bestie jackie and new hubby paul came into town this past weekend for step-mama loretta's retirement ceremony. on friday we packed up the whole darn gang and headed up to fort belvoir for the ceremony.
sleepy big kids in the back.
we made a quick stop at bam, our closest bookstore (an hour away) for a gift and then we were off. fort belvoir is the prettiest fort i have ever been to, it was so nice! the girls were antsy and we got there nice and early so we had time for them to run around.
beautiful spring day!!!
a picture that truly says a thousand words!!!
the ceremony was great, casual, not too long, and interesting.
i hung out in the back of the room with delaney until the big girls got too antsy to sit quietly and then lexi took them all outside to get out some more wiggles (we offered her $ for her services). our littles were the only littles there, so we were even more hyper aware of each little peep they made. and, quite frankly, they make a lot of little peeps.
this little photog (and big sissy addie too) made a new best friend.
there were a lot of jackie pics on my phone. :)
everybody loves 'er.
we all brought changes of clothes to go see the sights after the ceremony and we had to laugh at the difference in our packing.
i call this 'spring and winter.'
addie said "which one am i?"
she's spring of course. :)
after the ceremony we headed over to mount vernon.
i've been there twice, and christian once, and since the girls were still rowdy i offered to stay outside with them, and christian joined me.
mount vernon is always beautiful (i took more pictures on the big camera, just need to download them) and we enjoyed a nice afternoon/evening there.
we waited with the gang while they waited for their ride, since unfortunately we don't have that 15 passenger van yet. ;) we hung out and fed the squirrels.
big girl laney chased and laughed and shouted "doggy!"
we had all planned to go back for round 2 on saturday for some dc sightseeing.
but then lexi had to work.
christian wanted (!) to go to the church dance friday and to volunteer to help with christmas in april saturday morning.
and on the ride home the little girls kinda lost their cool.
that's when i turned to matt and said i wasn't sure it was such a good idea to take them with us on saturday when he (hubby of the year!) offered to stay home with them.
so i got to go up to dc by my lonesome on saturday to hang out with the gang.
i parked at branch avenue and took the metro in all by myself. :)
i'm such a big girl!
i got there a little bit early so i did some walking around before the gang showed up.
(washington memorial in the back)
it was a beautiful day!!!
i am in awe of this amazing city, i just love it!
selfie in the park.
j & p, mr deaner, and denetta showed up just after 12 and we boarded for our awesome double decker bus tour. we sent this guy to auto to tell her how much we missed her.
we were trying to get the building behind us but we were not very successful.
i am the worst at those pics!
i've never done the double decker tour before, but it was soooo cool!
kinda pricey, but i totally recommend it! i thought this was kinda funny cause we were this huge bus stuck behind a little bicycle taxi. felt like we were gonna swallow them whole.
still with scaffolding all over it from our earthquake in august 2011.
the other day we saw people climbing and working on each level.
almost gave me a heart attack, i'm so afraid of heights!
i was trying to get the new $50 bill behind us, but only ended up with the "it's coming," sign.
the wheels on the bus went round and round and we rode all through the town until everyone was hungry and needed a potty. we stopped at the lincoln memorial, took pics, ate, visited the vietnam, korea, and ww2 memorials, then headed for the white house. we've always seen the wh from the pennsylvania avenue side, but it was completely closed off so that we couldn't see anything. we found out later that the white house correspondents dinner was saturday night, so i think that was why. anyways, just as we were about to give up on seeing the wh all together, we overheard another tourist asking about being able to see it and then heard that we could go to the other side and see it there. we walked around the corner and voila! i'd never seen it from this side, but it was great.
from there we caught our double decker and took it over to the arlington national cemetery to see jfk's eternal flame and the changing of the guard. we learned some interesting things: jackie kennedy lost 2 children, one of them just 3 months before jfk was assassinated. bless her heart, that is a lot for one woman to deal with. also, the soldiers that guard the tomb of the unknown soldier go through some crazy rigorous training, they have to be between 5'10 and 6'4 and keep their waists no larger than 30". lots of interesting stuff. from there we bussed it over to drive past the pentagon where we were able to see where the plane hit on 9/11. you can see the difference in the brick color. one day we'll go see the memorial, but for our little weekend tour this was enough.
our driver took us back to union station where we enjoyed a yummy dinner and then we each caught our metro's home. i was pretty nervous about riding the metro home in the dark, on the weekend, and by myself, but it was all good! and i had such a great time. i could just feel my cup being filled and i am so thankful for the opportunity to fill it. it's been so nice to see jackie so much this past year, it's always sad to say goodbye knowing that it will be at least a year before we see each other again.
i just love where we live. :)