Thursday, April 5, 2012

DC trip - Day One

For Benjamin's spring break this year, we decided to visit our nation's capital. I had never been there before and was excited to see all the sights and to visit family and friends. Bee was anxious to head out and even asked me to strap her into the car seat the night before. She sat in there and was ready to go. I had to tell her that we were not ready yet and that daddy had not even packed his clothes yet. She told me to go tell him to pack his clothes right away. She had been anxious for this trip for weeks and had been talking about Nana, Chessie, and the butterfly museum nonstop. She could hardly wait. When I woke her up early (5:30 a.m.) on Saturday to put her into the car, her first question was 'did daddy pack his clothes?' So funny.

The drive was beautiful and uneventful. Bee was a fabulous traveler. She entertained herself for the entire drive. Her bladder held out for long stretches and she did not whine or complain. 

I wrapped several small gifts (toys) that I gave to her along the drive. She happily played make believe in the back seat during our twelve-hour trip.

We made a quick stop in Harrisonburg which is one of the cities Benjamin served in on his mission. It was fun to see where he had lived and taught. We drove up and down some streets and saw lots of the JMU students already starting their St. Patrick's Day parties. Even though it was nearly two, we had waited to eat lunch knowing that there was a pupuseria (el salvadorean restaurant) there that Benjamin liked to eat at. We arrived there only to find out that they closed at noon. Bummer. At this point we turned to the GPS which indicated that there was another pupuseria in town. We continued driving around trying to find it and see the sights as well. Benjamin could not remember the streets as well as he thought he would. We finally ended up randomly going down a street that was one of his favorites on  his mission. It was so fun to see where he had walked and served. At the end of the street was the restaurant. It was fairly new and had not existed while Ben was there. We stopped for lunch and ate some yummy pupusas. It had been so long for both of us. I had forgotten how good they were. They may be a poor man's food, but they are fabulous.
 We drove through beautiful West Virginia and enjoyed seeing the landscape change as we headed East. The weather was perfect that day and magically, the Washington DC cherry blossoms were all in bloom. So while we were driving in order to get through DC to Maryland, all of everyone was driving to downtown DC to see the blossoms. We ended up getting stuck in nonstop traffic for about an hour. It was at this point, almost at the end of the trip that I finally pulled out the DVD player to entertain the baby. She had made it the entire way electronics free and we were so proud of her.
The Potomac River

The Jefferson Monument

 Our only crisis during the drive happened near the end. As we approached DC, in the Arlington area, traffic began to slow. Bee had been asleep for several hours and we thought that we were almost to our destination. Who knew it would take us an hour and a half to go twelve miles? Bee woke up screaming and said that she needed to use the restroom. I was unsympathetic and told her to go in the pull-up that I had put on her for the drive. She said that she couldn't. She was hysterical by this point, with red eyes and loud cries. I kept trying to patiently tell her that it would be okay to use the pull-up and that it would not hurt. We were in slow traffic and I really did not want to pull off into some random street in DC and risk not find our way back again. Benjamin was the more sympathetic parent and he could not handle her distress. He pulled off on the next exit. Our GPS came in extremely handy again and we quickly found a gas station where I raced her in to the restroom. I am sure people wondered what we had done to that child. She was almost hyperventilating. She made it to the potty in time, but still took a long time to recover from the traumatizing ordeal. The GPS led us directly back to the interstate and we were on our way. Ironically, later that night she was playing at her Nana's and must have not wanted to stop. She came to me and said that she had had an accident in the pull-up that I had not yet taken off her. Interesting. She won't use it when it would be most useful, but she'll use it when she's too busy playing.

We had a fabulous St. Patrick's Day dinner at my parents house. My aunt and uncle, who recently lived in Ireland for a year, brought corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes. It was so great to see them and to get suggestions about what to see while we were there.

Bee was in heaven and happily played with the dog, the toys, and her Nana. She had no need for the tv those first few days. She headed to the play room any chance she could and was so happy. We were tired, but enjoyed that the trip could be made in a day.

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