Monday, June 28, 2010

D.C. Trip-- Day Two (part 1)

Day two we all got up and enjoyed a great breakfast buffet.  So many choices, the kids really didn't know what to go with.  They know the rules though so they were good about getting at least a piece of fruit with breakfast.  You know, to go w/ that delicious muffin.  LOL.  The hotel was nice but definitely not arranged to feed the # of guests they have staying there.  They kept the food coming but it was just the arrangement of it all could have been better.  Everyone was talkking about it.  You meet such interesting people when you have to wait in line.  One family staying there had 8 kids, another family was helping their daughter choose colleges, another had adopted from Korea, some on vacation and the list goes on.  Just nice when people can all just casually talk over waiting in line.  No pushing, no rudeness, just a nice to be here kind of feeling.  Anyhow, after breakfast, we went back to the room to get some things to take.  We were originally going to go to the D.C. Ducks tour.  Even went to the metro parking lot.  Umm, Friday.  I forgot.  Truly, I did.  Commuters going to work, tourists going into the city and we made an executive decision to delay this part of the trip until a less crowded time.  Some of our kids don't do well in crowds.  We turned around and after explaining to Nik that we'd do something else versus going on the boat & train, he was okay with that. 

We went back on the highway & decided to go here:


yep, the Smithsonian Institute's Air & Space Museum.  It was hot out so air conditioning inside was going to feel pretty good.  We waited for Dad to park the van and wasted time while he did.


The bunch waiting for Dad.  BTW, I saw many of these shirts in both blue and red while visiting D.C.  They do seem to make a patriotic statement of sorts.  


There is a live feed from air traffic control in this tower.  We went to the observation deck first.  What you don't see here is Alex falling apart.  He is terrified and I mean terrified of heights.  I thought keeping him in the center of it all would help but it didn't.  He broke down in tears.  So, one of us stayed w/ him and tried to distract him.  We knew the planes were on approach and wanted the other kids to see the landing.  Alex survived but couldn't wait to get in the elevator to go back down.  Happens.


So, bye observation tower & hello ground.  We went back downstairs and into the main hanger with all the planes.  Tons of airplanes and much history to go with it.  It was not crowded at all and worked out really well for our kids.  


The kids of course loved the stealth plane as it was the same as the one in the Transformer Movie.  Wonderful.  No concept of what the plane does, just know it's in a movie.  I promise we tried to teach them some history while in this place.  Here are Bojan, Alex & Nik by the plane.


They had a little Cessna plane for the kids to try.  This is Nik & Alex giving a go at it.  The lady would explain all the controls & what they did...not that these two were listening to all that lecture.  They find the control that moves the wings or the rutters and they were golden.


This is Alyona & Bojan taking over the pilot's seat now.  


This is Yana and Max.  I was NOT happy with them right after this picture and actually glad the lady gave them a "talking" to as well.  They were very rough w/ the controls and I made them get out.  She said they didn't have to but I cut it short.  They knew better.  I was just disappointed it was the older kids that did this.  I thought for sure it'd be the younger ones but no.  Irina didn't want to get in so that's why she's not in a picture.  Warren was explaining to the kids all the stuff and names of things.  Warren used to fly these planes and really does miss it a lot.  A hobby that I hope he can take up again one day.  


After a long day of walking around the airplanes and such, we decided to head out to lunch.  Before I go anywhere, I always check out Restaurants.com.  We are able to get $25 gift certificates for $2.  That definitely makes the meal more manageable in terms of costs.  This is a casual burger place.  Good is an understatement.  VERY good burgers.  And huge!  Needless to say, we had boxes to take back to the hotel of burgers and fries.  


We actually timed lunch well at 2 o'clock as the restaurant was not crowded.  It's the best time to go for our kids.  Almost all have lack of impulse control or cause & effect thinking.  Believe it or not, things will come out of their mouths that shouldn't.  So, we have to be cautious of how we handle things.  Yana reminded us of this fact once again.  Yana is a loud talker as it is.  Of course, they're teens so her & Irina are checking out boys(teens) when they come & go.  This is totally normal and I understand that.  What is NOT normal is when you speak loudly and say "oh no, his hair is ugly."  Downside of the restaurant not being crowded was you knew exactly where comments were coming from.  Nice lecture in the car on that issue on the way back to the hotel.  This is Yana and Bojan.  Two that are also close believe it or not.  Yet, they tease each other to death.  Drives me bonkers.


Irina and Alyona.  Sisters through and through.  Everyone had a great time at the restaurant.  The food was awesome.  Really good after a hot day of walking around.  After this, we headed back to the hotel.  I will write the second half of day two a little later.  We're playing catch up at the house right now cleaning up and doing laundry.  We have two additional kids here today so not bad at all.  We may go swimming later.  Supposed to be near 100 today though.  Hot.  Right now, all kids are watching a movie and sorting clothes while doing it.  Day Two...first half wa really a good day.  Other than the one comment at lunch from Yana, there was no bad behavior, no odd comments, no meltdowns, etc.  We did great, had a great time.  We were all able to enjoy ourselves and I think that is key when on a vacation of kids of varying ages and disabilities.  More to come later today.  Hope you're enjoying seeing what we did on our trip. 



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