and do some more stuff?
Thank yo Washington D.C.!