Sunday, July 15, 2012

Washington, DC - A Vacation For All Generations

What’s the sign of a great vacation…I didn’t want to come home.  Our fantastic summer vacation started in Washington DC.  Three generations of my family travelled together – my mom, my husband, me and our kids, ages 11 and 6.  We all experienced the museums and sights from our own perspective and then shared and questioned each other about how we felt.  Here are some fantastic highlights –

1.       Spy Museum -

Our experience far exceeded any expectations we had.  Recommended by many, we eagerly made this one of our first stops in the week.  As you enter the museum, its lobby truly disguises the size of the entire floor plan.  As we begin the tour, we are encouraged to choose an identify for our cover.  As we try to memorize the information, my husband and my daughter are fully engaged in the activity.  My six year old is roaming around looking at the pictures.  We get instructions for a young museum employee who seems to be speaking louder that she knows.  As we watch others try to memorize some of the characters, we are again, startled by the museum employee with a new set of instructions – this time, not only is she loud and startling, but she is speaking so fast that we are unable to catch all that she is saying.  Suddenly, my husband looks at us and says, “What is she saying?”  With that, my mother and I burst out laughing and were unable to stop.  We both are laughing so hard our eyes are tearing. 

We move through the museum to learn all about the different tools and gadgets used by spies.   Mini cameras, hidden cameras, and even bugging devices all seem cool and all of us from my kids to my mother are all fascinated by the gadgets of yesterday and today.  Each of us found the information and format of the museum fun and engaging. 

2.       Holocaust Museum –

From the moment we walk into this magnificent museum, we realize that we are in for something special.  Because we had my 6 year old with us, we chose not to go through the permanent exhibits upstairs.  We began in the children’s exhibit, “Daniel’s Story.”  Through Daniel’s diary, photos and models of his home and war camps, children experience Daniel’s life.  It is an excellent children’s exhibit and it ends with note cards for you to write to Daniel.  Both of my kids wrote several notes expressing their gratitude to Daniel for sharing his story.

3.       Monuments by Moonlight

This is truly one of the best tours I have been on and definitely one of all ages.  Beginning at Union Station, the charming tour guides drive through Washington, DC and Virginia to showcase the most fascinating moments in our history.  The highlight for our family was walking up the Lincoln Memorial.  As we stood together at the top, in awe of the statue of President Lincoln, I began to read the Gettysburg Address to my daughter.  She listened intently and we even discussed it a little.  This was an incredible family moment.

After five days in Washington, we knew that we could have spent five more days there.  We all promised to make another trip soon.  What I have described are some three highlights, but I promise that every moment in Washington was great.  Our family will definitely be back soon.