With Spring Break quickly approaching, I texted the girls to ask them each individually where they’d like to go. I gave them 4 choices: nowhere (staycation), New Orleans, Key West/Everglades, or Washington, DC. In a rare moment of unanimity, they all responded with DC. (Good thing as I didn’t have a plan for what would happen if they each voted for something different!) With our destination clear, I dove into planning our girls’ trip. I talked to friends who had gone, gathered tips from Brian (who lived in DC for undergrad, law school, and after), and scoured websites. I compiled my “research” into a document and decided that we needed to stay one month instead of one week in order to do everything. So, the cutting began. I couldn’t get tickets for the highly recommended National Museum of African American History and Culture (newest part of the Smithsonian), so unfortunately that was out. As was Mount Vernon, deemed “too boring” and “just an old house” by the girls. They voted out the zoo, too, even though I promoted the pandas. They’ve been to zoos, they said. They spoke, I listened. I have no interest in dragging them places. This was their trip, too. We were a democracy – everyone had a say. Aspen wanted to see RBG in the flesh, so we planned for that. Oak and Lou wanted to see the Holocaust Museum, so tickets were secured. I remember seeing the First Ladies’ gowns from my 5th grade trip and wanted to see them again, so the American History Museum made the cut.
On Saturday, March 18th, we flew nonstop into Reagan Airport. Can we agree on the awesomeness of direct flights? More awesome things – carrying on and not having to wait for luggage! We bought our 7-day metro passes and were on our way. Hungry and realizing we would reach our airbnb before the check-in time of 3:00pm, we stopped for lunch. Aspen made an excellent call in picking the Eastern Market. After a long metro ride, we found ourselves at the Capitol Hill flea market, an upscale outdoor market with goods, crafts, and even a few farm stalls. We pushed our way through to the market building, filled with vendors of meat, pasta, fish, breads, and a small restaurant tucked at the end called Market Lunch. When we got to the front of the line, the gregarious man taking orders noticed our suitcases and asked if this was our final meal before heading out of town. When he learned it was actually our first, he said we could have anything on the menu – including their famous breakfast which they had stopped serving over an hour ago. What a delicious welcome!