By Melissa Mc
On Thursday we set off on a 2000 mile round trip trek across the states of Arkansas, Tennessee and Virginia for Washington DC. While most families are soaking up the sun in tropical places like Florida and Mexico, we are shoving American history down the throats of our youngins. We spent a glorious weekend immersing ourselves in Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown colony, only to realize we should have reversed the order of our stops, since Jamestown predates Williamsburg by over 100 years. We also delighted in the companionship of dear friends who we haven’t seen (except once) in 6 years. Our oldest children were 4 and 3 (or was it 3 and 2?) respectively and have little memory of playing dress up with each other. It was joyous to see them all (additional siblings since added) playing as if no time had passed.
Tomorrow we continue the journey on to DC where our whole family began. My husband and I had our first date in DC at the Shakespeare Theatre (it was Henry IV, V or VI, I can’t remember?) 14 years ago, and married in the DC Temple nearly 12 years ago. So it is a personal history trip as well and an American history trip. In addition to The Mall, museums and monuments, we will be visiting our ratty basement apartments on A Street SE and eating French toast and buying artwork at Eastern Market.
We’ve never been “tourists” in DC, so it will be interesting how we manage the Smithsonians, Lincoln and Jefferson with three kids in tow. What we are eager to show our kids (the Museum of Natural History) may not be what they are most eager to see (the National Zoo). Having already survived my 3 year old’s meltdown in the courtyard of the Old Capitol Building in Williamsburg while tourists peered over the ancient wall to stare at him wailing in my arms, I’m not sure if 4 days in DC is too much for him. But I’ve prepared myself for the worse and added extra chocolate to my emergency bag.
This trip hasn’t been without the normal, “How much longer?” or “I have to go to the bathroom!” or “J is hitting me!”, but I’m surprised at how easy it has been! The long hours in the car on Thursday and Friday were instantly remedied by the indoor hotel pool at the end of the day. I thought the “books on tape” would be a nice alternative to the DVD player, but they haven’t been listened too for more than 5 minutes. And as much as I try to plan healthy treats for the car, I’m convinced that I should throw cases of Little Debbie snacks in the back and be done with it.
First stop tomorrow on our continued road trip is Mount Vernon, and the rest of the week, as they say, is history.