With day one in the books, a plan planned out, we set out for a second day of adventure and culture. We disembarked the Metro and headed to the White House.
Prior to us leaving Chicago we had friends let us borrow their stroller that was more compact than the running stroller that we have at home. We appreciate them allowing us to borrow the stroller, but it turned out to be our Achilles heel. For some reason it made pushing difficult no matter which kid was in the front or the back. It had a starboard list (for you non-Navy types – it leaned towards the right), which made it difficult to maneuver. Regardless, we appreciate our friends allowing us to use their stroller.
Our children were an awe of how “white” the White House was and they stared in awe at the enormity and beauty of our President’s home. It was refreshing to see other families with smaller children “culturing” their children with the rich history of our Nation’s Capitol. We stared at the White House for a long 2 minutes and made our way to the reflecting pool.
As a person who previously served his country, it was important for me to view all the War Memorials. While we were at the Vietnam Memorial my son witnessed two veterans weeping as they were making a pencil rubbing of a fallen comrade. It was a very moving moment and I was humbled by the experience. TheBoy kept asking why they were crying – I couldn’t find the words to explain why they were crying. I told him they were sad their friend was no longer with them. TheBoy being TheBoy informed that their friend will always be in their heart. Both of the children enjoyed looking at their reflections in the memorial and it brought a sense of calm to my heart to see the innocence, love, and fun they were having.
As we maneuvered our way through the crowds to view the most beautiful structure I have ever seen, The Lincoln Memorial, I was moved by the size and beauty of the structure built for our Greatest President. As mentioned before, the stroller was a pain and we were not able to climb the steps of the memorial and stand in the spot where Dr. Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream Speech”. We took an elevator (yes, there is an elevator) to see Lincoln sitting in his chair as he surveyed the beauty of the National Mall. The initial reaction of my kids – jaws dropped. Then TheBoy made the funniest comment of the trip. If you like Transformers you’ll understand. He looked up at Old Abe and said, “They must have fixed him after Megatron sat on him”. Oh my boy, I can’t wait until I tell everyone about that one. TheGirl thought she was an exception to the rule or being obstinate as she usually is tried to climb over the metal ropes to sit on President Lincoln’s lap. Needless to say, security didn’t appreciate a two year old trying to sit on “Santa’s” lap. We took a few pictures, thanked a few WWII Veterans who were visiting with the Honor Flight (click here to read more about Honor Flights) and made our way to the WWII Memorial – or so I thought.
On our way to the WWII Memorial, TheGirl feel and scraped her knee and leg multiple times. It was the end of the world!! Did I mention my wife is a great planner? Well, she failed to bring bandages, anti-septic, and a suture bag. With blood streaming down TheGirls leg, we briskly walked through the WWII Memorial with a sobbing child. It was not fun and decided to end our adventure.
Also, we were not smart travelers and walked 7 miles instead of using public transportation to make our lives easier. Instead, we carried a crying kid and pushed another in a stroller that wouldn’t roll in a straight line.