We headed south for the weekend to celebrate Norma’s birthday and do some sightseeing down at our nation’s capital. Being that it is only 4.5 hours away, it was just at a good distance away for a half day’s drive. We tried to cram in as many sites as possible that Mateo’s and Mommy’s little feet could bear with all the walking that was required. Here are the highlights:

Day 1 – Friday

We arrived around 3pm and checked into the Hilton in Old Town, Alexandria. Great location with tons of shops, restaurants, and a waterfront all down King st. I wanted to show Norma the best that exemplifies the Marine Corps – so we took the metro over to Marine Barracks at 8th & I to catch the summer-only  Friday evening parade.  We didn’t have a reservation but met a really nice Staff Seargent decked out in his Dress Blues at the entrance that gave us free tickets so we didn’t have to chance it in the General Admission line. We chatted up with an old Korea-era vet while waiting for the parade to start, hoping the forecast for rain wouldn’t come true.  We got to hear some great marches and standards by the Marine Drum & Bugle Corps and the Presiden’t Own Band after which time Company A and B filed out in prep for the finale of the Silent Drill Team when the rain started coming down pretty good. They cut short the parade and didn’t get a chance to see the drill team but we had a blast anyway.

Day 2 – Saturday

We started the day with room service for breakfast and then headed out early to head out for our main day of sightseeing. Our first stop was the National Museum of Natural History which Mateo loved, especially the dinosaur and mammals sections. He even got to see a live tarantula feeding which scared the beejubus out of Norma. We ate lunch at the museum then headed out to see the Washington Monument and then took a short stroll north to pose in front of the White House and fist-bump Obama. Norma wore the wrong shoes so her feet were on-fire right about then due to all the walking we did, so we snuck a cab to head over to the Capital posing for pics and then a shorter stroll over to the National Archives and see the real-deal copies of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

We were pooped and then headed back to the hotel to relax for bit before going out to dinner down at the Charthouse on the Potomac waterfront. We  ate well and celebrated with a birthday chocolate lava cake for Norma before heading back home on the Trolley and calling it a night.


Day 3 – Sunday

I think everyone was sore from all the previous day’s walking, so we got up a little later and found a cute diner in Old Town, Alexandria to eat breakfast. We headed out for the last bit of sightseeing at the Lincoln Memorial and Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial towards the west side of the National Mall. There were lots of people but we got some great photos of the memorials and of the long length of the mall.

It was a great birthday weekend from start to end. Sore feet and all, there was so much to do – really almost too much to do, that we will probably be back one day to get a chance to see more wonderful sights and history.

More pics here in the gallery.