Washington, D.C. Of course!!! 🏛🌸🇺🇸We figured it was a very important and special year to take the kids to D.C. considering its an election year. The girls are at a perfect age to appreciate what DC has to offer and the boys are along for the ride! We packed up the Sprinter and headed off on a 5 hour journey South!
We kind of decided on this trip last minute and so we enlisted the help of Take-off Concierge to customize our itinerary for us. I was so thankful 👏🏽🙌🏽 because I didn’t expect being so busy with the blog the days before we were leaving. Anyway Odellia completely took care of planning everything for us! I literally didn’t download a DC app till we were half way into our trip.📲 She wrote up a day by day itinerary and booked all of our dinners! I’ll be honest, I am a complete control freak 😈 and I research everything📚📰📉📖, so I wasn’t sure I could relinquish control on my vacation. However, as life has gotten more complicated and busier I have learned to welcome help. Thank God for Take Off Travel because I really didn’t even know where to begin. 😨 What with the monuments, and the museums and the parks and the Smithsonians and the memorials and the Government buildings. D.C. can be very daunting! She took care of all our arrangements and even found us a line waiter in DC! With the cherry blossoms being in full bloom 🌸🌸🌸and coinciding with Easter weekend🐰🐰🐰, our nations capital is buuuumpin! It is impossible for us to get out the door with 4 kids by 7am and wait in line for these special monuments so we felt like it was money well spent to make our vacation more enjoyable, so we hired the line guy! Odellia was very involved and easily accessible and checked in with us several times throughout the day to make sure everything was running smoothly, it was really an amazing service! A concierge service for traveling makes sense for busy families who don’t have hours to sit and read guidebooks and research, or who don’t want to because they find it too overwhelming! Well thankfully Take Off Concierge will do it all from A➡️Z, it’s like having a really knowledgable friend hold your hand!
So we met the line holder and entered the Bureau of Engraving and Printing at 8:45am. By the time we had arrived the tickets were sold out for the day. 🎫✖️ Yikes! We didn’t really know what to expect, we just knew we were going to see how money was made. But let me TELL YOU…it knocked our socks off!!! I mean like really really really WOWED everyone! The worst part was, we couldn’t take a SINGLE FREAKEN PICTURE! 📸🎥✖️All the memories will have to live in our minds…which is probably for the best because we wouldn’t want to ruin the excitement! The tour takes you through the entire process of how money is made from plain paper to printed, stacked and counted money ready for shipment! 💵💰💸 After in the gift shop we even were able purchase an uncut sheet of $2 bills as a souvenir!
This was our first chance at walking around the National Mall, we enjoyed the views of the museums and the cherry blossoms and even took a quick ride on the Smithsonian Carousel!
Next we headed to a place that when you think about it, is really one of the most special, most important, most historic places in our Nation- and that’s the National Archives! 🏛
Here you will find the original US Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights: also known as The Charters of Freedom! 📜📜📜📃📃📃📖 We also got to see with our own 2 eyes 👀 The Emancipation Proclamation and The Magna Carta! This was a HUGE moment for my family! While you can learn this in school 📚and you can read about this stuff in your text books📖, it’s something else to be hovering over it, face smushed up to the class trying to read the faint John Hancock on the Constitution. I’m gonna be corny for a minute, it took my breath away, to be able to show my girls these incredible documents in person gave me a tear 😅. This was one of those moments that wasn’t about being kind or considerate. We did not rush this moment and we took our time. We were “selfish” and we inspected every inch and didn’t move until we were satisfied. You may only get one chance at seeing these documents so we were gonna make it count! Once again any kind of photography was strictly prohibited.📸🎥✖️ Except for this quick selfie we took right before we went into the rotunda…😳
After a quick Bbq lunch we headed right back to Museum central and hit out next Smithsonian, the Museum of Natural History. Being from NY, we’ve been to its counterpart so I was curious how it would be the same and different. When you entered the huge building you are greeted by a humongous elephant, or was it a wooly mammoth? Hmmm 🐘 our first stop was straight to the IMAX theater to see a 3D movie called National Parks. It was incredible! I mean really superb! We watched with 3D glasses as a trip travelled from park to park on an adventurous road trip.🤓 We saw highlights from Bryce Canyon, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, and saw spectacular caves filled with icicles! The entire movie I was mapping out our summer road trip for 2017, with an RV of course. 🚎This kind of trip is very high on my list, when I think about it I salivate lol. 👅 After the movie was over we headed straight for the Hope Diamond, it was just okkk and didn’t look very diamondy at all, the girls were oohing and aahing more over the giant purple quartzes. 💎👎🏽.
We made our way through the African, Mammal, Dinosaur and Ocean Life Room and ended in the gift shop with 2 bratty complainers since I said no to getting their 11,375th stuffed animal. We were 15 minutes ahead of schedule so we jumped into an uber and headed for Georgetown!
As soon as we started going we stopped. The gridlock was incredible. It took us almost an hour to go 2 miles. Not good. We were a half an hour late to Filomena. We descended the stairs and walked into an Easter Bunny wonderland. It was beautifully decorated for Easter, which was an added bonus. We actually rushed through our meal because all 4 kids were cranky and bored.
Losing their patience, I took them outside while Craig paid the check. A 14 month old doesn’t just hang around outside waiting, 👶🏻⌛️✖️ he’s on a mission to nowhere so we started walking. 🚶🏻20 feet away something really fun and unexpected happened. 2 teenagers rolled down their windows and blasted some Middle Eastern music, it felt like a beautiful Spring night and I was in a good mood. “Guys” I said to the kids “let’s stop and dance!!!”💃🏽👯👬 Hailey my tween looked at me mortified and was like “mooooooooom” and she glanced over at the guy and once she saw his approval she loosened up and acted the 10 years little she only is. It was one of those moments where you just feel like everything in the world is alright; 4 of my children holding hands laughing and being silly and having a grand ole time making a memory, and Mommy videoing it of course.
Before you knew it the moment was over, and I was snapped back into reality. A wiggly heavy baby, 2 tweens on a mission for Georgetown cupcake and a toddler on a scooter heading for the main intersection. SHOOOOOOT! Who’s freaken idea was this? We walked and walked for like 10 blocks and thankfully made it to our final destination for the night…Georgetown Cupcake.
I needed to know why Hailey was so intent on coming here and then I googled and found out it was the location of the TLC SHOW “DC Cupcakes”. I did a quick Wikipedia of the place when we arrived to a line up the block and read that “The shop sells an average of 10,000 cupcakes daily, red velvet the top-seller.Each day, Georgetown Cupcake gives away 100 free cupcakes, at each location; they announce the free, not-on-the-menu flavor on Facebook and Twitter, and give them out to the first 100 customers who request them. On weekends at the M Street location, lines extend out the door and around the corner. Customers consist equally of both tourists and locals.”
Sigh, I guess we’re waiting!!! Almost an hour later we finally made it inside the shop and placed our orders, and of course took a bunch of selfies! 🎂📸 The girls were excited with their flavor choices- mint chocolate chip, vanilla birthday cake, chocolate birthday cake and peanut butter. We found an empty table and dug in!
My kids care more about the icing then the actual cupcake so once they had their frosting fill and Hail snap chatted her final snaps, we got in a cab and went home. What a looooong first day in DC, but thankfully weather was on our side and we checked off some major sites!😴💤