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I Get Around: Washington DC

by Deb Bastien

I Get Around: Washington D.C. | Blog | Smudge Ink(image: inside the White House)

In April, Pete and I took our girls to Washington D.C. It was a near-perfect family road trip. On the way, we stopped in Philadelphia to see some good friends and their baby boy. We ate some amazing deep dish pizza at a place called Square Pie and then swung by Reading Terminal Market to grab a few Amish doughnuts!

I Get Around: Washington D.C. | Mount Vernon(image: Mount Vernon mansion)

From there, we headed straight to Mount Vernon on about the most beautiful day ever. My older daughter, Abigail, is into the presidents at the moment, and she was super excited to see George Washington's homestead.

I Get Around: Washington D.C. | Mount Vernon(image: Avery and the Washingtons)

I would definitely recommend the "enhanced" tour so that you're able to check out the basement and the attic of the main house. Another cool building is (the recreation of) the barn at the Pioneer Farm site—a 16-sided barn designed by GW himself. We had the best day of wandering around the whole property; our only regret is that we didn't have enough time to take it all in!

I Get Around: Washington D.C. | Air and Space Museum(image: Abigail and Avery check out the Air & Space Museum exhibit)

Once in DC proper, we settled in and went about doing most of the touristy things that tourists can do. The pandas at the National Zoo—check! The Wright brothers’ first airplane at the Air & Space Museum—check! Family photo op at the feet of Abraham Lincoln—check!

I Get Around: Washington D.C. | Museum of Natural HistoryThe Hope Diamond and the Butterfly Pavilion at the Museum of Natural History—check, check! We were doing it all! 

One thing we did miss was climbing up the Washington Monument. The girls were disappointed but you need to be in line really early for tickets. I maaaay have been grabbing a cup of Starbucks at the time. I'm kidding!

I Get Around: Washington D.C. | White House TourI Get Around: Washington D.C. | White HouseWe queued up at 7 am for the White House tour, which in my opinion trumps a walk up the Washington Monument (if you read not-even-that closely, there's an unintentional political pun in there).

I Get Around: Washington D.C. | White House TourI Get Around: Washington D.C. | White House Tour(image: The Green Room of the White House)

The White House tour was definitely worth the email to our Congress person. And thanks to President & Mrs. Obama you can snap pictures like crazy in there!

I Get Around: Washington D.C. | Renwick Gallery(image: Abigail in wonderment of Gabriel Dawe's threaded installation)

Another highlight was the Renwick Gallery, located across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House. It's an architectural gem saved by Jackie Kennedy back in the day. After a recent renovation, it currently houses an exhibit called "Wonder," which we—including the kids—found (pardon me) truly wonderful. Thanks for the recommendation, Clayton!

I Get Around: Washington D.C. | Sunset in Eastern MarylandWe had such a blast with the girls: they were troopers during the car ride (thanks in part to Apple, Inc.), and were as enthusiastic as we were about all the sights! Even just staying in the hotel was exciting to them, which I remember from being a kid (ice machine, anyone?). Our trip was bookended with a stopover on the Eastern Shore of Maryland to see friends. After a delicious dinner, good conversation, and a stunning sunset, we settled in for our last night of vacation and drove home the next day looking at pictures and taking naps!

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