Day 2 of our DC trip comes and when we wake up, Hayley starts holding her ear and saying “ear, boo boo”. Great! I tried calling our doctor and begged him to call in a prescription to get us through this trip, but he said NO! We got into the car and road around until we found a drug store and we wound up buying organic drops. At this point I will try anything. I gave Hayley Tylenol and then wrestled with her until she laid down in the back seat, got her in a head lock and put the ear drops in.
We decided (even though it is a Saturday ON a holiday weekend and against MY better judgement), to go to the zoo. We wanted to see the Panda Bears and the Tigers. There had to be a million people walking and driving everywhere. It was so crowded that all the zoo parking lots were closed. Dave would have parked a few miles away and walked but I put my foot down…..it was 82 degrees!
It is now 1:00 and we decide to drive to the Lincoln Memorial. Again, thousands of people were on the road and every motorcycle known to mankind. We were in so much traffic that we decided to bag the Lincoln Memorial and go to Arlington National Cemetary. Are we stupid or what? Every veteran alive was there and we couldn’t even get near it. We got stuck in traffic for almost 2 hours!
Ok, we bring the car back to the hotel and walk the few blocks to the Smithsonian area and the Mall. Dave decides we will WALK from the Smithsonian to the Washington Monument on to the Lincoln Memorial. Does anyone know how far this is? I stood squinting my eyes trying to see the Lincoln Memorial and could only make out a hazy object that seemed to be a hundred miles away. No problem says Dave, we will take our time. If you can imagine I had a very disgruntled attitude.
We started walking and the one really touching thing that happened was, Hayley saw the Carousel and started smiling saying “go to carousel, go to carousel” and started running towards it. Let me just say that a few years ago when we would visit the Jacksonville Zoo, Hayley knew the path to the Carousel there and would scream and scream. So, this was a very big moment for her as well as us.
We were so very proud of her! We let her go on it two more times. Hunter was on it as well, but he was really more concerned if he was going to get a souvenir that day or not.
We walked on, made it to the Washington Monument. For anyone who has never been there, there are NO trees or any type of shady spots. Hunter, Hayley and I were dying of heat exhaustion and thirst, but Dave pushed us on, “it’s not much farther he said”. Total lie. Hunter is complaining, I am dragging Hayley and frankly, I didn’t really give a crap about seeing the Lincoln Memorial, I saw it a few times before.
Next we hit the World War II monument. Flowers and flags were draped on the different states that soldiers were from. I stood in front of the New Jersey plaque as my dad fought in World War II and although he is gone, I am very proud of him for his dedicated service to our country.
We continue on, at least there are trees now so the sun isn’t so oppressive. Although I am not a fan of Canadian Geese, we did see a mom and dad with 4 little babies on the grass, they looked so cute. Hayley got so excited, clapping her hands, Hunter not so much. We found a vendor, got ice cream for the kids and water for Dave and I. We collapsed in the grass underneath a tree, I was really afraid I would never get up. Dave still had his get up and go! We eventually got to the Lincoln Memorial, 1 million people there, I walked up the stairs pulling Hayley behind me and found a pillar and sat down on the cold marble floor. I leaned back, Hayley laid flat down on the cool floor. Still not caring to see Abe, I told Dave go for it with Hunter! Hunter got his second wind but not Hayley and I. After what felt like a 4 hour walk, I glanced at Abe and told Dave, we are out of here.
The walk was a little better going back. We walked past the Vietnam Memorial which is very touching. All kinds of pictures, stuffed animals, notes etc. are placed under loved ones names. There were veterans from all the wars there. There were several World War II veterans there. I wanted to stop and shake there hand and tell them thank you in honor of my father, but I was too overcome by emotion.
We stopped at the American Museum and I got to see the “ruby slippers” from the Wizard of Oz (my second favorite movie after Gone with the Wind), Archie Bunkers chair and Kermit the Frog. That’s it I said to Dave, a loooooooong day, I AM DONE.
After an EXHAUSTING day we FINALLY got back to the hotel and you know what we did?………………………………….Order Room Service!