Saturday, June 8, 2013

Washington, D.C. Trip

It was  amazing spending one-on-one time with Sally on her graduation trip!   I look forward to doing an educational trip for each of the kids when they graduate from the 8th grade.

~  Saturday  ~

1)  After a long day of traveling, we were able to catch the Metro train and attend Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the  Immaculate Conception.

The Basilica is located on the campus of Catholic University.

She was excited to see this gorgeous Basilica in person since she's seen pictures of it on her Seton Curriculum books for the past 9 years.

2)  Afterward, we took the Metro to Union Station for some dinner!

Loads of people watching went on!!!  Ha ha!

~  Sunday  ~

1)  We hopped the Metro from our hotel and took it to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.  The second most visited museum in the world!

Being her first pick on our site seeing tour, her appetite was filled by the time we walked out 3 hours later.

We saw things like ::

An early1900's motorcycle -

Masterpieces of the Wright Brothers -

Hubbel 'test' Telescope -

And SO much more!!!  (You can look here for a list of items.)

2)  She walked on the National Mall for the first time :)

3)  Having a sore knee by this time, we hopped on a trolley for a tour of all the major monuments, memorials, and federal buildings.

NO PICTURES ALLOWED when we saw the ::

Declaration of Independence (the ink has almost completely disappeared from the paper on this).
Constitution of the United States of America
The Bill of Rights

All of these at the National Archives Building.

~  Monday  ~

1)  She had mastered the Metro system!

Her next requested museum stop was the National Museum of American History.

This is one of my favorite places to visit in Washington D.C.!  I was happy that she requested to see it.

Our favorite item in the museum??

The American Flag from the War of 1812 - the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write The Star Spangled Banner.


We saw so many amazing pieces of American history!!  For example -

THE uniform that President George Washington wore when he was sworn in as America's first president.  (Really cool!!)

Steel from the 70th floor of the South Tower (from 9-11).

The Philadelphia from 1776, sunk by the British in the War of Independence.

We loved seeing the dress collection of the past First Ladies.  This one was one the Mary Lincoln wore.

Sally was super excited to see it since she's seen pictures of Mrs. Lincoln wearing it throughout her American studies.

Apollo Ono's speed skates from the Olympics -

And the ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz -

See why I LOVE this museum??!!

(And there is gobs more!)

2)  After lunch, we took the Metro to Arlington National Cemetery.  I always get a lump in my throat when I go there.

There are no words.

The Cemetery is so vast, we took the tram tour instead of walking.  There are three points that they let you off.

We did jump off to see President Kennedy's burial site.

And this last photo is for my friend, Tiffany.  This is the Women in Military Service for America Memorial.  Tiffany has her name engraved in this memorial, but she hasn't seen it yet herself.

The names are engraved inside the halls of the memorial.

Gosh!  We packed in a lot on this trip.  We were so wiped out by the end of Monday.  Tuesday morning we flew back to Dallas.

You know, vacations are wonderful, but it is always good to be back home.

And I am so grateful for my husband who encourages me to "get away" each summer for a long weekend.  He mans the fort - cooking, cleaning, laundry, diaper duty, entertaining, Mass, the whole 9 yards - every. single. year.

I'm grateful for the much-needed break each year.

Next year?  Not sure yet.  But, I do know that Miss Ester has her eyes set on Colonial Williamsburg when she graduates in two years :)

~  Patty  ~


  1. I have been waiting for this, Patty...and as usual, you did not disappoint! I am so glad you and your beautiful daughter had this time to explore and to bond.

    Thanks for sharing the pictures and information from this wonderful place. I am excited to visit there someday myself, once Flynn is older and more open to the educational aspects!

    And like you, I always love to go, but love coming home even more. Shout out to your hubby for holding down the fort...I know just how much that means to a mom! : )

  2. You did pack a lot in. My husband got his master's degree at Catholic U. I can't believe she had to do it all in wonder she was sore. I looks like you guys had a ball. I hope we get to the Smithsonian this summer. It has been a long time since we have been to the American History one in quite some years.

  3. So nicely done, Patty. What a wonderful trip. I really want to do the same with my kids.

  4. Wish we'd known you were in DC, I would have offered lodging if you wanted. --Sherry

    1. Thank you, Sherry! That is so kind of you :)

  5. It took me two sittings to see all of your post!! So much fun! Erin just did a similar trip with a friend, so I recognize lots of the sights even though I have never been. I am so happy for you that you had the chance to make such wonderful memories with your daughter. Hope she is healing well.

  6. Oh Patty, what a fun trip! Will you plan our trip for us next year? How did you do the planning? I hope to get away with C-Sunshine next year. I know that you and Sally had a great time. She looks just like you by the way. :)

    1. Hi Kat! I've been there a few times prior to this trip so I had a pretty good idea of how to make it happen. As a first timer, I would recommend the Trolley or Big Red Bus tours. You can get on and off with all day passes. I flew into BWI this time because the flights were SO MUCH cheaper on Southwest. I paid the Super Shuttle to transport us to the hotel mid way between BWI and D.C. We found a hotel that was near a Metro Station. (The Metro takes you everywhere in D.C. - $14 for all day pass). Looking back, I would have paid the extra in airfare to fly into Reagan Airport...closer to hotels. Hotel shuttles can pick you up at airport so no need to rent a car. The closer you stay to downtown D.C. the more $$ it costs. On the other hand, after staying further out, I don't think it was worth it. So much more commuting time and the area we stayed in (mid way between D.C. and BWI), had some questionable characters on the metro, if you know what I mean. Mainly questionable on a weekend. The weekday showed more hard-working people, commuting in and out of the city. Felt safer on the weekday. Other areas (on the outskirts) were not as bad as ours. Lesson learned :)

  7. what a wonderful place to visit, to see all the sites and take in all that history! a perfect destination for a graduation trip! how wonderful that you could do this with your graduate!

  8. Love all the photos! I know you had a wonderful time together. We just watched National Treasure and it makes us anxious to do the same kind of trip with our kids! I think this is a great tradition to do with each of your children.

  9. Oh dear, can you believe this is my 3rd attempt at leaving a comment!??? Sheesh, I almost gave up. The other 2 attempts were mobile attenmpts and I'm finally sitting at my computer now! I too, love the tradition you have started...wondeful, inspiring, captivating photography! I did a pilgrimage with Hank when he was S.'s age and failed with Wesley, thus far,due to money. It's never too late, right? You have motivated me to NOT drop the ball, even with less financial means. I'm planning something with him THIS summer before he goes to HS. I just love that Sally was able to see the Seton Art in real life...So neat. Thank you for the photo that I hope to see one day. God bless you for being such a rockin' Mama!


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