Monday, August 13, 2012

H Family Sightseeing - Part 1

I've been slacking on showing you all the FUN stuff we've been doing as new residents in our area!  (So for you're viewing ease, I broke this up into parts... that way it's open ended and I can as parts as we go). I've tried to link up to the places I mention to help if anyone is ever interested!
We've decided to make a conscious effort to do as much as we can while we're here. Many reasons... first, Greg and I LOVE historical stuff! Second, his company is actually moving their HQ come 2014... so we know we'll only have a few short years here. Third, sure makes for some fun little family outings. Fourth, the more I enjoy these outings, the more I settle here (and therefore the less insane I feel, lol).

A few weeks ago we were once again saved by Greg's sister! She always comes to visit at just the right time. Plus with her, she gets our craziness... probably one of the few people that can just blend right in with us... and surprisingly enough keeps coming back for more. That's LOVE right there :) As when she used to visit in Texas, we always try to find fun new places to visit, eat, shop at, etc... so no different now!

We had a dreary & rainy weekend ahead of us, but we didn't let it stop us! First we went to the National Harbor located in Fort Washington, MD. I have to give credit where credit is due... two lovely ladies talked me into it (I was still in my cross country move haze). These ladies I've known for about 4-5 years, but have yet had the pleasure to meet in person. I've also met other mom friends I've met via this online moms group (like when we visited S in Texas on our way to New Orleans and during same road trip, on the tail end I met up with another mom friend S in OK).

Then I got to thinking... why not take a water taxi to get there? So that's just what we did! We took the Potomac Riverboat Company water taxi. After a bit of confusion (we went to office instead of ticketing counter - 3 blocks away) we just barely made it onto the boat! It was a great little ride over, only about 30 minutes. Everyone enjoyed it from the youngest to the oldest!

This water taxi makes a loop from the Alexandria Harbor to the National Harbor

Me & Luke enjoying the cruise

Big boys being big boys!

Then met up with my mom friends and let the kids play for a bit. We got stuck in the rain and were drenched, but all in all, the day got a thumbs up!

Strange statue no? His arms & legs are coming out of the sand as well

The next day we once again got wet and checked out the Smithsonian Natural History Museum! We were lucky enough to get a spot on the street in front of the Castle. Extremely neat, the look on the boys faces when we walked into the Dinosaur part was pure awe. It gave me tingles down to my toes to see them so fascinated. We definitely couldn't see it all, but certainly loved what we did see!

The Castle

Natural History Museum, wish we had much more time for it!

Then on Sunday we head to the monuments at the National Mall! Again, very special to share with the boys. They were both especially respectful at the Vietnam Wall. Jake asked why all those names were on the wall (I had told him in a way before hand, but it must of really been noticeable to him). I explain that these were the names of brave soldiers that became heroes when they died fighting for our country. I expected a million questions (as per the norm), but he just stepped up and leaned his forehead up against the wall with his little hands tracing some of the nearby names and closed his sweet little eyes. That was all. Simple as that, then he stepped away and he kept walking with us quietly. Wish I could have a pic of it, but it all happened so fast & I was too immersed in watching him to even think about reaching for the camera.

The tired parents at the Washington Monument ;)

The big boys being cute

Aunt M at her favorite memorial, with old Abe!

We parked in the Tidal Basin parking lot (right next to the paddle boats across from the Jefferson Memorial). I'm just sharing our tip that works for us... if you're traveling via car with kids & strollers this is a great place to park. It's free to park, it's a 3 hour limit. Which is perfect when you have younger kids & toddlers attention spans. Remember we're early birds, so we get there about 8:30am. It's one way, so we figured out that parking at the end when you get there is better than parking at the front. If you park at the front it's hard to get out because you have to wait on everyone that's waiting on a spot. If you park at the end, you're out in no time when the kids (not to mention parents) patience is wearing then.

Then we got the great idea... hey, Annapolis isn't that far away, let's go there for lunch! So off we go... I started googling & looking on Urban Spoon and found a place called the "Ken's Back Porch Cafe". First we drove to the Naval Academy, hoping we'd get to drive around, but since 9/11 you now have to park elsewhere but are still free to walk around. Luke had just finally fallen asleep for a little snooze, so we just drove around locally & headed to lunch!

The "OMG, Boats! Face"

It literally is a restaurant on the back porch of this building in a marina. Perfect atmosphere. You could tell it was sort of a local place, very much off the beaten path but elegant. Definitely can see why they tote it as "Annapolis' best kept secret"! Perhaps not exactly "kid friendly" as they did not have kid meals or anything (but are prepared for kids with highchairs & cups with lids). But they served this FANTASTIC stuffed french toast that was HUGE and all 3 boys split it. The adults all had something involving crab as we got to enjoy the not too sunny day with beautiful colorful boats rocking back and forth on the water.

Having an extra person, we tried for a family pic!

Again, it worked out really well, and it was another great sightseeing day!


Anonymous said...

I love Jake! Lily

Aunt J said...

Hello T ~ Sounds like a good time was had by all! I can't wait to come out and visit sometime. Love, Aunt J