district of columbia.

This past weekend John and I ventured up to Washington DC.  My grandfather passed away so my family gathered in DC to have a service for him at Arlington National Cemetery where he was laid to rest.  My grandfather was a heavily decorated paratrooper in WWII (in Northern Africa & Italy) and lived to be just shy of 91 years old.  We are thankful he had a good, long life surrounded by lots of family and we are glad to be able to honor him.  It was so good to see all (but one) of my aunts and uncles and assorted cousins.  The weekend was a bit of a family reunion for everyone so we were able to share the experiences of the city with each other.

John comes from a very small family (on both sides), I come from a very large one (on both sides), so he had fun watching all of our family dynamics.  We got into the city very late Thursday evening (well, I suppose, very early Friday morning) and then had to wake up early and board a bus with everyone so we could arrive for the funeral at Arlington together.  John got his first taste for what the weekend had in store when we sat on the bus and were surrounded by a cacophony of noisy relatives -- it was so loud in that bus.  I should also note that my mother's side of the family is full of tall people.  I was constantly looking up.  Almost all the women were at least 5'9" and all the men at least 6'.  [I clearly take after the other side of the family, height-wise]  After a very nice service (I jumped at the gun fire, even though I was warned -- thankful I didn't scream though!), we explored the cemetery a bit where we almost lost a few relatives -- normal for family functions.

Friday was very overcast and partly rainy in the city but after a lunch with all the family we kind of split up into groups that wanted to visit different places.  John stayed up in the hotel to catch up on some school work so he wouldn't have to do it all Sunday evening upon returning home.  I went with my Aunt Beckie & Uncle Bill to The Mall to walk around and we popped into the Natural History Museum while over there.  The evening was spent with all of the relatives back at the hotel, then out to dinner, then back to the hotel where we all crammed into our hotel room and looked at pictures and talked... and talked and talked.

Saturday, we woke to beautiful weather and John and I joined the group of family that were heading to the zoo.  I got to be the leader that day as I was the only one comfortable enough with the metro system to get us where we needed to go.  Let me tell you, being in charge of a large group of, often very stubborn, family members is hard.  But we all ended up at the zoo and split off into groups, promising to meet at a certain time to head to the hotel.  John and I LOVED the zoo.  We are zoo people.  It was a fantastic morning/early afternoon.  Throughout our time there, each group left to go to various places in the city -- 3 of my cousins went to a Nationals game that afternoon & then a concert after.  John & I lingered in the zoo the longest, then headed back to the area of our hotel for a costume change, a bite to eat at a sushi joint down the road, and then we were off again to the Mall so he could see some sites.  We also visited the Air & Space Museum for a quick tour.  We walked ALL around that area -- my calves & bad ankle were so sore later.  We ended our evening out with a wonderful dinner where we got free dessert just because we were nice to our waiter!  How awful is it that our waiter rewarded us just for being decent people?  But we happily accepted his gift.  The rest of the evening was spent hanging with family again and saying goodbyes.

It was sad circumstances that brought us to the city, but we had a wonderful time with all our family.  DC is only 4 hours from our house -- a very reasonable drive, so we will be back again soon... maybe even later this summer.  We loved it up there.


  1. DC is my favorite place that I've ever been. I'd gladly move there in a second. The city endlessly fascinates me. There are a million restaurants (next time check out Teaism - it's pronounced like how it's spelled - it's a four second walk from the Archives metro stop). I have to admit that the thing I love most about DC is how every couple holds hands.

    1. I love DC, and even better -- John LOVED it. He keeps asking to go back. Which is surprising since he is not a city person in the slightest. We definitely want to go back when we can do & see more things... our hands were kind of tied this trip since we were with 20+ family members. We should all plan a trip up!

  2. I've never been to DC or that part of the country in general, but I'd really love to. Glad you both enjoyed yourselves, even though, as you said, you were there for a sad reason.