Saturday, March 25, 2017

Spring break days 5-7

I mean, I don't want to bury the lede, so I am just going to tell you, WE STOPPED AT OXFORD ON THE WAY HOME AND HAD BAGEL AND DELI AND IT WAS MAGICAL.  But first, I have like more days of DC to tell you about.  
Thank to Blogger, though, my photos uploaded in a way that leaves me scrambling for narrative form.

We ran out of the food we brought from home and were feeding the kids for breakfast, so we took them someplace fancy on Wednesday morning.

Last time, though, I told you there would be Pandas, and, indeed.

We started our day super early at the National Zoo, and it was fab.  We LOVED the zoo.

AND PANDAS.

 This right here?  He was the Beatrix of pandas.  My favorite, obvs.

We could have stood by the pandas all day.
Especially the Beatrix panda.
 And especially me because as Ben captured, I am a TOTAL GOOBER.



Harry took the very best panda pic:
It is currently his phone home screen photo-- he changed that pic about 64 times during our trip, but he thinks this one is here to stay.

 It was chilly, but also completely gorgeous, which is kind of my favorite weather.
And also, these guys matched.

 They were trying to be as strong as an elephant.
 Speaking of elephants, we were standing by them, but Cooper only got us in the shot.
Behind the scenes:


Cooper spent a lot of the trip working on his photo skillz


Like the rest of the trip, Dorothy;s favorite thing was something she could actually do and play with, in this case prairie dog tunnels which were actually a vast kingdom over which she presided:



 Photobomb by Jack, his specialty.
 She was excited to see elephants, but not excited enough to get out of her stroller.
 Ham.
 Naked mole rats got her out of her ride.
 DRAGON!
 Dorothy steeled herself for a ride on the carousel-- merry-go-rounds, or, as she calls them, meggery rounds, scare her.
 Not Jack, though.

When she got off the ride, she told me she was impressed with her own bravery.

 Ben said when he was a kid he saw orangutans on these ropes high above the sidewalks, and I was only half listening and was like oh, cool.  And then he made fun of me and was like you moron, they couldn't be up there because nothing could keep then contained.  I was like oh whatever, I never listen to you.  AND THEN WE SAW THIS!
 So Ben was trying to make a joke, but he was right.  AS USUAL.

After the zoo, we tempered the unmitigated joy of PANDAS with a trip to our national cemetery.

Um.

Arlington was lovely and sobering and sad and grand.  Ben took some really excellent photos, and JFK's grave made me cry.




We took our car back to the hotel and walked back to the mall, stopping for our, like, 15th trip to Subway, which is the one place all of our kids eat at with no complaints.  We took a break in Lafayette Square to meet up with an old friend of mine who works for the White House Historical Association and gifted u some DC swag. I CANNOT BELIEVE I didn't take any pictures! MY WHOLE LIFE IS PICTURES.

Next up, Harry and I went to the Holocaust museum, which was hauntingly beautiful. I was deeply moved by the exhibit and the photographs-- oh the pictures, you guys.  Little kids SMILING while they wait for the trains with their parents.  But!  I have read a lot about the Holocaust-- including the letters my grandfather sent home after his unit liberated a concentration camp-- and tons of historical fiction set in that time period, so I knew the scope of the horror.  Harry, though, was fairly unprepared.  The museum is interactive, and you can spend as much or as little time with each part of the exhibit as you want to.  We skipped some of the videos and kiosks because Harry was overwhelmed.  He spent the longest time looking at the walls of liberators and the photos of soldiers freeing camps-- ostensibly looking for his great grandfather, which was adorable, but also because they were the only hopeful images.

 Ben took everyone else to American History and the White House Visitor's center for First Lady dress viewing, White House trivia, and more Smithsonian toy shop souvenirs.

We took a moment to decompress at the Washington Monument after I bought Harry Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl in the museum gift shop.
I needed a stiff drink after THE SHOES, so we headed back to the hotel for happy hour and decompression in our room.
Then we got in the car and went directly to Shake Shack.  Which, YES, PLEASE. (Also, we walked an average of 13 miles a day, so the kids were so happy to drive somewhere!)

 Cooper took this one


 We tried to do the monuments at night, but everyone was cold and tired and just did not even want to.
 The next morning, we prepared to leave the city even though we all kind of wanted to stay.  I think that's the key to a successful trip-- you have to leave when you want more.  We are already excited to come back in a few years.


"On the way" (a phrase that probably even now makes steam come out of Ben's ears because this place was like 45 minutes IN THE WRONG DIRECTION) we stopped at a Wizard of Oz park that my friend recommended.  It was AMAZING.











Even though it was cold, we stayed for over an hour and ate a snack of-- you guessed it-- MUNCHKINS on the bench before we hopped in the car and drove  SEVEN AND A HALF HOURS to Oxford, Ohio, stopping precisely once for gas and more Subway because Bagel and Deli closed at 8 due to spring break for Miami of Ohio, and we were really only stopping in Oxford to eat.

Luckily the park  wore everyone out, and the drive was excellent:
The bagels were even better.  This is my fave, a Wam-O.  Ben had a Gandy Dancer, a Doyle, and a Terrapin for dinner.  Harry tried an Original Breakfast.  Jack had an All American, and Dorothy and Cooper got plain ones with butter.  Then the next morning, I grabbed a Miami to go, and Ben snagged a David Letterman.  THAT'S A TON OF BAGELS.



Our hotel was SUPER CREEPY and very axe-murdery with only like 6 guests in the whole place, all of us sharing one long outside hallway.

But there was a pool!  

And also a hot breakfast.  With a gravy dispenser that might have been the highlight of Harry's trip.

Even though the kids were about to spend like 6.5 more hours staring at screens in the car, they played with their iPads so happily we almost didn't want to disturb them to take pictures and get milkshakes.

 The room where it happens at Bagel and Deli!
 Adorable Oxford. That place used to be a bar that my mom liked so much she bought a t-shirt.  Now it's another bar that's probably also awesome because Oxford is full of awesome bars.
 My favorite head shop!
 Jack swears he is going to go to school here, and I soooooooo hope he follows through on that.
 And not just for the gas station milkshakes.  Although.
I hope to recreate this picture in 10 years when he is an incoming freshman.

 At Bagel and Deli, more pics by Cooper.

 Don't knock UDF until you've tried it and then you won't be able to because OMG.

 Ben bought me a t-shirt.
 Bye bye, Ohio.  We'll miss you!

From Oxford, we drove to Lafayette for lunch because the kids love checking out college campuses.

Purdue did not disappoint:



Cooper was a huge fan of the food court.
 So was Ben.
 Cooper just needs a good straight jacket sometimes.
 In a fit of total dorkiness, we stopped by the home of the best online writing resource in America, the Purdue OWL.


And now, we are home!  Dealing with this:

2 comments:

Chiconky said...

I love this! It looks like such an awesome trip. The pic of you and Ben looking at each other in front of the elephants is adorable, btw!

Holly Sisk said...

I love the picture of Harry & Cooper in matching attire!
I am so disappointed that y'all were too tired & cold to visit the monuments at night BUT at least that gives you one more thing to look forward to on your next trip