Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter!

Can you believe it?  Our first mall Easter bunny photo at age 6.  When we were waiting for our doll salon appt. at American Girl we paid the bunny a visit.

Friday, April 6, 2012

All American Girls

 If you were around the girls at all September through December of last year, you know that all they wanted for Christmas was an American Girl doll.  There was seriously nothing else on the list.  They poured through the catalogs that came in the mail and carefully decided which doll they liked best.

Lily eventually settled on the doll of the year, Kanani, while Madeleine preferred the generic doll that "looks like her."  Luckily Santa got the message, and everyone got the doll they wanted.

Over the years I've seen many pictures on Facebook of other children visiting an American Girl store, usually in NYC.  It looked like fun, but I'm not ready to take on an NYC trip with the girls just yet.  Luckily, there is a store/restaurant in DC so we could include it in a trip while doing other things.  I know how expensive it can be, and this is not something I intend to do very often.  It was a very special treat that the girls have definitely earned this year.

Neither girl knew what to expect really.  While the top floor was interesting to them, it was underneath where the salon was that they actually got excited.

 Here's Lily's doll getting a fishtail braid at the "salon."  All I could think about was the hair braiders telling people what they do for a living and hearing "Yeah, right. You get paid what for braiding doll hair?"

 We enjoyed lunch at the restaurant of course.

 And Madeleine enjoyed getting her picture taken with McKenna.
We bought them the trundle bed, and they used their own money to each get something.  Lily chose the cast/crutches combo, and Madeleine got a table chair like they used at the restaurant along with a tea set.  I also bought them each an outfit.  Madeleine chose the gymnast outfit while Lily actually picked out pajamas for her so she could match her doll.

And maybe the Easter Bunny will bring them some swimsuits.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Museums R Us

We hit up three of the mall museums while in DC: the American History, Natural History, and the Air and Space Museum.  I had a few other "maybes" depending on the weather an the girls' mood, but I think three was about all we could stand.
 American History was first.  Most of it was being renovated, so we went through it fairly quickly.  I was surprised at how much the exhibits had changed since I was last there.
 We had to drag the girls away from every mannequin.

 We spent the most time in Natural History.  We went in to just look at the grms, but ended up looking at EVERYTHING.
 Sunday we went to the Air and Space Museum in the morning.  It was the most crowded of the museums, and we pretty much skipped over the space stuff that we've seen here at home.
Who would put a camera on a chicken?

I'd like to do the Building Museum, the Newseum, the Air and Space Annex, and the Spy Museum at some point.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

High Flying!

One of the things I was most excited about doing was going to the kite festival at the Washington Monument that was a part of the Cherry Blossom Festival activities.  Lily recently had "kite day" at her school and had learned a lot about kites.  Of course, I forgot our small kite at home, so we just had to watch others fly theirs.  I could have watched all day, but the girls only stuck it out about an hour.
Both Lily and Madeleine were impressed by the Washington Monument.  They had a lot of questions about the flags around it and were worried about how much it cost to have that many flag poles (they did a fundraiser to get a flag pole at their daycare last year).  The first thing they did when they got on the grass was cartwheels.

 Some of the festival banners.
 The first of many posed pictures.

One of the larger festival kites.
 Seeing all the kits in the air around the monument was pretty cool.  It went on all afternoon.  Even though the sky got darker, the wind picked up later.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Give me a break!

I had this brilliant idea we should go to Washington DC the first weekend of the girls' spring break.  We hadn't been out of town overnight for a vacation-type trip since our trip to Great Wolf Lodge in June.

After consulting a few friends in the DC area, I picked a hotel in Arlington that was affortable, had an indoor pool, and near a Metro station.  We lucked out and had pretty decent weather throughout our trip - even though you can see we were in long pants and jackets.  We drove up on a Thursday night after work so we could be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed the next day. 

We headed to the National Zoo first because I figured it would be the least crowded on a weekday and the weather was supposed to be sunny and 63.  Turned out to be cloudy, sprinkles and 53.  Many animals didn't feel like coming outside, so we had to see them at the indoor buildings.

Here's one of the pandas Lily was so excited to see.  Since I was shooting through glass, I didn't want to use the flash and even shooting at 1600 ISO they were just moving too fast to get a crisp picture.  So I figure that's what postcards are for.  But Lily loved getting a chance to see them eating their bamboo.

 Every statue and sculpture the girls climbed on and wanted me to take their picture.

 The lions were VERY active.  After getting it on with one of the ladies, the male lion walked around showing his teeth and roaring.  The girls were surprised at how loud it was.  Luckily they didn't ask any questions about why he was sitting on one of the other lions.  It was over pretty quick.

 Since parking was over $20 for the day, we took the Metro from the hotel to the zoo.  It was only a couple of bucks for each of us.   We entered from Connecticut Ave. and then had the uphill walk back when we were done.  I kind of wish it was a little more circular, but elephant and sea lion areas were closed for improvements.