Friday, May 25, 2007

What I learned on my summer vacation

We just returned from our family vacation....two days early. Why early? Long and boring story. Well, it's not that long, but it's still boring. ;-) Let's just say we ran out of things to do, at least things to do we could afford! The "resort" we went to wasn't exactly as described, either. But enough of that. We are home safely, and what we did, we had a great time doing.

But what I want to share is a few things I learned on this trip:

  1. Never turn down a chance to go to the bathroom.
  2. When you attend an iMax show that lets out after the Smithsonian museum closes, you will not be allowed to go back in to the bathroom.
  3. The Metro stations do not usually have bathrooms.
  4. Sympathetic Metro staff will sometimes open locked doors so you can go to the bathroom.
  5. Hands-on exhibits aren't much fun when being swarmed by groups of school children on a field trip.
  6. There are many, many school field trips going on at the Smithsonian museums.
  7. Admittance to the museums is free.
  8. Eating outside the museum from a cart is half the cost of eating in the museum, but still expensive.
  9. Eating in the museums makes up for not having to pay to get in.
  10. Finding a 7-11 across from the zoo was a salvation. $1.29 hot dogs may not be real food, but they fill the void.
  11. Driving an hour to the Metro stop sounds like a good idea.
  12. Driving back an hour after walking for eight hours doesn't seem quite as good an idea.
  13. Taking the Metro costs a family of six over $40 a day.
  14. Flexibility is key when planning for trips, but an agenda is a good idea, too.
  15. Don't be too quick to change your plans.
  16. Doing nothing is okay.
  17. Listen to what other people in the family are saying...especially your spouse. If they mention more than once being interested in doing something, they probably really want to do it.
  18. The National Gallery isn't high on my kids' lists of "Things I Most Want to Do."
  19. The National Gallery is on my list of "Things I Most Want to Do."
  20. Sometimes it isn't worth pushing your agenda. I'll return to DC someday to go to the museum.
My husband did all the driving for the entire trip. I know driving out of DC in the evening after walking all day wasn't easy. I would not want to do it, but I appreciate his willingness to navigate all the traffic and unfamiliar roads.

It's good to be home.


Kansas Bob said...

Seems like you learned a lot abut bathrooms :)

carrie said...

Seems like you learned a lot abut bathrooms :)

Tell me about it. :-P You might gather that traveling with me isn't always fun. Although this time it was one of the kids who was caught in the "no bathrooms available" senario. Usually it's me.

Dancingirl365 said...

I wondered why you came back early and was going to ask, but this gives some hints! :o Nat'l Gallery is on my list of places I'd like to visit, but have a feeling it isn't on children's. You have my sympathy about the bathroom situations!

Glad you're back!

Dalissa 365 said...

I just find it so ironic that you, me, Ampersand, and Sandie have all visited DC in the past 4 weeks. It would've been nice for all those visits to collide somewhat. We really lucked out with our field trip to DC and being able to stay at the L'Enfant Hotel. Being walking distance from absolutely everything and having the underground shops including delis, coffee places, McDonald's, CVS directly beneath the hotel made the experience much more enjoyable than it would have been if I had to pay for everything out of my family's budget.

carrie said...

dancingirl- We were disappointed in the "resort." The actual chalet we stayed in was nice, but the rest of the place was rundown (mostly an RV park), and they didn't have several of the ammenities that had been advertized, like horseback riding, a grocery store onsite, and a well-provisioned gameroom. We had hoped to spend several days hiking and relaxing at the resort, but that wasn't a good option.

dalissa- I wish we could ahve all met in DC! That would ahve been something to look forward to. We could have gotten Paula there, too, probably. I'd love to be able to stay *in* DC next time!

Ampersand said...

Sorry that your trip was not all that you wanted it to be!

And sorry that we did not get a chance to meet up.

Maybe another time, sans kids, at the National Gallery?