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Trip Report D.C. Cherry Blossom Vacation

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Thursday, April 11 my husband, 5 and 8 year old children and I traveled to Washington D.C. for usual sight-seeing and cherry blossoms. We used taxis often which in the planning stage worried me because taxis weren’t exempt from the booster seat laws. The drivers never questioned.

Day 1
BWI SuperShuttle driver was crazy-fast and tailgating. It was convenient, but we had wait 30 mins for shuttle and had to drop others off on way which set back my schedule two hours. Hotel Sofitel was attractive with fresh flower ensembles and velvet furniture in lobby. Spacious rooms with robes and slippers, even in kid sizes. Metro to The Mall (Smithsonian stop), which had gravel and patchy grass; I didn’t realize where we were until I saw the Washington Monument to my left and the Capitol on my right. Short walk to Bureau of Engraving & Printing for our 4:15pm reservation and went right inside. It was an interesting production process, but more so for my printer husband and money-liking children. Onto Tidal Basin for cherry blossom madness. Tons of people, bountiful trees which framed the Jefferson Memorial in the distance. With icees and a place to sit and we were set to people and tree watch. Lots of activities for kids and souvenirs galore. The lure of the Pedicab gave us an interesting and sometimes harrowing ride through downtown DC traffic. Dinner at Ollie's Trolley which was great for kids with an antique carnival theme. I had a great corned beef-cole slaw sandwich, but tables were unkempt. Walked by White House on way back to hotel, which was a long-awaited sight for the kids. When we returned to our room we were pleasantly surprised with a tray of cookies and milk. I really like this hotel.

Day 2
This was the one day we planned to eat (breakfast) in the hotel, due to hotel pricing. The complimentary detox cocktail was a juice mixture and ginger. We all loved it. Wonderful French pressed coffee and Brioche French toast for the kids. Our only rainy morning, the doorman offered umbrellas. Neat! Walked to front of White House, Visitor Center for WH documentary video and keepsakes. Kids saw first sprawled-out-on-sidewalk homeless people, which educated and gave them reflection. National Museum of American History had free lockers. Great for us with our water bottles and maps. Kermit, Archie Bunkers chair, and was war war was good to recollect on the past. The $40 lunch in basement cafeteria was pretty awful. Next we Metro’d to Capitol where state rep’s intern was 20 mins late. At least we were in company of four others from MN. Tour was more historic than present day info, kids were wiped thus the Capitol was arduous. $10 taxi to hotel to rest. Taxi to Lincoln Memorial at sunset. Big, powerful and busy with cherry blossom tourists. Kids loved to run around reflecting pool. Walked to Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I teared up. After seeing the 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence Memorial and the WWII Memorial it was dark and people were sparse. I called the concierge to recommend a restaurant. Taxi to Chef Geoff, which was perfect with kid and adult food served on white linen. I enjoyed calamari shrimp pasta.

more to come...

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