Saturday, May 10, 2008

Recap of our Philadelphia/DC trip

Hey, before too much time passes, I wanted to write quickly about our great little trip to Philadelphia and Washington DC from a couple of weeks ago. Joe had a nursing conference in Philadelphia so since his work was already paying to fly him there we arranged for his flight to leave 3 days early and bought a ticket for me to go with him. We had to take Alex since he's still so young and nursing but the girls stayed half of the time with my brother, Ryan, and half with my mom so any vacation without kids is a great one! I mean, having Alex still made it harder, but it's much better than all three! We left really early on a Thursday morning and our scheduled 2 hour layover in Denver turned into 13! Instead of leaving for Philly at 11am we had to take a red eye that left at midnight! I know, I was so frustrated I was actually in tears, but we tried everything we could think of and there was no other way. So our first day was spent in the Denver airport, but luckily a nice Frontier worker let us hang out in the unaccompanied minors lounge so it was much more comfortable and there were couches for me to feed Alex and even try to take a nap when I could. I've included a picture since that it basically represents our whole day. We got to Philadelphia at 5:15am the next morning but our flight was actually only 3 hours long (there's a 2 hour time difference) so we barely got any sleep on the plane and we were so tired. On the flight I requested that they at least give us an extra seat for Alex to stay in his carseat sleeping but it was completely full so Joe and I broke FAA policy and smuggled him on in his seat because he sleeps SO much better in his seat than in my arms but that meant I was stuck holding the big carseat on my lap the whole flight (good thing I didn't have to go to the bathroom because there was no way I could've gotten out) and then I had a blanket on top of it and Joe and I had to do our best to cover it up and look like I just had my nursing baby under the blanket. It was pretty funny.

Despite our sleepiness, we only had that one day to see Philadelphia so we got some breakfast and Mountain Dew and went on our way. We did the hop on hop off bus tour for a quick way to see all the sights and it was so much fun! What a beautiful city! I really just loved it. We walked around a lot, too, and I felt really impressed with everything we were able to see in just one day. A few of my favorite things were Independence Hall, the Rocky statue at the Museum of Art (where we couldn't resist posing Alex for a few cheesy photos on the steps and imitating Rocky's pose with Dad), the Thinker at the Rodin museum, seeing the basketball court where they shot the opening credits of "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air", the beautiful park where they have the LOVE statue, and of course the Philly cheese steak sandwiches. They have SO much outdoor artwork (more than any other city in the US, actually) so it makes it such a fun city to visit and just walk around in and admire. I thought it was beautiful.

That night we drove to Washington DC and stayed with my good friend, Ken, his wife Brooke, and their family. Ken is a traveling buddy from BYU that another friend, Aaron, and I went to Europe with when I was 20 so it was nice of him to accomodate us in our subsequent travels. We stayed with them for two nights to save money on the crazy DC hotel costs. Needless to say we slept GREAT that night and then woke up refreshed to see the city the next day. Ken gave us good advice on taking the metro rather than our rental car which I'm really glad we did but that meant lots of walking because the touristy areas around "The Mall" don't really have close metro stops. It was great exercise. We got off and walked to the Lincoln Memorial (probably the highlight of the day for me--I LOVED that!) and then walked on to the Washington Memorial, the Smithsonian and all of the other cool places along the way to the Capitol. We didn't see as much there as we did in Philadelphia because we spent the first half of the day visiting with Ken and his family and a lot of places closed at 5 so we couldn't go in but I still really had a great time just seeing everything and being there in front of all of those historic sights and builidings. It's really surreal being in places like that that you've seen on TV and in movies all your life and then you're standing in front of it seeing it with your own eyes. I really loved it.

Luckily we had a 2nd day in DC, which was Sunday. We went to sacrament meeting with Ken and Brooke and then said our goodbyes from there and rushed back into the city because we didn't have time on Saturday to go into any of the Smithsonian museums or go over to the White House. There are so many cool museums there that you could spend days just looking through all of them and unfortunatly we didn't have the time so we did very abbreviated visits. We saw all the really famous stuff like the Hope Diamond and everything was really impressive. It would be nice to go back with more time and without a crying baby. The White House was my favorite on Sunday. It's a beautiful area all around there and I enjoyed the walk to get there from the Smithsonian. Right in front of the White House there's a big park where we sat and watched the squirrels climb in the trees and I fed Alex and it was just a beautiful, quiet Sunday afternoon. I loved it.

My flight left from DC a few hours later and it was really sad to say goodbye to Joe at the airport. I was glad I had Alex so I didn't feel so alone. He had to drive back to Philadelphia all by himself and then his conference started the next day and lasted until Wednesday. Gosh, I had no intention of writing this much! Sorry about that. I think I just start typing and I type really fast so it's like I'm talking and I get really long winded and carried away so easily to the point that it's ridiculously long and detailed and boring. You can imagine what my journals get like! That's probably why I'm so bad about writing in them, half of it is this feeling of guilt like by writing it all I'm going to make someone feel compelled to read it and I feel bad for them because it seems like a cruel form of torture. ={ Alright, that's enough for today! Here's one more piture of my happy reunion with my daughters. They were so cute that night.