Both boys had school projects last spring that we hoped would set them up for a trip to Washington, D.C. Evan’s class did reports on Washington, D.C. monuments. His was specifically on the White House. Alex’s class reported on U.S. Presidents. Alex got Abraham Lincoln. So, we were off for a week at the capitol.

In seven days, we made it to pretty much everything on our list. We stayed in old town Alexandria, just a block off the metro, and used a metro pass to get us all over town. We rented a car to drive out to the Manassas battlefield one day, and drove to Mount Vernon just before heading back to the airport on Saturday. Other than that, we were near the mall.

We were fortunate enough to get reservations to tour both the U.S. Capitol building and the White House, and just snagged tickets for the Washington Monument on our last day in town. We saw all of the monuments, and many of the Smithsonian buildings. We also took the tours of Ford’s Theater and the Peterson House where Lincoln spent his last hours.

I swear the “National Treasure” movies have been a blessing and a curse for taking young kids to Washington. They were excited to see all of the sites from the movie, but were so disappointed to learn that there were no secret books or treasures hidden around every corner. At Mount Vernon, we took the “National Treasure Tour”, which takes you down into the basement of the mansion, but Alex was flabbergasted that there was no secret door leading out into the woods.

It was a good time, but it did test the boys’ patience. Lots of standing in lines, and “Silence and Respect” signs at the memorial sites – not exactly the boys’ strong suit. Still, we were glad we had the chance to take them to the capitol and see so many of the sites.

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