Juice and I decided to be (somewhat) spontaneous today. Last night we decided that we should go to Mt. Vernon. We have season passes there and figured that we need to use them to get our money's worth out of them. So we bundled the kids up, herded them into the van and away we went.
After spending over an hour sitting in traffic (at 11am! On a Tuesday! Why people? Why?!) we finally made it. I had to drop Juice and Butterfly off at the entrance because nature called for a 4 year old bladder. So I was left to get the boys and Soot (yes, they allow dogs there...awesome!) out of the car and into the estate.
Not a problem. I do this with all 3 kids often. Some how, this took longer than usual though. I also walked a long way to the estate entrance and was tired by the time I met up with Juice and Butterfly. Did I mention that it felt about 18 degrees today? Cold!
The first thing that caught our eye once on the estate was the camel. Yes, a real live camel. His name is Aladdin and he's 2 years old. And very friendly! But why a camel in Virginia in December? Apparently, George Washington had a camel brought in for his guests' amusement in 1787. (Look who is reading signs and remember things!) So part of the Christmas celebration at Mt. Vernon, a camel was in order. Butterfly did not like the camel because it slimed her. Poor thing.
I really wanted to go tour the house because I haven't been inside for over 2 years. They also only open the 3rd floor during the Christmas season. I've seen it once (before we had kids) and I'd like to see it again. Sadly, the line for the tour was a half hour wait and I knew that Juice couldn't survive with the kids outside for that long.
We took a look a the upper gardens and walked around the hot house gift shop (yes Mom they have a gift shop there!) for a bit and then headed to the lawn behind the mansion. I have to say this is my favorite part of the whole place. I love the huge sweeping view of the Potomac River and the house is so pretty. We let the kids out of the stroller and all they wanted to do was go down the hill to the wall.
We spent a lot of time hanging out at this wall. Professor was completely taken with the view and kept pointing and jabbering. He also walked along it through the bushes, making me go after him. I hope there was no poison ivy in what I dug through to get him.
After some time gathering sticks and leaves and pretending several things, we decided we were really hungry and should go eat. Butterfly was heart broken that we weren't going to eat at the restaurant they have there. We often go to eat there but this time we just couldn't.
So once we got everyone loaded up in the car (about 20 minutes for that!) we went off to find food. Then we decided that we should skip the main freeways and go the back way home. It was a lot of fun. I loved looking at all the cute old houses in DC as we drove through and pointed out all the monuments to Butterfly. She thinks we should go see them again because she doesn't remember them. Anyone want to come and visit so we can tour the monuments again?
It was a great day out as a family. Missed naps and all. Although the bonus of having missed naps (all 3 kids missed their naps or had short ones in the car) is that everyone went to bed early. So now I'm going to try and do the same!
“Tell them to Have Faith in Me”
2 years ago