Sightseeing in DC: Toddler Edition

On our trip to Washington DC last weekend, even with the marathon, a toddler and nap schedule and potentially hazardous weather, we had so much fun. DC happens to be one of my most favorite cities ever, and when I finally got to the Mall I was grinning like a fool.

First off… sightseeing in the city in the two days before a marathon. Talk about a half-baked idea! I had such a hard time trying to make sure I wasn’t walking too much or too fast and drinking enough and eating well. It was sort of a pain. And as I laid in bed Friday night (race was Sunday) and my feet gave a little throb of pain, I sorta kicked myself. Even so, there were trade offs; we didn’t do as much as we could have. And, being a family vacay (and one where I was asking Scott and Margo to basically do nothing but watch strangers run on Sunday), I couldn’t do some things I really wanted to do. Like the Newseum. (OMG, I haven’t been to it since it’s been moved and I wanna go soo bad.)

We arrived Friday, and it was sort of a slow day; everything took longer than we anticipated. I got my stuff at the expo, Scott took Margo to the Air and Space Museum. So much driving, waiting, walking and toddler wrangling made it an exhausting day. Hangry Jamie even made an appearance before dinner! The Air and Space Museum wasn’t as huge of a hit was we’d hoped for Margo (at 2 months shy of 3)… she breezed through a lot of it before I got there and wasn’t really interested in backtracking at all. I was sorta sad I didn’t have a chance to look at more stuff there; it’s a fun one. Also worth noting, no nap and lots of driving *may* have tainted the toddler mood. (It definitely did.)

But, Saturday was darn near perfect. We decided to just go slow. Scott had spent so much of Friday carrying Margo (who didn’t nap! Did I forget to mention that?) and he was pretty spent too. We took the metro to see the White House. Margo kept talking about how we were going to see Obama in Washington DC, we couldn’t miss it. Obviously, didn’t see Obama or even get to go in the White House, but it was pretty fun to see it! We walked (meandered) past the Washington Monument to the Smithsonian (didn’t open til 10! Whaaat?) It was a gorgeous fall day… & we were in full parent papparazzi form and got like a bajillion pics.

We also visited the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. This might be my most very favorite museum experience ever… she was so excited about the dinosaur bones and they have a really awesome exhibit of stuffed animals.

Awesome, awesome butterfly house too. You had to pay for it, but it was so worth it for the concentration of butterflies. I’ve been to my share of butterfly houses (*humblebrag*) and I’ve never been so close to them. We were all in a great mood, it was a really awesome museum for her at this age and given her interests (animals and dinos being in the top 5.) We also went a little nuts in the gift shop. What can I say, I love a museum gift shop… We had lunch at the cafe there. Um, holy yummy food. I was shocked… I had a roasted eggplant sandwich and a cupcake. Much more than the hot dog/chicken fingers you’d expect.

I think I’m left feeling torn between wishing we’d had more quality time to do stuff (we didn’t even see half of the Natural History Museum) and being so thankful for what we did get to do. It was awesome family time. We stayed in a hotel in Arlington, and we weren’t particularly close to a metro stop (the “shovel” had to take us there. “Shuttle” for those of you who don’t speak Margo.) We ended up spending our evenings in Arlington/Pentagon City & eating nearby… nothing special.

BUT! Scott is going back to DC for a work trip later this month and Margo and I are most likely tagging along. I’m totally excited to do it all again – with energy! – and also have a nicer, closer (FREE) hotel. Potentially want to hit the zoo (if it’s not terribly cold), American History Museum (first lady gowns! weee!) and, probably Natural History again (we missed the whole buggie exhibit, after all…)

And one of my most very favorite pictures ever:

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2 thoughts on “Sightseeing in DC: Toddler Edition

  1. American History museum is my favorite! I recommend seeing Julia Child’s kitchen. It’s awesome. And I love the first lady gown stuff too. And! Dorothy’s red slippers…have fun!

    • oooh, good idea! I was sad to have to graze over stuff that looked interesting to me in Air & Space bc of Margo not being into it… selfish mommy moment. Prob the last time I was there was like 10 years ago, Julia Child would have meant nothing to me then. I heard there might be a train/locomotive exhibit in Am History? That’d be a hit. 🙂

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