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Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Great American Road Trip!

Eight days. Nine states. An epic road trip, the first one we've gone on as a family of four. I should back up. Months ago, we were invited to a wedding of old, dear friends, in New Hampshire, the weekend after school got out. So instead of flying up for the weekend, we took a week and drove. We headed out at about 4:30 in the morning, transferring the girls carefully so that they could keep sleeping. That didn't work so well. Good thing we were well-stocked with new toys, books and snacks.
That first day we drove straight through to cousins Evan and Megan's house north of Boston. Did I mention there was a tropical storm battering the entire East Coast? And that we were in it for the entire 14 hour drive? It was very wet. But the girls were so excited to see their cousins and have a sleepover in their room. (Incidentally, 4 kids under 8 in one room doesn't actually lead to a lot of sleeping.)

The next day, Mommy & Daddy drove up to NH for the wedding which was outside, and so beautiful. The sun even came out to shine on the bride as she walked down the aisle.
Back in Boston the next day, we all headed downtown for some touristy fun. Our first stop was the Public Gardens to see the Mallard Family.
We also discovered that the squirrels there were very friendly. And they really like cashews.
Little legs get tired fast.
We also went on a Duck tour. Big fun!
Faces.
The next morning, before we left Boston, we went to the aquarium.
The touch tanks were so cool. We got to pet sting rays. But not the sharks, who were feeling shy.
We also got to pet sea urchins, anemones, sea stars and sea cucumbers. It was awesome!
The giant circular tank in the center of the aquarium was amazing.

Fishy faces!
This is Myrtle the Turtle. She is enormous. And she waved to us!
We couldn't leave Boston without a stop at Legal Seafoods. Daddy got the lobster feast. He was so excited  to show the girls how to eat a lobster. They could not have been more disgusted. Lily's exact words were "That looks icky and sticky and yucky and gross. I like Mac & cheese!" So that's what they ate.
On our way from Boston to Albany... Actually, they didn't even make it out of the parking garage before they were out. Too much fun with Evan & Megan!
We got to spend a night in Albany at Cousin Colleen & Matt's beautiful new house. It was a short visit, but still lots of fun.
The next day, we were heading to DC. But Matt told us we should stop and check out these caverns on our way.
It was a little cold and scary a mile underground, but the girls mostly liked it.
Especially the one place they were allowed to stop and touch the formations.
After a few more hours in the car, we arrived at our hotel in Washington, DC, complete with everything you could need. As Rory excitedly pointed out, "This hotel has a tv! And look - a phone! AND, we can even make coffee in our room!!!" It also had a rooftop pool.
And a pretty nice view.
The next morning, we got all ready to go, including putting on matching dresses and getting matching french braids (freedom braids??).
Our first stop was Lily's choice... She'd been talking about the spy museum ever since some classmates went there over spring break.

All morning as we walked, every white building we passed, they asked, "Is that the White House?!?!" The real one was a bit of a let down.
But we managed to hit all the highlights... Capitol Building, White House, Washington Monument, WWII Memorial, and Lincoln Monument. Those little legs can really go!
Chatting about Lincoln.
Playing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Feeding ducks.
It was SO hot that day. We kept stopping at water fountains to splash each other and cool off. But do you know what's even better that splashing? Ice cream.
Our last stop for the day was the Natural History Museum. We got there moments before the skies opened with yet another crazy rainstorm (we were like Eeyore on this trip, with a raincloud always following us). Our favorite exhibits were the dinosaurs. But we dragged the girls upstairs with  the promise of seeing the Hope Diamond. We finally got to that room, and found a large crown gathered around a spinning case, holding it. I turned around to show the girls, only to see them across the room in front of a GIANT crystal, yelling about how they found the big diamond! When I tried to take them over to the actual Hope Diamond, Lily said "Are you kidding?!?! This one is way bigger is just a silly spinning necklace!"And they were kind of right.
Dinner was at a chophouse where the girls learned the joys of paper table cloths and crayons.
On our last day, we started at the Air & Space Museum, which was the place Rory was most excited to go.
Mostly, she liked the gift shop.
And our very last stop was the National Zoo. We saw monkeys.


And cows.
And statues of animals are always a big hit.
And we saw lions. (And tigers! And bears! Oh my!)
There were misting machines.
And we got to see pandas!
And then we ended as we began, in the car, Lily reading, Rory sleeping.
We had a blast. We might even do it again someday!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Lilies.

Two months, One-and-a-half, and Two-and-a-half years old:
Three, Four, Five and Six:
Seven-year-old Lily, with her lilies:
This year, we took the lilies pictures on the last day of school:


Time flies, truly.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A good year.

One last picture of Lily and her "favorite teacher EVER". The end of first grade got here fast!