Washington DC

East Coast Cooling

After being home for a few days after San Francisco, we hit the road (or the skies) of the East Coast! Anthony needed to be in Washington DC for a briefing, so we took advantage of the opportunity and decided to go with him. This would of course require lots of changes for us… mainly the weather. At that stage we were still in shorts and maybe a long sleeved top if it was little cool in Coronado.

With no direct flights from San Diego to Washington DC, we stoped over for a few hours in Dallas, Texas. It actually worked well as the boys were ready to stretch their legs. They were great on the flight – the power of the iPad is amazing! We arrived into Washington and immediately notice the change in temperature – the boys had to wear jumpers.. amazing!! The boys think the highlight of all travel is going in a taxi! So they are very easy to corral into collecting their baggage with a taxi ride to look forward to.

The next morning we woke up in the heart of Washington DC which was looking beautiful and wintery. The area where we were staying was located near the White House and walking distance to all the main attracts. As it was the beginning of December, the streets and houses were all decorated in readiness of the Christmas holidays. The festive atmosphere was aided by the cool crisp air, with the threat of snow on the forecast.

We rugged up and hit the streets to try and orient ourselves before Ant needed to head into the Embassy. We really had not realized how close we were to the White House! Our experience in San Fransisco taught us that our good old double pram is worth its weight in gold – even though the boys were nearly 3.5! So we loaded the boys up, and layered them in coats which they found very strange to do, and hit the sidewalks (so American!).

As we headed towards the White House we marveled at the beautiful old buildings and architecture of the city. As we arrived at the White House we could see and feel snow! The boys were amazed.. just as Ant and I were amazed by how small the White House looked! After seeing it in so many movies and news stories etc.

The following day we took in more of the Washington DC museums which are all free! The Smithsonian was a clear favorite of the boys (and ours) as it was really targeted at children (of all ages). The boys could climb over dinosaurs and cave people families! Again the pram was a huge benefit, so as the boys had a quick snooze we were able to walk to the other key sights. I have to say the reflection pool which looks up towards the Lincoln Memorial was truly amazing and breathtaking.

On our last day in Washington DC we headed to the Lincoln Memorial. I think Anthony and I could have spent considerably longer there it had not been for the freezing cold, and two little boys! The scale of the memorial is beyond what I expected and the view across the surrounding area was beautiful. Anthony and I both found the Vietnam War memorial very moving. Washington DC is certainly an amazing city, and I hope that we can return one day when the boys are older, or just with Anthony!

Our end destination of our trip to the East Coast was Boston, so we had a bit of driving to do. We left Washginton DC and made our way North East towards Boston. We travelled through some lovely country side – with lots of forests and threats of snow which the boys loved.  We were able to tick a few states off the list as we drove through Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

We waved to New York as we drove past. We had decided not to go to New York on this trip. Ant and I had been to New York 3 years previously and had had such a an amazing time, and we knew it would be a very different experience with the boys.. and we wanted to tick on seeing some new parts of America.

On our travels, we did pass throughs Gettysburg and visited the Gettysburg Museum (http://www.nps.gov/gett/index.htm). The Museum was one of the best we have been to – the boys enjoyed it and Anthony and I realized how little we knew about American’s Civil War and to be honest, how recent it was. Again, it was one of those places Ant and I would love to go back to one day when we have some more time, and the boys are a little older. The boys loved the fact that it was snowing when we were there.

After a couple of days of driving (the boys were great) we arrived in Cape Cod for a few days of exploring and staying in a little house in Barnstable. Cape Cod is such a beautiful place, and I can only imagine how lovely it is during the warmer/summer months. We had rented a beautiful little cottage in a picturesque small town. We had three nights, and it was lovely have a our own space and beds after having been in hotel rooms for the previous 5 days.  While we were there we took the boys on a train ride to “Christmas Town” – it was a great musical held on an actual train – we went as it was getting dark and the railroad was decorated in all the christmas lights which the boys loved! It is clear why Cape Cod is such a favorite holiday destination – especially during summer. The Cape Cod architecture was beautiful and we loved the feel of the place – albeit a bit chilly in the middle of winter. 

Onwards we went through to Boston. Again, through Anthony’s MBA, we were able to catch up with more friends, James, Julie and their daughter Heather. We were staying right in the city which was great – so we met them at the hotel and they were able to take us a bit of a walking tour of Boston city. Heather was fantastic at helping keep the boys nice and busy as we explored the Boston Common. There had been a huge snow storm earlier in November (very early to happen)  – there were still piles of snow in the gardens which the boys were amazed by. We passed the good old “Cheers’ bar as well before we had a fantastic dinner in Beacon Hill.

Visiting Boston for us, could not be done without a quick trip to Harvard University. Having read too many case studies to remember during our MBA’s we felt that we had to see the famous university, and we were not disappointed. It was stunningly beautiful. You can walk through the university – and admire the amazing architecture and grounds.. and for a second pretend you are attending and just in-between classes – but then you are rudely reminded that you are only visiting when one of your children is desperate to go to the bathroom – and you are trying to avoid him pulling his pants down right there and peeing on one of the hallowed Harvard trees!!

One of the best things we did was spend a day at the Boston Children’s Museum (http://www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org). We hadn’t intended to stay the entire day but i think we could have stayed for two. Again we jumped on to one of the city tour buses. We saved this for the last day – thankfully we did as it was raining! We had the bus to ourselves for most of the day. It certainly gave me a greater understanding of America’s history and the Civil War – I have so much more to learn.

We loved Boston and all the places we visited  – of course we didn’t get to see all the things we wanted to, but that is all part of the adventure – and the excuse to back again one day!