8th grade Washington D.C. TripWhat I wasn't expecting. Day one. Packing, loading, saying goodbye, to the airport and waiting for our flight.
This was the easy part.
Although we had attended meetings, received emails, and looked over the itinerary-
we had no idea what was ahead.
We arrived to the hotel close to 4:30 after we landed, had a late lunch and gathered our snacks from the nearby CVS.
We sent our 2 boys off to their rooms to relax while my friend and I sat in the lounge sorting and getting all of the keys ready for the rooms. (for all of the students/chaperone's that were arriving by bus) (about 150 arrivals)
What I wasn't expecting was just how long that organizing of the room keys would take us. We sat there organizing until 8:20 p.m. working right through dinner.
One small story:
After we finished we were so tired and hungry. Our boys were too. (although my son took a nice nap in the room while we were doing this) We sent a text to the lead teacher asking an approximate ETA. We had just enough time to have a quick dinner at the hotel lounge. We sat down and started looking over our menus when my friend jumped up screaming as a spider was crawling across the paperwork she was holding. (I screamed too. I can't even remember who killed it out of the 2 boys- True story.)
What I wasn't expecting. Day 2. Mt. Vernon tour, WWII Memorial, Smithsonian Museums, Korean, Vietnam and Lincoln Memorials.
This day of touring began at 7:15 a.m. Everyone was loaded onto the bus for the ride to Mt. Vernon.
The home of George and Martha Washington is really a neat tour.
We spent the morning touring the grounds and finished by eating lunch there.
Then we went back onto the bus and into the city of D.C. to finish the day going through the WWII Memorial following with the Smithsonian's. We ate dinner at the mall and it was then that we met up with the other mom chaperone's and confirmed with them what we weren't expecting to experience on this trip. As a whole, the boys were too cool to act like they new any of their mothers. This we agreed was a new experience for all of us. (most of us figured out how to communicate with the boys and how not to embarrass them by the 4th day of our trip) We finished day 2 at the Memorials with my sons favorite Memorial being The Lincoln Memorial. We arrived back to the hotel after 10 and closer to 11. By the time we settled in on the first night it was 1 a.m. then up again with our alarm going off at 5:10 a.m. I remember waking and thinking are we really going to tour like we did yesterday We did.
What I wasn't expecting. Day 3. The Capitol, The Spy Museum, The White House The FDR and Jefferson Memorials.
On day three we all were to wear matching shirts for a group picture. The moms were also passing around a skirt that they have had on this trip for 10 years. It is a tradition for the moms to each take a turn wearing the ankle length double fabric skirt. By mid morning it was my turn to wear the skirt. It was so hot I turned it over about 15 times and wore it as a short skirt with my shorts peeking out of the bottom. The kids were slightly embarrassed by this of course.
What I wasn't expecting was my friend and I would be the only 2 mother chaperone's to wear our shirts for the whole day. :)
And Just-so-you-know, we weren't all that interested in the Spy Museum. The consensus was close to 50/50 with mostly the girls liking it slightly more then the guys.
What I wasn't expecting. Day 4. The Holocaust Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, Iwo Jima and U.S. Marine Memorial.
I wasn't able to take a single picture at the Holocaust Museum. I don't remember if there was no photography allowed but looking back over the trip this was the most emotional part of our tour as I really don't think I would want a picture. This was my third time in the Holocaust Museum so I thought I would be prepared for what I would see. I've resolved this will never be something you can see without shedding a tear. (or many) (with the WWII being a close second for me) Our oldest said the Holocaust Museum was by far his favorite Museum, I wasn't expecting that.
What I wasn't expecting. Day 5. We drove 2 hours to Gettysburg going to the Museum and then touring the Battlefields.
We left D.C. around 8 in the morning driving the 2 hours to Gettysburg. Then we were able to tour the Museum for close to 3 hours. I wasn't expecting to see the large cyclorama painting on canvas
found here. Prior to going to Gettysburg I had never heard of that painting. We then got back onto the bus with a tour guide and saw all of the sights of the battle field. I also wasn't expecting to hear that to this day there are cannon balls still in the sides of 9 houses and a few barns from the battles.
I'm thankful I was able to complete this trip with our oldest.
(even if there were portions of the trip he ignored me including not answering my text messages!)
Teenagers. Expect the unexpected.
I'm still as tired as I feel when I bring home a newborn home from the hospital.
P.S. We took the teens to see Kung Fu Panda 2 on our last night. It was a cute movie and I didn't even nod off behind my 3D glasses. Well, maybe once.