“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together there is something you must always remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart I'll always be with you.”

~Winnie the Pooh

6.15.2017

mr. brooks goes to d.c.

at the end of may brooks and i invaded in on megan at her yearly sales meeting which was being held in d.c. this year.  i have never been and thought it would be a good opportunity for brooks and i to spend some good ole' quality time together.  with all of carson's new problems with the jia and all the appointments and things we have had to do i felt like brooks was feeling a little scared and left out.  he is my stereotypical middle child.  only brooks would get a trip alone with his mom out of carson getting arthritis.  all that aside, i knew that brooks would probably appreciate all the history and significance the most.  so after a few days of researching the best things to see and do in d.c. we were set.  we had 3 full days to just explore.  if you were to ask him what he wanted to see the most before we went it would've been to see the white house and meet president trump.  what can i say, the kid has some high standards.

7:20am flight out.  good thing we were excited to go, otherwise we'd both be asleep!
DC trip


on day one, thursday, when we got there about 10am it was pouring down rain and about 50 degrees.  not the best weather to walk around in but we managed.  we stopped off at megan's hotel to drop our bags and then it was off to see whatever we could.  we made it to the national mall and hit up a few of the smithsonian museums.  air and space was first.  it was packed.  i felt like every middle school in the united states had a field trip planned here for this day.  there were preteen kids everywhere.  it made me really appreciate my little ones and also feel bad for all those teachers trying to get the kids to put down their phones and look at all this cool stuff, for pete's sake!  anyway, brooks was pretty amazed with all they had to see.  he even tried "space" ice cream and really like it.  me, not so much.  

waiting to get in to the air and space museum.  this is pretty much how we looked all weekend.  wet and in our rain jackets.
DC trip

a piece of the actual moon!
DC trip

everywhere we went we saw the washington monument.  it became a running joke, "look kids, the washington monument!"
DC trip

megan had to head back to wrap up her meetings so brooks and i headed over to the museum of natural history.  our favorite thing there was the hope diamond and the butterfly house.  oh, and the cafeteria in the basement, we were starving!  

hope diamond
DC trip

butterfly house.  we really wanted one to land on us but were also a teeny bit afraid.
DC trip

brooks and i grabbed a quick dinner by our hotel and then came back to wait for megan.  brooks wanted to spot her first so he sat right by the doors waiting for her. 

DC trip

day two we did lots and lots of walking and exploring in the rain.  first we ran through the museum of american history and hit up the presidential section.  here we could see lincoln's actual hat he was wearing when he was shot, some really cool artifacts from his funeral, and tons of other things from our past presidents.  stuff like that amazes me.  these things were actually used by our very first presidents.  how cool is that?  we saw a chair that belonged to george washington.  i mean...how amazing!  
brooks was ready to get into the museum
DC trip

statue of liberty made out of legos!
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future president
DC trip

lincoln's hat.  i could've stayed and looked at it all day long.
DC trip




our next stop was to the department of printing and engraving to see where money is made.  i would say this was probably on the bottom of our list of favorite things to see.  it was cool seeing the huge stacks of millions of dollars but the rest of the tour was kinda slow.  from here we went to the national archives.  this was really cool.  we had an appointment to get in to see some of the big guns, the declaration of independence, the bill of rights, and the constitution.  all the actual documents.  it was just amazing to see those actual documents.  i'm not sure i have ever seen anything so cool (besides lincoln's actual hat).  unfortunately, no pictures were allowed in the archives.  if you have never been to see these i highly recommend you go.

next stop for the day was the lincoln memorial.  having never been to d.c. before i had no idea just how big this monument is.  wow.  talk about being in awe.  brooks was so impressed.  unfortunately, it was raining pretty good so everybody was jammed inside under cover so it wasn't super easy to look at everything.  still, very moving to see, especially parts of his speeches engraved on the walls.

DC trip

we had done so much hopping from one place to another this day that we decided to uber back (undoubtably, brooks's favorite part of our trip.  calling ubers) to our hotel and relax a little then find a place for dinner by our hotel.  

saturday was by far, my favorite day.  we started off at ford's theater where lincoln was shot...(side note, we found out that i am not the one to be in charge of times/appointments/schedules.  i almost always had our time/place wrong.  fortunately, we were able to talk our way in or rescheduled for most things.  it became quite the joke though to brooks).  i had bought tickets to see a one act play about the night he was shot then to go across the street to the peterson house where he died the next day.  the play was really neat to see and gave so many details.  i'm not sure brooks was that impressed but the whole time we just found ourselves staring at the box seats where lincoln would've been sitting.  it was very surreal to think that is the exact place he was shot.  we did learn that the building has been restored and some things in the box were not the original but still...pretty close.  

DC trip

then it was across the street to where lincoln was taken after being shot.  here we learned that this house has been preserved exactly, except for the actual bed he died in...that is in a museum in chicago.  but the rest of the house hasn't been touched.  we got to walk through pretty much by ourselves and really take our time.  just amazing.  

DC trip

DC trip

from here we walked (much to brooks's disappointment, he wanted to uber) to capital hill and sat on the steps and looked around for a bit.  again, i never knew just how big all of this is.  it's pretty impressive when you think about just how many of our presidents have been here before.

deep thoughts on the capital steps 
DC trip

DC trip

the running joke of the washington monument being everywhere got pretty funny.  brooks wanted to take a picture of us pointing to it, again.
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after the capital we decided to uber to arlington.  this was a risky move on my part.  brooks has a lot of questions about dying and people who have died, and what happens when you die, and where do you go, and can you come back, and so on and so forth.  but, i thought it was important for him to go and see just how many people have served our country.  arlington was amazing.  probably our favorite thing we did the whole trip.  what a sight to see.  we decided we could walk to see all the main spots.  at first this seemed like a great idea, then as we kept seeing the tour busses drive by us we thought maybe we chose wrong.  either way, if you ever have a chance to go i highly recommend it.  our first stop was to see the eternal flame of JFK and Jackie O.  it is so surreal to be standing next to where they are buried.  everyone that walks up is so respectful and it is so quiet.  just a really good place to sit and reflect.  of course, it came with lots of questions on who JFK was and how he died.  still, so cool to see.  

DC trip

next was my favorite.  the tomb of the unknown.  just amazing.  i can not even put into words how you feel when you are watching the guard march back and forth.  we got to see two changing of the guards and see a wreath laying ceremony.  brooks was entranced the whole time.  counting steps, watching the guards and their rituals.  counting pauses.  watching faces.  he really did such a good job just taking it all in. 

DC trip

and then this happened.  we were using the bathroom which is right next to where the guards go in between their shifts.  we were waiting on megan and this guy walks out looking very much like one of the guards.  brooks says to me, "hey!  that looks like a guard of the tomb!"  and the guy turns to him and gives him a wink and a thumbs up and says he is one.  we waited for him to come back from what he was doing and he chatted with brooks for a few minutes and then took a picture with him.  brooks was beyond excited.  i could see it in his sweet little face.  we thanked the kid for his service and went on our way with a little guy pretending to be one of the guards himself.   

DC trip

and then before we knew it we were lost.  arlington is huge.  everywhere you turn looks like the place you were just in.  we were all starting to get a little tired and hungry but everywhere we went was the wrong way.  finally we found someone and he pointed us in the direction  we needed to go which took us past this view...

DC trip

i'm not sure we could've asked for a better view of d.c. and our whole trip.  we spent a few minutes just admiring it all then headed back down, caught another uber and went to grab one last dinner.  

brooks doing what he loved the most, watching the uber car on our phones and telling us when they were pulling up.  i'm afraid he thinks he can uber anywhere now.

DC trip

this was by far one of my favorite trips i have taken.  i was just amazed by all the stuff we got to see.  i will definitely be going back to d.c. again.  but, nothing beats coming home to all my faces that i love so much.  

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