Saturday, December 28, 2013

Fun in DC with Mimi and Bampa

Well, we certainly packed a lot into our last day with Mimi and Bampa visiting!  The last thing on our list we really wanted to do all together was go see ZooLights at the National Zoo.  We also had a few things in the city we wanted to do.  Our usual M.O. is to head into the city first thing in the morning to hit the ground running and stay ahead of the crowds. BUT, since we wanted to stay in the city until it was dark for ZooLights, we didn't go into the city until after a delicious lunch at Five Guys.  The first thing on our list was to visit the train exhibit at The U.S. Botanic Garden, but it was on EVERYONE else's list...and then some :(  We never even saw the end of the line wrapped around the building!  Next year--first on the list during the holidays!!!
Mimi and I had gotten out with the boys while Dad and Josh looked for parking, so we did make it as far as this beautiful tree in the regular part of the gardens.  There was a small train running around the base of it, so that placated Jackson for now!
Happy boys!
What a cool decoration!
Dad and Josh were having a hard time finding parking, so Mom and I started walking towards our next stop: The American History Museum.  They finally found parking, we met up with them, and we all walked over to the museum.  Jackson really wanted to see the big American flag, so we did that.  
We made use of the back-wearing function of the Ergo!  After a little more wandering, Dad and I took Graham and Jackson to see some helicopters flown in war.  As we wandered at a five-year old's pace, I loved listening to my dad tell Jackson little historical tidbits.  I can't wait until Jackson's a little bit older so they can take a special field trip to the museum for Dad to share much more of his knowledge :)  
Dad and Josh took off to pick up the cars, and Mom and I took the boys over to see the National Christmas Tree.  Luckily, we had friends give us a heads up that it isn't quite as impressive as one might think, because it really isn't what I would have imagined as a National Tree.  But, I LOVED seeing it, and I think I want to make visiting it a regular tradition.  Surrounding the big tree are 56 smaller trees making up the Christmas Pathway of Peace.  There is one tree for each state, DC, and each territory.  Each tree has themed ornaments specific to the location.  Those were really fun to walk around!
In front of the Virginia tree
The Nebraska tree
We got down to the zoo as planned, and we started off in the visitors' center with the train exhibit and gingerbread houses, so everyone else could look around while I fed Graham dinner.  I knew he would be ready for bed while we were out, so I figured getting him fed was key to keeping him happy!  
Jackson got to ride on the carousel--here is a selfie of us waiting in line!
He rode on the elephant, and he loved it!  All of the animals on the carousel are beautifully done!  Can't wait to ride again in the warmer weather :)  Mom and Dad loved ZooLights!  We all had such a good time walking around.  
Here is our good sport after we pulled into the garage.  He did awesome!  The rest of us ordered pizza and had an early evening after all that sightseeing!

On the way home from the zoo, Josh and I decided we would go visit his family and leave at the same time as Mom and Dad, so we started planning for that!

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