13 November 2015

D.C. (during an almost hurricane)

I have dreaded flying to the East Coast with Kiki. I always figured the distance and hassle from Boise wasn't worth it. Even though we have flown way past the East Coast with her...somehow a stop on that coast hadn't happened yet.

Dan was scheduled to attend a 3-day conference in Washington, D.C., and we decided it would be a great time of year to travel to the Capitol. We also have friends that live in the area that we were hoping to see.

She has discovered Peppa Pig. It could be a travel game changer.

The flights were easy, thanks to a quick connection in Salt Lake City. With no delays, we happily arrived in the late afternoon at our hotel. Kiki hasn't napped on an airplane since she was tiny, so she was running on fumes. But, she is a trooper when it comes pushing those limits on vacation, so it makes those long days tolerable.

Such a tropper and excited to wear her rain jacket and rain boots!

We arrived in a very wet city, bracing for a hurricane. Fortunately, the hurricane spared the D.C. area and all we had to deal with was some rain. To top it off, the Uber driver from the airport to hotel produced a complimentary purple lollipop for Kiki. It was her first and she didn't forget it - she kept requesting the "taxi with the purple lollipop" to pick us up. To her disappointment, most of the cars only offered water and mints. Sigh.

Did you know certain Uber cars in D.C. offer car seats? Awesome for
traveling families who can't always use public transportation to get around.

Rainy day exploring Georgetown

The rest of the long weekend involved more Uber and taxi rides than I had hoped. Our hotel was a 5 minute walk into Georgetown and I had envisioned long strolls and stops along the waterfront. Instead, we enlisted the help of vehicles when traveling too far to keep us from being soggy museum-goers. We also rode the metro one adventurous afternoon.

Metro ride! Holding on tight.

While Dan spent about 10 hours a day at conference, Kiki and I explored the great city of Washington, D.C. I couldn't help but think about how much fun it would be to live there, with the access to so many museums and history. But, we were lucky enough to visit and crammed in as much as we could.

American History Museum

Natural History Museum

Fun facts at the Air & Space Museum

She climbed up and through and down this airplane about 30 times. 

All of the museums we visited were free to the public. This is really great when your touring partner is 2.5 years old. It didn't make me feel so bad when we only lasted 30 minutes in the American History Museum. And we popped in and out of the Native American Museum after running through the children's section. We even went in to the Natural History Museum twice.

Botanical Gardens - the fountains were the highlight (for Kiki)

The other highlight of our tours was the Botanical Gardens. It was a cold, rainy day, so entering the lush, warm building was really comforting. The fountains in the entrance stole the show. I convinced Kiki to follow me as we walked through the gardens and found orchids, four-leaf clovers and the medicinal garden (I could've spent an hour in there).

Waffles to start our day - we were the first and only at this restaurant on Sunday morning.
Everyone else was sleeping!

Cupcakes in Georgetown

Eating out with a toddler isn't predictable. Some meals are great, some meals are not. Luckily, most of the timing for our meals worked out that Kiki was hungry, but not starving. And we carefully picked restaurants that offered "wins" in the food department. We ate pizza in Dupont Circle, brunch at a Belgian restaurant with delicious waffles and tapas on our last night (who doesn't love olives, cheese and patates braves?). The major fail was our third evening, when conference/Dan ran late, happy hour snacks in the lobby didn't cut it and a meltdown ensued. Dan and I ate Thai food delivered to our hotel room, while Kiki slept in her travel crib (in the bathroom).

The fountain expert

World War II Memorial

The final night in D.C., Dan was able to join us for sightseeing. The rain let up, and we walked the mall, passing the Lincoln Memorial, World War II Memorial, National Monument and White House. D.C., we will be returning and hopefully before an 8th grade school field trip!

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