And so, regardless of the above, I'm taking you back to Washington. I have more photos and I'm not done until I'm done.
Our tour of the White House was early early in the morn and even though we'd had a full background check three months prior, still we were allowed NO BAGS, CAMERAS, PURSES, etc. etc. Which for us meant: no diaper bag, no camera. So we stuffed some old disposables we needed to use up anyway into our pockets and my man brought his camera phone (because, oddly, you are allowed to bring a cell phone but not a camera...but NO PHOTOS inside).
^Waiting to go through security to enter the White House.^
We waited a long time and it was COLD. (Oh yeah, did I mention? After that downpour, DC got So COLD! We kept joking to the locals, We're from Wyoming, we're not used to this kind of cold. Which was generally followed by looks of extreme confusion. Yeah, okay, when it's -40 it's a bit too cold, but normally in Wyoming you throw on a jacket, hat and scarf and voila! Warm. But in DC...holy tidal basin wind and humidity. That kind of cold just crawls right under your coat, into your bones and burrows down in your marrow. And stays. Plus, we thought it was going to be warm (the weather report said 30's to 50's, duh!) and didn't bring good winter jackets.)
The guards outside the White House were kind of a-holes, but the closer we got the nicer they became so that by the time we were inside, those secret service agents stationed about every room were the friendliest, happiest people in Washington. It's all about job satisfaction. If I was a secret service agent, I'd want to be stationed in the White House's Green Room too.
The White House was fantastic and--I know this will shock you--hasn't changed much in 25 years. Except this time, I kept imagining Sasha and Malia ripping down the hallways in their socks seeing how far they could slide. That's what I'd do if I were them. And the partitioned-off hallway to the West Wing also took on a deeper meaning for me this time, versus when I was ten. Also, every room had at least one Christmas tree and the whole mansion (or at least, the part we got to see) was richly, lavishly decorated. My mom probably would have hyperventilated at the Christmas decor. (Sorry, mom. No photos inside.)
Through the entire White House tour, Juniper slept like a rag doll dangling from my shoulder sling.
Afterwards, we went back to our hotel, picked up a diaper bag and the stroller (I was so, so glad I decided to bring that big hulk of a stroller because Juniper stayed warm and snug-as-a-bug) and hit the Mall.
June bugs napped through the Hirshhorn,
and awoke while we warmed up in the greenhouses of the Botanical gardens...
But the Natural History Museum was just her thing.
J bug was ready to get up and go and put her new land-legs to some use.
^She especially loved pressing buttons at the multi-media stands.^
Something we didn't need to go all the way to the Smithsonian to learn:
The best part was seeing a little light of recognition brighten her eyes and put a smile on her face when we saw stuffed, real-life versions of Zebra! and Elephant! and Lion! and Giraffe! and Bear! All animals from her favorite books. I don't think she realized they were so big.
We closed the place down, but had so much fun we went back the next day. Plus, I still wanted to see the Hope Diamond.
^ The insect exhibit was perfect-height for one-year-olds. She loved it. ^
Every night in our hotel, we let Juniper run around naked and go crazy (which usually involves clenching a shoe insole in her mouth). A perfect ending to our days.
No, I'm not done! There are still more parts to come....