*Our DC Trip, May 2015*

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IMG_0658Our bags are packed and we are ready to go!! We loaded down the Highlander and the topper and hit the road for Harrisonburg, VA.

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We decided to stop and spend the night on the way to DC because Noah had a late afternoon baseball game that Saturday. We did not want to drive the full 7.5 hours after his game. His game ended up moved to morning so we made it to Harrisonburg in time for dinner and a normal bedtime. We ate at Grilled Cheese Mania, an AWESOME food truck that served different types of grilled cheese sandwiches, and stayed at the Hampton Inn in Harrisonburg.

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On Sunday, we made it to DC and went to an old friend’s house for lunch and a play date. Noah and Katherine had not seen each other in a couple of years and had a BLAST together, especially on her trampoline! They also had other friends over for lunch that had boy/girl twins too, so we had to get a picture of all the kids before we left for our hotel downtown.

We checked into the JW Marriott. Our room was on the 11th floor, spacious and had great views of downtown. We had dinner reservations with the other residents from UT and their families at Chef Geoff’s that night, but we wanted to go see as many monuments as we could before dinner!

IMG_0706IMG_0703Tommy and Noah in front of the South Side of the White House. This sidewalk was closed for the remainder of our visit, so I am glad we went to see it first.

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The Washington Monument and Reflecting Pool– bringing the scooter to DC was the BEST idea ever! We would not have made it to all the places we went if we had not had the scooter for Noah to ride!

IMG_3520IMG_3540The Lincoln Memorial was the first place where total strangers stopped and took pictures of the babies. We were amazed at how many people asked to take their picture. They were celebrities in DC!

IMG_3547IMG_3558The little walkway beside the Tidal Basin was probably my favorite place to walk in DC.

IMG_3561The Jefferson Memorial on the other side of the Tidal Basin

IMG_0720IMG_0730On Monday, we went to the Museum of Natural History before Tommy had to begin his conference (you know, the whole reason we were in DC.) The museum was really neat. I think Noah’s favorite parts were the dinosaur bones and watching the tarantula feeding (by far, my LEAST favorite part!) We had lunch at Paul before heading back to the hotel for Tommy’s conference. It was good, but not as WOW as I was expecting from a french bakery! That afternoon, we walked around with the other families before meeting Tommy and his friend, Jeremy, for dinner at Old Ebbitt Grill. Noah tried oysters. He was NOT a fan.

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Old Ebbitt’s food was GREAT. It was not super kid-friendly. Our server seemed annoyed by us having the twins there, but the other restaurant workers were very friendly. We took the kids swimming at the hotel after dinner. It was the first time the twins had ever been in a pool. Eli LOVED it immediately. Emry Jane only tolerated it for a little while.

IMG_0764 Tuesday, Tommy took Noah with him to meet Senator Bob Corker for breakfast while the twins and I ate at the hotel restaurant. Noah got to ride in a taxi cab to breakfast and on the metro on the way back so he was PUMPED for this one-on-one excursion with Daddy!

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After breakfast, we went to the Air & Space Museum with friends. Noah enjoyed this museum more than Natural History because you could actually go into the airplanes on exhibit. Noah and Kylie went into this American airplane at least five times! The Dads left for conference while we were at the museum, so the rest of us at McDonald’s from a nearby food truck on the National Mall lawn.

IMG_0795IMG_0805Again, we were stopped by people asking to take pictures of the twins while the kids played in the grass. I think playing the grassy areas of DC was the best part of the whole trip for the kids! We spent an hour or so that afternoon swimming in the hotel pool. Emry Jane enjoyed it much more the second time!

Tuesday night, we ate dinner at Firefly. It was the first place that we had to drive to while downtown. We had planned to take the Metro but it started raining so we opted to drive. We had to park a couple blocks from the restaurant but made it without getting very wet. The food was GREAT (notice a theme, I did my research before making reservations) and the atmosphere was so cool. It was pricy but worth the splurge.

IMG_3615IMG_3624On Wednesday, our last day, we went to visit the North Side of the White House. We tried to get a tour a month or so in advance, but were denied. I think it was because we had SO many kids in our group 🙂 The babies were not as impressed with the President’s house as I was! Guess what, there is a large grassy park beside the White House so…

IMG_0823We played in the grass until Daddy had finished his conference and was ready to check out of the hotel. I really wanted to go to the National Zoo and see the PANDAS so that was our last stop in DC…

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Three pandas?! Totally worth the insanely long drive home!!IMG_3836

Our only family picture from our DC trip was with an orangutan at the National Zoo 🙂IMG_0853

Two peas in a pod!IMG_3860Daddy and his babies while visiting the tiger at the National Zoo!

We left the zoo a little before 5pm on Wednesday– a bad idea! It took us until 2 am on Thursday morning to get home. GoogleMaps rerouted us through several neighborhoods around DC to avoid as much of the interstate rush hour traffic as possible but it was brutal!

DC Trip with YOUNG (10 month old) twins and 7 year old son *TIPS*

*Make dinner reservations beforehand with OpenTable (online or with the app) — we never had to wait for our table at a restaurant and it was GREAT. We also let them know that we needed two high chairs when making the reservation so everything was ready for us when we got there– perfect when the kids are already starving when you arrive!

*Get the Trip Advisor app– I read reviews on our hotels, museums and each restaurant. We knew what to expect and it made the trip so easy! You can also use the app to book tours, if desired.

*Call ahead and ask about parking. The JW Marriott had valet, but we wanted them to know that we had a topper on the car (which prevents us from parking in garages due to height.) They had to take it off and store it for us during our stay (at no additional cost!)

*Call ahead or ask for cribs when you get there! We got two pack-in-plays at the Hamtpon Inn and two CRIBS at the JW Marriott. The twins slept so much better in their own beds. (We also brought their sound machine from their nursery to help drown out other hotel sounds!)

IMG_0771*Bring a scooter (or bike,) helmet, and a double stroller!! We love our City Mini stroller. It made the long walks around DC more bearable. Noah scootered all around the city and we stored his scooter under the stroller (or on the canopy above for quick trips) when we were inside memorials or at museums. Things in DC are spread out so the scooter was a must to keep the whining about all the walking at a minimum! I have a mommy hook on the back of the stroller to hook my purse (where I stored an extra outfit, diapers and wipes so I did not need the diaper bag!) to the stroller. I also have a mesh bag with cup holders on the back for all the other baby/kid necessities (water bottles, pacis, sippy cups, napkins, etc.) Our friends also brought a double stroller for their kids (ages 4 and 2) for the trip– don’t have to have twins, just young kids that do not appreciate such long walks!

*Bring an ERGO carrier, just in case– There were a couple times when Noah was just “too tired” to scooter any more. I kept an Ergo carrier under the stroller for this reason. I wore a twin while Noah and the other twin rode in the double stroller. Another reason to love a double stroller– even my BIG 7 year old fits in it!

*Bring a big SNACK bag!! We packed a bag of snacks for the car and throughout our trip! I  grabbed a few for my purse for each excursion from the hotel. I brought Ziplock snack baggies and a baby bowl with lid for baby snacks. Twin (10 months) snacks: baby puffs, yogurt melts, BeechNut pouches of pureed fruit/veggie combos (my twins love these and they are SO convenient!) Chobani baby yogurt pouches and Nuk sippy cups (for breastmilk, diluted apple juice or water!) Noah: Goldfish, fruit strips, granola bars, pop-tarts (hey, we are on vacation!) and pretzels/hummus.

*Bring a COOLER– I am exclusively pumping so I needed a place to store breastmilk. Our room at JW Marriott did not have a mini-fridge so we filled the cooler with ice throughout the day to keep the milk cold. We also kept yogurt pouches for the babies and juice boxes for Noah in there!

*Bring appetizers for the babies to meals– I bring puffs in a bowl (with lid) if we go to any restaurant, even in our hometown. In DC, I brought puffs, a BeechNut pureed fruit/veg pouch per baby, sippy cups (for juice or water from the restaurant) and our Bibbity Bobbity bibs. We ordered grilled chicken and/or noodles, steamed vegetables and fruit (1 kids meal to share between ALL three kids since they are usually large servings!) at dinner places. (One night, Noah wanted cheese pizza so the twins got their own grilled chicken kids’ meal and we had WAY TOO MANY leftovers that we did not have room in the cooler to refrigerate!)

*Hot Water Solutions– Our twins like their bottles of milk to be WARM (not room temperature.) Since we refrigerated the milk in the cooler, we had to warm the milk each time. In other hotels, we have warmed water using the microwave, but we did not have one in this room. This trip, we used very hot water in the bath tub and sink. We have asked Starbucks for two cups half-filled with hot water when traveling. They do not charge you and you’ll have warm bottles in a matter of minutes…and there are Starbucks on almost every corner if you need one!

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