Just as we got the McInroe's off to the next part of their vacation we were packing for ours. We ended up leaving the house a little later than we wanted but luckily Jeff called to check on the status of our flight and realized it was an hour late. Now we were early enough to go and eat dinner ;)
When we got to the airport it ended up being a 3 hour delay. Oh Well, Taylor still had his cards with him and I got to learn a few of his card games as well. It made the time go by quickly.
After spending the night sitting up on a plane it was nice to get to my parents and take a nap. They had beds ready for us and we were happy. After a couple hour nap it was getting to be too late to go anywhere far so Dad took us to the Marine museum that wasn't too far away.
It wasn't until we were there that I remembered that Jeff's dad was a Marine. In fact we have some pictures of when he was fighting in the Korean war.
The museum was great. When we got there it was closing in an hour so we had to rush through and we couldn't see everything there was to see but we were able to get a feel for it.
Here is the flag that flew over the famous picture of the group of marines that were planting the flag that inspired the sculpture that I've seen multiple times (should've took a picture of the sculpture too)
Our favorite was a room that was all set up to make you feel like you were in the middle of the battlefield. It was night and the room was cold and you could see the men calling out orders and tracers being shot at you. It gave you a real sense of what these guys feel like in battle, it gave me chills.
At the end when the place was closing and we were walking out we noticed another family with a young girl that was a dwarf. I saw them looking at us and laughed to myself thinking that we would be seeing lots of families with dwarfs all over town in the next week because of the convention.
I heard them trying to explain to the daughter that she would be seeing lots of people like us all week. I realized it was probably a first convention for her. We introduced ourselves and sure enough their son was a little person too. Their daughter they had just adopted from India a few months before and so this was her first national convention. They were the Fosters, a nice family from North Carolina who just stopped by the museum to take a break from the traffic as they were driving up.
We said our goodbyes and then as I was leaving I commented "I'm sure we'll be seeing you during the week at the convention" I never knew how true that was...it ended up we saw them almost every day of our trip!
That night we watched a movie at the house and Grandma Hovey made us chicken enchiladas, which is my families favorite recipe that has been passed down to me from her. They loved it and of course they thought her enchiladas were better than mine :)
The next morning we got up and took the metro into DC from Virginia and went to check out the Ford Theater.
This was the theater that president Lincoln was assassinated. It wasn't always a theater after he was shot but it had been renovated to look like it did at the time of the shooting and even held plays there again.
I learned more about Lincoln and the events surrounding the assassination that day and I was glad that Jeff and I watched the movie "Lincoln" before we came. It gave me a greater appreciation for who he was and all he tried to do for our country despite his life being cut short.
Here is the box where Lincoln and Mary were at when it happened. The picture of George Washington is the original as well as some of the furniture that was still in the box.
I guess once John Wilkes Booth shot him and jumped from the box to the stage his foot got caught in the decorations and that's why he broke his ankle. I'm sure the broken leg helped keep him from getting as far as he could have.
I didn't realized that Lincoln was assassinated so soon after the end of the Civil War. John Wilkes Booth was anti Lincoln and actually saw himself as some kind of hero by shooting the president. He was shocked that he was treated badly and hunted down like he was. It took them almost 2 weeks to catch him and in the end he wouldn't surrender but took his own life.
A view of the theater.
In the gift shop across the street was this tower of books that are all on Lincoln. I guess a lot has been written on him! Not to mention movies and documentaries about him.
Brothers pretending to be on both sides of the war.
Across the street from the theater there was the boarding house where Lincoln actually died. It was the closest place they could bring him to have the doctors help him the best they could. This what the bed looked like but it wasn't the actual bed, since the real one was sold for $80 or so by the owners of the boarding house (I'm sure that was a lot of money back then). I guess he was so tall they had to lay him diagonally.
Here is what the boarding house looked like with period furniture. The guide told us that the average population was shorter during that time period so the beds were smaller and sure enough you look and the chairs were smaller and the doorknobs much closer to the ground. I think my family would've fit right in!
After we were done we took a walk over to the National Mall. Here is us with the capital in the background.
Passing by our favorite place...the IRS
As we were walking through the Natural History museum to get to the mall we ended up seeing the Foster family again!
The Washington Monument was covered in scaffolding because it was still being fixed from the earthquake they had. There was also a folk-life festival going on. I think the focus nation was Hungary I believe.
There were other countries represented as well, like these people from South America. There was music, dancing, crafts and more at the folk life festival..
But after waiting over an hour to get lunch all we did was eat lunch then it was time to head back on the metro and get home.
Our metro ride.
Michelle was at home waiting for us to get back so we could hang out with her. We ended up getting a pizza and watching a movie so we could hang out with her and Reese some. We were excited to hear that Reese got time off to be able to join us at the end of the week in Philadelphia.
Sunday morning we got up and went to church with my parents. I was happy to see my aunt Suzie that I've only met once when I was little. Her and her husband divorced when I was a teenager and she lost contact with the Hovey side of the family until my parents moved back. They are in the same ward now and they get together for holidays and have become friends. I think it's great for all of them. She has become active in church and is the gospel doctrine teacher. I loved being able to be there for her lesson. She did a great job.
After church we had a great lunch of pot roast and mashed potatoes and then it was time to say goodbye to the Grandma and Grandpa Hovey and then head into DC for the convention.
Our hotel was the Marriot at Wardman Park.
It had beautiful grounds, was near the zoo and was across the street from the metro station and restaurants.
Our view from our room.
We were about 3 1/2 miles from downtown and could see the Washington monument from our room. Our original plan was to go to the mall to see fireworks later in the week but we thought worst case scenario maybe we could see them from our hotel room!
I remember the crazy parking laws here! So confusing!
We got a ticket last time we were here because our parking spot turned into a lane during rush hour. We didn't make that mistake this time!
I loved the beautiful neighborhoods that surrounded us. While I'm struggling to keep my potted plants from dying in the heat, everything here was green and lush.
We made it to the hotel in time to register and to attend one of the medical workshops. Ashley has been having some orthopedic issues, she has pain in her ankle because of how it's growing, so we were looking for some insight before we go with what our local doctor recommended.
About an hour after that Jeff and I were helping with the teen pizza party. It was a little chaotic at first with only about 100 chairs and about 180 teens. We just tried to help as we could but what really helped was requesting a microphone to help the director do her games.
I was hoping that our kids would mingle and make some new friends. They ended us finding the Foster's again and hung out with them but they left soon after they ate their pizza.
On Monday Jeff and Jacob were scheduled to go with the Monuments tour and help out. Jeff bought a ticket so Jacob could go as well and they had a boys day out.
Ashley and I stayed at the hotel and helped with the mask painting in the kids room and then I took her to her one-on-one doctor's appointment.
This is the Martin Luther King memorial.
I've never been there but they said it was 1/3 the size of Mt. Rushmore.
At their first stop it was pouring rain. Luckily we had packed a couple of rain ponchos and an umbrella for them. It ended up raining off and on during our trip but I was glad because it kept the heat a little more bearable. (It was still very hot)
After seeing where Lincoln was assassinated they saw his monument. I heard that his hands were modeled from the hand casts that were taken upon his death.
Jacob met a new friend to hang out with too.
Taylor said the thing that stood out the most for him was the Korean War memorial. He said that the black wall reflects the statues of the soldiers.
There are 19 soldiers and then 19 reflected in the monument. When you add them up that makes 38, which represents the 38th parallel or the demilitarized zone that separates north and south Korea. Interesting.
The boys left the tour at the white house so Ashley and I could meet up with them. The problem was they were at the back of the white house.
We were at the front. You couldn't walk to the back and they couldn't walk to the front, it's all blocked off.
So we went a couple of blocks over and met up with each other and walked over to the Spy Museum.
I was excited to go to it because I had a friend who went there and recommended it. Since Ashley and I were hanging out at the hotel all day I was ready to go but the I knew the boys were tired but they were troopers anyway.
We learned if you have AAA you can get a good discount here. Good thing Jeff asked.
The museum was cool and very interactive. He we are getting our personas before we learn all the ins and outs to becoming a spy.
They had a lot of real spy gadgets and weapons from all over the world. Shoes with knives in them, cameras in buttons, lipstick and umbrella guns and so forth.
At the end they had a James Bond exhibit. In the exhibit you could try and hang on to a pole like James Bond did in the movies. You had to hang on for a minute to beat his record. We saw a lot of people try and fail.
Taylor tried and was doing it...doing it...everyone was cheering him on...he was almost there...
but he dropped off a little over 5 seconds too fast. Ahhhh.
The bar just got too slippery, he said it was harder that it looked.
We stayed to watch the buff guy in line behind Taylor. He didn't last 3 seconds.
He said "That's harder than it looks" Even though Taylor didn't make it he was impressed with him :)
That night we ate at one of the local restaurants and the kids all went to the dance. They saw the Foster children there again. Jacob said Laheri (the 6 year old) danced with him and asked if he would be her boyfriend. Ha ha.