Thursday, March 7, 2013

Winter Break = Road Trip!

I’m not exactly sure of its origin, but here in New England, schools get a week off in February and a week off sometime in April.  I’ve heard urban legend that the genesis of February break has to do with emptying schools so that the usual round of winter flu and other bacteria can be fumigated out of the buildings. 
We typically do not take a winter break – to which there is often whining and gnashing of teeth:
“No fair. Why don’t we get a vacation?!  Everybody else does!”
To which I reply:
“You typically end the school year at the end of May while the rest of kids in school still have three or more weeks to go.  Quit yer whining.”
I’m sympathetic like that.
It just so happened that I found an impossible to pass up deal on bus tickets late last year, so we planned a family trip to Washington DC.  Ben had visited years ago with his Boy Scout troop while at the same time Dave and I took the little boys there for a day.  Yeah, seeing DC in a day is impossible.  So I was super excited for this adventure!
To maximize or time, I booked overnight bus tickets – 10 hours of travel time. Google maps tells me driving time is 7 hours – plus all the bathroom breaks necessary.  In all, this was a good use of our time.
Photo 1 A Friendly game of Blackjack while waiting for our bus.

We arrived at Union Station with time to hop the Metro to our hotel, drop off our bags and make it to the Smithsonian Museum of American History by 10:30.  This began our exhaustingly wonderful trip of important places:
Smithsonian Museum of American History -
We’ve been studying about the Civil Rights Movement and Ben had the change to “sit” at the lunch counter in protest of segregation.
National Holocaust Museum -
The children’s exhibit wasn’t open, but we toured the entire museum anyway.  I was impressed that some of the more graphic videos and pictures were well placed behind concrete walls so that parents could decide for themselves if young children should view them.  I enjoyed the individual papers given to us so that we could learn at a more personal level how people’s lives were affected by the holocaust.
White House -
Bo was going for his morning walk when we arrived bright and early for a 7:30 tour.
winter break homeschool trip
Capitol Tour led by an intern from our Senator’s office -
I loved the fact that we had a personal tour of the capital!
DSCN2074 - Copy
Air and Space Museum (we can never get enough of this place!)
Photo 5
National Archives to view Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence -
“I promise boys we will walk in and see them and then leave,” said the mom to her tired and hungry crew.
Arlington National Cemetery -
Also learning about Vietnam and the Kennedy administration right now.
DSCN2095 - Copy
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
DSCN2114 - Copy
We were blessed with mild temperatures, which helped make tripping to DC at the end of February just perfect – not many crowds nor tickets to pre-purchase.
Unfortunately, Dave couldn’t make the trip with us (he double booked his work schedule), so we’ll have to go back again.  The great thing about DC is that there is SO much to see for free that each time we go, it will be a little different.

1 comment:

kelsey c. said...