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Washington DC - Day 2

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This was our view of DC while we were over in Virginia during our private tour. The sun was setting; it was perfect!

After a good night of sleep, we were ready for day two. Honestly, I don't know if the boys had ever eaten at Starbucks before. But they requested to go back as they enjoyed it on day one. Then we headed off to the Russell Senate Office Building where we went to Senator Marco Rubio's office.

He was away for the Thanksgiving holiday. One of his interns gave us a tour of the Capitol. We were able to ride the trolley car from the Senate Building to the Capitol. The boys liked doing this. It was just like the dog in the children's book, My Senator and Me, that we had read.

B ringing the bell to let the trolley know we were waiting.

About to climb on the trolley to head to the Capitol.

We had one other family from Florida on our tour, which made for 4 kids total. The tour was a little more than 90 minutes, any longer would have been too long.

This spot is the center of DC. If you swipe your leg over it, you are bringing yourself good luck. Look who is swiping!

This is location of John Quincy Adams' desk. He was known for napping during the days but really he was listening to others around him, but they didn't now he could hear them. This is known as the whisper room. It's my favorite part of the Capitol!

Several things such as the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Botanical Gardens are close to the Capitol and were easy to walk to. We stopped at the Supreme Court and only walked by the Library of Congress. Then we walked a few blocks over and had lunch at Good Stuff Eatery.

After lunch, we went back to the hotel to rest a bit. We had a long tour coming up later in the day. We wanted everyone to enjoy it.

Our tour guide, Gondal, with Private DC Tours came to our hotel at 3pm to pick us up for a private tour. We were picked up in a black SUV that was clean and spacious. We started the tour by going to Embassy Row. While there, we also saw the home the Clinton's own in DC as well as the home the Obama's will live in until their daughter finished high school. Next Gondal took us to the Lincoln Memorial. He dropped us off just steps away. We knew we needed to see three monuments while we were at this stop – the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Wall, and the Korean War Memorial. When we were ready, we simply texted Gondal and he came and picked us up.

Reading books before the trip as well as the night before we visited a place proved to be an important process in the trip and kids understanding all they were seeing. We had read The Lincoln Memorial before visiting. You can click the title to see it on Amazon or possibly find it at your local library.

We read The Wall before visiting the Vietnam Wall. It is one of my favorite children's books ever. I used to read it to my class when I taught. I cried through the whole thing as I read it to my children. It is dear to me as my father was in the Vietnam war. This book is a must before your visit! You can click the title to see it on Amazon or find it at your local library.

Korean War Memorial

The next stops were in Virginia where we saw IWO Jima and the Air Force Memorial. We would have gone to the memorial at the Pentagon as it is in this area as well. However, we had a tour scheduled at the Pentagon for the next day, so we decided to wait and see it then.

We headed back into DC and finished the tour by seeing the Jefferson Memorial, FDR's Memorial, MLKJr's Memorial, and the Washington Monument. The elevator was broken in the Washington Monument, so we knew we weren't going to the top.

B and me #selfie at the Washington Monument. Before we left for the trip, we had read The Washington Monument. You can click the book title to see it on Amazon or look for it at your local library.

This tour was a great way for us to see the memorials in DC. First of all, it was chilly in November, so the SUV was a good place to warm up in between stops. Second of all, Washington requires a lot of walking. Our kids are troopers, but this helped break up some of the walking. Third of all, we saved a lot of time in our day by driving between the Memorials rather than walking them. Fourth, you pick the time. We went from 3pm to 7pm with the sunsetting a little after 5pm. This allowed us to see Memorials in the daylight as well as the evening. Lastly, Gondal had mini videos and/or PowerPoints about all the stops, so we were able to get a quick history lesson before stopping. If you are trying to decide where to spend your money in DC, a private tour is the place to do it! I cannot say enough wonderful things about it. In fact, we have already recommended it to a few people who took our advice and came back raving as well.

It was a long good day. The tour was great, but when Gondal dropped us off at the hotel a little after 7pm, we were ready to be done. We ordered room service, which is always at the top of M's list for a hotel, and called it a day! But not before we read from the Kid's Guide to Washington DC. Tomorrow we would visit the Pentagon, the Pentagon Memorial, and Arlington Cemetery.

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