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DC trip with Saylors 2007
(Click on the images for a larger version.)
ellie gray tea
Please sit down
ellie gray tea 2
and grab a cup of Ellie's specially brewed tea.
gray tea tomatoes
If you're hungry, you can put a tomato can in your tea like Gray does.

And now let me tell you
ellie shuttle
about Ellie
gray shuttle
and Gray's first trip to Washington DC.
ellie snow 1
Not only was this a new city with lots of buses and trains to ride,
ellie snow 2
but Ellie also got to see snow for the first time (Gray had already seen some in Minnesota).
ellie scott DC
Ellie, Scott, Retse, and
gray DC
Gray arrived the day before Ilaria and I. They had some cold, rainy weather, but managed to make it to the National Geographic museum.
J union station DC
After a long train ride, Ilaria and I arrived
union station dc
at Union Station in downtown Washington DC.
george washington university sign
We took the DC metrorail to Foggy Bottom / GWU.
george washington university hospital
George Washington University Hospital is right outside the subway stop.
gwu apartments
We walked down a few blocks
gwu apartments 2
with a lot of apartments with
gwu apartments 3
a lot of character
gwu apartments 4
on the way to
river inn dc
the River Inn where Ilaria and I were staying.
saylors hotel
The Saylors came to see us when we got to our hotel.

Gray was talking about me earlier,
gray hotel
but when he meet me for real, he went into shy, baffled mode for a minute.
gray hotel 2
Then he remembered what it was he wanted to do: pull up pant leg, show shoe to uncle, say shoe, good. After he remembered to introduce his shoes to me, we were much more comfortable with each other.
to georgetown
After a little play time in our hotel room, it was time to venture out for some grub.
sunset georgetown
We walked to Georgetown, which was a few blocks from our hotel.
old stone house georgetown
This here's the Old Stone House in Georgetown.
old stone house georgetown front
It's the only surviving pre-Revolutionary building in DC.
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It was St. Patrick's day, and we ended up eating in a local pub. We definitely didn't have to worry about the kids being too loud!

After dinner, the Saylor's headed back to their hotel in Arlington, made a slight metro error, and ended up missing the last shuttle back to their hotel. Opps... Thankfully, they found a taxi.
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Although I was initially given a hard time about staying at a slightly expensive hotel,
river inn kitchen
the River Inn really turned out to be a good deal.
river inn stove
Since there was a kitchen
river inn pots pans
with pots and pans, we could cook simple meals, save money, and eat healthier. The cleaning staff even washed the dishes every day.
river inn room
The room was big,
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and the neighborhood was really nice.

(Note to self, if you move to DC, look for an apartment in this building.)
trader joes dc
Importantly, there was a Trader Joe's a block away! We bought almost all our meals for the entire vacation here.
trader joes dc 2
And we introduced Retse and Scott to this fine grocery establishment.
gwu neighborhood sun
After I cooked a yummy Trader Joe's breakfast of soy sausages, french toast, and oatmeal,
gwu neighborhood sun 1
Ilaria and I headed back through our colorful GWU neighborhood,
foggy bottom
and we took the foggy bottom Metro Stop
arlington cemetery
to Arlington National Cemetery.
robert e lee house arlington
Wasn't I just here two weeks ago? It was definitely warmer this time though.
Robert E Lee mess kit
This time in the cemetery, I found a little museum to the side of Robert E. Lee's house. Here's the man's utensils from the Civil War.
Robert E Lee hair
And here's the hair of Robert E. Lee and his horse.
George Washington hair
For some reason, one of Robert E. Lee's family members had this little thing that contains some of George Washington's hair. (what's up with all this hair saving?)
arlington national cemetery  2
Ilaria and I left Arlington National Cemetery
washington dc cherry blossom
and headed to the National Mall
washington dc cherry blossom 2
where the Cherry Blossoms were just starting to form.
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We walked past the old Smithsonian building (I think this is it?)
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And past a series of statues
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ellie gray zoo DC
During our Arlington Cemetery trip, the Saylors were at the National Zoo. During their zoo trip, Scott's indestructible bag met it's final end, and they bought a new one from a street vendor.
ilaria congress
After Ilaria and I had lunch, we met back up with the Saylors
national air and space museum
at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
space ship one
Here's Space Ship One, that launched private human space flight (or least that's what it won the X-prize for in 2004; Virgin Galactic has yet to get off the ground, but you can reserve your spot now with a $200,000 ticket for 2 1/2 hours in space).
wright brothers Kitty Hawk Flyer
The Wright Brother's airplane, the Kitty Hawk Flyer, is probably the most famous aircraft in the museum.
kermit smithsonian
But since the Smithsonian's Museum of American History was closed for renovations, we got to see the highlights of the collection which were temporarily on display at the Air and Space Museum. There was kermit,
louis armstrong trumpet
Louis Armstrong's trumpet,
mr rogers sweater
Mr. Rogers' sweater,
gillespie trumpet
and Dizzy Gillespie's trumpet.
kermit ellie ilaria
But lookin at stuff doesn't stay fun for too long when you're three years old.
saylors dc capitol building
So we headed outside to get less looking and more action.
gray coma
But the thing is, these Florida kids didn't take to the cold too well. As soon as they'd get outside, they'd go into some kinda coma like state and not move. I really had to try hard to get Ellie to run with me, and then she only went a little ways before jumping back into her coma chair.
DC merry go round
But the sound of the merry-go-round woke them both up!
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By this time, it was getting late and everyone was cold and tired,
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so we walked towards
lincoln memorial
the Lincoln Memorial, which was on the way to our hotel.
washington monument
Along the way, I did take the time to show off my superman strength
washington monument J
by holding the Washington Monument in one hand.
I have a dream
This is where MLK made the I have a dream speech (and unlike last time I was here, the reflecting pool actually has water in it).
ellie ilaria lincoln memorial
Someday Ellie or Ilaria might make a big speech here.
ellie lincoln memorial
But for now, let's just focus on being a kid.
watergate 1
We all ate Trader Joe's dinner together (Ellie had a fancy salad?), with the view of Watergate outside our hotel window to remind us that if we ever want to engage in scandalous politics, we shouldn't install recording systems to tape all of our conversations about it.
watergate 2
Unfortunately, it was time to go for the Saylors, who had an early flight to catch the next day.
ilaria ice cream
Ilaria and I went out for ice cream before bed.
spanish embassy
The next day Ilaria and I walked by the cool-lookin Spanish embassy and caught the bus
supreme court
over to the Supreme Court where students were protesting free speech.
library of congress
We went to the Library of Congress, which was initially only 3000 volumes that were burned by the British in 1814. Afterwards, Thomas Jefferson seeded the library with his huge collection of books.
capitol building lawn ilaria
In case you didn't know, the Capitol Building holds both the House and the Senate (I didn't know so I asked this from a security guy with a giant gun).
national gallery
Ilaria and I then went to the modern branch of the National Gallery
ilaria national gallery
to see a special exhibition on Jasper Johns.
This is a cool piece we saw by Jean Dubuffet.
And here's some cool cubist nuns by Francis Picabia.
And what modern museum would be complete without a mondrian
and a miro?
elevator large
Look at the size of this elevator. It also moves relative to its size. We gave up and took the stairs
down to the basement where there were some nice pieces by Rothko.
Lichtenstein house I
This sculpture House I by Roy Lichtenstein (the guy that painted the pictures that look like they came out of newspaper comics) created an interesting illusion,
Lichtenstein house I 2
which made it difficult
Lichtenstein house I 3
to tell if it was
Lichtenstein house I 4
concave or convex.
original smithsonian
This is the original Smithsonian. Hard to believe what is now in 15 different museums used to all fit in this one building.
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The last place we went before catching our flight home
women in the arts museum
was the private National Museum of Women in the Arts (i.e. rich white men don't think your tax dollars are good enough for this one and a rich white women said, so what I'll build it myself).
frida kahlo
The museum was pretty neat. They could use more works by famous women artists like georgia o'keeffe, but they did have this great piece by Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait Dedicated to Leon Trotsky. Despite being way too hot in the museum, it was a nice change from the standard museum.

After the museum, Ilaria and I made our way to Dulles Airport to ride home to Boston in a tiny non-claustrophobic-friendly airplane.