Saturday, June 17, 2006

Walking around DC...

Today we took a cab to the Lincoln Memorial & then walked back to the hotel, seeing the DC sights on foot. On the way over, B was giving us fun facts about DC, such as the Washington Monument being the tallest masonry structure in the country (& maybe the world) & that no building in DC is allowed to be taller than it is. I asked B where he got all these facts & he looked proudly over at dad... they must have been discussing these "fun facts" (B loves 'em) for days... C & I then told B about how the steps of the Lincoln Memorial are used as a rallying-place for celebrations & protests. We talked about Marian Anderson's being denied the right to sing in the DAR hall because she was of African American, & how Eleanor Roosevelt resigned her membership in the DAR as a result & arranged for the concert to take place on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial (some back-story about the DAR & who Eleanor Roosevelt was needed to be added, but B got the idea...). B was very impressed by the memorial & by the Gettysburgh Address engraved on the wall, & we talked about what that meant, too. It was neat to have him so focused & interested. We looked for the spot where Martin Luther King gave his "I have a dream" speech & so Rufus had to be photoed there too:

On our walk we passed the Einstein memorial & "The Wall", & talked a bit about the Vietnam War, too... there's a lot here that's B's still too young to understand, but he's starting to get a sense of our country's history. Watching "Liberty's Kids" on PBS when he was younger turned out to be really helpful because he had heard many of the names mentioned in the Declaration of Independance Memorial (C was impressed that there were four physicians among the signers :), which we passed on our walk. C was very keen to get a photo of the White House (we tried to get a tour but were told that June is an impossible month to get in... so much for it being "America's House"), so Rufus got to pose for that one too:

The giggles we heard from folks witnessing our Rufus photo ops have been a lot of fun...

We ended-up at the Hirschorn by lunchtime & took a walk through before we ate. We looked around at the sculpture garden, too, which was odd & cool. The break gave us the energy to make the last leg back to the hotel- it was a long morning for people unaccustomed to quite so much walking, & though B got a bit crabby before lunch, he was really quite a trooper :) We rested all afternoon (Disney Channel was having a Kim Possible marathon, so we had to watch it :), then got on the Metro to go get some dinner. Unfortunately, this was bad timing for B, who began melting-down as soon as we got out of the station... Finding places to eat for a kid with sensory issues & a vegetarian mom are not easy & by the time we settled on a place he was practically in hysterics. C & I felt rotten for him & very stressed, but we persevered (ignoring the looks we were getting), got food, got food in B's tummy (& our own) & all of a sudden B went from tears to calm. We added ice cream cones to the mix, which got us all the way home in one piece. What we are finding is that, for all that our hotel is nicely located sightseeing-wise, unless we want to eat every night in the hotel (& we don't...), finding food nearby on weekends is nearly impossible :( This is something we're gonna keep in mind for future vacations, believe me!

Tomorrow I hope to have B update his DC journal, then we're off on a day trip to Monticello, home of possible fellow spectrum-member Thomas Jefferson.


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