Hannah’s school was closed for spring break this week, so we decided to drive down to Washington D.C. last weekend to see the sites. Neither Adam nor I had been to DC since we were kids. We were only there from Friday night through Monday, and there was so much we didn’t get to see. But we had such a marvelous weekend; gorgeous weather, lots to see and do, tons of fun with the toddler. We’re already anxious to go back.

We didn’t realize, however, that since we were staying a block from the National Mall that we’d find ourselves smack in the middle of the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on Saturday. It wasn’t as crowded as we originally thought, and we did get a chance to watch some of the parade. And kick around the Mall, seeing the sites and hanging out.

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Hannah is a wonderful helper. When taking photos, when pushing the stroller. Huge help.

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DC_April14_7Saturday afternoon we walked up Capitol Hill to have lunch at one of Spike Mendelsohn’s restaurants. We decided on We the Pizza, and it was so incredibly delicious that I’m still thinking about it.

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Hannah, who refused any kind of nap while we were cooling off at the hotel, promptly passed out twenty minutes into our trek up the Hill.

On the way back down, we spent some time at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. We really just cruised the children’s area, which Hannah loved. But the building is beautiful, as is some of the design inside.

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DC_April14_11Hannah’s favorite part of the children’s area was this giant teepee. Hannah as a big tent to play in at home, and she was very impressed with the size of this one.

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We actually went back to this museum the next day for lunch with two of my old friends from college. The cafe at this museum, Mitsitam, was recommended by Maggie. So we met up there with Christine and Dave, college friends from my freshman year at Bowling Green in Ohio, before I transferred to UGA. I hadn’t seen either of them since 1998! And now they’re married with the cutest daughter ever. It was awesome to see them and catch up and just see what they’ve been up to all these years. I’m still reeling about that whole 16-years-have-passed business, though. When did I get so old?

Adam was excited for the National Air and Space Museum, so that’s what we did Sunday morning. I was excited, but not that excited, until we got there. It was incredibly cool, much more fascinating than I was expecting. I loved it there.

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Adam pointed out that the museum catalogs everything, even space vessels. This satisfies me tremendously.

DC_April14_14Hannah touched a moon rock.

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We saw the Wright Brothers’ plane.

DC_April14_17They had a great exhibit on Felix Baumgartner up, it was really well done. And so cool to see his vessel.

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We had another great meal Sunday night at Jose Andres’ restaurant Oyamel. It was seriously, completely delicious. The most amazing queso fundido. Delicious scallops. And these morsels of duck confit on masa cakes.

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And we picked up surprisingly excellent cupcakes from Red Velvet Cupcakery just a few blocks away.

DC_April14_23Adam actually took a train home bright and early Monday morning so he could go to work. Hannah and I spent the morning together in DC before heading off on a mother/daughter adventure together (more on that later). Our first stop was obviously the Library of Congress.

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It was, truth be told, not quite the magical library experience I had planned. I forgot my camera in the car at the hotel, leaving me with just my phone. Getting through security with a toddler was entertaining; most museums had just checked my purse, but here I had to put all bags plus her stroller through the x-ray, and Hannah had to walk by herself through the metal detector. She is two, and therefore this momentary glimpse of freedom meant she took off like a shot down the corridor. Once they let me pass through I had to chase her down, reassemble the stroller and bags, and by then I noticed that she was all wet. Not sure if it was because of a wet ledge in front of the fountains (in the photo a few up from here) or more nefarious reasons. But either way Hannah needed an emergency change of clothes that I did not have (it was a very forgetful morning; I also left my beloved electric toothbrush behind in the hotel, lost forever). We had to stop in the gift shop to buy her a (completely awesome) emergency t-shirt/dress.

DC_April14_29So after seeing the gift shop (glorious purchases were made) and the bathrooms, we made it to the beautiful Grand Hall…just in time for all of the fire alarms to go off, sending us across the street in a full-on evacuation.

DC_April14_30It was apparently a scheduled fire drill, but it went on for ages.  The whole street was closed off, and frankly I just could not face going through security again. I got a better photo of the Capitol Building, though.

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So, we went behind the LOC to the Folger Shakespeare Library, a place I really wanted to see but didn’t think time would permit this trip. That was kind of wonderful.

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We had to skip out on the guided tour when Hannah started getting antsy, but it was still a great visit. And well worth a trip.

And then we went back to Spike Mendelsohn’s neck of the woods for lunch.

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Toasted marshmallow milkshakes are a thing of beauty.  This definitely helped get me back on track after being more than a little grumpy at our ousting from the Library of Congress. But, we still weren’t going back in. We headed back down Capitol Hill, got in the car, and headed off to our next adventure. We’ll be back to DC soon, though, and I will definitely be back at the Library of Congress.