Other highlights from our trip include:
*Reaffirmed what I've always known...that I would not have survived in any other time period but the present. We went on a tour of the Jamestown Setttlement established in the 1600's. Oh my goodness, I almost cried tears of pity for the people who had to live like that. No internet? No TV's? No New Kids? No cell phones? No cars? The injustice. We toured 3 replicas of the ships that the settlers came over on from England, where the tour guide told us that one of the struggles of the passengers of the ship was extreme boredom. Wow, ya think? Then once they arrived, they worked like, all the time. And they basically had to wear the same thing EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. RIP Jamestown Settlers, and wherever you are I hope you're living it up, playing video games and washing your clothes in a Maytag.
*PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: I've figured out what is wrong with our nation! Turns out in the D.C. area, McDonald's does not offer Reese's McFlurry's. Ummm excuse me..what? How can our Senators and Congressmen and women, and even our President be expected to think logically and make smart decisions when they are forced to function without a necessity to happiness..a Reese's McFlurry? I'll be holding a press conference to announce my findings and suggest to McDonald's that they have the power to solve all of this country's problems, stay tuned to Fox News. I might've just changed the course of our nation. You're welcome.
*Speaking of D.C. we walked approximately 417 miles. Which is ironic, considering we paid a decent amount of money to ride the Tourmobile and take the guided tour of the city's landmarks. The thing with the Tourmobile was that you could get on and off at the different sites, all day as long as you showed your ticket. The problem with that was that our timing was less than impeccable and we always seemed to miss it from every stop by about 5 minutes. And because I am married to GI Joe, who doesn't see the value in waiting when you could just walk to the next location, we took D.C. by foot. Not sure if you knew this or not, but I can whine just as well if not better than my children, when forced to walk an exhorbiant amount when it's hot and I'm hungry AND we paid to RIDE the Tourmobile. GI Joe took great pleasure in my misery. It's been 24 hours now and my hips, shins, back, shall I go on...are STILL sore. When did I get so old?
*Dared the kids to ask the security guard at the Smithsonian if the exhibits really came alive after the museum closed. They just rolled their eyes and refused. Fun haters.
*Got a free, guided tour through the Smithsonian: Museum of Natural History, provided by none other than our very own Dakota. It was like Christmas morning to her, she wanted to read everything about each exhibit and would've spent 8 days there if we had time and her parents had half her attention span to such things. Nothing like a 9 year old explaining fossils, naming the obscure dinosaur skeletons, and her exasperated sighs when we mispronounced extinct mammal names, to make us feel smart. We've grounded her from the library and educational books for a month, that ought to teach her.
*For once, GI Joe posed for pictures and actually enjoyed it. Maybe it had something to do with the poses he was striking in front of such establishments as the EPA building and the Capitol Building in D.C. Thankfully, no arrests were made, although plenty of odd looks were received.
*Read my book as GI Joe navigated through rush hour traffic in downtown D.C. He has a few gray hairs but I'm happy to report that no injuries, fatalities, or automobile damage were sustained. And I finished Firefly Lane (great book) and ate LemonHeads. It's a stressful life I lead.
*Toured Gettysburg Battlefield on our way home. This was a dream come true for GI Joe. Given his affinity for war AND history, this was the perfect combination and someplace he's always wanted to visit. The battlefield itself was interesting (more so for GI Joe who actually paid attention in History class), but a little long. Why did it have to be 24 miles of battlefield with a stop every mile or so with a statue, or marker, or vantage point? I'm just sayin'. Abe, couldn't you have found a different, more condensed location? It worked out though, I got halfway thru a new book, the kids will be able to say they've been there when they learn about it in school, and one of GI Joe's lifelong dreams was fulfilled. The town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is a quaint town that makes you feel like you've stepped back in time to the Civil War period. Who knew they had an outlet mall during the Civil War, which happened to be right next to our hotel?!? Maybe I would've survived in the olden days after all.
*Drove past a farm in Pennsylvania that had a mini horse, a ZORSE, and, wait for it....A ZEBRA in their pasture! Jealous party of one.
*After leaving Gettysburg heading west towards home, we happened upon the backwoods of Pennsylvania. We're talking missing teeth, mall bangs, slippers in public, the works. I had no idea PA had backwoods but it was like a little piece of home. Sigh.....
And with that the National LamKoon's Summer Vacation is winding down. I'm sad it's almost over but am anxious to get home, pet my animals, and sleep in my own bed. Now if we could just work on getting that ocean built in Iowa I'd be a really happy camper.