Over the long weekend in October, we all went to Washington D.C. for four days. We flew down Thursday afternoon, and came back midday on Monday, so the kids only missed a day of school. I was giving a talk Thursday night and one Friday morning at a school in D.C., so I went straight there from the airport, while Robert took the kids to the hotel (Fairmont on H Street) and then to Bantam King, right around the corner, for Japanese chicken. I met them there for dinner. The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel and then I went back to my second talk, while Robert took the kids to the zoo.
The elephants and the pandas, neither of which we have in Boston, were the big hits, and when I met them there we headed out across the street to Baked by Yael for some excellent cake pops (some in animal shapes) and a quick ride back to our hotel.
Lunch was a little Korean-run place around the corner that did a bulgoki Philly cheesesteak, among other things, and then we went to the International Spy Museum for the walking tour/spy adventure we had reserved ahead of time. That was a lot of fun: it had the kids doing things like reading the inscription on the FDR memorial, or checking to see which battles a general fought in, according to the inscription on his statue, and we walked all around that side of the mall for about an hour and a half. Of course, it was 88 degrees and sunny, so we were a tad warm, but it was still a nice afternoon.
After that we walked across the street to the National Portrait Gallery, which had a drawing lesson on how to draw eyes (they focus on different body parts every Friday afternoon), and we spent a good long time in that room. Across the hall was a baby room with some felt boards and things, pretty minimalist, but still nice, and then upstairs was the Hall of the Presidents.
For dinner we went to Firefly, which has a large tree inside its dining room, and which gives kids a sugar cookie and some chocolate chips and sprinkles for them to decorate while you're ordering. It's then baked while you eat and then served for dessert; gimmicky, but appreciated! Helen slept through the entire meal, from the grilled artichokes and the acorn squash salad to the lamb chops to, yes, the finished cookies. Robert was tempted by warm Krispy Kremes as we walked back to the subway, and Marcus wanted their cake-batter seasonal donut, so we ended up having a second dessert en route home.
On Saturday, after breakfast at the hotel again, we drove out to NoVa and met up with Tim and Christine and their kids at Cox Farm. We had a fantastic time with everyone--Robert loved the all-you-can-eat apples and cider, and we liked the giant slides, corn maze, and hayride. My highlight, naturally, was FOAMhenge. Pretty awesome!
After an early supper at Bon Chon Chicken, we said goodbye and went to One Loudon for frozen custard and some fun in the sprinklers (it had been another 90-degree day--some "Fall Festival," really!) and then back to our new hotel, a Holiday Inn in Sterling, Virginia, for bed.
On Sunday morning we got up early and went to Duck Donuts for some custom-frosted donuts for breakfast.
From there we drove to Mount Vernon, where it drizzled a bit throughout the day. The kids loved the blacksmith, especially, and the gardens, and Samantha started to comprehend slavery and got very wide-eyed.
We had a late lunch at a Peruvian chicken place back near the highway (apparently chicken was the theme of our weekend--unplanned!) and then went to the Udvar-Hazy for just the last two hours before they closed. I took Marcus and Robert took Samantha and each kid separately worked on an animal plane scavenger hunt. As always, we had a ton of fun.
It was a quick trip from there to Opa to meet Suzi and Ken and sweet little Lulu for dinner. I had a dip trio with taramasalata, and Marcus picked at his kids' gyro but adored the galetkoboureko, while Samantha ate two whole orders of the kids' pasta. By this point in the weekend, the kids had run out of real books and were reading ebooks on our kindles--we knew it was almost the end of the trip that way!
The next morning, we checked out of the hotel and went to Founding Farmers in Tysons Corner for their buffet brunch on the holiday. Robert loved that they didn't charge us for any of the kids, and I loved their beet and goat cheese potato hash. Marcus and Samantha mostly ate pancakes and candied bacon on sticks. Helen tried everything. Stuffed, we headed to the airport--another lovely D.C./NoVa weekend! We'll be back again! (Marcus's account of the trip follows.)
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Created: 10/10/17. Last Modified: 10/10/17.