A Trip to Washington D.C. with Aaron (and Silas) // Part 2

Nov 26, 2022

Picking right up where we left off . . .  (Click here for Part 1)

Saturday, October 15th

Our day started early with tickets to the Spy Museum. I'm not usually the type who likes to spend hours in a museum looking at every single artifact and reading all of the placards, but I really wanted to here. Everything was so cool. Unfortunately, this happened to be the place where Silas decided he'd had  enough. He was not at all interested in walking along at a nice, leisurely pace. So I ended up splitting up with Aaron and Mike so that they could get the full experience without a fussy baby. It was really the only time when I thought it would be nice if we didn't have him along. Even with him though, I still got to see a fair amount and thought it was worth it.

After the museum, Silas finally fell asleep. We tried out two places for lunch (because, why not?): Falafal, Inc. and Fat Fish. I'd highly recommend both. We went to District Doughnut for dessert, which was not as impressive, but maybe that's because we were already so full. 

We didn't have anything scheduled for the afternoon, so we went to the National Museum of African Art (the Nollywood Portraits exhibit was stunning) followed by the National Archives. We had not reserved tickets, and this was the longest line we waited in during the entire trip. We happened to be behind a family who were quite entertained by Silas (and vice versa). But even so, by the time we got through security, Silas was done. We took a quick peek at the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and then called it a day.

We drove back to our apartment where Aaron crashed on the couch to watch a football game. Mike, Silas, and I went for a walk because I had seen that there was a yarn store just a few blocks away (what luck!). We also went to Levain again. We decided to just get takeout for dinner (from a place called Matchbox), and I actually opted to just order dessert and eat my Indian leftovers from the night before. Mike had been wanting fish and chips the whole trip and finally got them. After we put Silas to bed, we finished watching Hamilton and then turned in ourselves. 

Sunday, October 16th

We had a slow morning getting packed up and ready to check out of our Airbnb. It really was the perfect place to stay, and we were so grateful it worked out to be there. Each time we came back to it or walked around the neighborhood, we said, "Didn't we luck out with this place? It's the best!"

We wanted to go to church, so we found a ward that was close to the Washington DC temple. We were pretty excited because when we walked in, we could tell that it was going to be their primary program.  Also, by random chance, I knew the man who gave the opening prayer. He and his wife were music majors at BYU at the same time as me. So that was a fun little coincidence. 

After church, we went to the temple to walk around the grounds and eat lunch (Mike had bought some subs from a place called Vace the night before, but they were disappointing). The temple was beautiful. It has always been a favorite of mine, and to see it in person was pretty inspiring. It was a lovely fall day--the weather couldn't have been nicer--and it was such a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

From the temple, we drove to Mount Vernon. We toured the house and then walked around the grounds. The whole property exuded peace and serenity. I could see why George Washington wanted to return to it so much and quietly live the rest of his life there. If I lived close, I would buy a membership just so I could regularly come sit on the chairs and take in the view of the Potomac and be still. Such a lovely piece of Virginia. 

The final activity of the day was Arlington Cemetery. By this time, we were cutting it quite close on time. We entered the grounds at 4:45 and then ran (reverently) through the cemetery to the Tomb of the Unknown Solider where we arrived mere seconds before the final public changing of the guard of the day. Knowing that our time was so short, we almost gave up trying to reach the tomb in time, but I'm so glad we decided to just go for it and try. The quiet, sacred nature of the ceremony was really moving to watch, and it's one of those things that will stay imprinted in our minds from this trip. We took a leisurely walk back through the cemetery to the exit.

On our final night, we stayed at a hotel that was close to the airport. We ate ramen and popcorn in our hotel room, and it felt like a rather anti-climatic end to an otherwise perfect trip. The next morning, we woke up early, made it to the airport on time, and arrived back home by lunchtime. 

After postponing this trip with Aaron so many times, it was amazing to finally have it all come together. It was exactly as I hoped it would be. He is one of my more quiet kids, and to be able to focus on him and do what he wanted to do and see him experience all of these things was just so special and memorable. Since getting back, we have talked often about our trip, reliving moments of it and relishing the shared memories. I made a little video, as well as these blog posts, to capture some of that time together. Such a treat!

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