Brian and Faith visited us for a week in early August. When they went back to PA on Sunday, the 6th, they took Tina, her three children, and Lily along. David really enjoyed the week (though he missed Lily and asked where she was often, or how many days until we'd see her in PA) and we got to see different aspects of his sweet personality since he did not need to compete for anything.
Sunday, the 13th, following church, Daniel, Laura, David and I headed off on vacation. We arrived in Washington DC in the evening. Had a great hotel - extremely nice Radisson - from an Expedia special. The pool was on the fourth floor roof so we had to spend some time allowing the boys to swim. Then we walked around the corner for dinner at Young Chow - the Chinese food just always seems better in DC than Lynchburg. We then headed for the metro for David's first experience to ride the train and ended up on the Mall. We walked past the Washington, WWII monuments to the Lincoln Memorial. David was getting so tired and kept asking to be held. The challenge was to make it to a different metro entrance due to the time of night and the last train leaving at midnight. We did make it! David almost fell asleep on the floor waiting for the train - and did fall asleep before we got back to the hotel at around 12:30a. Since we were so exhausted, we adjusted our morning plans of getting up early and instead took our time. We wanted to allow David a chance to swim again, but the pool did not open until 10a so that did not work out. We checked out and boarded the metro again to Metro Center. Walked to Ford Theatre and visited, then to the corner and had lunch at Hard Rock Cafe (just for the experience). Back to the metro and on the Smithsonian. We took quick trips through both the Natural and American history museums. David rode the carousel on the mall. We walked through the sculpture garden, across the street to visit the National Archives, then hoped to go to the Art Gallery or Air and Space. Both were closed by the time we got there. En route, we made it to the reflecting pool of the capitol and took some pretty cool pictures. Totally spent, we found the metro and headed back to the hotel to retrieve our car and start on the Philadelphia leg of our trip. Called cousin Kent to let him know we'd be later than expected .... then after spending one hour moving 2 or 3 miles in MD because of road construction ... called him again to tell him it would be even later! We got to Norristown about 12:30a. The next morning we all boarded the van and headed for Old City Philadelphia. We toured Independence Hall and saw the Liberty Bell. Security was very tight -- just like boarding a plane, had to empty pockets and go through metal detector while our belongings were x-rayed. It is the September 12 era - life has changed! We wanted to do more but about 3p headed back home to beat the rush hour madness of the Schukyll (sic?) highway. Just hung out with Kent and Wayne that evening, dinner/tv, etc. Wednesday morning we visited King of Prussia mall before heading north to Lewistown. Lily was so glad to see us ... she kept happily repeatedly, "I missed you" and hugging each of us. Thursday, my 46th birthday, Tina's family and ours ... along with Faith, went to Lake Tobias Wildlife Park which was fun for all. We enjoyed the safari bus ride to get up close to the elk, bison, rhea, llamas... Friday morning Laura, Daisy and I went to Peachey's for breakfast (mine was free because of my birthday!). That night we took part in Grace Methodist's block party. The kids all enjoyed the free food and the games. Kevin and I went to a used book sale at the Mifflintown Library on Saturday, then that evening, Ellen Chapel had a big community picnic with some very tasty barbecue chicken underneath the brand new pavilion. The Howards headed back for VA on Sunday. We decided to stay until Monday. Tuesday was a big attempt to clean and get back to routine before going back to work yesterday.