I recently read a blog that relayed the best parenting advice they ever received was “always take the trip.” Always take the trip, it said, and take the time, and spend the money if you have to, because the experiences that you share with your loved ones are invaluable. Those memories are irreplaceable. You have a limited number of years and you don’t want to spend them looking at Facebook or sitting at home watching baseball. Plus, as a parent, my new favorite thing in the world is discovering things for the first time through my son’s eyes, and even rediscovering things I already know.
While this is one of our parenting mantras anyway, sometimes we find ourselves stuck in the rhythms of our lives and get away from that. Fortunately, we have a very limited time left in DC so we are forcing ourselves to get out and explore the rest of the city and area that has become our adopted home.
Sure, we have seen the Smithsonian museums (I even work inside one), the Capitol, the memorials, etc. on our own and whenever family or friends come to visit or happen to pass through. However, sadly, we have not seen it all. So we have spent our weekends alternating between cleaning out/organizing parts of the house and knocking out our DC Bucket List. Some of these things are more difficult than others, but we have made some decent progress on this so far. And experiencing them with our son makes it so much sweeter.
In no particular order:
- Congress in session
- Mount Vernon (April 1)
- Spy Museum (March 25)
- Supreme Court in session
- Bureau of Engraving and Printing
- Newseum (March 25)
- Top of the Washington Monument
- Botanical Garden
- Udvar-Hazy Center [a.k.a. National Air and Space Museum – Dulles] (March 18)
As you can see, some of these we have already knocked out. But it’s not just about “checking it off.” One of my wife’s most amazing qualities is that she is and has always been more interested in experiences over material things. We save where we can so that we can take trips and provide ourselves, and now our family, with amazing experiences. We plan, we save, and we research the places we want to go and see, and that is something that is never going to change. And the best thing about it is sharing places and people and food and culture and experiences with our son. And when our next son is born at the end of July, we will keep on doing it. We are looking forward to raising our family all over the world, but first, DC.
Pro tip: H and I each purchased a Washington D.C. Explorer Pass at a discount from Groupon that allowed us to visit the Newseum, Spy Museum, and Mount Vernon at a 35% discount.