Our morning started out with sad news. Alex’s mom, who was supposed to arrive yesterday, but had her flight canceled, wasn’t going to be able to make her flight rescheduled for today because of bad weather. We’re all so sorry that she won’t be able to spend Christmas with us, and hope she can find a way to enjoy her new Christmas plans in Wisconsin.
Partly because we now had a big blank square on our calendar, and partly to keep the kids’ minds off of the lack of grandma, we started scrambling for something to do. We ended up deciding to do something I’d heard good things about since we first moved to the DC area four years ago.
I printed out the info page from the National Building Museum, and we were off! Unfortunately we arrived in DC at 10:15, and as it stated super clearly in the first paragraph of my printout, the museum doesn’t open on Sundays until 11.
Alex stepped up and suggested a quick trip to Union Station, where we took in the Norwegian train display and Christmas tree. My kids were also incredibly impressed by the player piano.
“I think there’s someone inside,” was Sam’s explanation.
Sam and Quinn also had an opportunity to present A Solid Gold Christmas in front of the train display:
A quick lemonade and french fry snack stop later, we were off through the revolving door (“I went through the round door! I went through the round door!” Quinn joyfully repeated to the amused punk-haired dude smoking outside the station. It seemed really important to Quinn that this man was aware of The! Round! Door!)
Washington was eerily empty at 11 this morning, and we found the dream parking spot outside the building museum.
I have to say that the museum didn’t disappoint. Any place that features this:
right in front of you when you walk in has to be good. If you haven’t been, there is a giant main room that is nearly empty. The kids’ Building Zone lets you borrow tool kits to work on little projects. So dotted around this giant room with giant columns and dozens of busts up by the ceiling, there were parents and kids sprawled out on the carpet learning together. Pretty cool, if you ask me.
In this giant room there was also a station at which you could build a 7-foot arch. Sam was our foreman, Alex and I were the buttresses, and Quinn and Jack were the block carriers. And damn if we didn’t build a 7-foot arch.
We did look at one of the main exhibits, but mostly we hung out in the Building Zone, which is a big room with all kinds of building materials for kids and grown-ups to play with. There were giant Legos, cars, blocks, books, construction worker dress ups, a giant playhouse, and more.
Frankly they could have called it the Jack Zone. Jack loved this place so much he even deigned to participate in cooperative play with other kids. He especially loved these brick blocks. He made a castle.
If any of you are wondering where the Wonder Pets cape is, Quinn left his home today. But Jack brought his. You can see it on Quinn in the first photo. This caused some trouble at Union Station where there were multiple muggings, chokings, and forcible removals of the cape from the neck of a brother, by both Jack and Quinn.
Thank God Sam is sane. (Did I really just write that?)