Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mr. Gavin goes to Washington

Wow, it's been a long, long time. For shame! I have even started a couple of blog posts, but just never finished. Well, let's see if I can get this one published before life distracts me again!

In October Rob had to go to Washington, D.C. for work. We have wanted to do a vacation-on-top-of-work trip for a long while now because hey, it's really great to only have to pay one airfare. It just hasn't worked out, though, either because of scheduling problems or lack of interesting destination. But Washington, D.C.? Count me in!

Our biggest concern with the trip was the 4.5-hour plane ride both ways. Gavin had never been on an airplane before, so it seemed pretty gutsy for this to be our first flight. But I went a-shoppin' and bought more books and toys than you can imagine to keep Gavin busy and happy. We also splurged on a portable dvd player, which will be nice to have for many future trips. So how did the flight out go? It was amazing!! Gavin was so good and so happy. He made friends with the people around us and wasn't fussy or anything! We were SOOOO relieved, to say the least.

While in D.C., we tried to see as much as we could without Gavin going nuts. Basically, that meant we would walk a lot and see sites for as little time as possible before going on to the next. Official tours and solemn places were out of the question.

So what did we see? Let me show you!
First view of the Washington Monument
Here we have a series of pictures that may explain why we are so "into" self-portraits. We are in the mall, about to take a picture with the Capitol Building in the background. A friendly stranger offers to take a picture for us. Sure! What could possibly go wrong? She takes the picture and when we check it out, this is what we see:
What a beautiful picture! Was this taken anywhere in the world besides Washington, D.C.?--because it could have been!
We try to stay positive and tell her that it's great, but could she maybe take another where we are to the side of the Capitol Building? (You know, the whole point of taking the picture . . . ) She says she can do that and takes the camera back. I'm in the middle of saying who-knows-what, and she snaps the picture.
Yes, this is exactly how I wanted my face to look. Thank you, stranger!!
How is it possible that anyone takes a picture and doesn't count to three first?! In contrast to her valiant efforts, here's the shot we got by ourselves.
Love it!!
And for those of you who tend to get concerned about things like this, don't worry--our duck made it along for the trip. :)
 
We also went to the Lincoln Memorial. To get there, you take a nice stroll along the beautiful reflecting pool . . . unless you go after they have torn it out for some reason. Then you get to walk along a really long mud hole with lots of cool tractors and trucks parked in it. That may have been Gavin's favorite part of the trip.
 
And we made it! The kind stranger we encountered here seemed to understand picture-taking much better than the first one.
Seriously so cool!
While in D.C., we had dinner with Rob's buddies Casey, who he knows from high school, and Clayton, who he knows from BYU. They are roommates which is a pretty cool coincidence since they met in D.C. and not through Rob. They are both really great guys and it was a lot of fun to hang out for a bit. Casey was even nice enough to come rescue us when we were lost and couldn't catch a cab to dinner.
 
We ate at this really great restaurant called something. I can't remember. Have I ever mentioned that I have a really bad memory? This place had some of the best macaroni and cheese I've ever tasted, ever. Gavin had fallen asleep on the way there, and kept sleeping while we waited for our table, which was nuts because the place was so loud. When he woke up, he was not happy to be in a strange, dim, loud place, but he eventually cheered up.
Doesn't he just look old in this picture?
We also went to the Air and Space Museum. Gavin took his flying lessons very seriously.
 
We made it to Arlington National Cemetery, which I guess kind of breaks our rule of not going to solemn places.
JFK Gravesite
Gavin was good for the most part . . . until the part at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier where they ask you to stand and be silent. Many glares were received from others, but we got the situation under control pretty quickly.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
We were very grateful to find this Jimmy John's open past 8:00 on Sunday night. We were on Utah time, so dinner at 6:00 (a.k.a. 4:00 to us) just wasn't appealing.
 
We saw the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. So cool!
 
Little bit of White house action.
 
I swear this is the Jefferson Memorial. Man, this thing took forever to walk to!
 
From the Jefferson Memorial you can see the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument. It is the thing I wanted to see most while we were there (mostly because it's new), but this is as close as we got.
Way too far away for our tired feets to walk to!
Here is the view from our hotel room.
Can you see the Capitol Building next to the orb?
Our last half-day we went to the National Geographic Society something-something museum. They had an interactive thing called Grossology that had tons of facts and displays about animals. When I heard "Grossology" my first thought was "Oh, like gross anatomy" which means large-scale (like the opposite of micro). Nope, it's exactly what it sounds like--gross facts about animals. Not the greatest experience for an anal-retentive gal like me.
See the tapeworm display with a toilet behind us?
The day we came home, our flight was in the afternoon. Gavin still hadn't had a nap, and he was getting REALLY unhappy. Luckily for us and everyone else on board, he crashed as we were boarding. Yay!! He only slept about 45 minutes, but that's all he needed to be his cheery self again. :)
 
He was great the whole ride home, but was really done with airplanes by the time we got to SLC. The plane was at the gate and everyone was getting their baggage down, waiting for their turn to get off. Gavin just kept hitting the leg of the lady in front of us, and trying to push her out of the way. Poor kid! Overall, though, he was a total champ. We had such a great time!