Washington Trip

Day 1: Sunday – Getting There and Museum of Natural History
Just as we are going to Washington, a snow storm started today. We were rather worried about the road condition. For the first hour, we only encountered light hail, but we gradually drove into towns that were covered with a powdery snow and the pitter pattering hail turned into fluffy floating snowflakes. That’s when we skidded on a patch of ice at the traffic light. The light was orange and J was trying to slow down, we ended up swerving left and right on a patch of ice and had to run over a red light. Good thing there was no one around us at tht time. The rest of the trip was thankfully uneventful and we got to the hotel around 11am.

We were able to check in to our room early. It was a good thing I brought lots of snacks and food stuff because we ended up eating those English muffins, eggs, smoked salmon, carnita and tomatoes for a quick and easy lunch. Later that evening, we realized that most of the restaurants around us were closed today and we managed to avoid having McDs for both lunch and dinner. And I thought I went. little overboard with the food I brought along.

After lunch and a little rest, it became apparent that Calvin was too excited to even have some good quiet time. I decided to bring him to the Museum of Natural History while Johnny attended his conference. It was snowing heavily during the 10 minute walk. I got out the raincover on the stroller and so Calvin was spared the fate off having snow in his eyes. Then we finally got to the much awaited dinosaur exhibit. I wonder if it was a little disappointing for him because the dinosurs filled only a small room. We also looked at the gem collection which was very popular. I think Calvin was more impressed with the semi-precious stones display where they had big chucks of rocks the size of a person compared to the relatively smaller diamonds and emeralds in the jewelry. He was also very amused by the meteorite and rock display. We visited the butterfly hall too. I promised to bring him back on Tuesday when they had a free butterfly tour. I guess we’ll finish exploring the rest of the museum then. He refused to go to the Egyptian mummy display. We had been out for abut two hours. After that, he was pretty much tired out by all the walking and into the stroller he went as I pushed him back. I’m glad I brought it along though it is more difficult to navigate the museum with it.Washington Day 1

I got lost on the way back, walking past our hotel twice on the opposite side of a wide road. I had forgotten that it was not at the same side of the road. I was mighty tired too after walking around, getting wet in the freezing rain. Calvin was blessedly dry except for his pants and shoes that stuck out of the rain cover. We weren’t that fortuitous in keeping him (or the bedlinen and our pants) dry the rest of the day. It’s a good thing I brought extra clothes for him but I think all but one of his pants were soaked with urine.

We spent the rest of the afternoon resting in the hotel room, snacking (again). Calvin declared that his favorite part of the fun day was (drumroll)……. the orange and (another drumroll) the tomato snacks. This boy certainly falls into the live to eat category. He was awfully delighted with his first McDs meal of mainly French fries, half a bacon McDoubld, 1.5 nugget and half an apple pie.

Day 2: Air and Space Museum
Today, we decided to tackle the air and space museum. It’s a little further away, about 20 minutes walk. Thankfully it stopped raining so I could merrily push him along in the stroller. Except of course my snow boots started hurting my foot. I should have brought another pair of walking shoes =_= Calvin was all excited to see the planes. We saw several commercial plane mockups and a simulator though Calvin as usual wanted to see if he could climb in. He was afraid of the WW II exhibits which he thinks was spooky because it was dark and I think one of the war videos had scary sounding music. After a quick jaunt to the sea-air exhibit where we saw the aircraft carriers, Mr Calvin decided he’s had enough of boring exhibits that you can only look at and said we should go back to the hotel. Looks like 45 mins is the linit on his stamina but since we are unlikely to come back, I suggested that he climb into the stroller while I push him around the exhibits. Stroller saves the day again as we went around to see the Kitty Hawk, the solar systems and space shuttle and also the children’s room which was a big hit because of all the hands on experiments.

We ended up eating an overpriced turkey sandwich at the Smithsonian castle cafe. I had read there was a large food court there but I didn’t have the energy to look for it since the security at the front told me there was only the cafe. And then there was an agonizing 20 minutes walk back since my new boots were chafing the back of my feet. It was probably not made for hours of walking. We were both pretty pooped so we rested at the hotel for the rest of the day. J had a dinner as part of the conference so we went out in search of dinner. The food court near by didn’t look particularly appetizing and we couldn’t find the Subway restaurant. We ended up with McDs again. While we were waiting, Calvin saw the big M and said “McDonalds. Is this restaurant called McDonalds, mama?” Oops, add that to the list of random TV vocabulary he picked up including Pokemon, Pikachu (he was highly amused by the line pikachu, I choose you), paw patrol, not to mention countless ads trying to ask the kids to get the latest toys for Christmas.

Washington Day 2

Day 3: Natural History Museum & American History Museum
We went back to the Natural History Museum with J today. It was free admission day for the Butterfly Pavilion so we went to see that and the insect hall. The insect hall was plenty of fun for kids since you actually real insects crawling around. They even had some humungous cockroach, caterpillar and stick insect that you can touch. The butterfly pavillion was basically a warm house where they have lots of flowers for the butterflies to feed on. One butterfly even stopped on my colorful bag thinking it was a flower. The funniest part of the museum was when we showed up on a projection screen with animated dinosaurs, making it look like the triceratops and T rex were right next to us. We went to the dinosaur hall again before we finally went off to hunt for lunch. We wanted to find the food trucks but because of the snow, the government was closed today so none of the food trucks were around though we did get a rather pathetic glimpse of the White House.

We ended up at a food court nearby. I had some pretty mediocre teriyaki beef. J and Calvin shared a much better gyro meal. We went back to the hotel for a little rest while J went to attend another presentation. Basically I napped a little while Calvin capered around trying not to get scolded by a tired grumpy mama. After that, we were off to the American History museum to see the locomotive. After a quick uninterested time there, since most of the exhibits cannot be touched, we took a subway to Chinatown for dinner. We got some duck noodles and some pretty terrible steamed dumplings

Washington Day 3

 

Day 4: Back Home

We packed up in the morning while Calvin was watching more cartoons. We decided to get an early start back. I wanted to stop by at a store in a town along the way to make some returns. When we got there, we found that our car couldn’t start. Luckily we were at a big mall with a comfortable Wegman’s, plenty of choices for food and potential entertainment. J had to call for a tow truck to bring it to the nearest repair shop. We were horribly fleeced but it was unavoidable since we don’t know anything about the place and just wanted to get home. It took us about 3 hours before we managed to get going again. Calvin was really good and endured the wait with me at the cafe area in Wegman’s. It’s a good thing I had plenty of paper and crayons so we passed most of the time eating lunch, then doodling, resting, snacking etc. When we finally got home, it was almost 6pm and the worst part of it was, the house heater was off and our house was a chilly 50F because of the snow storm. We tried calling the landlord but they couldn’t get it checked that night, so I ended up sleeping with my hat and scarf on. What a day it was!

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