Posted in Adventures, Family, Fulltime RVing, Homeschool, Park Reviews, Places We Love

Living in America…Touring DC!

I have some serious catching up to do on our blog, so forgive the onslought of blogs over the next week or so!  LOL!  We have seen and experienced some incredible places over the last month or so!

Washington, D.C. is a place I’ve dreamed of visiting since I was probably in junior high.  It has always fascinated me, and I’ve always wanted to visit, see the sights, the monuments, etc.

We opted to stay at an RV Park this time instead of trying to find a state park for several different reasons.  We chose to stay at Cherry Hill Park, which is the closest RV Park to Washington, D.C.  It also has a bus stop within the park, so it makes the “Metro” system super easy to navigate.  The staff were very helpful and friendly.  We arrived on September 2nd and ended up extending our stay until September 7th, 2016.

We arrived on Friday, September 2, 2016.  We broke our rule.  We really don’t like to arrive on a Friday or Saturday because you catch all of the “weekenders”, and generally, everything is crowded.  We decided to chance it though, and arrived a little early since we didn’t have an assigned site yet.  They attempted to squeeze us into site #528.  It was a no-go.  It was too tight.  There was a big dumpster on the corner, and we just couldn’t get the right angle or swing on the 5er to get in.  We called the office, and they were so kind.  They sent someone out on a cart to take Paul around to scout a few more available sites.  We ended up in a really nice spot, #1020, which as I realized later, is actually classified as a “handicap site”.  It was a great size though and it backed onto the pool.  We were not concerned about “pool noise” because the pool closed at 9 pm.  Our site had full hook-ups, including cable TV, which the kids and Paul enjoyed.  We don’t watch a lot of TV, but most of the time we’re limited to local stations we can pick up on antenna.

img_8720On Saturday, we had pre-booked a Washington DC in a Day Tour, so we had to get up super early to make it to Union Station by 8:00 am.  We drove into DC for this because the bus didn’t run until 9 am on Saturday.  It wasn’t too bad.  We figured out where to park pretty easily.  It cost us $20 to park for the day.  We didn’t mind because we had booked our tour on our business credit card reward points!  Score!  The DC in a Day Tour was a great way to visit key points in the city and get some awesome pictures!  My thought was to do our tour on the first day so we could decide if we wanted to go back and spend more time somewhere, or if we wanted to see something else the rest of our time there.  We saw so much on this tour!  The Gray Line bus tour was on a two-story, open-air tour bus.

We only had enough time at our stop at the Capitol Building to do one of the 3 offered tours, and the rotunda was closed (set to reopen on the following Tuesday).  So, that immediately went on our list to revisit.  We actually extended our park reservation so we could return on Tuesday.  So glad we did!  Our other favorite stops were the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and the MLK, Jr. Memorial.  I took so many pictures!

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On Sunday, we decided to go back into DC, but on the Metro this time, instead of driving.  It was really cool to take the kids on their first subway and city bus rides.

We visited the United States Archives Building, where we were able to see the original Constitution of the United States, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights documents.  img_8794We learned all about the 27 amendments to the U.S. Constitution.  It was a great stop.  After a pit stop at the coolest Starbucks building I’ve ever seen, we made our way back down to the Capitol Building.  They were having a concert on the front lawn.  We wandered around the Capitol Grounds just trying to take in the history of the place and the incredible views.  We decided to go on around the corner to the U.S. Botanical Gardens before they closed for the day.  If was a great day of “wandering around” in DC.

On Monday, we divided and conquered.  The boys drove into Virginia to visit the National Air and Space Museum, while Emily and I mastered the Metro system and went back into DC to visit the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.

I think everyone had a fun day, but we were all exhausted by the end of it.  We had walked miles and miles over the past few days.

On Tuesday, we went back to the Capitol Building to see the newly reopened rotunda.  It was beautiful.  We also got to see a few other areas we didn’t get to see on Saturday.  So glad we went back.

It was a fabulous experience!  We have blisters on our feet, and are completely exhausted, but have memories to last a lifetime!

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