E. asked me if he could go to New York City for his birthday. I said, "Sure, why not!" The only caveat was that he would have to wait until school was out to go. That is what started this family vacation. A couple of weeks later, R. told me all the things he learned in school about the Lincoln Memorial and the White House. He then asked me if we could go there one day so I said, "Sure, how about this summer?"
We had plans to go to Florida for the summer, but decided to take a road trip to New York instead. We, as a family mapped out all the major landmarks we wanted to stop and visit. We are definitely not shy when it comes to driving long distances, but this one would definitely be the longest drive we ever made with all four kids.
My hubby and I drove 26 hours straight. Yes, straight! It ended up taking us 27 hours to reach NYC because we needed to get an oil change along the way. What's a trip without an oil change right? We did make it though. Our hotel was a block away from Grand Central station making it so convenient to go anywhere.
We took a ferry to see New York along the water.
Can you spot the Statue of Liberty?
Here's a closer picture.
A little bit of the city.
One of the days we were in NYC, they had a fair along the street. It was great seeing all the vendors.
A. just had to have his roasted corn.
We went up the Empire State Building. The sites were amazing from above.
One of the kids favorite places, which they certainly put on their "to go" list was Nintendo World at Rockefeller Center.
After visiting Time Square, Battery Park, China Town, and all the other major attractions, we headed to Philadelphia to see the Liberty Bell. We tried Philly Steak Sandwiches at Pat's. Sad to say that we were not impressed.
We then headed towards Washington D.C. After driving hours in the rain, it was nice to see the sun out.
We walked passed the capital on our way to dinner.
We stayed only a block from the Smithsonian Museums which was perfect. Even though the Metro was downstairs from our hotel, we didn't even need it.
We visited nearly all the museums. One of my favorites was the Butterfly garden at the National Museum of Natural History.
They landed right on you and wouldn't fly away.
We saw the White House. If I'd plan the vacation 4 months prior, we could have requested tickets to go inside. That's what happens when you do everything last minute!
The National Monument was under construction. There was a scaffold all around the building due to an earthquake creating some damage.
We went to the capitol while it was pouring outside. We snapped a picture a few moments after the rain had subsided. That's probably why there were no other person insight (except for the lady in the black dress in the back). Everyone was hiding from the rain.
One of the favorites for our kids was the Postal Museum. No one ever thinks to go there, but after visiting Union Station, I wanted to check it out. It was a great Children's museum. Since everything was interactive, the kids had a blast.
They scanned and sorted mail.
Look at all the different kinds of mail boxes around the world.
The grand finale was visiting the Lincoln Memorial. This is what R. came to see.
The trip ended with a big bang! We camped out on the capital lawn to watch the fireworks.
I've seen fireworks in D.C. three times now and it never ceases to amaze me.
The best part of the evening was NOT having to take the metro home. We walked a block back to our hotel, ending our perfect evening.
We saw and did so many things and when I ask my kids what their favorite part of the vacation was, everyone said the fireworks! After driving another 23 hours home, my husband and I suggested to the kids that perhaps our next family vacation could be a little closer to home :)