To break up the long trip home we headed over to Washington, DC, to show the kids our nation's capital. Some friends were gracious enough to let us stay at their place so we could spend a full day there on Friday (even though it was to be 102 degrees that day). On the way south from New York, we stopped by Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to visit the Civil War battlefield there. (It was a quick stop - not enough to spend a lot of time experiencing all there is to see, but we did it anyway as a sort of exploring for a future trip after our kids have a little more of a foundation for the history of the place.)
Our kids can't pass a cannon without wanting to pose for a picture.
This monument was built by the Commonwealth of Kentucky to honor its native son, Abraham Lincoln, at the spot of his famous Gettysburg Address.
Statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee at the Virginia Memorial on the battlefield
View of the battlefield from the observation tower
View from Little Round Top at sunset
Exploring Little Round Top
Monument to the 91st Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment on Little Round Top
Two exhausted little girls tucked in for bed
Our first stop of the day in Washington, DC, was 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Approaching the White House
The White House
The kids weren't too disappointed that President "Obana" didn't come out to greet us.
Statue of Andrew Jackson
The U.S. Treasury building
Dad and Essie head toward Washington Monument
One of Dad's favorite spots in Washington - the World War II Memorial
These uniformed servicemen were awaiting an upcoming ceremony, standing in the shadows to avoid the heat. (It would be 102 by mid-afternoon.)
The kids pose at the Kentucky column of the World War II Memorial
View of the Washington Monument from the World War II Memorial
We found these duck relaxing in one of the pools at the memorial. (Notice the gold stars reflecting in the water.)
We brave 100-degree heat to visit the nation's capital, and most of the Mall was fenced off and under construction. They even drained the reflecting pool!
The Vietnam Memorial Wall
The kids pose with old Abe
The Washington Monument from the Lincoln Memorial. (There was at least enough water left at the bottom of the pool to reflect the monument.)
The kids and MLK
Washington Monument from across the Tidal Basin
Posing with Dad's favorite president
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing
The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
(The kids watched "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" the day before to give them a little connection point for the visit.)
Dad helps Essie peek into the command module from the Apollo 11 mission.
Lindburgh's Spirit of St. Louis
Getting ready to explore the interior of an old passenger plane
P51 Mustang from World War II
Posing with Orville and Wilbur - The Wright Brothers
Chloe is checking to see if there's a face on the other side of that cardboard cutout boy. (There wasn't.)
The Wright Brothers' plane
The girls check out some rockets
Last stop of the day - the U.S. Capitol
(This was as close as we got. Too much walking and too much heat.)
The girls were happy to head back down to the Metro station.
Waiting for a train change in the Metro station. Our kids became quite the little experts at using the Metro.
Well, that's about it for our family summer vacation. 1700 miles and six states in six days. You know what they say about needing a vacation after your vacation...