Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009 - learning and loving

This year for Thanksgiving, we took in a lot more than Turkey, although we had some fun with that too. In our trip to DC, we got to have a few laughs, see some amazing stuff, learn a bunch and spend some time together.

It never ceases to amaze us how into travel Kyle and Owen really are.  And now Meera too.  But this, to us, is really nutty.  These two 5 year olds are totally into travel. Like - we have this book, and both boys now not only know the Lincoln, Washington and Jefferson memorials, but also where my sister lives, how fast the fastest jet goes (Air and Space - 4,500 miles per hour), how to interact with cab drivers, how to be polite at a family dinner, and how to drive 6  hours on the way home without fussing.  They really wanted to go into the Washington Monument (great disappointment when we didn't get tickets in time),

And a priceless moment, when these two little black boys, pass over the Lincoln memorial steps where MLK Jr. gave his speech, looked up at he enormous statue and right in front of the "please be quiet and respectful" sign, exclaimed in a loud voice "There he is!!!" in full K&O enthusiasm.  Priceless.

More importantly, we had some wonderful experiences while in DC:

From thanksgiving Day:

  • Kyle & Grandpa Robert watching some good-old-fashioned football on the TV.  Dad narrating and explaining every detail to Kyle who loved it.
  • Joking over the readiness of the turkey or over readiness as the case may or may not have been
  • Owen and G'mma doing puzzles and mazes
  • A beautiful walk down to the Capitol building and a look over the pool there out onto the Mall.  Granted, Meera had no nap and had her second total melt-down of her life, forcing us to grab a cab back to our hotel, but nice none-the-less

From the day after:

  • Anthony: the homeless man in the square by our hotel.  K&O gave him money for breakfast, introduced them selves, found out his name and wished him Happy Thanksgiving.  We looked for him (and saw him there) each time we passed by.

  • An early morning visit to see the White House.  Kyle and Owen asking the guard (who we called the Secrect Service - and who really knows anyway) if "BarakO" is in there right now?!?!? Yes he was, and we guessed having breakfast.  

  • A great day at the Air & Space museum.  Seeing TONs of airplanes - does it get better than that for K&O?  Meera finally got her nap that morning.

  • Lunch at Cosi downtown DC.  I don't really get how they could have run out of Tuna salad for Kyle, and Tomato soup, but we all enjoyed it.
  • A freezing cold (sorry mom!) ride on the outdoor carousel on the Mall.  Yes, they were by far they loudest, and most definitely having the most fun of all the people riding that day.  Pretty awesome.

  • Walking down the Mall with my family and the boys and Meera enjoying it.

From Saturday and in general:
  • The Lincoln memorial. The walk up to it, the freezing wind, the steps up. The spot MLK gave I Have a Dream, the statue with those hands.  The speeches on the walls. The meaning, the power.  K, O & M there together and what that means, there, in that spot. It was my first time there, and it's still sitting with me.  L'Union Fait La Force. 

  • The Washington Monument.  Although we could not go up, the power is striking.

  • The Vietnam Memorial.  By itself an enormously powerful statement to the depth of pain that was Vietnam and the honor of those we lost.  It also raises many questions for our boys around war, what is war, who, how, when where what and why of dying in war.  Tough, but meaningful topics for our young men.

  • Afghan wraps for H&B, yum, yum, yum!
  • Hotel pool for the boys - now - if there is there a pool to be found - that is a highlight for sure!
  • Being in such a diverse environment.  There were tons of black and white people from all socio-economic backgrounds - and that by itself is a treat - as it should be for all Americans.
We left Saturday around noon. After enjoying our stay at the Embassy Suites (great place to stay for work and really for family), we said goodbye. It was a 4.5 hour drive down that took almost 7 back.  Oh well, alls well that ends well.

Our family reconnected this morning. All three children thrilled to be home.

We're all Thankful to go and come back.

View all photos here.

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