Saturday, July 31, 2010

Washington D.C., Part One.

Our family summer vacation is officially in the books.

Washington D.C., baby.

I have so much to say, and so much to tell you, but before I start babbling incoherent nonsense, let me just start with one thing.

Our vacation to D.C. can be summed up in one word: Metro.

If you ask my kids what they loved the most about this family vacation, they will just smile, start salivating, and say, "Metro". In their minds, it is a five-letter word for pure awesomeness.

What Disney World? All this fun can be had for mere dollars, people.

As I was preparing for our trip a few months ago and researching where we would stay, and what we would see, several people told me to make sure we stayed near a Washington Metro train station, because driving in D.C. is a big no-no. "Don't even try it," they would say, and then they would regale me with tales of horrible traffic and lack of parking. But in my smug, know-it-all brain, I would think, "Heh. What do they know? We lived in the city of Chicago for 3 years, and in the Chicago suburbs for 7, so we know traffic, and we know how to drive in city traffic. Surely we can handle D.C., and their supposed little traffic problem."

Stupid me. Stupid, stupid, me.

You are more than welcome to try it for yourself, and prove me wrong, but take my advice. Do not make the mistake we made on the first full day in town. If you value your sanity, your marriage, and you would very much NOT like your heart to spasm wildly and explode in your chest as a result of pure terror and panic, then DO NOT drive in downtown D.C. Just. don't. do. it.

The District of Columbia doesn't mess around with their traffic. They mean it. For realsies.

I'll just sum up that story by saying that while stupidly driving in the heart of downtown D.C. on a Sunday afternoon, it took us TWO HOURS to get to a parking garage to park our minivan. What should have been a 15-minute drive, but actually took TWO HOURS (did you get that part?) resulted in hungry, crying children, and desperation so great that I had fantasies of ditching our minivan on the side of a road, and running to the nearest Subway to feed my children and myself. Furthermore, in the process of this...ahem...leisurely Sunday drive, I may or may not have called my dear husband a "poop head", and screamed "We're gonna die!!!" as an enormous tour bus decided that it would like to occupy the lane in which we were driving, regardless of the fact that our family of six had dibsies on said lane.

Temporary insanity. What can I say? It happens.

So the Metro. Yeah. It's where it's at.

When I lived in Chicago, I rode the El every day back and forth from my job, and I loved it. However, that was pre-four kids. Now, the thought of standing on a crowded train platform with four sometimes-rambunctious children filled me with a sense of paranoia, and visions of children falling to the tracks. I got over the paranoia rather quickly, once I realized that because of the aforementioned traffic, the Metro was going to be my "boo" over the next few days. Soon, my kids were train-riding champs, and we navigated the escalators, train platforms and transfers with ease.


Our hotel was in the gorgeous town of Alexandria, Virginia, about 8 miles from downtown D.C. (also the home of George Washington's Mount Vernon) near the historic Old Town Alexandria, and luckily, there were at least three nearby Metro stations.



Need I mention how much kids heart riding trains? It was the big hit of our trip. Forget the T-Rex at the Smithsonian. "The Metro was the funnest," declared my 5-year old son.

More tomorrow.

14 comments:

  1. Sounds to me that you earned yourself a much needed spa day after that trip!

    I feel ya on traffic...Moose and I were in the car in Chicago (btw, didn't know you lived here before!) for FOUR hours on Thursday.

    I. Was. About. To. Die.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh no! Four hours in Chicago traffic? I love the Windy City, but I do NOT miss the traffic. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I remember riding those trains when my sister and I were in 9th grade...it was our first experience in "a big city" those seats look familiar!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Put it someplace where you cannot miss it if you tried.
    The second option is to use headphones as you probably did at the gym in the past.
    Menopause weight gain is not inevitable, but it can be more difficult to maintain a
    healthy weight as your metabolism slows.

    Feel free to surf to my page sources

    ReplyDelete
  5. They aim at miming various good qualities of the counterparts of the assumed celebrity.
    " Earlier today some cruise ship struck land in Alaska. This secret Taoist soak will wash any lingering worries down the drain and give you a fabulous and fresh start.

    My blog :: Latest Daily News

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anyone who needs a new idea to stay motivated should definitely try this.

    Blowing off some steam with a quick round
    of solo travel fitness in the morning can make your
    whole day brighter. If the answer is I''''''ll do
    whatever takes''''''''.

    Here is my webpage; fitnesstipsonly.blogspot.de

    ReplyDelete
  7. I constantly emailed this website post page to all my friends,
    because if like to read it afterward my friends will too.


    Here is my web page :: mouse click the following internet site

    ReplyDelete
  8. What's up, I just wanted to say, I loved this post. It was funny. Continue on publishing!

    Feel free to visit my web site please click the up coming document

    ReplyDelete
  9. In this competitive world, news information is like knowledge recourses that educate us about various world wide activities
    and the activity within the society, even
    in the surrounding etc. I also have to wonder if the evening news shows
    are more interested in ratings or in reporting the real news.
    "The boys said they'd been out collecting frogs when something approached from the saw grass.

    Check out my homepage: Latest Daily News

    ReplyDelete
  10. Far too many children become the victims of abuse, neglect, or abandonment and then
    sadly, often they become wards of the court who will
    eventually determine their fate. A person needs to have
    an active internet connection to be able to access all the headlines
    and information on internet. Committee on Gulf War and Health:
    Health Effects of Serving in the Gulf War, Update 2009.


    Check out my web site - Latest Daily News

    ReplyDelete
  11. Here again you want to find or even create an angle or slant in which you can take headline news and 'incorporate' it into a post you are composing.

    You can give tips to the workers in the salon, restaurants where
    the star visit frequently. The singer will not be charged for her public intoxication,
    but her boyfriend was charged a $30,000 bail fee to release himself after he was tested positive for driving
    under the influence.

    My weblog ... latest celeb news

    ReplyDelete
  12. Үour write-up features cоnfirmeԁ necеѕsary
    to me perѕonally. It’s quіte useful and you
    аre nаturally very expeгіenced іn this fіeld.
    Υοu get οpened my face to various views on
    this kіnd of subject matteг along with
    intriguіng and sound ωritten cοntent.
    Here is my web blog ... buy phentermine

    ReplyDelete
  13. I've listened to this a dozen or more times and still find it delightful and sooooo original in concept. This glass would cost less than $1000 and would be available to almost all the people in Britain. If a person is connected with the latest headlines, it will develop an awareness in him with regards to the world which surrounds him.

    Here is my web page - Latest Daily News

    ReplyDelete
  14. People talk themselves out of exercising so easily, and the
    opposite can be so easy. The reason this is important is because you will have a stronger knowledge base and bag
    of tricks to keep you going on the rougher days.
    What I tell my clients is that they need to schedule their fitness time like it's a doctor's appointment.



    Feel free to surf to my homepage ... fitness tips at home

    ReplyDelete

Can we talk? Don't be shy. I'd love to hear what you have to say.