Washington DC

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The Grand Hyatt in the centre of Washington DC is just wonderful! A stones throw from the White House and Capitol Hill it could not be more child friendly and generally welcoming. Which is lucky because when we rocked up in our crazy child filled car with a roof box on which needed dismantling and storing separately in order to fit in the tight city car park, a friendly welcome and patient help was just what we needed… and got.

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The Old Post Office is soon to be turned into a Hotel. The view from the top of it’s tower is amazing.

Yesterday we visited the National Museum of American History. With three tired children and time limited by an appointment with our bank we just picked a couple of areas that interested us and wizzed round them. Having just watched the TV series Revolution it was fun exploring the section about Edison and invention of the light bulb. We also went around the transport section and got to see original Model T’s. In the Naval section we learned about the slave ships and also about pirates. Here are four facts about pirates that we learned:

  1. They don’t tend to go “Arrrgggghhhhhh” – that myth is thanks to a couple of pirate films
  2. They did have parrots. Not generally on their shoulders but certainly lots in cages on their ships
  3. They did drink lots and lots of rum, all the time.
  4. They didn’t make people walk the plank… again from films, the reality of the tortures and murders they committed where far more violent and gruesome.

Today we visited the Lincoln Memorial and the visitor centre at the U.S. Capitol. It’s hard not to be impressed by the stunning architecture of these important places. But more impressive is the history, which by UK standards is virtually yesterday. Appreciating what this young nation has achieved in such a short time helps us understand the current psyche of the people here. Given what they have overcome for their freedom, just a few generations ago, it is easy to understand their obsession with independence and personal liberty.

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The Capitol

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The Capitol (sunny side)

I am impressed by their humble, open discussion of the more shameful parts of their history, in particularly the slavery which built so much of the country. Far from shying away from it they openly talk about it and display the brutal facts, lest we should forget. They admit to the columns of the Capitol having been created by slaves and the statue of Rosa Parks is clearly their most prized piece within the building which buzzes with statues of impressive figures. The UK is not quite so willing to openly discuss their atrocities and that’s a problem with our nation as to better our selves we must learn from the past, not deny it. People will always make mistakes but we can strive to be better.

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Rosa Parks… the most famous statue in the Capitol. People visit just to see this statue. Today is International Women’s Day so a particularly special day to see this work of such a great woman.

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Emancipation is a major theme in the Capitol buildings

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The Lincoln Memorial. Alfie asked if he was really that big!

The Lincoln Memorial is equally overwhelming and inspiring. It’s purpose is clear and effective as you can’t help but leave utterly determined for equality….

Okay so I’ve just been totally distracted from blog writing by a knock on our hotel room door… Our waitress from dinner sent us up a card with a bottle of wine and some cakes and desserts! How wonderful.

And now I’ve been distracted by Orla having done explosive diarrhoea all over her cot… Housekeeping brought new sheets but have to come back for the s**t covered stuff… nightmare…

Signing off to finish sorting poo bed clothes and cracking the wine open after that! I’m rather lost my train of thought on Lincoln and Rosa Parks but I’m sure I’ll pick up the tread again in the next few weeks. Now I’ll leave you with this rather interesting photograph I took today… Bon poo et bon nuit

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4 thoughts on “Washington DC

  1. matt

    Mumma Dean,
    I have to tell you, after your stay here with your family, I have taken a personal interest in following your adventure with them. I look forward to reading your blog (like when I was a kid that old tv show “Where in the World Is Carmen San Diego”… Minus the criminal activities) following your crew around and getting a new perspective from an adult and all the little things your children do along the way.
    I was telling mom about you all and I will tell you the same… I have much respect for all 5 of you coming to a new country and learning of our cultures and habits along with 3 small children can’t be easy. Takes a lot of fortitude to press on and more importantly… Keep an open mind.
    I was just telling a friend the other day…. It would be so cool if say 15-20 years from now, I see Alfie or Patrick or Orla come back to Lazy Pond in their travels…. Even with their own families. I will always remember the few days you were here and the impact your family’s journey you are taking has had on me.
    My family originated from overseas. So I respect the worldly experiences you are giving to your children. They are very lucky to have parents who can do this and I hope it becomes a tradition in generations to come with the 3 of them.
    I just hope down the line Lazy Pond will stay in the hearts of you all as an experience and good start to any adventure they take in the United States.

    Reply
    1. Muma Dean Post author

      Matt, Thank you for such a wonderful comment! I too would love our children to travel with their own partners/families when they are grown up. I hope that we can help them see themselves as citizens of the world rather than a particular country and to know that they can go anywhere and do anything. A lot of people have suggested that we should be doing this when they are older and will remember more of it, but I say they can do it for themselves when they are older and right now they will benefit from this in more fundamental, personality developing way. And they are getting really quality time with us and an amazing education enroute.

      I would love for them to stay at Lazy Pond when they are older and I would love any of our friends in the meantime to visit the Catskills and stay at Lazy Pond. Our only regret so far is how little time we had in the region… I’m sure we’ll be back! xxx

      Reply

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