Woke to 2 of Dawson’s lights – one on the ground in the front room and one by Mena’s sweet little head as she was still sleeping on her top bunk. Too funny! You see we came home last night and he immediately started sticking them up. He didn’t read any directions and /or clean the surface prior to sticking them up. So when I woke to one of them on the ground – I really did laugh out loud. I sometimes call him the “half a%$er” – so another example of that for me to use when he gets up.
I actually woke up because Summer came back to nudge me and then walked back up front – this has been her routine when she is ready to go out in the am. Sometimes she sleeps in and sometimes she doesn’t. She woke me up today at 7:15. So I got up – got my coat and shoes and we headed out….the sun was out and it was already starting to warm up on our little porch. We went walking up our hill to the dog run and down the other end by the ball room area / café…..and Marc and Julie’s RV was still there and it looked like they were not yet packing up outside – maybe even still asleep.
Summer and I returned to the RV and I enjoyed my coffee out on the porch. Mena woke up and found me outside and she was surprised how warm it was. She wanted hot chocolate as I was having coffee. She came into make it herself. I was out reading and writing on my pc. She came back out and we enjoyed our morning outside saying hi to other folks walking dogs and going to the bath house. There were 2 big groups camping in tents that were already up and fixing breakfast. It smelled so good – like sausage and bacon. Mena wanted sausage….LOL. Then she said, “mom – they are up – those people down there with an RV like ours that you want to meet”. And indeed, they were moving their car to get ready to pull out and hook it up. She was funny – because she went and got her shoes and wanted to ride her bike and have Summer and I walk and go down there. She said – “come on –you have to try to meet them mom – come on before they leave”. I don’t think if she was not up and out there with me that I would have walked back down there. She was so persistent that I finally agreed to do it.
When we walked down there they were parked in front of the ball room and we could see Julie in the passenger seat with her feet up and Marc was hooking up the car – so we had another 5 -10 minutes before they would be gone. As we walked down – Julie looked at us and I waved. We had Summer and she waved back and then came outside. We both said hello and immediately knew we had already conversed over email. She was so sweet with the best Australian accent ever. Mena loved it and just looked at her in awe. We immediately hit it off and she was excited to give us advise as we are only 5 weeks into this new lifestyle. They have been on the road and full time RVers at it for 18 months.
Mena rode her bike back to get Dawson and Marc came over and greeted Summer first – as she went to get some love from him. They recently lost their dog – Coda and were still mourning her loss. Dawson walked down and they had so much to share and tips to give us. Julie and I ended up sharing information and Marc and Dawson did the same. We were in the shade and it was brisk and breezy down there – not like up on our patio. So even though we were all cold – we kept talking. It was absolutely amazing to meet them and I think it was a God thing that Mena forced me to pursue it. Alana – this is another example of a connection that both Dawson and I will network with and we even hope to see them as we are all headed south for winter! Check out their website – www.RVLOVE.com.
Julie and Marc – we delayed your departure by about 50 minutes – for that we apologize – but we are so grateful to you both and we look forward to networking with you both….and we really hope we can see you again soon and camp out with you down the road! Dawson already left Chad a message and we will continue to use your website as a first resource – as we continue to learn as we roll on down the road. You two are great people and made our Sunday morning – extra special. We obviously could have talked for hours. Hope you made it to NC and we will talk to you soon! THANK YOU!!!
Dawson came back and spent the next hour on their website learning a lot more about some of the tips they gave us. So helpful and so refreshing to meet them. Mena still wanted breakfast so we decided we would cook up some egg sandwiches for all. She helped me out with cooking the eggs. We ate and then we got ready to go into Washington DC! Summer got another walk and run before we leave here alone for the day. We debated taking the metro bus or driving ourselves. Since it was Sunday – we decided to drive. Franki wants so badly to take public transportation and we promised her we will soon. We headed down and while on the freeway – finally saw the Washington Monument sticking up – we all got excited. Mena was happy there were no skyscrapers in the Capital City. We got down to the National Mall area and drove around then found some public parking. When we came out of the parking garage a “hop on- hop off” bus was there and Dawson wanted to check it out. The kids wanted to rent bikes but we felt like we needed to get our barrings for the lay of the land prior to doing that. “I want, I want, I want” times 3!!! Sometimes you just have to ignore and do what you gotta do. We got on the bus to a great tour guide, RALPH, and we sat up on the top deck – chilly up there but we eventually got the first row and that helped protect us from the wind plus the sun felt great too.
We stayed on the bus for most of the tour – and at one stop we had a few passengers shout out to wait for them and Dawson notice that 2 of them had “Royals” gear on……they got on our bus and joined us up top but toward the back. Ralph pointed out the KC and congratulated the ROYALS on their World Series win and they hollered out and so did we! At a later stop Dawson went back to give them high 5’s and told them we were from KC too. We decided to exit about 2 stops later and when we got off they waved and wished us well and I even told her I wanted to take her photo. As they pulled away she said “text me that photo”…..so I will put her photo on FB and if you know her, please let me know! After that we wished we had stayed on to talk to them, get their names and find out more about them. Maybe someone will recognize her and we can connect – that would make for a fun story uh?! Help me out, please!
We really lucked out with Ralph with DC Trails “on and off tour” bus. We learned so much from him and stayed on the bus until the 17th stop at the white house visitor center. He did a great job and really provided us with a solid fountation to take on the area on our own in the days ahead. Now for the start of our walking journey, but we now had awesome maps and good information to determine what to do and where to go. We walked over to see the White House and that was really awesome! We did a lot of walking and taking photos but all of our phones (3 of them) were losing battery power fast. And we didn’t have our chargers. UGH. So we didn’t get as many photos as normal but enough for day 1 in DC.
After seeing several statues, buildings and the White House – Franki reminded us that we needed lunch – with a late and large breakfast – we were needing some food as it was now around 3 pm. So we went to Harriett’s Café – a recommended location by Ralph. It was very good. Lots of variety and diner like atmosphere. Since it was after lunch and before dinner – we basically had the entire café to ourselves. It was nice and the kids loved the salt water aquarium close to our table. We ate but had lots left over – so enjoy the white to go bag in some of our photos as I carried it with us the rest of our afternoon. It will be good later – and we had so much left.
We walked back to the Washington Monument to see it up close and decided we had time to walk the reflection pool up to the Lincoln Memorial and then to hit a bus stop by 5 to end our tour on day one. We actually saw a bus there but were just too far away to catch it – around 4:40. So we had to wait about 20 minutes for the next one….and the kids were crazy worried that we had missed the last one. Dawson and I both assured them that the museums don’t close until 5 and that the buses would pick up a few more times after 5. They weren’t sure that we were right or not….you could tell they wanted to trust us but were worried that if we were wrong they would have a long walk back to the car. They all three were fanatic in their own way about it…..finally I got my phone on long enough to see the time – we had 5 more minutes to wait….I should have crossed the street and sat with Einstein statue while I waited…..but I didn’t. Finally Q saw a bus coming and low and behold – they realized mom and dad could be trusted this time….and when we boarded the girl giving the information stated that there would be 2 -3 more buses coming around to catch all their customers after the sites close. It was nice for them to hear that and know that we were maybe more educated on this stuff than they thought. One of them even said to me – how did you know that mom? It’s called life experience and most the time when I share info like that with you it’s because we have lived long enough to know how things like this usually work – hopefully this will carry over this week as we venture around DC in more detail.
Once at the car we texted with Lauren again (while Dawson’s phone was now able to charge in the car) and she agreed to meet us for coffee down by her apartment in Old Town Alexandria – a very cool part of town. Remember we just met Lauren while at Haylie’s wedding but all the kids were excited that we were going to get to see her right NOW. On the way there we each highlighted what we want to go back and do this week. Everyone had a fun museum or spot they want to go back too. We will head back in the am as our bus ticket is good until tomorrow afternoon…..and it might be cloudy tomorrow with some rain but better than the forecast for Tuesday.
Lauren told us about her volunteer job that she does for Honor Flight – arranging for Veteran’s from World War II on down to the more recent wars and bringing them in for honorary ceremonies. This Wednesday, November 11th is Veteran’s day so she gave us a few options. We could go to the airport and see them land and come in or we could go to the Vietnam War Memorial and see the ceremony on Wed Morning. She said logistically it might be really hard to do both even though they are are a few hours apart. She said the ceremony would be really moving to see in person. She doesn’t know if she will be there but she is going to try to get out of work at least for a few hours that day. She also told us her top museums and recommended a net flick video about the flights. We talked about our challenges with streaming video with the campsite hotspots, so she said she would give us a DVD. We enjoyed our coffee, hot cocoa and conversations with Lauren. It was fun to get to know here better and she provided us with so much DC insight that was amazing. We decided to give her a ride back to her apartment building and she wanted to run up and get us a DVD to take home with us. It will be part of school this week. So exciting for these amazing types of lessons! So fun. We will keep in touch with Lauren this week and hope to see her several more times while we are here in town.
Lauren – thanks for giving up part of your Sunday evening to hang out with us. We think your awesome and the kids decided that you really are “extended family” – so they are calling you a third or 4th cousin – that works for us – hopefully your ok with that! Thanks again for all the information – we will see you again really soon – maybe even have you over for dinner RV style. Let us know how your week looks and when you might be able to hang out again. Also, Dawson and are will take you up on your offer for some kid free time this coming weekend – if you are serious – we are in! It would be healthy for us and the kids too! You rock girl! Tell Trevor hi and we will see you soon. The kids are so glad you live here!
When we left Lauren’s we took another loop around the National Mall area and saw the monuments and buildings all lite up at night – it was pretty. By the time we got back to the RV we had 2 sleepers that wanted to go right to bed. Mena was out for the night but Franki got a second wind and decided she needed to write the tooth fairy a note, since she didn’t find us last night in this camp ground. I hope she finds Franki tonight. Summer and I took another long walk and she played with every toy that she has here onboard…..she was wanting lots of attention from being alone all day.
Dawson stayed up watching ROYALS replay of last Sunday night – reliving the MAGIC that happened and it was almost just as exciting as it was last week about this time! We put Q to bed in the back room and stayed up hanging out in the front. I made the bed up while he showered. It was a great day and one that we hope to repeat a few more times in the next 2 weeks. School is going to get fun here in DC. So much to do and so incredibly educational. Here’s to day one and more to come!
Live the magic – BE ROYAL!!!
Tiffany & family
Bummer- I just went through my photos on my phone as I was posting this and since my phone battery was going out apparently the photo didn't take .....of our KC Royal friends! Such a bummer! Oh well! Would have had more amazing photos of the rest of the day but battery issues with all 3 phones - ugh!