Friday, June 22, 2007

What shall we do today?

A few weeks ago, the girls and I took an entire 10-days off and had what came to be known as our "week-o-fun".
I realised while planning a family vacation that I really didn't want to go anywhere. The girls are too young to care, and traveling/staying in a hotel with a 2 and 4 year old, and a LOT of diapers, just does not seem like fun. Besides, with Baby-Bee still requiring a regular nap, it really didn't seem feasible.

I decided that over the course of the summer, I would take off 1-week per month (3 weeks in total), for the express purpose of playing with the girls. I figured that we would do one "mini-field trip" every morning, and play at the pool in the afternoon. Despite all three of us acquiring colds, and a couple of rain storms, the week COULD NOT have been better.
Some of our morning excursions were to places we go often and some were new adventures, but all were quite enjoyable (and so was the company):
River Farm - This is a little gem just outside of Old Town Alexandria that is absolutely delightful. It is the headquarters of the American Horticultural Society and has an impressive set of Children's Gardens.
The Baltimore Aquarium - This was our BIG trip of the week and took a little coordination. Because of Ms. Beans noise sensitivity, I called ahead of time and learned that going on a Monday or Tuesday when they first open (0900) would be best because there wouldn't be any crowds. Tom and my parents joined us, and when we got there we bought a family-plus membership. We pretty much looked at it as a donation, but since the kids really enjoyed themselves we will probably get our moneys worth. I was really proud of both girls, once they got passed the initial fear of the unknown, they really got into it. Ms. Beans favorite part was The Dolphin Show and 3 weeks later Baby-Bee is still talking about the Frogs. I think it was a success!
Oxen Hill Farm - We are here ALL the time. It is a 5 minute drive from the house, and every time we go the girls see something new. It is also my favorite place to take pictures of the kids. During week-o-fun, Ms. Bean got to milk her first cow! Not bad for a city girl!
Hays Park - A Children's Park in Arlington which is designed for kids ages 2-5. All of their playground equipment is designed for littler kids, and there is a water-sprinkler portion (designed to look like the solar system) that comes on at 10:00 am in the summers.
I really had mixed feelings about this park. The girls seemed to enjoy it, but, it was VERY crowded and a long drive for what was really just a neighborhood park. Might not visit again unless we are meeting someone who lives in Arlington for a play date.
The National Zoo - I am certain that each of my readers had been to this zoo more often then they can count. Not much more for me to add, except that we renewed our FONZ membership while we were there, which continues to pay for itself in spaces (popcorn + cookies alone make it worth it, not to mention the free parking).
One of the cool things that I found out when I registered for the membership at the Aquarium is that both their membership, and our FONZ membership, are tax deductible. Just wish I knew that 10 years ago when I started with the FONZ membership, but, live and learn.
Next week-o-fun is July 22-28 (though we are taking off a few days around the 4th of July). Will post our itinerary once I figure it out!


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