Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Our Last Minute Stay-cation to DC

About three weeks ago on a boring Friday night we decided the summer was passin' us by and we needed a vacation. So we packed up at 7:30pm and by 9:00pm had arrived at Hotel Monaco, a 4 star swanky hotel in the big city of Washington, DC (thanks,

After the valet whisked away our van, we were greeted by a pair of goldfish, which came complimentary in each room to keep you company during your stay. The kids loved them, especially when John would pretend to drink their water each night instead of the hotel cups.

They also loved the long, dizzying, stripes of the hotel carpet that beckons kids to run down the hallways screaming.

We all loved the location, location, location. We stayed 4 easy strolling blocks away from the National Mall with its plethora of Smithsonian Museums, kitty corner to a Metro station and directly across the street from the National Portrait Gallery. This city has so much to offer that a day's trip really doesn't do it justice.

DC is such a fun city to be in, especially at night. It's relatively safe, clean and well lit and brimming with things to do. We stayed up until 11:30pm each night, stumbling across random fountains and statues on Friday and taking in the streets and ice cream cones of Georgetown on Saturday.

We let Lias wander to his hearts content on the big sidewalks and huge exhibits of the Museums of Natural History and in the Portrait Gallery the next day.

Occasionally he stopped to stare at the new sites and to dance along to the bucket drummers. I distinctly remember thinking these were so cool as a kid visiting DC. It was fun to see my kids reaction to the sites and sounds of my childhood memories.

We even found his (Elias McKean Genho's) namesake in the Portrait Gallery. Thomas McKean was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, member of the Continental Congress, Chief Justice and Governor of Pennsylvania during the colonial years. Somehow, we're related to him through my maternal grandmother, Ramona McKean, so it was interesting to turn the corner and see a picture of him. The inscription next to him reads "contentious, vain and hot-tempered - and notorious for shifting his political allies - McKean was an easy target for the scurrilous press of the 1790s that taunted, "he beats his wife and she beats him and when she's drunk she throws his wig in the fire." Lias sure has a lot to live up to.

John and I both loved taking turns walking through the Portrait Gallery. The kids only lasted a few minutes so we took turns with them out in the courtyard while the other browsed the art. I loved this picture of this little boy shooting marbles.

Another favorite - this harvest picture of the pumpkins. Sadly, I didn't write any of these artists names down but if I wasn't so lazy I'm sure I could find them with a little google search.

But I'm too lazy to be bothered with such things.

The hotel had a very nice comfy bed for such a for mentioned lazy people, who convinced all but Ava to take naps each day. Then Ava would get tired and grumpy around 9pm when everyone else was just getting fired up. Silly girl.

She and I did enjoy the luxurious bathrobes each shower though.

She also loved the cuddling in the big bed with John while he read her her souvenir from the Borders in Georgetown - Natures Babies.

Sunday morning we got up and ventured out on the Metro to see the Arlington Cemetery. I think the significance was lost on the kids after we had to walk almost 20 minutes from the Metro to the gravesites but it was a good place to be on a Sunday morning. It's humbling to stand in the middle of so much sacrifice and service. DC is an amazing place to visit and reflect on our country's pride and patriotism. It's almost impressive feeling to just walk around this great city and realize what a great Nation we're a part of.

We ended Sunday with Sacrament meeting in a downtown ward, where I randomly ran into an old Animal Science friend from BYU. It's so nice to go somewhere where you never think anyone will know you and then end up seeing someone you know. The kids loved the experience of a new ward, especially the lady that sang her testimony over the pulpit.

We were in the car and back home by 5:00 that afternoon - not even gone for a total of 48 hours. Still, we came back feeling refreshed and like we'd just gone on a week long vacation without the stress of a real trip. I think we'll make this a yearly tradition.


  1. That sounds really fun. I love to see how much Lias is getting around! He's such a cutie.

  2. Wow, it looks like you guys really lived it up. What fun! It almost makes me wish we were still there and could do the same thing...

  3. Lynnie, this brings back a lot of DC memories for me. Sadly, only the older end of the family--Shauna and Kayla--remembers our DC adventures clearly, Scott was only 3 when we moved back to Texas and Breanna was just 7. I'm glad you're making these opportunities with your children, and documenting them with photos and comments.

  4. How fun! Way to go with priceline, that's awesome. What a great trip.

  5. you in that bathrobe!!! nice!!! Remember the day we went to DC, friggin' freezing! Glad you guys had a little trip away. I just miss you every time I read a new post!