After almost a year of trying to figure out the best time to visit the surprising amount of friends and family we have in Virginia (taking into account various schedules and Jack’s ability to sit on an airplane for 5 hours), we set the date for early June. We didn’t plan too much sightseeing ahead of time, and tried to keep our expectations in check, realizing that having toddler with us was definitely going to change the travel dynamic. I am happy to report that the worst part of the actual travel to and from VA had to do with unexpectedly waiting for a car seat to be delivered to our rental car, in a hot garage, after our long flight. While I won’t say that the flight was easy, new toys, Bob the Builder, and surprisingly an orange juice helped the flight to feel manageable both ways. The seat we bought for Jack on the plane is also something we did not regret!
Our first stop was Alexandria, where we stayed with my Aunt Judi and Uncle David. Jack’s internal west coast clock helped all of us wake up at 7:30 ET (4:30 PT) to start our first full day. We walked to the metro station from my aunt and uncle’s house and took it into D.C. The weather was hot but not unbearable that day, and we were able to see the National Monument, White House, Supreme Court, and National Archives. We also took a tour of the Capitol Building. Brandon was also able to see his work’s D.C. office and meet a coworker for lunch. Luckily Jack napped in the stroller for part of this time. I do want to give Brandon a shout-out for carrying Jack for MUCH of our trip in the humid weather. It was a real workout!
That night we headed to Cooper, Meghann, Lucy, and Judd Green’s house for dinner. We had delicious Korean tacos for dinner and were able to sip our drinks and talk late-ish into the night as our kids played—in this case, thank you Pacific Time zone for making a night out late more manageable with Jack. We took Uber home that night. Note: I usually do not like to give my business to Uber because of the recent developments revealed about the company but Uber has cars with car seats in D.C. and that was a lifesaver when traveling with a toddler.
The next day we met the Greens at a giant kids’ wadding pool right by the Nationals Park. We drank Philz Mint Mojito Iced Coffees and watched the kids play. Then we headed to the Nationals game, where Brandon fulfilled his goal of visiting another baseball stadium. Jack managed to score a free popcorn, and there were hot dogs and beer (adults only, of course) to go around. We were so glad we got to see the Greens before they head to Kazakhstan in July.
That night my aunt and uncle graciously took us out to dinner to get southern food. At Hen Quarter, we split a giant family-sized meal that included fried green tomatoes (just the appetizer), fried chicken crackling, collared greens, baked chicken, fried chicken, salad, biscuits, and a roasted Twinkies and a s’more special for dessert. Jack went a little crazy that night and because our table was completely covered with our food dishes, he didn’t have much room to move his arms or legs. But all and all, it was a great night and we loved getting to visit more with my aunt and uncle whom we continued to socialize with late into the night after Jack was asleep at home.
The next day, our last morning in D.C., we drove in and saw the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, WWII Memorial, and drove past Arlington Cemetery. Brandon really got a workout carrying Jack this day—there’s just something about a stroller that is unappealing when mom and dad want you in it most–and it was much hotter than our first day exploring the city, but it was so worth it to see those extra sites. We packed up and got on the road to Charlottesville that afternoon. Stay tuned!