Tuesday, June 11, 2024

DC Part 3

On Wednesday we were up and at 'em around 8:45...

... and we grabbed some quick Starbucks and an Uber to head over to Arlington National Cemetery.  Would I have LOVED to be up earlier and check out a fun local breakfast place? SURE.  But Luke loves sleep even more than he loves food so we didn't get as early a start as I would have planned it - and it was TOTALLY FINE! 

I had bought trolley tour tickets the night before so after arriving at Arlington and going through the security line (which took FOREVER and a half) we hopped on the trolley and off we went.  The guide was great and gave lots of info as we made our way through the grounds. 

It's really hard to put into words just how vast the cemetery is.  I believe there are over 400,000 people buried there which is pretty much mind-boggling. 

The first stop was at the JFK gravesite, but we opted to stay on the trolley and head to the tomb of the unknown soldier.  With limited time and a rerouted trolley due to funerals going on we felt like this was the best use of our time.

The changing of the guard is happening every 30-minutes right now so we were able to sit and watch the guard for a few minutes before it was time for the ceremony. 

It was longer than either of us had anticipated and felt very reverent.  From the parade on Monday to this moment it was so special to get to see some of the traditions and honor associated with our country and military that we don't get to see often (or ever) in our daily lives in McKinney.

I will say it was HOT HOT HOT (think blaring sun and just endless marble) BUT we both said that standing and sweating there for 15 minutes was the least we could do considering that these men do this 24/7/365.  Sometimes being a little uncomfy is okay ;)

We walked back through the amphitheater, hopped back on the trolley...

... and then ubered over to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

This museum was unreal - the sheer number of collections and scope of things to see was almost too much.

Luke LOVES geology and he couldn't get over the geology exhibits.

The Hope Diamond!

We wanted to check out the Museum of American History and in hindsight wish that we had JUST done this one since we visited the natural history museum in NYC a couple of summers ago.

There was SO MUCH TO SEE here...

... and we just didn't have the time since we had tickets for the spy museum. 

If I was planning things again I'd plan an entire morning/afternoon JUST for this museum.

One of my little travel "tricks" is to try and make even our quick lunch stops feel special and like part of the trip.  So rather than popping into a Chipotle I found what was dubbed "DC's best hot dog cart" and so we walked to Sami's hot dog cart and then scarfed down our chili dogs on the way to the spy museum.

These were SO SO SO GOOD!  If you're traveling with a teenage boy though get him two!  We weren't even down the street when Luke had finished his and could have eaten another but when we looked back the line was long and we were pressed for time.  So go ahead and get an extra! 

Our next stop was the Spy Museum (I bought tickets for the main museum as well as the Bond speed exhibition earlier in the week)...

... and it was SO SO SO COOL!  You get assigned a "cover identity" and then as you go through the museum you scan your ID card and have to answer questions and complete a mission.

We had been in the museum over an hour when we looked down and there was a sticker on the floor letting us know we'd completed 5% of our mission.  Ummmm... at this rate we would need 20 hours to complete it so we had to stop reading EVERY LITTLE THING (which goes against everything in Luke!) and pick and choose.

This was honestly one of the most fun and engaging museums we've ever been to - it may have just been the subject matter at hand but it was also super interactive and well-done. 

If you're in DC I would 10/10 recommend this stop.

If you have a Bond fan in your family the Bond in Motion exhibit was well worth the add-on.

The cars were all displayed either with photographs or the movie playing in the background which made it extra fun,.

After the spy museum we took an Uber over to Good Stuff Eatery in Georgetown...

... where we replenished with copious amounts of burgers and fries ;)

After we ate we made our way over to Georgetown Cupcake and saw this cutie on the way....

We couldn't make a decision (they had a TON of flavors) so we decided to just get six and then take the leftovers back to our hotel after our ghost tour.  I'm telling you - traveling with a teenage boy will have you making ALL the impulse food decisions.  In what other world/situation am I ordering SIX CUPCAKES just to try. hahahaha

We were a bit ahead of schedule so we wandered around a bit checking out all of the insanely beautiful homes. I know everyone talks up NYC but I'm telling you what, if I had unlimited funds this would be my top pick.

We met up with our tour guide and spent the next two hours or so walking through Georgetown hearing ALL the fun spooky stories and getting a lot of history along the way.  '

Our guide was super knowledgeable and fun and we got to see a large part of the neighborhood which is exactly what we wanted.

The tour ended at the stairs where apparently a famous scene in The Exorcist was filmed but even as people who haven't seen/read The Exorcist we still found it all super entertaining ;)

After the tour we had our Uber drop us off close to the White House so we could try and get closer than we were able to the night before...

... and it was so worth it!

From the White House it only took us about 5 minutes to walk back to our hotel...

... where we packed up and settled in with some Talladega Nights and leftover cupcakes in bed.

The next morning we were up bright and early to head to the airport (Uber again)...

... and had a fairly uneventful travel day considering the MESS that Dallas weather had been that week.

We did end up getting diverted to Houston for fuel and ended up getting home about 4 hours later than anticipated BUT we were home and safe and that's really all that matters.

I have one last post planned for next week where I'm going to answer any/all questions you have so if you want to email them to me (momfessionals@gmail.com) or leave them in the comments here I'll be sure to address them all in that post.  

HAPPY Wednesday, friends!


  1. Thank you for sharing! I went to D.C. as a 15 year old and still remember it so well. I would have loved to have tagged along with you and Luke. I'm sure you made memories that will last a lifetime.

  2. Just wondering why so many ubers and not the DC Metro? Was it down when you were there? It is usually SO easy and clean (for future reference).

  3. DC is one of my very favorite cities. I love the history, the food is amazing, the museums are the best, and I could just go on and on. So glad you had such a fun time! Now I need to plan a trip back!

  4. I have LOVED these posts so so so much!!! What a special trip for you and Luke!

  5. I love this post. My son (14 next week) is with his class in DC and is at Arlington right now and then they head to the Museum of Natural History. Since I don't expect many pictures from him (teenager), I love seeing your pics since he is going to these exact places on his tours today.

  6. That spy museum does sound soo cool!

  7. If you go back to DC with another one of your children you should go to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. I was lucky enough to attend an after hours event there and the floor dedicated to music was soooo good!


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