Henry and I (Mom) flew to Reagan Airport on Friday, July 27. It was Henry's second plane trip - the first one was to here 2 years ago. He likes planes (as any little boy should) and likes airports too. He is quite the nice traveling companion. :)
Mom's friend Michele, along with her son Christian, picked us up and off we went to explore DC. We had flown over DC on our way to the airport and saw that the Washington Monument was being repaired - apparently, it has been closed for 2 years due to an earthquake and structural issues. So, we parked close to it which took a while with the parking situation there. I was glad Michele drove the entire trip - not only because she knows all the roads, but because she is accustomed to the aggressiveness of not just the other drivers, but the pedestrians who regularly put their lives on the line while crossing the streets.
Our first stop was the Smithsonian Museum, which is excellent and like most museums in the area, is free. It has such a great dinosaur exhibit which little boys like. :) We also saw lots of bugs, an African exhibit, lots of rocks, and even the Hope Diamond.
Then we were off to a Japanese grill restaurant where Henry was transfixed at the chef and not as afraid of the volcano as he was 2 years ago. We then walked to a pond where we stood on a bridge and fed crackers (Michele came prepared with 2 packs that went quickly) to a lot of turtles, some smaller fish and a huge catfish. I have never seen so many turtles in the wild before - there were probably 60 of them.
Day 2 started with a trip to the farmer's market. After lunch, we were off to Baltimore, MD - the drive was just over an hour. The DVD system on her safe, reliable, and comfortable (edit by Eric) Honda Pilot entertained the kids - they had headphones even so we could talk without the noise of the DVD playing. Our first stop was a kid's museum. It was an interactive play museum with a huge climbing area (which Michele and I climbed also), a climbing wall, a diner (Henry so enjoyed 'serving' his Mom), a water area, and lots of other play things.
Then we walked around the Downtown area and watched a very good street performer before finally getting into Bubba Gump for dinner.
Day 3 started with a short drive to a outdoor recreation area where we played miniature golf and the boys rode a carousel and then we all took a train ride. It was a good time. After stopping for a late lunch at home, we were off to see Despicable Me 2. Then home where Michele made yummy tacos and then a late trip for self-serve yogurt.
Our final day there, we visited Theodore Roosevelt Island, which is this wonderful nature preserve in the middle of DC. We ate the lunch that we brought and did a nature walk. It had the most butterflies I have seen in a long time plus a few salamanders/lizards were spotted.
We had a bit of time before we needed to be at the airport so we visited a nearby Marina where we got ice cream and fed some hungry ducks.
In between the activities we did out and about, there was a lot of Wii playing by the boys. Christian is 7 (just short of a full year older than Henry) so they had similar ideas of entertainment. :) There was also a competitive Beyblade game going on regularly.
Our flight was delayed for 2 hours, but we made it (with pizza to help) and got home safe and sound. It was a wonderful trip for Mom & Henry - hopefully we will return next year. :)