Freedom from the 5 point harness

Noon of day eight on our road trip found us with the van packed and pointed in the direction of home.  Road weary as we all felt, Ian and I just couldn't resist heading to one final destination before burning up the remaining chunk of highway between us and our little house.

We just had to introduce our youngest to the national mall.

Like or dislike the current administration, there is still something almost magical to me each time I set foot on the mall.  Maybe I'm just sentimental and stuff, but it is really cool to stand freely in the capital of our country and really have an understanding of just how free we are.

Course my kids didn't get the "freedom stuff."  At least not in the same way I did.  They mostly viewed being there as being "free from a 5 point harness," but I do believe they enjoyed it just the same.

And since it was the "last hurrah" of our road trip vacation, we indulged our kids on a little splurge and dropped $12.50  for five minutes of riding in circles on the Carousel on the National Mall.
(kids under 42 inches had to be accompanied by an adult ~ and we figured that if we had to pay, we may as well ride a horse ourselves...)
To our knowledge it was Darcy's first ride.
We're pretty sure she liked it.

Though time was ticking away and Ian and I began to see our vision of getting home by six slipping away, we decided that while we were there we may as run through at least one museum.  Elephants and dinosaurs seemed to be the logical choice, so we crammed as much of the Natural History Museum as we could in just one hour.
All three wanted to ride the elephant.  One of these days I'll have to find a pre-circus show that allows you to ride the mammoth beasts.
Our "C-rex" meets a T-rex.
As it neared 3:00, we knew we could not push off the enevitable any longer, and so we sent Caleb on one last "wild seagull chase" (he's the one with the most energy to burn),
posed for one last picture,
and then settled in for the remaining miles home.

When it was all said and done at the end of our 8 day adventure, we had slept in the home of three relatives (we count you as family too Grandma Dotty!), logged 1653 miles on the van and spent $170.15 in gas.  But the time spent together as a family and visiting with family was absolutely priceless!  I'm already having visions of an even grander "family visitin' road trip" next summer...


Laurie said...

Love that last picture! They are all just so stinkin' cute, and it seemed like we (friends and strangers alike that read your blog) waited a long time to see these three precious kiddos together. It just gives me goosebumps! :)

Ann Marie said...

What a wonderful and adventerous time!! I love that you just go for it with your group of kiddos just like we do.

Jennifer Taylor said...

Your kids are so cute! I love the pic of Caleb chasing the birds & totally get what you mean...he has energy like Liem, the kind that is neverending! Glad you had a good trip!

Our Journey to China said...

I love your pictures of DC! As many times as I have been to visit family, I had NO! idea there was a carousel. My poor kiddos have missed it for over 21 years (the oldest). :0) Looks like a great day in our Nation's Capital! :0)

Journeymark Cards & Gifts said...

The pictures are fantastic!!! So glad you all had a wonderful, safe trip. Thanks for sharing.

Anna Grace and Andrew's Jie Jie said...

The pictures are precious! Darcy, Caleb, and Kylie are SO cute!!!

Sharon said...

Madalyn just did her 8th grade trip to DC and LOVED it...both she and Jordan said it has been the best trip they have ever been on..except for China of course!

Nancy said...

Cute shirt on Kylie! ;)

Melanie & David said...

Washington D.C. is just so much fun! We're glad you got the time down on the national mall. We love the carousel - Indigo's favorite is the big purple dragon. We also love the mammals exhibit at the museum of natural history. I am sure the kids loved all the free play. From your post title I thought perhaps one of your kids had changed their car seat - but then saw it was all about play - what fun. Melanie, David, Indigo and Isaac

Emily said...

Hi Kristi-
My name is Emily. I have been following your blog for a while. My aunt is Claire that is marrying Micky. My mom and I love your blog and feel like we know your little ones personally. I hope to meet you at the wedding. I am already eaten up with your babies.