To Read on the Journey

Monday, March 23, 2015


I'd been saving birthday, odd job, and yard sale money for a few years to buy a chair and ottoman for my room to create a cozy spot just for me. During that time, Noah and Emilie both ditched home school for traditional school, leaving just Josie and I at home day-in-day-out. Then our good friends, Spinner & Ginger Allen, moved to DC.

And suddenly, that cozy spot didn't seem all that important to me. Getting outta Dodge with Josie, seeing our friends, and making some memories did!

Have you been to Washington DC?  It's the best place to visit. The best. 

 I've been three times (which was only possible because we've had friends to stay with each time). This time was my favorite. 

Maybe it's because the first time we traveled with a 22 and 9 month old. And the last time we went Michael had just broken his hip and arm and was in a wheel chair. To top that off Josie "conveniently" twisted her ankle the day before the trip. I think this time was my favorite because it was the first time I didn't have to carry and/or push someone. I highly recommend visiting DC (anywhere for that matter) when you don't have to carry or push people.   

Check out our 2009 DC, Philadelphia, and Amish country trip here. There are videos. Funny videos. Make yourself a giant bowl of popcorn and enjoy! 


I would not have chosen the weather we had. It was freeze-your-buns off cold! 68 degrees is nippy for me, and it was "16 degrees, feels like 1."  However, romping around in the snow ended up being part of the adventure, and in the end I absolutely loved it!
Our friends live just six blocks from the Capitol!  Woot woot! 

Their neighborhood with row houses, brick sidewalks, and snow are night and day different from the ranch style homes, rolling hills, and summer temps here at home.   

This sign was outside a neighbor's home. It made me chuckle.

The National Mall is referred to as "America's Backyard."  We took advantage of our backyard, the snow, and the cold, and had some fun! 

It was so cold that The Capitol Reflecting Pool (not to be confused with The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, which was drained) was ice. We joined a handful of other brave souls and stepped out onto it!  


  Last time we visited DC, the Allen's suggested we stroll through the monuments at night, which was magnificent. I thought it couldn't get better than that, but seeing them blanketed in snow was a real treat!

Thomas Jefferson Memorial

Franklin D. Roosevelt's Memorial

There are four parts to FDR's Memorial, representing his four terms in office. 
I mentioned to Josie that FDR was president when her great-grandmothers were her age.

Martin Luther King Jr.

I also mentioned that Martin Luther King Jr. was a vital part of changing the course of history when her grandparent's were teens.

Seeing our grandparent's and parent's history memorialized caused me to wonder what legacy/memorials my grandchildren and great-grandchildren would one day see in our nation's capital from my lifetime. 


This was the first time I'd been up Washington's Monument.

It will be the first thing I do next time I go (Spinner, you'll wake at the crack of dawn to go get  "fast track" passes then too, right??).  From the top you can see all of DC, as well as a bit of Virginia and Maryland.


Did you know that visiting the monuments, Capitol, National Cathedral, all the Smithsonian Museums, and more is FREE!  

 The Supreme Court

The Library of Congress

 The National Cathedral

Okay, so actually we pay for it all with our tax dollars, so in that case it's the complete opposite of free, but that's all the more reason you should go to DC! Go take advantage of all those tax dollars you're forking out. 

National Air & Space Museum

National Museum of American History (we visited this one twice. It's my favorite). 

A few of the President's wives dresses, Julie Child's kitchen, a portion of the Berlin Wall, 1980 Apple Computer, and Dorothy's ruby slippers. 

On this trip we also toured National Archives, National Portrait Gallery, National Museum of Natural History, Holocaust Memorial Museum, US Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and the Capitol (which was under a bit of reconstruction).  

Of all the things we visited I might've gotten the biggest kick out of this-
Coat Check! 

Clearly, I need to get outta  Dodge a bit more than I do. 

The most beautiful building we saw was the Library of Congress.  The LoC was majestic. Every architectural detail has purpose, has story. I love story. 

 Did you know that every single published book in the U.S. is recorded in the Library of Congress?

That inspires me to want to write, publish, and add a book of my own.

I could've spent hours in the LoC looking up, like Spinner and Josie are doing here.



I love people. I have zero problem walking up to a stranger and initiating conversation. 
DC is great for meeting a variety of people! It's not only "The Great American Melting Pot," it's also the world's melting pot!  

This is "Wemathaandjoeandmeshaaeel" (We're Martha and Joe (not pictured) and Michelle) pictured with us at The Washington Monument.  Martha is from Georgia, and I'm pretty sure she and I are cut from the same "super friendly" cloth. 

Here are some of the faces of the beautiful people we met from from India, the Ukraine, Germany, Australia, England, China, Brazil, Holland, Russia, and Chile.
I think it's fitting that Josie is surrounded by "the melting pot," while standing on the exact spot where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous "I have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Wouldn't it have been fun if we had taken a map of the world with us and had a people scavenger hunt?! We could've filled the map with signatures from people from all over our country and the world!  That's something to remember for next time! 


All the snow play, touring, and chatting made these girls hungry! And DC did not disappoint.

The following are our top food musts when you pay DC a visit:

Pre breakfast and post breakfast snack (you're on vacation! live it up)-  Stop by Ted's Bulletin on Capitol Hill for a daily made pop tart. Buttery, flaky, melt in your mouth. GOOD.  Do it.

Breakfast- Bluebucks (Blueberry/Buckwheat pancakes) at the Eastern Market is something you must experience! Preferably on the weekend, when the market is set up indoors and out with vendors. 

Lunch AND Dinner (you read that right)- run, don't walk to We, The Pizza. Order Colletti's Notorious BBQ Pie... BBQ pizza WITH onion strings! My taste-buds died and went to heaven. 

I would absolutely save my gift, odd job, and yard sale money for a few more years to go back to DC. Especially with this girl. 

 Josie Jones for President!
This sweet time with her, making memories together on the other side of the United States, in our nation's capital, was as one Instagram friend commented, #betterthanachair 

So much better. 

 Live in Peace,



unfinished said...

You have such a beautiful gift with words. I am blessed that you married our son and are raising 3 of our grandchildren. Love from your favorite MIL.

Simply Sara said...

what an adventure you had. i'm not even american and you make me want to visit D.C :-)
glad you had the opportunity to enjoy it with your girl!


and that library.....oh that library!!!!!