One of the highlights of the trip for me was getting to see my former college roommate, best friend, and the person who introduced me to Ben – the one and only, Marnie! I love her! I’ll always love her. We were meant to be friends and so much of who I am and the life I have is because of her influence and encouragement and love. She’s just as wonderful and hilarious as I remember her!
She lives in Long Islands with her husband and five kids (!!!!!! WOW !!!!!!) but she met us in Philadelphia with her two oldest. We had a great time chatting, laughing, and see the sights – liberty bell, home where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, and Independence Hall. There was an fun scavenger hunt going on for the 4th of July and that made things a little extra exciting.
We ate lunch at Reading Terminal Market – a large indoor market with, “Everything you need to create a memorable meal, from cookbooks, to table linens, to kitchen ware, to fresh cut flowers, and more.” It was crazy crowded, hot, and loud. I circled with Sadie, McKay, and Andi in the stroller for 15 minutes trying to find a seat. We finally found a situation where two chairs were available and one was across. So we sat there with an old man next to us and I nursed Andi. It was awkward but one of those experiences that builds character and is fun to laugh about later but not really in the moment. This what what the kids thought of Reading Terminal Market….
A few of the sites….
George Washington used this chair for nearly three months of the Federal Convention’s continuous sessions. James Madison reported Benjamin Franklin saying, “I have often looked at that behind the president without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting. But now I… know that it is a rising…sun.” I’d heard that story several times so it was really exciting to see in person!
Oh the rain, it poured on us after we left Independence Hall. We ran two blocks in heavy rain and laughed so hard we almost wet our pants! I was uninvited but decided to hop under an umbrella of a very nice Indian couple while we were waiting for a light to change. They thought I was crazy but once they saw I had a baby they didn’t mind me standing so close.
We stopped by the new temple after our goodbye’s and arrived home late and tired but happy!
The next day was Sunday. We enjoyed church, and then a fun evening visiting with friends and family. Bret and Shannon, coincidentally, live in the same ward as Steve and Dorthy Grenhalgh who are good family friends. Steve is the missionary who taught and baptized my dad. They’ve remained close and we would visited them when we were kids and they in turn visited us in Florida. Dorthy was a stenographer for George Bush and gave us a behind the scenes tour of the White House when we were kids. She’ll always be a famous person in my mind because of those childhood memories. Ben’s Uncle Glen and Aunt Kim happen to also know the Greenhalgh’s so they came for a visit with cousin Clint, too. They’re all really wonderful personalities and we had a great evening!
Kimmy and my dad spent the night at Bret and Shannon’s on Sunday. On Monday they helped us pack but we kept getting distracted playing foosball. Jax and Ben beat Kimmy, my dad, and me a few times. Jax was thrilled!
Once we were finally got our chores done we went to a nearby waterpark with Bret and Shannon’s family. The kids loved it and I think they say this was the best part of the trip for them
That afternoon we headed into DC and checked into our hotel. We stayed in the historic Willard Hotel. Lincoln lived there for a time (along with two other sitting presidents), MLK stayed there and wrote his I Have A Dream speech there, and Julia Ward Howe wrote the lyrics to “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” while staying at the hotel. Other noteworthy guests include Mark Twain, Harry Houdini, Emily Dickinson, Charles Dickens, and the Duke of Windsor. Also, part of Minority Report was filmed there. So much history!
We all (Kimmy, Dad, Bret, Shannon, and kids) went to dinner at Matchbox and then headed over to Capitol Hill to listen to the dress rehearsal performance of A Capitol Fourth. We arrived a little late so we only heard the second half and the seats weren’t great but we had a great time nonetheless!
We said our Farewells and Thank You’s to Bret and Shannon and family and walked our very lonnnnggggg walk back to the hotel. The kids were tired and wanted to join the homeless people and sleep on the side of the road but we convinced them to carry on and we finally arrived back to the hotel around 11 and quickly went to bed.