We just got back from Washington, D.C. and Williamsburg, Virginia. I really think the colonists had it easy compared to traveling in a mid size car with three kids in the middle of an August heat wave.
After a few hours of arguing, I began pointing out, “Look, see those nice families in the car next to us? They’re talking together and playing games with license plates and state capitals. Why can't we be normal like that?"
Philip interpreted this observation as a request to teach his younger sister the sound a teradactyl makes. Teradactyls used to be Philip’s favorite animal, back when he was seriously interested in dinosaurs. Emma, being a girl, missed that phase and was bored enough to make the screeching sounds along with her brother. (Christopher, amazingly, slept through this, though he was listening to his Ipod)
I forgot new batteries for the camera, so I handed Philip my phone and asked him to take pictures -- but he had to stop the teradactyl noises. We got some great shots this way:
That's the road we were on, or it might be The Baltimore Tunnel, and here's a bridge:
But at least the prehistoric screeching slowed down and we stopped arguing long enough to reach the hotel. They had a rooftop pool which the kids and I loved. Most of the people around us were speaking French or German and the kids were amazed that we were the only English speakers.
After the pool, while everyone was getting dressed, I decided to go down to the lobby to get some restaurant menus. I had on new clothes (no stains! no cat claw holes!) and I had just come from swimming, so I was feeling pretty cool in that elevator. I was thinking how we could pass for a normal, maybe even a civilized family. Elegant folks all dressed for dinner got on at each floor.
That’s when my phone rang. Except it didn’t ring: it screeched like a teradactyl. Right there, with all the international people in their evening wear, in a small, urban elevator, I heard Philip and Emma going ARRRRRRHCCCCCCCCARRRAGHHHGARRR or something like that. The sound came right from my new black purse that I had bought to go with the new clothes. I had forgotten how he liked to change his ring tone every ten minutes. I fumbled for the phone. No one said a word. They just got off the elevator and walked away. Actually, they walked a little fast…
Williamsburg was better. We had a bigger space which is always good for family harmony, and there was enough history and canons and things along those lines to interest everyone.
I did escape a demonstration on colonial weaving by sneaking off to this bookstore. Christopher got this shot as I broke free:
I really did want to buy some books and a lamp as souvenirs. I explained to Christopher the style I wanted to get, how it would look colonial, and we would have a reminder of the trip.
Christopher looked at me for a long minute. "Mom," he reminded me, "the colonists did not have lamps."
He thinks he's so smart.