Day 4 Monday May 14th
On Monday our exciting weekend came to an end. It was time to pack up and move to our new place for the next leg of our journey. Our long lost friend from high school Sharon, was so kind to offer us her extra bedroom for three nights during the week. It was so perfect since hotels in DC were SO expensive during the week (seems backwards right? Who would have thought hotels would be cheaper on the weekends!). Blaine took off for work early in the morning and I was left trying to figure out how to move all of our stuff (two big suitcases, a backpack, a purse, a vase of flowers and pillow) across town to Sharon's house.
I milked every second out of our hotel and lounged around on the bed watching a weird Diane Keaton movie on TV until checkout time. I was exhausted from the previous days adventures and was grateful for an excuse to take it easy.
The time finally came and I gathered our luggage and set out for Sharon's. The journey was...well, it was traumatizing. It was pouring rain, I had a problem with my metro pass, my suitcase didn't really fit through the metro gate, and so on. By the time I got to Shady Grove I was quite razzled. Sharon was really nice and offered to come and pick me up from the metro stop. The only problem was that I didn't really listen too carefully to her directions. I wound up going out the wrong side of the Metro and walked around for a while in the pouring rain. I stepped into what I am convinced was the worlds largest puzzle. I was soaked to the bone, lost, and extremely disheartened. I picked up my phone to call Sharon to figure out where I was. "Hello?" she answered. "Hey! I am so lost? I came out the one side but I think maybe you are on the other side and I stepped in a puddle and it's raining and I'm lost and HELP!" I wailed. "Uh, this is Stef" came the confused reply. In the chaos I guess I called the wrong number and my poor sister-in-law had to listen to me cry about how hard my life was :) Ha ha, eventually I got over to the other side of the tracks and Sharon rescued me. I've never been so happy to see someone in my life ever!
I LOVED meeting Sharon's kids. Wow, they were complete dolls. I instantly fell in love with Lucy (cutest curly blonde hair ever!), Matthew (such a sweet boy, and he liked me too, I could tell :), and brand new baby Conrad. As excited as I was to leave my kids for 10 days, the second I was around Sharon's family I felt at home, and more peaceful than I had at any point on the trip. So lovely! She showed me to our room, which was cozy and secluded down in the basement. I played with the kids for a bit, mooched a PBJ from Sharon, and then set off for DC. I had promised Blaine I would pick him up from work, though I was less than excited to spend more time on the Metro that day!
I got in to town around 3PM and decided to go check out the Museum of Natural History until Blaine got off of work. It was awesome! I especially loved the Gem collection and the Jewelry Collection (Holy Hope Diamond!). Blaine got off of work a little later than he expected and was going to meet me at the museum and we were going to hopefully catch a few exhibits before it closed at 5:30pm. I told him I would meet him at the top of the stairs (there was only one set in the Natural History Museum). I waited forever and eventually he called,
"Hey, where are you?"
"At the top of the stairs, where are you?"
"At the top of the stairs"
"You sure? What are you looking at? I'm looking at the giant African Elephant"
"I'm looking at the giant American flag"
Me *looking around and not seeing a flag* "Uh, I don't see a flag"
"Well, I don't see an elephant-- you sure you're not on the third floor?"
Me *looking at the Authorized Personnel Only sign that barricaded off the third floor. "Yep, I'm sure".
It took us a ridiculous amount of time to figure out that he was in the Smithsonian Museum of American History and not the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. By the time we sorted it all out and he got over to the right museum we only had about ten minutes left. We checked out the bug exhibit, which turned out to be a favorite, and then headed out.
We stopped at Potbelly's for a sandwich for Blaine and a salad for me (*cough* and a chocolate shake!). We then made our way to the Archives, grateful to find something that closed a little bit later. We only had about twenty minutes, but the good thing about that was that we were about the only people in the entire building. We didn't have to wait in line to see anything. It was awesome seeing the Magna Carta, The Constitution, and The Declaration of Independence. It was pretty funky how weird they looked under their protective cases and lighting. Glad I finally got to see the official John Hancock myself. We had just a few minutes to check out the other exhibits which had letters and journals of George Washington (one which basically was telling off the paparazzi, which was awesome), and Abraham Lincoln. Very cool, wish we would have had a bit more time here.
Then we headed back to Sharon's house where we enjoyed visiting with her and her husband for a while before bed.
* I didn't take many pictures in these places because, well, you couldn't. Sorry :)