Friday, March 13, 2009

Hookey Day = Awesome!!

First of all, I have to say, GO JON STEWART!!!!!

That having been said, the kids and I had the best time today! However, why is it, pray tell, that when I say, 'we'll sleep in since you're not going to school', that is like putting an alarm clock in their little brains that translates to 'get me up at the ass-crack of dawn, will you? I hate to be blinded by the sun as I wake.' Seriously, these two kids that I have to drag myself out of bed in order to drag THEM out of bed were up and ready to party long before I would have normally woken them up.


We started our little party with breakfast to go from Starbucks - seriously, is there any better way to start a day than with a raspberry scone and venti soy vanilla latte? I think not! The kids had their books, didj, and leapster-math-practice-twister-thingy in the back, I had NPR, and we partied Morning Edition and Star Wars didj theme music all the way to DC. Oh, yeah. We're rock stars like that.

We started our tour with a drive-by of several monuments that we've visited before, although Patrick was too young to remember them well (but he's seen himself there in photos, so he 'remembers' them somewhat), and then finally parked on a street with a meter. I would have found a parking garage, but it was chillier than I had thought it was going to be, and frankly, I didn't feel like walking. I put in a few quarters, which got me a stunning EIGHT MINUTES apiece. So, I started the day knowing that I was definitely going to have a parking ticket waiting for me. However, since parking garages in DC are about $25 a day if you enter after 9am (and that's if you can find one that isn't full), I wasn't too worried about it. We could have parked at a metro stop somewhere along the way and ridden in, but parking there is always at a premium too, and by the time we'd paid for parking there, passes for three of us, and factored in the extra time it would have taken us to get there and the fact that you're not allowed to eat or drink on metro, I was willing to take my chances.

After walking the two blocks to the Natural History Museum (my personal favorite), we got tickets for an afternoon showing of the 3-D IMAX Dinosaur film and set off to see the Undersea and Dinosaur exhibits. The kids were SO GOOD. I mean, Patrick actually HELD MY HAND, hugged me, and even hugged Josie, too, several times. That in itself was worth the entire trip, even if my car had ended up being towed or something.

We had lunch at one of the museum cafes for the first time today. DO NOT DO THIS. We got two slices of pizza, a hotdog, and three fountain drinks, and it was $27. I'm not kidding. I actually shrieked when the cashier told me. I know the museum is free, but OMG. There were no prices on anything, and now we know why. Holy SHIT.

Luckily, right after the food was the movie, so I was able to sit and recover. The movie was great, of course, very thrilling at parts, and Patrick was only a little bit scared at the beginning because it was loud AND in-your-face. I think he's going to be a scientist when he grows up. He was fascinated by all the enviro-machines they had set up to calculate carbon footprints and earthquakes and whatnot.

After that, we went through a new exhibit they have - a walk-thru butterfly area!!!! There were butterflys (butterflies?) everywhere, and they even landed on people! It was beautiful and amazing and I could have stayed in there all day. The kids were mesmerized, but after awhile the heat in there got to Patrick so we had to leave. WOW.

I got the kids a couple of inexpensive things at the gift shop - an iron-on patch and a baseball with endangered species for Patrick and a box with special paper and instructions on how to make origami endangered animals - and we went to the car, which had a ticket, of course. But it was only $25! Hell, I'll pay that to basically park ON the Mall!

As we were leaving, the kids wanted to drive by the White House, and guess what?! The Presidential cavalcade drove right past us as we were at a red light!!!! That used to kind of annoy me when I worked down there, since they stop all traffic while several police escorts, then a few SUVs, then the limo, then MORE police go through, but the kids thought it was AMAZING. I don't know if they thought he just apperated places or what, but they thought it was so cool he was driving around. OK, I have to admit, I was a little swoony myself. After all, that was BARAK OBAMA two yards in front of me!!!! HELLOOOO!!!!!

After that, we did drive by the WH, and then started home. Since it was near rush hour, I decided that we would stop at a new-ish amazing playground that I saw online in a town on our way, and then go out to IHOP for dinner. The kids loved the playground, which is modelled in a castle-pirate theme, complete with a castle for climbing on with planks, ropes and swinging bridges, and a giant wooden ship with the same.

It was pretty awesome. This is a photo from their website.

By the time we did that, ate, and got home, it was after 7!! But, we had the best day ever.

I would have photos, but guess who forgot to put the memory card back into the camera after uploading the Doggie Debacle yesterday? Yeah, that would be me. Oh, well.

Every day should be like today.


Hotch Potchery said...

Your day sounds really amazing. I hope that refreshes everyone until Spring Break!

d e v a n said...


Cherish said...

Wow it sounds like you had an amazing day! We have a butterfly thing like that here and the kids always like it until they start landing on them...then it gets freaky LOL

Kristi said...

What a fabulous day! That butterfly exihibit sounds amazing. I love DC, and am thinking of spending some time there this summer. I'm definitely going to put that on my list!

Not Your Aunt Bea said...

Sounds awesome! I can't wait to play hookey with my kiddos. And that park looks like so much fun!

clueless but hopeful mama said...

So! Many! Things! To! Say! (Sorry! It's been awhile and I'm a little excited.)

First: I second your YAY Jon Stewart! So classy and smart and SWOON!

Second: You live close to DC?!?! TELL ME EVERYTHING. Well, you just did. Like the fact that when we make it in to DC we should just park on the mall and take the $25 ticket instead of parking in a garage....

Third: THANK YOU THANK YOU for officially getting me excited about moving close to DC in a few short months. The Smithsonian! The White House (a place to finally be excited about!!). And though I won't have the random celebrity sightings that I have here in LA I will possibly have thrilling presidential sightings! YAY!

desperate housewife said...

This sounds fantastic. This is the stuff I'm REALLY looking forward to about kids, honestly. I love little kids and snuggly babies and all that, I do, but I ADORE older kids and how interesting and funny and FUN they are to hang out with! Until they become obnoxious teenagers, of course.

creative kerfuffle said...

i love that you took a hookey day. patrick and josie will remember things like this forever! you rock. and, it sounds like a great day.

Kelsey said...

That sounds like such an awesome day!

Sue @ My Party of 6 said...

Awesome fun! My kids completely lost it in that butterly exhibit. Too humid? And I think I know that park - it is awesome!

(I am so going to try your parking ticket plan. I wonder if it always works out that well?)