so, last wednesday, being the glutton for punishment that I am, I boarded a bus with a few other adults and a hundred million 5th graders (or maybe 40) bound for the great city of washington dc.  after many days and weeks (6ish hours) on the road, we finally arrived at the national cathedral.  it was beautiful in all it’s splendor.  the cathedral has an elementary school and 2 high schools, one for each gender.  we learned that a person cannot get married in the cathedral unless one of them graduated from there.

tony, bradley, peter at national cathedralthis is tony, bradley, and tony’s bff peter.  don’t they look like little dufuses?  see all the peeps from our group in the background, looking all touristy?

we got to dc around lunch time on wednesday, and left around supper time on friday.  in between those times, we visited EVERY monument and memorial ever built.  we toured the capital building, we saw the white house, complete with a rooftop sniper.  we ate in food courts, with hundreds of other people, all on tours like us.  most were school groups, but some were a bunch of adults, looking like they were having much more fun than  we school chaperones.

in all fairness, it would have been way more enjoyable had we not been so rushed.  on wednesday, we spent 45 minutes each in 3 different smithsonians.  now, really, how much can you possibly see in 45 minutes?  although, our tour guide said he wanted us to have a sampling of many things, rather than going home and wishing we had seen something else.

gitmo protestorsoutside of the white house, we saw these hood figures in orange jump suits walking slowly towards us.  all the kids got real quiet and watched the men as they took up a stance in front of the white house fence to protest gitmo.  I’m somewhat confused, because I thought I heard on npr that obama gave the gitmo people until august to close.  maybe I misunderstood…it wouldn’t be the first time.

each parent had 2 or 3 kids, depending on which gender their child was.  since my young’un is a boy, I only had 2 girls, so I had a bed to myself.  tony was in peter peter punkin eater’s group, with peter’s daddy, buddy.  so, peter and his daddy shared a bed, and tony and bradley had the other.  about half the time, we hung out together.  my girls were tomboys, so they liked hanging with the boys.

at the korean memorial, there is a big pool (that’s one thing I noticed, almost every memorial had water of some sort) with coins in it.  so, I dug around in my pockets and gave the girls a few coins to toss.  right away, I heard one of the annoying teacher’s pet girls saying, ‘aww!  you’re not allowed to throw money in there, you’re gonna get in trouble!’  then I saw this:no coins

oops!  we hurried around to the other side of the memorial, and acted like we didn’t know what was going on.

we went to arlington to see jfk’s grave, and the tomb of the unknown soldier.  we saw the changing of the guards, which was extremely cool.  4 kids were chosen from our school to lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier.  then another soldier played taps.  it brought tears to my eyes, to see the kids from our school.  especially the little boy, who is mildly autistic.  he’s so sweet and precious, I just wanted to squeeze him.  the teachers submitted all the names of the kids who were interested in doing it, then the principal pulled 4 names out of the hat.  unfortunately, one of the girls left her shoes back at the hotel, and no one had dress shoes she could borrow, so only 3 kids were able to do it.

kids with soldiers

westley was so proud and happy.  I hugged him and told him how handsome he was, and he told me that he had to borrow his daddy’s dress shoes because none of his were dressy enough.

doesn’t he look so sweet??

on friday, it poured rain.  wednesday and thursday had both been drizzly all day, but friday it rained buckets.  we went to yet more memorials, and were scheduled to go to the zoo.  it never made sense to me that we should go to the dc zoo, when we’ve got a great zoo here at home, and from what the principal said, our zoo was bigger.  well, I reckon she put a bug in the tour guide’s ear, because he said there was no sense in keeping the children outside in the rain for 3 hours.  hmm, seems like common sense would have dictated that.

so, we were given 3 hours to spend in any of the smithsonians we wanted.  the girls and I wanted to visit the museum of modern art; I because I love art, they because there was a giant iron spider outside.  the bus dropped us off outside of another museum, so the tour guide gave everyone directions to the museums of their choice.  well, in the chaos, we were directed to the national gallery.  by the time we got inside, we were dripping water from our shirts and hair.

the girls weren’t very impressed with a bunch of photos, but I could have spent some serious time there.  oh, well.  after about 20 minutes, the rain let up to a sprinkle.  this elicited lots of  whines, ‘man, we could have gone to the zoo after all!’

since the gulleywasher eased up, we decided to head over to the hirshhorn art museum. girls with spider

the girls and the giant spider.  the artist, Louise Bourgeois, has 2 other spiders inside, in her exhibit.  she also has a fascination with body parts, so I tried to limit the girls’ exposure to alot of her stuff.

then we went downstairs and saw some AWESOME atwork, alot of it too graphic for the girls, again.  the downstairs exhibit is called something like ‘our bodies’ or some such.  I tried to enjoy as much as I could while protecting the girls.  I didn’t want them to go home and tell their  mamas I had taken them to a porno museum.  I could have spent all day at this place.  hopefully someday I’ll have the opportunity.

magritte sculpturethe most awesome magritte sculpture I’ve ever seen.  actually, it’s the only one I’ve ever seen in person.  there is also a sculpture called big man.  it’s fiberglass covered in pigmented resin.  this guy looks so realistic, from the veins in his arms, the wrinkles on his toes, to his expression.  he looks like if he stood up, he’d be 8 feet tall.  he’s also naked.  and uncircumsized.  so, I won’t put his picture up here, but I love this guy.  I really want to go back to that museum.  I’d really like to revisit dc, this time with my hubs and a young’un or two.

all in all, it was a good trip, but I’m not sure if I’d do it again.  maybe with some time, my answer may change…sleeping punkin eater

gratuitous napping child