Back in the Saddle Again

Not so long ago, the CPA and I were adventurous people.  We’d check out cool places around town like the Library of Congress and the National Cathedral, and we’d attend events such as the Whoopi Goldberg dinner and we’d visit the annual cherry blossom trees.  But a year or so ago, coinciding with the beginning of my morning sickness, oddly enough, these adventures came to a screeching halt.

But, after a year long hiatus, we decided to give it a try again.  We figure that we should be able to go to fun places and see interesting things just like we did before.  Now we’ll just bring our baby along and make sure the place is kid friendly and there shouldn’t be a problem, right?

So when my sweet husband called me on a recent Friday afternoon and said that the office was closing early and asked if I would meet him downtown, I jumped at the chance.

Rather than mess with finding a parking spot (and deal with Friday afternoon traffic) Henry and I rode the Metro downtown, changing trains at Metro Center…

so that we could get off at the Chinatown exit.

We didn’t have to walk far because our destination, The National Portrait Gallery, was straight ahead.

Now I know what you’re thinking.  A gallery of nothing but portraits?  Boring, right?  That’s what I was thinking anyway.  But I had heard it was good so I was willing to check it out.  The CPA had been before and also gave two thumbs up.

He was outside waiting for us and Henry was so excited to see his Daddy that we sat for a bit in the Atrium and just visited.

Visiting time was fun.  (Isn’t this just the cutest baby-Daddy bonding time you’ve ever seen?)

Oh – and I was there too.

Then we headed to the special exhibit – Steven Spielberg and George Lucas’s very own collection of Normal Rockwell paintings.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t take pictures inside the exhibit, but I will say this – it was awesome!  I went in not really caring about Norman Rockwell’s paintings and I came out a true fan.  So much so that we went home and ordered a copy of this print to hang in Henry’s room:

After the Rockwell exhibit, we crossed the hall and entered the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum (apparently they share the building).

I was surprised to see pieces such as this:

and this:

We didn’t stay long though and a few minutes later we made our way to the actual Portrait Gallery.

There are a few different floors in the gallery, but at this point our baby was getting tired (okay, we were getting tired) so we saved the upstairs for another day.

We did get to see some cool paintings though, such as this one of Pochantas:

and this one of John Brown (crazy painting, huh?):

They had a painting of Sherman (which makes me think of the line from Gone with the Wind, “The Yankees are coming, the Yankees are coming!”)

which was part of this great Civil War exhibit.

There was even a painting of Joseph Smith, who founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (of which I’m a member) in 1830.

Finally, it was time to go.  We only spent a few hours at the museum but it was really cool and I definitely want to go back and see the rest when we have more time.  But for now, I’ll end with a picture of this:

Look closely – Can you tell what it says?

I have to say, it’s good to be back at it again, I’ve missed our little adventures.  I can’t wait for more!

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Kristy - August 25, 2010 - 4:39 am

I remember seeing that copy of the preamble (to the Constitution) when it was published in the Atlanta paper, probably in the late in the ’80′s. My grandparents lived in GA then. I’d memorized it and I still can quote the whole thing.

I’m glad you all are able to do such neat things. I love that display of the civil war–the color of the walls, the lighting, and the curve of the ceiling. It’s beautiful. We’re planning a trip to DC in the very distant future. We think it will be a wonderful thing for the children to see all the collections, the history, and the landmarks of the history books.
.-= Kristy´s last blog ..Princess Band-aids =-.

Janet - August 25, 2010 - 5:04 am

I have plans to visit the Norman Rockwell exhibit in a couple of weeks. Really looking forward to it; I’ve always been a big fan. Now I know which stop to get off the Metro. Thanks!

Cristina - August 25, 2010 - 6:47 am

How fun! Being spontaneous like that is the BEST. My husband and I love doing things like that. For instance, a few months ago we were watering the plants in our front lawn on a pretty Saturday morning and I swear within 5 minutes, we had convinced ourselves to take a roadtrip and stay at a bed and breakfast (this was pre-baby of course!). SO fun…
.-= Cristina´s last blog ..Happy 3 Month Birthday Liliana! =-.

Kathryn - August 25, 2010 - 6:56 am

This is what I miss about DC! Well, one of the things… What a GREAT print choice for Henry’s room– tones, theme, everything; I LOVE LOVE LOVE Norman Rockwell. To me he’s one of the great American Pop Artists.

Glad you guys had fun!

Sara - August 25, 2010 - 7:11 am

Henry is just adorable :) Also, I am a huge sucker for pictures of daddies with babies. I don’t know why–they just get me every time. Also also, my husband has never been to DC! It’s on our list of places to go one of these days (I grew up in Western Pennsylvania, so I’ve been many times). I think it’s crazy that he has never seen our nation’s capital!
.-= Sara´s last blog ..Chocolate zucchini muffins =-.

admin - August 25, 2010 - 7:20 am

Kristy – I’m impressed! It took me a while to figure out what it said. :)

Janet – word to the wise, you may want to call ahead and check, but I believe I saw a sign that said no strollers in the exhibit. We were wearing Henry so we didn’t pay too much attention but if you have little kids, you’ll want to know for sure.

Christina – what fun – the joys of being spontaneous! As I’m sure you now know (with a little one on board) it’s a bit harder with the tiny tots, but I’m learning it’s still doable!

Kathryn – I agree! I love that you can see that the boy is imagining himself in the story as he’s reading. We are huge readers and are always reading to Henry so we thought that print would be perfect. It was hard to find, believe it or not, but we only paid $10 for an 8×11 print of it!

Sara – I’m with you, baby and daddy pictures are the best! And hopefully your husband and you will be able to head down to the city now that it’ll be cooler soon, that’s the best time to go in my opinion. :)

Joanna - August 25, 2010 - 7:23 am

Sweet boy! And a fun adventure. Love that you can still do your spontaneous activities.
.-= Joanna´s last blog ..I Dont Think Ive Ever =-.

Casper - August 25, 2010 - 8:07 am

The is pretty neat, first I started in the middle and was lost but if you start with the first one, I got it within seconds! I love Norman Rockwell, always have!

Nicole - August 25, 2010 - 9:31 am

The preamble is one of the 5th grade recitations for my kids…..so I’ve helped two kids with it already….it’s very familiar in our home now! Grade school is so much more interesting as the mom! So happy your family is out and exploring your city again.
.-= Nicole´s last blog ..21st ANNIVERSARY! =-.

Carrie - August 25, 2010 - 12:13 pm

Those ARE the cutest baby dad bonding pictures I’ve ever seen!! Good job!!

Natalia - August 26, 2010 - 7:26 pm

What a fun outing :)

NanStick - August 26, 2010 - 11:47 pm

I’d love to hear more about your babywearing thoughts and experiences. And which one are you using here? We’ve got a 3 month old, and are experimenting with different methods. One of our struggles is that my husband is quite a bit larger than I am, so we’re having a hard time finding ones that we both like.
And I never would’ve thought that the National Portrait Gallery would be so awesome!

Tabitha Blue - August 28, 2010 - 8:08 pm

Oh Tabitha, Henry is so adorable!! I just love him! What a great little trip, I love being adventurous. And that license plate puzzle was fun! :)
.-= Tabitha Blue´s last blog ..I have a teenager =-.

Heidi - September 9, 2010 - 11:49 am

I love this post. It reminds me of the scene in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” when Ferris and his friends skip school and tour Chicago museums. I actually heard the Ferris soundtrack as I looked at your pictures.
.-= Heidi´s last blog ..To my readers- =-.

admin - September 9, 2010 - 12:51 pm

Heidi – I totally forgot about that scene but you’re right! I remember how each one of them is standing in front of a picture with their hands behind their backs. What a great movie!

Nanstick – I hope to do a post on babywearing soon because it’s awesome but definitely confusing if you’re just getting started!

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