Monday, May 28, 2012

all aboard to...DC

This past week we made a quick, spontaneous decision to take the train into DC for Memorial Day weekend.  We are not quick decision maybe I should restate that.  MY honey is not a quick, spontaneous, on the fly decision maker.  I'm a go anywhere, do anything kinda gal.  Thank heavens he keeps my feet on the ground.  Needless to say we balance we each other out beautifully.

So this trip was unplanned and sometimes those are the best little surprises.   DC has been on our to-do list since moving here almost a year ago.  How can you live so close to such an amazing city and not take full advantage of it right?!

We decided instead of messing with traffic and the stress that goes along with driving that we would take the train.  BEST decision ever.  None of us had ever taken a long train ride before.  It was so easy.  You don't have to check luggage.  You don't have to go through security or wait forever.  You just get on, find a roomy seat, sit back and relax.  You can plug in your phone, iPad whatever and stay connected.  It's definitely the way to go.

My sweet traveling buddy:)

It was also a wonderful way to take in the country side.  Virginia is beautiful.  Lush and historic.  It made for a peaceful ride.

Once we got there the wow factor started right away.  This is Union Station.  The architecture was so beautiful. 

It amazes me the attention to detail that went into every little thing.  If you love detail you would love DC.

Oh the feeling of finally getting to the room.  Of setting down the luggage and taking your shoes off.  A home away from home. 

We set our stuff down for just a second and then took off. We couldn't wait to explore.  It was weird walking the streets...seeing the history everywhere.  We see it on TV all the time, but to be there in person was surreal.

The first night we walked by the Capitol, took in the Natural History Museum, and the National Archives.  The archives were my favorite.  They usher you into a dark room and you stand in line waiting your turn to see the Bill of Rights, Constitution and Declaration of Independence.  Uh can you say AMAZING!!  There was a poor guy who whipped out his camera to take a picture and the security lady made an example of him and had him escorted out of the building.  I was so glad I didn't make that mistake.  Talk about being mortified.

To stand over those faded documents and make out the signatures of Ben Franklin, James Madison and George Washington was goose bump worthy.  The only thing that would trump that experience would be to visit the Holy Land and stand where Jesus stood.  See the grave he arose from...the hill he was crucified on.  That would be amazing.

This was the sculpture garden right in front of the National Archives building.  It was SO crowded.  They had some kind of jazz concert going on and throngs of people were standing around and laying on blankets.  I didn't get it really.  It was super hot and muggy and to go to the park and sit on the grass just didn't sound fun to me.  I'm not a city girl at all though.  People...lots of people annoy me.  I need space.

The next day we went to the Ford Theatre.  It's the place Lincoln was shot in the back of the head.  Out of all the presidents Abraham Lincoln was my very favorite.  Visiting the actual theatre and seeing right where he was on that night was powerful.  The girls thought so too.

We finally made it to the White House.  You kind of picture this moment as being special.  But in actuality we were dripping with sweat.  It was close to 90 degrees and HUMID, nothing but concrete to walk on and we had been walking a long long way.  The girls were grouchy.  I was on my period because anytime we ever have anything important...any kind of vacation...I'm always on my period;)  And it's time to take the pic.  Little Chick is acting out.  She won't get in the picture, and all of a sudden I feel spit on my shoulder.  Next thing you know I lash out and pinch her on the bottom.  She runs off pouting and that's our White House memory.  There you have it.  Finally after some tears, apologies and calming down we got this shot.  Welcome to vacation.

After the White House debacle we got some ice cream.  Ice cream just makes everything better doesn't it?  We made the LONG trek to the Lincoln Memorial. 

Out of all the sights this is the one I've been looking forward to my entire life.  It was powerful.  Walking those steps.  Standing small by that giant statue of a man who made such a difference in our Nation's history.  I felt small and insignificant...but inspired.  These people who care...really care for something.  Who stood for freedom and liberty and for right.  Those soldiers who gave it all up to protect and defend our nation.  They deserve our utmost respect.  They deserve to be honored.  I am so proud to be an American.  I don't always agree with how our country is ran,  how things are accomplished, but I am forever grateful for our Founding Fathers who came in search of freedom and for all the men and women who have died and lived to protect that freedom.  Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

Have a blessed day. 

598.  DC under our belts
599.  our soldiers...the sacrifices made
600.  freedom
601.  memories with my family...good and bad
602.  the luxury of a train ride 
603.  Godly leaders

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  1. Sounds like a cool trip. We are indeed lucky to be so close to DC. Now that you have been to Ford's Theater, you should read Killing Lincoln, by Bill O'Reilly. Really good!

  2. Oh, I enjoyed reading this post so much Becky....I've never been to Washington but really want to.

    Your photos are beautiful....I loved the story about the hot sweaty photo too ;)

    And I love train travel....such a great way to see places.

    You look absolutely gorgeous by the way, lovely shots of you :) Xx

  3. Okay you are going to love this- next year as soon as school gets out we are booking a trip to DC... and of course we are totally flying into Richmond and staying at your house coming and going. I know you'll kill me if we don't so you're totally planned INTO THE vacation. Ha!! Adrain is planning it now and I think we are going to take your cue and do the train!!! Adrain loves DC and has been wanting to take us for years. (He wants to know if you rented a car and how that worked with the train etc.)

    BTW your photos were drop dead amazing!! GIRL! You nailed that!! Love you so!

  4. This was beautiful Becky! I love taking the train places! So relaxing.
    And spontaneous trips would be fun...I don't know that I've done that...othjer than an hour away or saw such beauty there and captured it so beautifully!
    Love to you and your sweet family!

    Lots of love,
    Deborah xoxo

  5. So glad you went. It really is a great city and I'm amazed at how many Americans never go.

    I often feel proud it is our capitol and that people from other countries visit there - though I hate they miss out on "the middle" of the US and only see east coast and west coast (TV).

    Anyway, love that last pic with the Washington Monument in the background. Good one.

  6. i'm so happy you were able to visit DC. i went in high school and adored it. i felt all sentimental and goose bumpy the whole time. so much amazing history! especially to go on a weekend like this - how bittersweet. your photos are breathtaking. Lincoln was just a wonderful man, wasn't he?! wow - those words are incredible!

    happy memorial day, sweets! xoxo!!

  7. Glad you had a great trip. I was at church at the National Presbyterian Church on Sunday and brunch at 7th & Pennsylvania. Too bad I missed you. :)

  8. what a bunch of wonderful memories you and your family have made for a lifetime!

    smiles to you.


  9. You were in my neck of the woods! :)

  10. I love your 'Artsy Chick" cuff! When I bought mine I was debating between that one and the one that I have.

    Yours cuff are great! I am going to have to start a cuff fund! :)

  11. I love DC.
    Love. Love. LOVE!
    I am so glad you did something so impulsively wonderful.
    Even the pinch on the hiney will be a good memory one day ; )
    You are the best.

  12. This is on my must see list Becky ~ we went to Ottawa a few years ago so we could see our nations capital before going to see another. The architecture makes my heart go pitter patter. Loving all your shots and the train really is the way to go ~ let someone else worry about the driving and just sit back and relax. What a great week-end. xo

  13. Isn't DC just wonderful!! I've been a handful of times and my boys twice. There are still things we haven't seen. It's just a great place to visit, especially since the boys have read about so many things there.

    So glad you took a spontaneous trip!!

  14. Ooooh! What a perfect post to read today, and absolutely GORGEOUS photos to see (I choked up with the Abraham Lincoln quote. I love him the best, too)...Happy Memorial Day! Even though our DC vacay is a few years away, I'm already so extremely excited to see it all! I've been waiting for YEARS to go. We'll give ya a call ;)

    Had to laugh OUT LOUD about the spit & pinch....hahahaha! So glad someone else out out there has a "normal" family :)

    Uh, oh! I've been coveting your different cuffs lately...time for me to start a collection? ;)

    As always, I adore you!

  15. I love the Lincoln quote, but the last photo is my fave. All of your photos are great. It dawns on me that Big Chick has your man's nose, and Miss Thang has yours. I'd never noticed, before. They're both blends, but I tend to see more of you in Big Chick. It's moreso her personality than her looks, I think.

  16. What a great trip!!! (even with the White House debacle….thank you for sharing that….glad to know I'm not the only one with those moments of "real life"!) Looks like you had a wonderful time!! We took our kids last year and it was a dream come true…I had always imagined bringing them when they were the right age….for the most part no one complained even though we walked and walked and walked…..and today they still say it's one of their favorite family vacations! You just made some memories that will last a lifetime :)

  17. How fun! D.C. is the best! You all made lifetime memories this weekend. :)

    How special to be there over Memorial Day, too. The WWII Memorial moved me to tears. I was not expecting that. But it's so poignant to see veterans there, remembering. I bet you saw quite a few. I agree with you about Abraham Lincoln; being at his memorial is one of those bucket list moments.

    Thanks for sharing!

  18. I have been to DC 3 times now. And I can't wait to go back! I always go picture crazy.
    I'm a big fan of Abe as well. Especially since we share the same birthday. :)
    But traveling by train, I haven't done that yet. I hope to one of these years!

  19. Hey miss Artsy Chick that fits you to a tee! It looks like you had a great time humidity and all.

  20. What a fantastic trip! Your blog has turned into a photography blog as well, with all your gorgeous pictures.

    Your white house experience made me laugh. Reality gets ya sometimes!

    I love that block and white shot of you! The girls are getting so big, it's crazy.

  21. Ahhh, that looks like so much fun! Minus the hot, muggy, on-your-period part. ;)

  22. I love history and I love Washington DC. My mom and I went there when I graduated high school oh so many years ago. Thanks for taking me back. Love Lincoln too and that quote... perfect.

  23. I am a girl that needs a PLAN. I envy your adventurous spirit!

    Now...can you teach me how to use my camera? Your pictures capture SO MUCH and are so beautiful!!!!

    Good grief, there is no end to your talent, is there????

  24. the PERFECT memorial day getaway! so glad you and the fam got to do this gorgeous, historic trip. (though i'm not sure how you ever made it out of union station--that place is incredible!)

  25. now i really want to go to DC! :)
    love all of your pics and i could not agree more on our founding fathers.
    they paved the way for this country, they sought God, and the blessing we enjoy today is because of their allegience to Him.
    i know they weren't perfect, but i long for our country to get back to the Biblical/moral foundations that it was founded on.
    it's not looking that way though.
    so glad you had a great trip...pinching and all.{that SO sounds like me}.

  26. what a great trip!!!! we were thinking about you guys all weekend. i love your pictures and love that your girlies are still into the braids :) love that you lashed out too...just do. you're so me or i'm so you...whatever...same diff.


  27. So much fun! It brings back memories... DC is one of the places my husband and I explored on our honeymoon nearly 7 years ago!!

  28. You are so lucky to be so close! The hubs and I LOVE DC. We have been a few times in the last couple years. It is such a quick flight from Chicago, it is a great weekend getaway. Did you make it to Arlington? Omg. If you didn't you MUST go back. It is beyond amazing. Breath-taking is the best way to describe it.

    By the way, your photos are always so amazing. You have such an eye! Happy Day to you!


  29. D.C. is one of my favorite trips! I loved the alst part of this is amazing being there.

  30. I've been to D.C. a couple of times, but have never taken my girls. I know they would love it as much as I do! Just so many sights to take in! My fav. was the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Just sends goosebumps up and down your spine. Your pictures are lovely beyond compare, Becky! Glad y'all had so much FUN!

  31. Because my brother
    lives near D.C., we have
    had the privilege of many
    visits....Yet, it is always
    new and special. That's
    just the kind of place D.C.
    is...No wonder so many
    politicians want to make
    careers of it and never leave!!

    Great pics, my friend.
    For some reason, it is
    always hot and muggy
    when we have been there,
    too, except one year over
    MEA. Part of the experience!

    xo Suzanne

  32. First of all, I LOVE that black and white photo of you. Gorgeous. I love the cuff you made. It fits you perfectly and your wedding ring is beautiful too. I love jewelry :).
    Glad you all had a wonderful time in DC. Hubby and I were just there in April for our 1st weekend away in 5 years!!!! We stayed on New Hampshire Ave and had a great time. It is definitely an amazing place to visit. Your pictures are amazing as always!

  33. We have been to DC twice and LOVED it both times!! If you go again make sure you take in Mt. Vernon. It is nothing but goose bumps!!!!;)

  34. Ohhhhh how cool was your trip. I have always wanted to go there and to take a train would be icing on the cake. I'm sorry your trip had some down moments, but at least you were with family and had a good time. Thank you for sharing your experience it was so great to see D.C.
    Happy Thoughts,
    Misty and Pets.

  35. I just have to giggle at your white house story. We finally made it to DC about 5 years ago and the walking, heat, humidity and bad (new "walking") shoes that gave my feet major blisters are now funny memories we have. That trip for me, like you, was very awe inspiring. You really can't put into words what that trip is like when you're an American. You are so thankful for all of it. Love that you shared your story with us and that you had a great time with your family.

  36. Looks like you had a great time! We're trying to get my parents to go on a vacation to D.C. I really want to see that holocaust meuseum. I hear it's got some powerful stuff!

  37. i remember how humid dc is! it's hot! but what a great adventure and trip. so much history there!

  38. I really enjoyed reading about your trip to DC so much! I love the pics, your honesty about those not so perfect moments, and your wonderful words on how we should honor our soldiers. I could not have said it better! So proud to be an American :)

  39. ah! i LOVE you for talking about the less than stellar moments, thank you;)

    looks like you had a blast...i've onyl been to a couple states ever! one of my dreams would be to road trip with the fam!

  40. Wow, I cannot even begin to express how much I am in love with how you captured DC. What amazing pictures!! We have been numerous times (we live about an hour and a half form there) andI never get photos like you, what amazing talent you have :) Sounds like a fun weekend was had!

  41. oh man, i LOVE these images!!!
    what an awesome trip
    i'd love to go one day too. definitely bucket list material..youre right!!

  42. I don't know how many family vacations we have had where there are some "moments" with the kids - but there sure have been a lot of them ; ) Glad to know we are all in the same boat on that one.

    Looks like it was a great trip - I have got to get my kiddos there soon since they haven't been yet.

    The drive to NYC takes about 5 hours from here. We always take the train for some part of it, to save having to drive into the city. I don't even want to hear what would come out of the hubby's mouth driving/trying to find parking there. Like you said - it saves on some major stress!!

    Great pics! xoxo Ashlyn

  43. these photos, girl... you have such talent. that first one just blew me away.

  44. What a beautiful family you have!!! Looks like you guys had a wonderful time! I haven't been to DC since 8th grade and that's been a few years...teeeheee. I can't wait to do stuff like this with our kiddos but we are still in the "season of life" that going to the grocery store is a full-fledged production!!!

  45. Hi Becky,
    I found your blog hopping around tonight and I have thoroughly enjoyed it!!! I laughed out loud at your description of the day at the White House...such is life!

  46. Every one of your photos are goregeous.Despite the heat it looks as though you and your family had a goood tome in DC.


  47. Gosh, I haven't been to DC in forever!! We definitely need to take our kids! :) what an amazing trip!


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