Tuesday, May 2, 2017

(Travel Journal) DC Day 3

I suppose at some point we were due for some rain on our parade.  There had been showers here and there but we had lucked out and our activities had been dry.  Our trolley driver the night before had even noted that we'd won the weather lottery for our Monuments by Moonlight tour.


Day 3 greeted us with rain, rain and more rain.  And cooler temperatures.  We had packed appropriately bringing pants, extra sneakers, socks, long-sleeve shirts and jackets.  We even had umbrellas in the van.

Ford's Theatre

The night before had been a late one for the girls so we were not in any rush to get up and going that morning.  We did have tickets for a late morning performance at Ford's Theatre, made famous by the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.  A visit to Ford's Theatre can be a bit quirky.  There are four separate components to a visit - museum, theatre, Petersen House (where Lincoln was taken after he was shot) and aftermath exhibits.  Every guest must have a ticket.  In other words, you can't just show up and walk through the museum or the theatre.  (I'm mentioning this because I recently read a trip report by another blogger who stated that her family visited the museum for free.  Her description was a bit misleading based on our experience.)  During busy times, you need to reserve your tickets in advance and there is a charge per ticket.  When we were there, the signs showed a $3 to $8 flat rate per ticket, depending on what it was for.  Some tickets allow you access to everything.  Some may only allow you entrance to the museum and the Petersen House.  Now, you can walk into the box office on any given day and see if tickets are available for a specific time slot.  When we went in to pick up our reserved tickets, there were some tickets available for time slots later that day.  

(The box almost in the center of the photo, decorated with the flags is where Lincoln was shot.) 

We had tickets to the performance of One Destiny, which is about 35 minutes long and recommended for children over 8 years of age.  Personally, I learned quite a bit from the play and enjoyed seeing the theatre.  I think my kids are fairly intelligent and pay attention but at newly 10 year olds, most of the play went over their heads.  There are only two actors and they played different characters throughout the performance.  I can see how it would be difficult for a 8/9/10 year old to keep the characters straight.


Unfortunately, we skipped the tour of the Petersen House as the line was all the way down the block and the girls were beginning to ask about lunch.  We had left the afternoon open and because we hadn't stopped by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial the night before (there were no lights), we decided to head over that way and see if we could find parking.  Well, this was Earth Day and I had no idea the March for Science was taking place.  Any and all roads leading over to the National Mall were completely blocked off.  We eventually gave up and returned to the hotel, where we could leave the van and head out on foot.  We had dinner reservations and with some time to kill moved to Plan B, walk to the National Museum of American History.  This was not possible either due to the march.  We did walk a block with the march in an attempt to reach the museum.  Sorry, I was in tourist-mode.  (Frustrated tourist-mode.)  The funniest comment ever from the girls was Allie saying, "I hope Donald Trump isn't mad at me for marching."  The most thought-provoking comment was from Emily.  "MLK organized marches."

Plan B wasn't happening so we retreated from the march and moved to Plan C, visit the White House Visitor Center.  It should be noted that Plan C was conceived five minutes before we arrived at the Visitor Center.

White House Visitor Center

The Visitor Center can best be described as a small, quiet museum.  There are some displays that are interesting for children and many historical pieces.  I think our favorite part was the short film, which talked about what it's like to live in the White House.  Even if you went through and read everything, I think spending 90 minutes here is a stretch.  It's not a large space.

Old Ebbitt Grill  

This is the only dining reservation we had made for our vacation and I don't think I'm wrong in stating that if you visit DC, you must eat here.  This historic restaurant is located near the White House, has delicious food and is reasonably priced.  We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and would most definitely dine here again.



The children's meals were $9 each and included a drink and a small dessert.  Now that the girls are older, they are somewhat growing out of kid's meals because the options are too limited (mac 'n' cheese or chicken fingers) or too small.  They had many good selections here (Allie had the chicken tacos) with huge servings.


The White House (Exterior)

On our walk back to the hotel, which was located a few blocks from the White House, we stopped to take some photos.



Thank you for a wonderful trip, DC!



Teej said...

I am a little embarrassed to say that I think I know which blogger you are referring to whose DC vacation reports were "misleading." If it is who I think it is, I don't want to say that I "hate-read" her because "hate" is a pretty strong word...it's more that I "side-eye read her." lol. I am not a sweet, sweet reader. :p

Sarah said...

I'm 100% a side-eye reader too!!

Anonymous said...

Well at least this blogger is just a sweet mama, it's not luke she's a travel agent or something. Oh wait... ;-)


Kate said...

There have been marches most weekends recently (there were 3 straight weekends of marches in April) and there are a lot more coming up (for example June 3rd is the "March for Truth" and June 11th is the National Pride March) so that's definitely something anyone planning a visit should check out. I bet you could call or e-mail someone at the National Park Service permit office and ask them if anything major has permits for the day(s) you're thinking about.