We drove to D.C and back! (Part 3)
We woke up the next morning at the leisurely hour of 8 am (thanks, Niko!) and lounged around the hotel for a few hours while Jesse snuck in a quick hour of studying and I watched some bizarre wedding show on TLC (it was so strange, and yet I kept watching...). Once we had gotten ourselves together and Nikolai took a much-needed catnap (did I mention he hadn't had a normal nap since our arrival?) we met up with Jesse's folks and then took off for the heart of Washington D.C.--the national mall!
It was raining lightly when we arrived (but we had come too far to not see some monuments!) so we strode first over to the Lincoln memorial.
See? We were a little damp but still quite happy!
Nikolai had benefited enormously from his extremely short nap at the hotel and was in a fantastic mood! He didn't want to be in the stroller much but very obediently held our hands in the thick crowd and seemed very intrigued by the giant bearded statue-man.
When we came out of the memorial, it had miraculously stopped raining (hallelujah!) so we took some photos on the steps.
Jesse, Dave and Andy standing where Martin Luther King Jr. stood:
Proof (their feet!):
And Juli had the lovely idea to take a picture of Nikolai's feet there too. You've been on the very spot where a historic event took place, my boy!
(also, my foot...he was being very wiggly and this was the best shot!)
Also, proof that the ever-lovely Juli was there too :) :
After the Lincoln memorial, we traipsed around to several of the other memorials. Because my eloquence is quickly waning, I think I'll just put minor captions under these and spare you some of my verbosity ;)
The hauntingly beautiful Korean War memorial.
Nikolai riding on Uncle Andy's shoulders and being ticked by Grandma Dolly! You can't tell here but Nikolai was enjoying this very much :D
Quote on a stone wall at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial ("Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.")
Jesse in front of the MLK memorial
Niko and me in front of my favorite of the quotes around the MLK memorial ("I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.")
Nikolai riding on Daddy's shoulder's, playing with his beard!!
Andy, Jesse and Niko between Utah and Idaho at the WWII memorial
Our little family in front of the capitol building
On the other side of the capital building (anyone know which side is actually the front? We suspect this side, even though it doesn't face the mall!)
Nikolai was basically a dream the whole time. He didn't throw a single tantrum (a miracle!) and was so amiable! Here, Jesse was "running" to entice Nikolai to run, which meant he was moving at a pace fast enough for us to walk normally and keep up with him :)
Jesse in front of the Supreme Court building (his future home? ;D), shrugging because it was covered with a facade while it's reconstructed!
The poles surrounding the supreme court--the book says "Lex," which means "Law"!
Apparently all that running around tuckered sweet Nikolai out (that, or three days without a decent nap had caught up with him) and he did something he's never done before: fell asleep in his stroller! Sweet boy!
Jesse in front of some judge (but he knew who we was and got very excited!)
Andy in front of the white house
I think that day we walked somewhere in the ball park of 7 miles (we thought it was closer to 4 miles but I just put our route into mapmyrun and it says 7! whoa!) so by the end our feet were SOOO sore but we were soooo happy. We finished the day with a lovely dinner with Jesse's folks (in which we'd ask Nikolai "where's Uncle Andy/Grandma Dolly/Papa/Daddy/Mommy?" and he'd point at the appropriate person 75% of the time ;D) and then drove alllllll the wayyyyyy home! The drive home was much better (even though we got started later--around 10:15 pm). We had a little bit of rain and construction but somehow we ended up with fewer tolls and Nikolai slept really well! Also, I was listening to an enthralling audio book (Goliath by Scott Westerfeld--check out the series! So great!) so that made the time go by quicker too. We got home just as the sun was coming up the next morning (about 7 am) and all promptly went to bed until Nikolai woke up at the perfect hour of 10:30 am :D
In summation: we are so glad we went! We made plenty of time for Jesse to study so he felt prepared for his finals, and the trip itself was just a blast. We loved getting to meet Jessica's family, and we LOVED spending time with Jesse's folks! Thanks, Dave and Juli, for putting up with our last-minute antics, and for letting us spend time with you! We love you so!
And a final huge congratulations to our favorite new married couple, Tim and Jessica! Jessica, we've got an awesome thing going here in the S-- clan (I mean, I love all of my in-laws! How rare is that?!) and you're the perfect addition! Thanks for marrying Tim and good luck in the years ahead!