Monday, July 29, 2013

We love DC

This morning we caught an earlier train. It was a few minutes late, but not too bad. As we neared Union Station it started to pour, really pour, rain. We stayed in the station and looked into using the metro, and into trolleys and buses. We determined it would be cheaper to catch a few taxis to a museum we would like to spend time in, and just stay in there while it rained. As we walked outside it stopped raining. So we just walked. We walked and walked and walked. I am sure that we did several miles of walking in Boston (probably about 7), but today I think we put on 10 miles. We walked around several places in the mall. We went around the Washington Monument for a while, but it is closed for renovations after some earthquake damage. 

Washington Monument

We walked all the way over to the White House. 

The White House

The family in front of the White House

Then we walked down to the Lincoln Memorial. A high school choir was doing a great program there. They were playing parts of Martin Luther King’s speech and interspersing it with some wonderful songs of theirs. It was great. We spent time inside the monument talking about Lincoln, etc. 

The Family in front of Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial
Us in front of the Lincoln Memorial

Then we walked over to the Jefferson Memorial, stopping and having lunch at the FDR memorial. When we left our lunch area and used the bathroom and then headed on, we somehow lost Kaleb. After quite a while I figured out that we had lost him. I went back to look for him. I looked and looked, and was starting to get nervous that I could not find him. I called Julianne and they told me the last place anyone had seen him. I looked and looked there and all around and couldn’t find him. I was about to start retracing my steps when I felt like I should check out at the entrance where we had not been for quite a while. I checked, he was not there. I was about to go back in when I felt like I should go around the corner and check on the street. Sure enough, there he was, far, far away. That morning the shirt he had wanted to wear was dirty, so he wore a bright yellow shirt, one that was easy for me to recognize. I yelled to him, thinking that with the traffic and distance he wouldn’t hear. He did. He came running. We were blessed again.

Waterfall near the FDR memorial. Note that Kaleb is not in this picture, though we hadn't realized it yet.
 At the Jefferson Memorial Tashara taught us for half an hour. She did a phenomenal job, and even had Kaleb in tears. It was a wonderful time.

Family going into the Jefferson Memorial

 From there we kept walking and walking, seeing various things such as the Smithsonian center, an exhibit on Civil War photography, etc. 

We sometimes kept Jacob walking when he was tired by letting him chase squirrels
Mostly we just kept walking

Kaleb and I kept looking in museums for a sun for Julianne, but we never found one. One time we had her and the kids go ahead while we ran in and checked one. But after a while she decided to stop and wait for us. Her mom, BJ and Tashara went ahead because they wanted to shop in the stores at Union Station. We caught up with Julianne and kept walking. When we were about 250 yards from the station it started to rain hard. We were under a tunnel of trees that kept us pretty protected. But there was a hundred yards between where they ended and where we could get in the building. We ran that whole way. But it was not raining, it really was pouring. There were no raindrops, it was a constant sheet of water. It was like running through the sheet of water created by a waterfall, except that the whole thing was a sheet. We ran like mad through 100 yards of rain, and were soaked. But it was fun, and a bit exciting. We just toughed it out through the train ride, and within 25 minutes we had changed clothes. Those in the train station (who nearly missed the train because they were so ding dongy that they got into shopping so much they nearly didn’t get to ride it) were surprised we were wet. They had no idea it had rained.

We love DC

Stacey was incredible. She had made home made buns, etc., and had everything ready for a wonderful BBQ. We visited, and the kids played and played. They had so much fun. They just couldn’t get enough of each other. What fun they had. It was hard to get them to stop and go to bed. Stacey’s family helped us with laundry, drying some things out, and everything else we could possibly think of. They helped me plan out how to do what I need to do tomorrow to get around for my lecture, etc. I can’t think of anything that someone could have done to help us that they did not do. They are good, good people. And it seemed like it was just yesterday that Stacey and my friends had all been hanging out together in college. It was a nice time.

3/4 of the Bailey family with Julianne at our motorhome
We love the Baileys

Today we caught the train in and met Julianne’s cousin. As soon as they got together we were no longer part of Julianne’s world. We could not get her attention, she didn’t notice she was walking into traffic, she left us behind again and again. She was not part of our world. I am afraid I didn’t handle that all that well.
We went to the national archives, where we spent two hours getting in to see three documents. They were cool documents to be sure: The original Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. I am not sure it was worth it for the time it took. Then we did the American History Museum. It was cool, but we stayed way longer than the kids would have liked, and way after lunch, because Julianne just couldn’t stop. It was a bit touchy for us for a while, but it worked out okay. We ate lunch and went to the museum of Natural History. I was only able to be in there for about 40 minutes before I had to leave. 

Jacob with a monkey in the Museum of Natural History
Jacob still with the monkey. Uncanny resemblance.

I caught the train back, showered, put a few finishing touches on my presentation, and Stacey and John gave me a ride to the metro. With a little help I got that figured out. I got to the right station, walked and found the right place, and met all the right people there. It was fun to visit with some friends I have made at various ARCE events. I learned that at least one person has seen some of my Book of Abraham stuff online and has some doubts about me. But I think it was overcome and that all was well.
The lecture went very, very well. I enjoyed it, and it was well received. Then we went to dinner. It also went well. But it all went so late. I knew I had an early morning, but they all just enjoyed sitting and eating. Finally, well after 10 pm, I had to excuse myself. I got to the metro, got to the station near the Bailey’s house, John came and picked me up, and I was able to make my goodbyes to them. Everyone else in my family was asleep out in the motorhome. I hated to leave them, we had such a wonderful time with them. I knew the children had cried about leaving them. They were the perfect hosts. But it was time to go. I made my way to the motorhome for a few hours of sleep.

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