Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Driving into the city is still something we DC'tonians attempt from time to time. Not that we don't like the metro, just that we think we can outsmart it.
Not so. After circling our destination (Museum of Natural History) like turkey vultures, we lucked into a metered spot. It was next to a street meat truck that was luring my daughter in with her nostrils and my son with his eyeballs (hot dog and ice cream respectively). It took fast talking on my husband's part to distract them long enough to walk away from the most magical ice cream truck they'd ever seen.
Having worn my best walking shoes, I was prepared to hike it a few blocks.
I was not prepared to schlep my tired (lazy) 50 lb boy two blocks on my right hip. His father almost disowned us both.
Abby managed to get herself a few blocks without riding shotgun in the arms of a parent but the heat got to her and she too was carried the rest of the way (103 that afternoon so they and their will powers were melting).
Twelve blocks away.
Did I mention it was 103 without the humidity factor?
We bought ice cream for the kids just as a life saving maneuver in front of (what we thought was) the Natural History Museum. It was much like eating on the sun. Completely over before it started. Ice cream wept itself down Abby's chin and Grayson's arm until they cried mercy and let me bathe them in wipes.
Then we marched our icky sticky selves right in front of the building.
Only it was the wrong one.
Our museum was another block away. Which everyone was so excited to hear, having fully succumbed to heat stroke and all.
Finally we arrived at the Pearly Dinosaur Gates.
"Spineosauras!" Grayson yelled when we eventually made our way past thirty million other people who had the same destination that Sunday.
It was an elephant but whatever. We were glad he was on board.
"Is they dead, Mommy or is they gonna fall down on us?" Little Abby piped up.
She was happy to learn they were stuffed animals who were incredibly gifted in the art of being still.
Then everyone kind of just took in the sights at lightning speed. Hubs and I took turns being forerunners of the express tour. We both remained hyper vigilant as both tots utterly refused to hold hands inside a building where there was absolute zero threat of being run over by a car. Hoards of tourists, yes but not one car to be feared. If only they understood the riptide-like push and pull of too many people trying to eyeball the same brontosaurus tooth.
Someone was so tickled to find a T Rex head that he even posed willingly in front of it.
(Daddy took two more sans flash with his Bahrain camera - much better, sadly, as we were on our last legs through the museum.)
By the way, this picture makes me laugh like mad because Abby was insanely freaked out by the decapitated glass encased head. She braved on, however, for a picture since that seemed to be what her heathen parents wanted. Look at that posture! So funny, I'm coming back to this one all day.
Here is Abby and me trying to get a closer look of the Hope diamond. What we're standing next to is a massive piece of Quartz. Have to say it was much more impressive than the diamond itself. (Think of every spy movie Tom Cruise ever made and you're good.)
If you speak Mom then you can hear me screaming for a chair and some Gatorade in this picture.
Then it was over. Our first (and quite possibly our last) museum trip to DC had been checked off our Gotta Do it Before We Move list.
And just like that, we were heading back outside to meet the sunshine and the strongest pedi-cab driver in the universe.
Caesar was his name and he was a DC transplant from Guatamala. Even Caesar said it was hotter than a rainforest in D.C. And we were about to pay him $20 for towing 400 lbs of people eight blocks up and down the streets of DC, back to our car.
The downhill was glorious. Our hair blew in the gravity made breeze.
The uphill made me want to lose 115 pounds just to save this hardworking man's calves alone. I was so distracted by how hard it was to pull us uphill that I didn't even notice Abby fell asleep in my arms. I think Caesar lost a day's worth of calorie intake on our family alone. I sure hope he used his tip to buy a hot dog or six. Those pedi-cab people are inspiring. There isn't a gear low enough to make that job easy and yet there they were, dooming their muscles in to lighten our load while giving us a reason to remember that day sweetly.
On the car ride home I asked, "What was your favorite part of our day?"
Practically in unison they all shouted, "The bike ride, the bike ride was my favorite part!"
Hubs and I agreed, Pedi Cab all the way.
Either we are all simply outdoor people or we should take the metro next time.