Happy Election Day. Election Day has always been exciting to me. There's something about casting your ballot & then watching as the future unfolds. Typically, I enjoy staying up late to watch the news coverage & election projections, but sadly I'll just be voting & going away for a work trip.
Today reminds me of a fun trip that we took to our Nations Capital a couple months ago. You're too young to understand that you were in a place that such big decisions are made. It wasn't a trip about politics. Instead we got to see Washington DC through the eyes of a two year old.
We started with a birthday celebration. My best friend lives just outside of DC, & we were visiting to celebrate her birthday. We started by bringing a little bit of Rhode Island to DC with an Allies Donut Cake in the shape of a Rhody Ram. I love how when we shout, "Rhody Rhody Rhody" you shout, "Rams Rams Rams!"
After that we headed to the zoo. The Smithsonian Washington DC Zoo is enormous & amazing & free (well, except for paying to park). In a lot of zoos we pass right by the indoor exhibits, because I find then dark, musty, & creepy. The indoor exhibits were one of our favorite parts. It is one of the best zoos I've ever been to.
The gorilla's, chimps, & monkeys were so fun to see up close. This guy was pretty serious, but we also got to hear a howling monkey (omg, rediculous), an orangutan swing from a ropes high in the sky, and cute little monkeys that you called "baby monkeys."
One of the most fun things we got to see while there was a couple getting engaged. The guy proposed right in front of the elephants. I don't have any pictures of that, because you were in the middle of a little mini-breakdown. It was warm. You were tired & hungry, & the whole zoo seems to be placed on one big hill. After lunch & a cool down in the splash pad you seemed to do better. There was a group of kids having a blast at the splash pad. I was a meany of a mommy & tricked you into reaching down & getting squirted in the face. I can't help it. It was funny.
This is one of my favorite pictures ever. You enjoyed watching the seals & sealions, you didn't want to go to any other exhibits.
There was a rain forrest type area where there was no glass or netting between us & the birds & animals.
There was a small farm area with Donkeys, cows, goats, & sheep close enough to pet. The Friday we went was the perfect day to go. It wasn't crowded at all, & you were able to get right up to everything.
We don't have any lions at our Rhode Island zoo. So, seeing "the Lion King" at the DC zoo was great.
The next day, we knew you had gone without a nap the previous day. Typically you do pretty well the day that you've missed your nap. The day after your missed nap is the day we all pay for it. You are a crankapotomus like woah. So, we planned a day where nothing was set in stone & most things were outdoors. We started with a picnic in the Botanic Gardens. Someone had mae the mistake of calling it a park. "Well, where are the swings & the slides?" you continued to ask all day. The definition of a park as an adult is much different from a two year old's definition.
Next we headed to the Capitol Building. I made a snide remark about this being where nothing gets done. But truly, I believe that this is where decisions are made & things happen. For better or for worse, this is what was set up in the Constitution so many years ago.
After that we tossed a football & played frisbee in the grassy fields of the National Mall. The day was so beautiful, we didn't want to waste it by going to the inside museums. Actually, we also didn't risk it. You continued to beg for swings & slides & whine with lack of sleep. A frozen yogurt food truck & a carousel set in the middle of the Mall (located right across from the Smithsonian Castle) were our saving grace. While pricey (who makes parents pay just to stand with their children), the carousel was worth every penny. You had a blast, & I enjoyed watching you twirl around with the Washington Monument in the background.
Then we headed over to the Sculpture Garden. You know what? I don't really get contemporary & modern sculptures, but there was a beautiful fountain that you enjoyed making wishes in & walking around.
We knew (pretty much the whole day) we were on borrowed time. We knew you were exhausted, & we knew we were only adding to it with the warm heat & all the excitement & all the walking. As we walked back to the car, you fell asleep. Most people don't understand how significant this is. You typically need two things to sleep: silence & darkness. Washington DC was neither. You falling asleep truly showed the extent of your exhaustion.
It's true that Washington DC is not as easy to tackle with a two year old as it was when it was just Daddy & I, but it was still truly magical. There's something amazing about being able to travel to our Nations Capitol, to be where the decisions are being made about our country. And it was amazing to share with you...even though I know you didn't really get that. You mostly just liked looking at the monkeys & eating frozen yogurt & riding the carousel. I'm pretty sure if you were the one making the decisions, you would make sure Washington DC had more swings & slides.
So, happy Election Day...come what may. Today & everyday, God bless America.
I love you so,