Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Summer 2021 Part II: Washington DC & Camp Drop Off

What? We were home for a couple weeks. Ha! Man, Summer is just a crazy time. We feel like we have 2 months free of school schedules so We HAVE to use it wisely.  To me wisely means creating memories with my family! 

So the REAL agenda with this road trip was to get the boys to their FIRST EVER overnight camp!! 
When my friend Brandy told me about a place called Woodward in Pennsylvania 6 months ago, I looked it up and booked it right away. This is a world class facility that opened 50 years ago as a gymnastics training camp, (which still exists) but there are now several other adventure sports including BMX racing, trick scooters and skateboarding. Guys, the pros train (and teach) here. I knew the boys were going to LOVE it. 

Drop off at the camp was Sunday and when Ernesto and I were discussing when we would leave for the 12 HOUR drive😭😭😭, Ernesto says, “well we could stop in DC to break up the drive…the Padres are playing the Nationals there Saturday night.”
Well, that’s a first, I’ve never planned a trip around a baseball game but ….I was “game” because I love DC.  I have been to DC several times, but every visit was short and this one was the same.  It would be nice to spend a week and explore more thoroughly.  There is so much to see and do. We took the boys once when they were little, but I was excited to go with them at this age! 

We arrived Friday night late, so checked into the Hilton and slept.  The hotel was steps from the National Mall so we crossed the street and started exploring the city by foot...
What a gorgeous walk!
First stop …. the Washington Monument. This 500+ foot obelisk is iconic, right?  

It was built to honor America's  first president George Washington and still holds the title of the world's tallest stone structure and obelisk. It's probably the most recognised buildings in the DC skyline.
Although it would have been cool to take the elevator up 50 stories, we didn't have reservations, and that was required...especially on a weekend. 

We meandered across the lawn and down along the length of the reflecting pool. 

 Can you even see this without thinking of Forrest Gump? 
 I thought not. 

The Lincoln Memorial 

After climbing up and down these stairs I was really sweating.  Luckily a lot of the pathways are under trees, so you can escape to the shade, but I was seriously considering calling it quits and heading to the hotel pool. 
When I say it was hot out I mean πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯
Why the heck did I wear linen pants? They were wet, I was not comfortable.  Linen is usually great in hot weather, but my pants felt heavy. 

We continued the tour passing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial before stopping under a tree just outside of a little gift shop.  It was air conditioned, so despite not wanting to take my kids into a gift shop, I went in to cool off.  We bought refreshments and when we stepped out, this dude flew by us on a Bird scooter.  It was Ernesto LOL.   "Oh Papi, Papi can I ride?  I want to ride!"  
We have rented Birds before, but just for a few minutes of fun.  We have never rented for an extended period of time and never one for each of us! 

My mood did a 180 as we spun all around the city, breeze blowing through our hair, sweat under control. Also, have you rode on one of these?  They are a blast! I am soooooo glad these boys are capable and adventurous!
Once we were on wheels we were able to cover a lot of ground. I felt really proud of Mateo and Marcelo for their good scooter driving skills. They stopped when needed to and stayed to the side when passing others.    
We zoomed by the Capital Building...

...and on to the White House.   
At the White House and there was a peaceful protest for Cuba going on.  The kids were totally fascinated.  The people watching was grrreat. 

We parked the Birds for a while ate lunch at Mi Vida  (District Square) right on the Potomac River. 

I loved loved loved the decor in this restaurant and I was happy with our food choices.  
Hola ceviche and rolled tacos!!

After zooming about for several hours, the hotel pool was calling our names. 

We spent a couple hours swimming before Ubering to the baseball stadium.  Ernesto took this picture of me swimming with the kids from our hotel room. 

As I mentioned earlier, the stop in this city was to see the Padres.  Turns out it was a horrible night to see a game….we had a super scary experience.  It started out ok.......
Everything was fine until there was a LOUD noise but no one knew what it was?!?  It sounded like clanging metal. It came from behind us and my first thought was that something happened to the high metal bleacher seats.  I looked up and people were all rushing to one side (away from the edge).  In the next 15 minutes, panic ensued and we (along with everyone around us) had no idea what was going on.  It was scary, because people were running and you could see waves of people on the other side of the stadium filing out.  At one point people right across the isle from us got down on the ground in between the rows.  I did the same with the kids because I was thinking they must have seen something.  I was imagining some crazy nut with a gun.    
The boys were scared but not frantic.  Paloma was crying.  It sucked.
After announcing everyone "stay calm" several times, the stadium posted this on the big screen. 

We still did not know exactly what happened but the big screen changed to "you may now calmly exit the stadium."  I thought enough to get a snapshot...Everyone relieved that nothing the threat of danger was over. 
We later found out that there was a shooting OUTSIDE the stadium.  They cancelled the rest of the game and people spilled into the streets. We would never have found an Uber, so we just started walking. It was a couple miles back to our hotel -in the dark- through who knows what kind of neighbourhoods, but we made it. 
What a night!

In the morning we woke up leisurely and packed up.  We were just three hours from Woodward Pennsylvania, the home of Woodward Camp.  It was in the middle of nowhere and soooo beautiful.  I wanted to just rent a farmhouse here for the week and maybe try to paint all of the beautiful landscapes. 
Farms, fields and rolling green meadows. 

Drop off window for camp started at noon am and we arrived at 12:01 LOL  
Just kidding. We got there around 2p and hopped in the line for check-in.  They were friendly, fast and efficient ...like they have done this for years.  Um, because they have...50 years to be exact.  

 We were able to walk into the bunk house and meet the poor guy room leader in charge of 10 boys under 10.  He was actually a skater and his son was in the bunk house too.  A pretty sweet deal for him to have access to the facility for free!  I hope my kids can work here in the future, because that S&%# is expensive!

We were able to walk into their  bunk house, give a couple hugs and kisses and THEY SCOOTED AWAY without looking back. πŸ˜‚ 

Surely they will miss us and call, right?!?  Right???
And then there were three…..
Paloma gets to experience being a only child for a week! First stop Hershey Pennsylvania...then on to Philly!

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