Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Washington, D.C., Part 2: The National Mall

Our first full day in D.C. was a busy one. E.J. woke up earlier than usual, and then napped longer than normal in the morning, so we got a bit of a late start. But we set off on a mission—we had lots to see!

E.J.'s early wake-up call afforded him plenty of time to play with Buff before starting his day!

We hopped on the Metro and took it to L'Enfant Plaza, where we began our journey.

Ellie loved riding the train!

Catching our first real view of the District: for the kids, their first ever, and for me, my first in seven years!

It was so exciting to exit the station and walk out to the road to see the Washington Monument! Ah, I missed this place.

Hello there, D.C.!

We're excited!

We made our way out to the Jefferson Memorial first. Ellie was excited to climb the stairs and see the big statue!

The Jefferson Memorial

Up the steps!

Inside the Memorial

My pretty girl playing by the columns

We continued around the Tidal Basin to the FDR Memorial, which is one of my favorites. I love its sprawling design and all the fountains. I think it's very pretty and peaceful.

At the FDR Memorial

Eric and Ellie by the fountains


Ellie LOVED the dog!

We stopped at the FDR Memorial both for a little break and a photo op down by the Tidal Basin. Back in 2006, Eric and I had our engagement pictures taken there and we were eager to recreate our favorite one, but this time with our kids in tow!

Cuddle break!

Our engagement picture, taken in March 2006...

...and the current version, 9.5 years and two kids later!

From there we continued on to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, which is new since we left D.C.

The MLK Jr. Memorial

There are these long walls on either side of the large statue, and they feature numerous quotes from MLK. This was a particular favorite.

Eric and Ellie at MLK

Then we went over to the Lincoln Memorial, which has always been my favorite of them all. Of course, it now holds a particularly special place in my heart, because that is where Eric proposed to me! We checked out the monument then stopped at our "proposal spot" for some pictures.

The Lincoln Memorial

Inside the Memorial

Eric and the kiddos

Eric proposed to me right in this spot on January 19, 2006! It was significantly colder then.

Look at this sweet face!

The view of the Mall from the Lincoln Memorial

By that time we were ready for another break, so we stopped and sat on the Mall for a lunch picnic.


My E.J.!

Feeling refreshed, we continued up the Mall to the World War II Memorial.

The World War II Memorial

One of two "Kilroy was here" engraved "graffiti" marks on the memorial - an homage to the graffiti sketch that became popular with soldiers during WWII and came to be a universal sign that American soldiers had left their mark on an area as they passed through.

The column in honor of the Pacific Theater

Looking up inside the column

We each found the pillar with our birth state on it!

I took selfies with E.J. throughout our trip, but this was was my favorite of them all.

Then, we made our way up to the Washington Monument (or, as Ellie calls it, "the big pencil"). We sat at the base and snapped a few more photos.

Looking lovely against that blue sky!

The boys

So big!

Sweet babies at the base of the monument

Three of the four of us!

By that time, we were spent. We made our way back to the train and returned to Jeff and Sarah's house. We put the kids down for naps (with mixed success), then when everyone was a bit rested, we went down to Jeff and Sarah's pool for some further relaxation. Ellie was very proud to show Godfather Jeff that she was "swimming all by [myself]!"

My little fish!

After swimming, Jeff and Sarah prepared a really exceptional meal for us: steaks and artichokes on the grill, with tomato and mozzarella. It was the best meal we've had in a long time, and was only made better by our al fresco setting and a little red wine. The kids also were on their best behavior (though Ellie declined the delicious feast and opted instead for cottage cheese, applesauce and bread, because that makes sense), so it was a really perfect ending to the day.

Dinner. Yum!

Or, you know, this looks delicious, too.

Dinner with friends!

After dinner we got the kids to bed and then spent more time visiting with Jeff and Sarah (and enjoying a yummy dessert of berries, brownies and whipped cream), until they made their exit to spend the evening out again. Eric and I spent some more time hanging out on the couch before calling it a day ourselves. Another day in the books!

To see more pictures of our National Mall sightseeing day, click here.

Coming up next: More D.C. sightseeing, and a trolley ride in Old Town Alexandria!

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