Well, I've been just too darn busy to post anything, tho' I've been posting in my head. Here 'tis, quickly typed and not much proofing:
Friday we went down to D.C. The DH had it in his head that we had to get away for family time together, away from the house. Mind you, this family time together started with two hours of me driving, DH reading and the Kiddies playing Gameboy. No one talked. When I turned on the van CD player, Kiddie A complained that it made it harder to hear the music on her own CD player. geeeeeeez
He thought that going to the newer Air & Space Museum
would be fun. I had actually completely forgotten that it was built. Unlike the Air & Space Museum on the Mall
(full of history and science), this one is simply full of air and space craft. Kiddie B
has a few photos that she took posted on her blog. It's really nicely arranged - the stunt planes are hung upside down or going straight up. The biggest thrill for me was seeing the Space Shuttle Enterprise
- I didn't know it was there. I remember it being tested my senior year in high school (along with the first Star Wars movie ... boy, am I feeling old lately. At least I'm not as old as Hoss
By the time we finished, it was about 4:30 pm. Kiddies A&B really wanted to see Fantasic 4
(well, okay, so did I). We could've driven home in a couple of hours and see if there were tickets still available. DH suggested that we just see it locally and stay overnight, and go to another D.C. area attraction in the morning. So, we did. Along the way to Tyson's Corner we saw the local franchise of the restaurant that Jevanking
So, we found a hotel fairly quickly. Actually, we found one via phone and the AAA book. Finding it physically turned out to be harder. We decided to hurry up and eat at a McD's about a block from the theater (had bought the tickets already, of course). Went thru the drive-thru, ordered: Big Mac no onion; plain quarterpounder no cheese meal; Kiddie B wanted a Neopet toy, so the Happy Meal with a plain cheeseburger - but wrong toy!; and I had the 3-piece chicken select and fries, 'cause I was driving and it's easier to eat than a burger. The employee told us that the total was $33.00. WOW! I expected the D.C. area to be expensive, but... By the time we got to the window we realized that it was double what it should be. Turns out that the quarterpounder meal was entered as $19.95!
Anyway, saw the movie and it was fun. Theater was stinky and dirty.
A busload of Japanese tourists were also in the hotel, and woke us up around 6:30 am, talking loudly outside our room and smoking (Kiddie A sez I'm being prejudiced here ... but they were
Japanese ... maybe they were still on their home timezone). The Comfort Inn of Vienna, VA, is not the nicest one I've been to of that chain, despite their displayed "Gold Award Property" plaque in the lobby.
Then we had to decide what to do this morning. We thought that we would just do a quickie tour, because Kiddie B was going to Girl Scout camp Sunday and she hadn't finished packing (yeah, Mom, I know I coulda packed for her...). I listed the various museums and the Kiddies picked the Holocaust Museum
. I'm proud of them for being interested in a museum with a heavy and difficult subject.
I had forgotten just how frustrating it is to drive in D.C. I usually park at the Metro station closest to home and take the train in. Road signage appears (if at all) about ten feet from where you need to turn. If you miss the turn, then it will be impossible to get back to where you need to be for at least half an hour, because there won't be ANY available turns for several miles. Then there's parking to be found. I normally avoid being in D.C. on a weekend because there of the tourist traffic and parking.
FINALLY we got to the Museum, and it was about 11:30. Find out that the main portion of the exhibit is by (free) timed-entry tickets. Ours were for 2:15 pm. Hmmm... stay or go? DH wanted to go after having lunch and seeing the couple of special exhibits downstairs. We girls wanted to stay, so stay we did.
One of the special exhibits is titled Deadly Medicine
. I've always known about the Nazi's desire to create the Master Race, but I didn't know the extent that they had gone to. It is very well done. We started out reading every plaque, but after awhile it was overwhelming. So, we took a lunch break around 12:30.
I noticed that the Ticket Time Entry sign said (at 1:30) that "tickets for 2:30 and earlier may enter now", so we were able to get a start on the main exhibit. This is three floors of information and artifacts. Again, very well done. And sobering. I didn't know that the Nazi party had populated the concentration camps with political prisoners (Communists and Social Democrats) before the Jews, gays, gypsys and other "undesirables." Kiddie A was especially trying to read every plaque and sign, but there were just too many people and too many things to read, see and hear.
And after awhile, DH and I just couldn't take it anymore. Besides, it was late and we still have a two hour drive home (not counting the half hour it took to find the right way out of D.C.). I told the girls that I would bring them back during the week sometime later this summer.
So, another two hour drive home with DH reading (trying to finish the fifth Harry Potter book before the sixth one is released on Friday night), Kiddie A playing Gameboy with her headphones and music on, and Kiddie B doing the same until she drowsed off.
I got it in my head that I really needed ice cream. As we got within 10 miles of home I asked my DH what we should do for dinner. He groaned - we both hate this question. I then asked -- "how about ice cream for dinner?" (Neither Kiddie heard the question.) To my surprise and delight, DH said that was a good idea. For just this once.
So I roused the Kiddies and said "What to do you think about having ice cream for dinner?"
They had this incredibly wonderful look of confusion on their faces - tinged with hope. I then said "Your father says it's okay"
Kiddie B pumped the air with her fist and Kiddie A squealed a "Yeah!"
So we had big ice cream scoops on waffle cones for dinner.
Then the next day (Sunday) I drove us 2 and 1/2 hours to GS camp and 2 and 1/2 hours back home. Good many miles racked up on the still-nameless-van.