Last night the kids and I safely returned from our trip out East.
We had a great trip! My aunt married and moved 18 years ago. On occasion we get a chance to go out and visit. This trip my other aunt came along with us. Which made for nice traveling and shared cost for the (outrageous) gas.
Since the travel bugs we brought with us on our trip had goals, we used their goals as a platform of our travel entertainment. I'm a Bill wanted to see the capital, so we took him to DC. Unfortunately we failed to realize that the Rolling Thunder Memorial Bike run would close down over half of DC. Thankfully we found a nice spot along the Platomic River to have a picnic. Then we realized the motorcycles were going over the bridge nearby as the starting point of the ride. So we went up to check it out. I did not expect the flood of emotions that came over me as I watched them go thundering passed. Yound marines in uniform lined the edge of the street. Bikes were decked out with US and POW flags. It was a great way to spend the eve of Memorial Day. It was not that far to walk to Lincoln Memorial, from there we got the shots of the capital that the travel bugs desired.
At one point my boy was standing on the wall with the flag up in the air and someone said it really touched them and asked if they could take his picture.
The next day we took a country drive and (intentionally) found some caches along the way. We saw some beautiful bridges, one of them covered. It was such a great way to spend the day. Beautiful scenery and 12 caches.
On day three of our east adventures we took in some small town shops. The small historic town was cute but I was not impressed with the shops. It seemed that the town was taking a turn for the new age. We did find one nice toy shop with a friendly owner. For lunch we went to a huge mall.
On day four, we returned to DC. Since we could not get access to the Zoo previously, we decided to try again on Wednesday. After all Miss Monkey wanted to visit zoos as did Midnight traveler, whom we picked up on our country cache day. The Nation Zoo in DC is free admission. Bonus. There are many cost that do add up but with planning you can avoid most if not all of them. Since this was our one big event and expense we decided to play the part of tourist. Spending $11 to rent the double stroller (we worth every penny spent for it.) $17 for lunch which included 2 cheetah lunch boxes. $16 for parking, we split this cost. While it cost me about $35 (again you can plan and reduce this cost) we thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the zoo. Little girl could have sat all day watching the different animals. A zookeeper observed her and said "Looks like you have a future biologist." She was so patient to just watch and observe their behavior. I could have spent all day watching the meerkats. There were 2 week old pups that had just emerged from the den. And the Beta female had a fight with the new mother. Drama, I have never watched Meerkat Manor but I think I might like it. Both days we were in DC it was HOT! The kids enjoyed cooling off in this mister at the zoo.
One thing not so pleasant about our trip was the encounter with ticks. After one cache I came out of the woods with my pants covered with them. We brushed them off and went on our way. A couple days later we encountered again. This time a small deer tick was trying to take residency in my flesh. We got it out and cleaned the area with alcohol. Then I checked the kids only to find little girl had one of the larger variety. Normally she freaks out with bugs. This time she has one working its way into her skin and she stayed calm as we removed it. No sign of lime disease, thankfully. I am glad I live in Michigan where these insects are much less of a threat.
Since the triathlon is only days away, I trained while away. One thing about the area I was at, HILLS! As in monstrous hills. I ran or biked everyday. It was a really good workout going up and down those beasts.
Driving home we hit caches along the way. Four states in all. 9 caches. One led us to a nice family restaurant with a duck pond. Others were quick grabs at rest stops. Another was a virtual cache counting the number of a certain landmark. Midas well cache on.