My husband got a 4 day pass for President's Day, which is the same weekend that Isabelle had winter break from school, it was also Valentine's Day, aaannd Isabelle's birthday! This was obviously the best weekend to plan a visit!
My mom came with (separate hotel rooms, of course) for a few reasons: 1.) To give Eric and I privacy, 2.) This was a really great chance to spend time together before I move to a different continent, 3.) She got to spend time with her son-in-law, 4.) Isabelle is very close with her Grandma and really wanted her to come with, 5) It was Isabelle's birthday, my mom couldn't stand being away from her on her birthday, and 6) To give Eric and I privacy.
We flew into D.C late evening on Valentine's Day and met Eric at the hotel. He was waiting in the lobby when we got off the shuttle. I'll save you the details but it was a romantic moment, one of those moments that I'll never forget and makes me giggle when I think about it. The world stopped for a minute.
Of course, I had planned out our visit. There were specific places we wanted to see but our priority was to take our time and enjoy being together and being in D.C.
On our first full day we went to Ford's Theater and Mount Vernon. This was the only nice day for weather, it was warm and gorgeous!
They really missed each other!
Ford's Theater where President Lincoln was shot.
Holding Isabelle's purse while she went to the bathroom.
Grandma Mary & Isabelle
The house that Abraham Lincoln died in.
Mom found a boyfriend!
The actual place where Abraham Lincoln was shot! Every single thing is exactly the same!
The actual bed that Abraham Lincoln died in. They had to lay him diagonal because he was so tall.
He is reading Isabelle a book.
Mount Vernon, VA
Isabelle got an adventure map. It had clues to look for throughout Mount Vernon and if she got all of the answers right she would win a prize at the end of the tour. She took this very seriously!
A fancy outhouse which wasn't very close to the actual house. George Washington had to walk quite a ways if he had to go to the bathroom..... I'm thankful for indoor plumbing!
It's hard to capture the amazing view and beauty here!
George Washington is really in there!
They're working on the adventure map.
Our trip was planned in a way where we got to see lots of things but we didn't push ourselves. We were back to the hotel by 4 or 5 every afternoon, we'd go out for supper and then my mom would take Isabelle swimming, giving Eric and I the night to ourselves.
On Saturday, we went to the Arlington National Cemetery, one of the most peaceful and humbling places I have ever been. This was especially profound for Eric.
Eric was carrying my camera, I didn't know he took this until after I got home.
The tomb stones are arranged this way to symbolize soldiers marching in perfect formation.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. The guards dedication is admirable.
This is her 1st glimpse of the Lincoln Memorial...
...And then she took off to get a closer look and Eric had to run after her.
And once I finally caught up to her this is what I saw.... she was completely in awe.
Being able to witness my daughter accomplish something she so desperately wanted to do made our hearts swell.
I had planned an entire day at the Smithsonian. We wanted to take our time here and enjoy it. The Smithsonian is gigantic so we knew that we weren't going to see all of it, we just concentrated on the National American History Museum.
There was SO much to see! Photography was allowed in some exhibits and not in others. I basically just snapped a picture of everything I could.
This day was SUPER cold and windy! In D.C you do a lot of walking! When Isabelle's ankle started to bother her my mom jumped at the opportunity to take her back to the hotel to rest. So, Eric and I spent the afternoon at the Holocaust Museum while they went back to the hotel. I've mentioned that I am a big history fanatic, I love historical biographies and movies and I was especially hoping to see this. No photography allowed in the exhibits so this is the only picture I got.
We waited in line for 30 minutes in the wind and cold. I told Eric that I was just thisclose to being miserable. I regretted that comment after going through this museum. Heartbreaking.
Our last day together in D.C was the day before Isabelle's 10th birthday. For her birthday cake we decided to go to D.C Cupcakes in Georgetown. They're famous, they have a show on TLC! The metro-rail was a ways away from D.C Cupcakes so again we had to walk, my mom was annoyed with the walking by this time but I was excited to take more pictures!
Old buildings with new buildings.
We made it! Cupcakes at 10 in the morning?! Don't mind if I do! Oh wait... apparently everyone wants cupcakes at 10:00 in the morning on a Monday.....
We waited anyway and it was worth it! There's is no question about why they have a line this long or why they're on a TV show.... their cupcakes were amazing and helped my mom forget about the long, cold walk.... for a minute.
This is what Isabelle's birthday "cake" looked like. SO GOOD!
By the time we were full of cupcakes my mom and Isabelle had had enough of the walking and decided to spend the afternoon swimming at the hotel. Eric and I felt that this was wasting a perfectly good day of sightseeing so we spent the afternoon alone, walking around D.C and seeing everything we could!
The White House!
The National Archives.
We saw the White House, Declaration of Independence, Magna Carda, Bill of Rights, and Constitution. Then, we headed back to the Smithsonian and burned an hour in the Air and Space Museum.
After we had seen about as much as we could, Eric left for Ft. Lee. Having D.C to look forward to broke up the 4 months that Eric is gone for. Focusing on 5 weeks (from when I booked our tickets) was so much easier than focusing on 4 months. Now that we're home and our trip is over, we have no choice but to focus on the end of April and it feels like forever away! 9 more weeks to go, which is the longest we have ever been apart. I really miss my husband. This is how I looked after saying good-bye. Painful.