Saturday, September 19, 2009

Washington DC - Day 2

Saturday morning and Morgan is further impressed by the continental breakfast. She gets scrambled eggs but passes on the sausage patty. Then we both pass on what I can only guess was some type of hash brown with ketchup mixed into it. I was not willing to investigate further. No matter…there are donuts with pink frosting, so we are good to go.

Since the Paige is a late sleeper (lucky bastards), and since Phil and Michelle got in the day before and already did a quick tour, we head out on our own to see what there is to see, before we get down to triathlon business.

Despite the mob scene of protesters near Pennsylvania Avenue and Morgan’s own protests against getting out of the stroller to take pictures – as evidenced by her happy expression in several photos – we manage to see the White House and the Washington Monument. And with only one wrong turn and a block of backtracking, we move towards the World War II Memorial.

Turns out, Morgan loves fountains. She is up and out of the stroller, setting up photo shoots. Thank God. Potential disaster number 3 averted. It’s going on 10:30 a.m. – a good hour and a half after we left the hotel, but a majority of that time was just getting down the hill. Now I can see the Lincoln Memorial. My goal destination is within my grasp.

Phil calls and they are going to take the Metro to the zoo. No problem, we will walk up to visit Abe and then head for the Metro ourselves. We can even take in the Korean War Memorial on the way. As I take pictures of the life-like statues, I turn to find a family of Japanese tourists taking pictures, as well. Except they are taking pictures of Morgan sitting in her stroller. WTF? They smile and nod their heads as they thank us (I think). Scott and I are wondering if the photos will show up on some anti-American site. “Look how lazy American kids are. They get pushed around in little buggies all day.” We will never know.

By the time we get to the steps of Lincoln a good forty minutes have passed. And another half hour to walk to the closest Metro (according to an information booth worker, but it just doesn’t seem right). Then another fifteen minutes to figure out how and what pass to buy, then there’s the ride and the walk to the zoo from the station. Just in time to meet our friends as they head back to the hotel.

Scott has to join them, because he and Phil need to get to the triathlon briefing and swim practice if they want to be allowed to race on Sunday. (Incidentally, their briefing is filled with West Pointers. How is that for intimidating competition?) However, Morgan has perked up again - perhaps because she sees potential in the large gift shop we have just passed. So we head out on our own. Three hours later (okay, maybe it only seemed like three) and we have seen just about everything. And of course a gift is purchased before we leave.

Morgan actually falls asleep the second we leave the zoo and I manage to get her on and off the Metro before I have to wake her because I can’t find an elevator. I anticipate rebellion, but there is none. Not even when I go the wrong way on Dupont Circle and have to cut back through the center (Damn that Frenchy). Potential disaster number 4 averted.

We have agreed to go back to the hotel and take a little rest, but of course housekeeping is currently in our room. Really? We were gone for six hours! What are the chances? We eventually make it in and Morgan zones out to some Cartoon Network (No Noggin! Yippee!) I tentatively ask her if she wants to go see the dinosaurs and a big whale in a museum. She is up for it.

Setting myself up for failure, I convince her to walk instead of ride in the stroller, to give my arms a rest. It’s only a little after four and the museums are open until 5:30. I decide we can run in to the American History museum and see the Ruby Slippers before checking out a larger portion of the Natural History museum.

Why does everything take five times as long as you think? We got her picture with Dorothy’s shoes and had to head back up the hill. Granted, at least fifteen minutes of that trip was spent debating the merits of purchasing a ruby slipper snow globe the size of a thimble and the manufacturing cost of a penny, being sold for $12. Mommy won, via compromise, but no meltdown, so considered a great success. Potential disaster number 5 averted.

In case you are wondering, it takes twice as long to walk up a hill than it does to walk down it. Daddy is in charge of the stroller for our walk to dinner. Morgan asks to go to sleep by eight and I’m in bed a little after nine. Right after I find out from my mother that the devil’s spawn is eating like a champion and wrapping everyone within a three-foot radius around her little finger.

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