Memorial Day is usually a three day weekend, but this year I managed to make it four.
I took a vacation day on Friday to help chaperone my daughter’s gifted class’s trip to the Smithsonian Insitute in Washington, DC. After some pre-trip jitters from my daughter, we made our way to the museum and had a great day. The only downside was that the return trip, which should only take about two hours took five hours. That’s a long time to ride in a yellow school bus.
Drinks at Turkey Hill: $4.50
Smithsonian Entrance Fee: $0
Souvenirs from the Air & Space Gift Shop: $17.49
Lunch at the McDonald’s inside the Air & Space Museum: $21
Afternoon snack at the Dino Cafe inside the Natural History Museum: $19.80
Dinner at a random McDonald’s in Maryland: $10.76
Spending the day with my daughter and watching her get excited about science: Priceless
Saturday morning started with a trip to church to troubleshoot some issues we’ve been having with the sound system. After fooling around with it for a while, I finally got it working, at least to a usable state for Sunday morning.
In the afternoon, we headed to Tom’s house for a Memorial Day cookout, where we hung out with most of my department and watched dogs and children get soaked from head to toe in bubble juice. We followed that up with a trip to Lowe’s, a visit to the Art & Soul Cafe to listen to my friend Jeff Lease play guitar, and finally a brief soak in the hot tub.
We almost made it through the whole service without the sound system acting stupid, but not quite. Time to upgrade, I suppose.
After church, we went to Toys R Us so my daughter could pick out her birthday present (she chose Wii Music, which I’m looking forward to trying). Then we stopped at Rita’s to buy four quarts of Italian iceÂ to take over to my friend Tim’s house for our second Memorial Day cookout of the weekend. At Tim’s, we swam a bit but mostly just sat around chatting.
Obviously, it’s only Sunday, so I don’t have all the details yet, but Monday will be my daughter’s 10th birthday party. Well, tomorrow is the family party; her friend party is in a couple weeks (as soon as school gets out). So we’ll be having our extended family here for the afternoon and evening, which would be our third cookout of the weekend for those keeping score at home.
I also wouldn’t bet against a trip to Guitar Center in the morning. I’m just saying.
Yes, eating at the Smithsonians is not easy on the pocketbook. You have to walk quite a few blocks from the Mall until you find anyplace that’s a reasonable price. Much nicer to pack a sandwich or something. But at least admission is free.
We thought about packing a lunch, but (a) it was a bus trip and we didn’t want to carry all that much and (b) there signs at the entrance saying “NO FOOD OR DRINKS INSIDE THE MUSEM”. I don’t know how strictly it’s enforced, but I decided to set a good example in the presence of my daughter. 🙂
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