Friday, November 18, 2011

Family and Friend Time in DC by Robin Gorman Newman

It's been quite some time since we've vacationed with another family.

Seth was off for Veteran's Day, and we decided to take him out of third grade for a day, so we could spend four nights in Washington, DC.

Seth is learning about the Presidents and history in school, so this was a terrific real life educational experience.  I recall visiting DC as a child with my parents, but didn't recall the details of the this was a trip down memory lane and something special to share with my son.

Our good friends Laura and Ira joined us with their son Jeremy, and that made the boys all the happier. 

We stayed in the lovely Willard Intercontinental (photo below: Seth in the lobby).....conveniently located only a few blocks from the White House.  Seth got a huge kick out of the fact that he felt like we were temporarily living practically next door to President Obama. The rooms are spacious and elegant, and the concierge was always helpful and on the mark with restaurant recommendations, directions and sighseeing tips. The fact that our room was next to our friends made it a particular treat for the kids.

Known as the Crown Jewel of Pennsylvania Avenue, the Willard InterContinental has been the center of the social and political life in Washington DC since it first opened in 1818. The Willard InterContinental Washington is internationally known as one of the best DC hotels.

Time flew during our stay.  There is so much to do in DC, and we had full cooperation of the weather, which allowed us to walk a ton.

Our first day was spent visiting the Museum of American History, followed by lunch at Chef Geoff's Downtown, souvenir shopping, and an early evening visit to the White House (photo below...with Seth).  American History is one of the many Smithsonian Museums in DC, and admission is free.  A highlight for me was seeing The Ruby Slippers, as worn by Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz (one of my favorite movies).

Day two was a tour of the U.S. Capitol.  Quite a beautiful structure inside and out, packed with lots of history, statues and grandure. Totally recommend taking a tour.  Afterwards, we had a quick bite and a visit to the National Air and Space awesome place, according to my son....and I would agree.  You could easily spend hours here, so allow ample time if your child is an aviation fan. Our dinner spot was Daily Grill at Dupont Circle.  Great family restaurant with the hugest chicken pot pie I have ever seen!

Day three was a long-awaited visit to the International Spy Museum, followed by gift shopping at the The National Museum of Crime and Punishment - Cop Shop, a stroll around Dupont Circle, and dinner at Chef Geoff's Downtown.  At Dupont Circle, we stumbled on a local transit police officer who was kind enough to show Seth his equipment, explain his job, and pose for pictures.  You couldn't pay for a more opportune experience for Seth!  The International Spy Museum was impressive and fun...totally worth a trip.  It's interesting for kids and adults, and they offer enough interactive elements to keep you engaged...not to mention they have a super cool gift shop.

Day four (1/2 day) started with a visit to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial (first photo below), National Building Museum (third photo below) featuring a terrific Lego architectural exhibit, local firehouse (fourth photo below), and a visit to the majestic Lincoln Memorial (second photo below), plus quick looks at the Jefferson Memorial, George Washington Memorial, WWII Memorial and Martin Luther King Memorial.  Capping it all off, much to son's delight and excitement, was the two miliary air craft carriers he got to see heading toward the Pentagon.

Washington, DC is truly a feast for any family, and a must-do destination!

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Blogger Cara Meyers said...

Wow!! You packed a ton of stuff into 4 days!! I think Brandon spent one whole day that weekend at the air and space museum! He LOVED it!! I should go with him next time to see some of the other things he missed! And we'll definitely stay at the Willard! Hotel Snob likes it already!! :)

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