Sunday was our last full day in D.C. My list of sites to see was still long but we also still had a lot we wanted to get to back on the Chesapeake Bay. Ben and I felt like we had covered a lot of D.C. highlights. So, we took it easy again on our last day there. We met my childhood friend Molly, her husband Mark and their two girls for a picnic on the National Mall. Molly and Mark put the whole thing together and were there waiting when we arrived. Their daughters are very close in age to Molly and Madelyn and the girls have met once or twice before so after a few short minutes of being quiet and eating their sandwiches they were off and running playing on the Mall. Frisbee, gymnastics, and some other games.
I had hoped to go to both the National Museum of American History and Natural History but knew that Maddy’s patience was waning for museums. Molly and Mark had not been to American History yet so we went there. We started in the Transportation exhibit and found a whole section from Chicago. The girls climbed into a very old el car and looked at newer electric cars as well as very old cars. Adult Molly (as opposed to daughter Molly) found a minivan like her family had that we both remember riding around in when we were in high school! We also found school buses and fun big bicycles.
Next up was some playtime for the girls. We popped in the Wegmans hands on exhibit where Madelyn was so happy playing with groceries and cooking meals and playing house. She’s creative and likes to make and cook full meals for us with her play food all the time. Molly and Silva and Ben headed next door to the invention lab. Eventually Claire was ready as well and I dragged Maddy out and next door. The invention lab had all sorts of stations for kids to be creative. Molly and Silva worked on a few things before we came over. Madelyn worked on building a pet enclosure.
I was really excited to see Dorothy’s ruby slippers and the First Lady dress collection. It turns out Dorothy’s slippers are not on exhibit right now. The museum apologized and said they have had a lot of people asking about them. But the First Lady exhibit did not disappoint. The history and the dresses were just beautiful. All the girls picked their favorites and learned a little about some of the First ladies as well.
The President’s room was right next door and we went in search of the hat Abraham Lincoln was wearing when he was shot. The girls also got to take turns giving a press briefing at the podium.
One of the most fascinating exhibits was the Star Spangled Banner. No photos were allowed unfortunately. The exhibit walked through a history of the Star Spangled Banner and how it inspired Francis Scott Key to write the national anthem. We talked through the war and a few of the lyrics with the girls to make sure they understood. The original flag was on display in the museum. It’s incredible. And HUGE (30×42 ft!). Molly (adult) and I both commented that it is so much larger than we ever expected. It has seen a lot and shows some wear and tear. But what a moving exhibit.
We went on to read about the one woman, Mary Pickersgill, and the 4 teenage girls that helped her sew the flag. They ran out of room in her house and had to move the flag making across the street to a brewery to assemble all of the pieces.
We didn’t give this museum the time it deserved, being day 5 and all. We saw a lot and before losing the attention of our crew we headed outside for some ice cream instead. I let my wish of seeing the Natural History museum go and we all headed back to the boat to show it to Molly, Mark and the girls. We so appreciate them driving into the city to spend the day with us!
After they headed home we decided to go out for our last night in D.C.! We hopped in a cab to Georgetown and had a great dinner. Molly (daughter) really wanted to go to Georgetown Cupcake one more time so we did that after dinner.
Washington, D.C. was an incredible trip that I hope our girls will remember. We walked a lot, saw a lot, learned a lot and had a lot of fun. And it’s refreshing to see the wonder in their eyes over the buildings and the history there without any political climate clouding or influencing their views. I truly hope they enjoyed it as much as we did!
Monday morning came and it was time to say goodbye and head back down the Potomac. We traveled about 70 miles south on the Potomac and anchored in Breton Bay, near Leonardtown on the MD side of the Potomac. What a gorgeous night we had. We were the only boat in the anchorage. The shoreline was scattered with beautiful houses. The random boat with someone water skiing would pass us by. The kids and Ben jumped in and swam immediately as we were still in fresh water and the water was 84 degrees! And then we were treated to an incredible sunset.
Tuesday we finished our trip back down the Potomac to the Chesapeake and crossed to the east side of the Bay to Crisfield, MD. Crisfield is the crab capital of the world according to everything here. We pulled into a lovely marina for the first time in a week. As great as anchoring was, it was also great to run up the dock and watch the girls jump in the pool! We walked into town to have some crab and it did not disappoint. On our walk back to the marina there were dark skies and thunder to one side and blue skies and white clouds on the other.
We quickly got back to the boat just in case and watched one of the most incredible sunsets I have seen yet. We could see the rain through the clouds and setting sun. The pictures do not quite capture how purple and beautiful the water and sky were. But they got close!