Today has been a cooler, rainy day, which is just fine with us, as we planned to be inside most of the day anyway! The kids weren't so excited to be dragged away from the B's house this morning, though, feeling that they would rather stay here and play with friends (or read our friends' books) than go see stuff, LOL. But Ted and I won that debate, so back into the District we went.
We met my friend Monica and her twins, Erika and Nigel, at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. We went through a fair number of galleries, including a special exhibit, "The Star-Spangled Banner," where we actually got to see THE Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that was flown to give Francis Scott Key hope of victory and the inspiration for what become our national anthem. Then we toured through the Price of Freedom, which began with the Revolutionary War and went through current military conflict. It was so cool to see an actual redcoat uniform, Washington's uniform, and other REAL artifacts from our nation's history. Lucan and Kenna both were getting squirrelly toward the end of this area, so we beat feet downstairs to the cafeteria for lunch, after which they were a bit happier for a short while.
We said goodbye to Monica and her children after lunch and then went through the Presidential Gallery. It was at this point that Lucan was nearly beside himself, and the boys were dragging their feet again and proclaiming imminent boredom comas, so we quickly exited that area. We thought the pop culture area would be fun for everyone...but it was surprisingly and disappointingly small. Apparently they rotate the items on exhibit there?! I did expect more than one room! We saw the ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz, Ono's speed skates, Kermit the Frog, costumes from the Broadway production of The Lion King, and Archie Bunker's chair. Big whoop! I really wanted to see Darth Vader!
At this point Carol F, a friend from our Maryland church, met up with us, bringing her two daughters whom they have adopted from China. Rachel was a good friend of Charis's during our year in Maryland, and Tiffany joined their family shortly after we moved to Las Vegas. So it was fun to see them. They walked around with us through the First Ladies' gallery and into the Transportation area, which I thought would hold the boys' attention at least, but we were having major attitude and behavior issues, so in the interest of keeping our sanity, Ted and I decided to just leave.
We had tickets for a 3:30 tour of the Washington Monument. It was not even 2:30 at this point. Lucan was NOT interested in falling asleep in the stroller, as we had hoped, and it was sprinkling outside. Nevertheless, we went to the Monument area, and Ted checked to see if there was a chance we could change our ticket time to something earlier. Sure enough, we were able to get all 10 of us on a 2:30 tour! Woohoo! That was a huge blessing, as Carol had checked online for tour times and saw that there were ZERO spots available at all during the day! The rain probably had people bailing out. So it worked out for us. We didn't wait long at all and were able to see out all four sides. We walked back to the parking garage, and Lucan conked out just as we arrived at the building, of course. But it gave Carol and me some good time to chat, and all four girls enjoyed being together as well.
Now we're back at Bob and Claire's for our last evening before we take off again. Lucan is no happier than he was this afternoon...I'm not sure if he actually napped very long, though we did try putting him down. I'm wondering if he's getting some more teeth...he's so fussy and has a runny nose as well, plus he has awakened at night the last few nights.
So, with that, I'd better close and see if I can help either calm the baby or help Claire with dinner! Pictures from today's adventure can be seen here.