Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Les Grand Vacances
The Big Vacation! This has been my favorite phrase from our French program Le Francais Facile (The Easy French). For some reason, I found particular pleasure reciting this phrase around the house while planning our long-awaited trip to Washington DC. For the last year and a half, the whole family has been putting money in the designated vacation tin. The last few months, Mr. Potts gave extra incentive by promising to match any funds put in by the children. A good friend of ours, who grew up in the DC area, gave us a suggested list of places to visit. We looked over the list, visited a few websites, and came up with our goals of places to see in the week of our sojourning.
The kids were amazing, especially the younger ones! We did so much walking! The band-aids in our first aid kit came in handy to cover the blisters on our feet. Even the boys begged to go to bed each night!
We visited Mount Vernon, The Mall, various monuments and museums, the Capital Building, The Library of Congress, Annapolis and the Naval Academy, Arlington, Baltimore Harbor and Williamsburg and drove by VMI and Scotchtown. Even though we were up at the crack of dawn, we still did not even make a dent in everything we wanted to do. We wished we had more time to spend at each place, not to mention the many, many other places we wanted to see. Our comfort came with promising ourselves that we would come back some other time.
Learning to ride the Metro was interesting. Fortunately, the first time we boarded it was almost empty with the exception of some kind of security officer. We didn't even know where to get off and how we would know where to get off until we asked his advice. That evening was quite a different story! When we boarded to come home there was standing room only. It was still uneventful and quiet until a young man standing in the aisle started rapping a song with foul language and lyrics about blowing people up. Everyone around us looked unconcerned so we tried to remain composed. We breathed a sigh of relief when he got off. The second day, we were beginning to get the hang of how the system worked and felt much more confident.
Grandma & Grandpa joined us on the 2nd day and spent the rest of the week with us. It was especially nice to have them with us since they have been away all summer. I grinned as I watched the oldest girls scramble to walk beside Grandpa and discuss history and current events. It was nice having someone with us who had experienced more of our nation's history and could lend first hand accounts. The girls also enjoyed visiting with Grandma in the camp bath house and making fun of how fast I am while they all took their sweet time getting ready for the day. After so much observation of their mother all week, they have decided I have A.D.D. Thank God, I was raised in an age before labeling and ritalin!!
We will be posting more pictures and accounts of our travels over the next few weeks.