Old Life Ends, New Life Begins & Spring Break 2012 PicsPosted on 2012.08.04 at 00:25
Current Location: Home
Current Mood: hopeful
Preface: The fist part of this post was written back in April and I just forgot to post it. LJ restored it from a draft. In that time I've gotten separated from my wife of 10 years and have my daughter 5 days a week. Things are tighter than ever with money and free time and everything but things are looking up. I've got good friends and family and when I get into another relationship I'll do a better job picking a partner and also in being a better partner. I'll make sure any new ladies in my life like Firefly. I should have taken Mikey Mason's advice.
Original Post Section:
Look it's my post for this year. :)
Athena was out of school for Spring Break so I decided that we would go up to DC and take advantage of that hotel discount I get. We drove up Tuesday night and got there about midnight. The trip up was pretty uneventful for a Michael Bay film but had a few moments that I thought were pretty cool. One was that Athena wanted to sing We Will Rock You by Queen with me. We used to sign this a lot in the car after hearing it a year or two before at some type of event. Don't remember what type of event it was but sadly I couldn't remember the song well enough to do it. And when I tried to pull it up on youtube on my phone it was disabled for mobile devices. Which made me kind of sad. I am going to find it and burn it to a CD for future road trips. :)
The first day we went to the National Zoo which is always worth the money (free). It always annoys me when I hear people complaining about it. It cost you nothing but your time and it's better than any zoo I've been to that cost money. Having been before I planned ahead with backpacks with drinks and snacks since we were a 30 minute metro ride from the hotel and I was trying to do things on the cheap. Somehow it turned out that Athena wore my small Gen Con backpack and I wore her Barbie backpack. At one point a random little girl said to me. "Hey, I have that backpack too!" As usual we ran out of time to see everything. I was letting Athena see what she wanted to see and take her time. The zoo also closed early for some reason. It was supposed to close at 6pm but a little after 5 they started shutting things down. Which meant we had to make the very long, very uphill trek back to the gate and our metro station. They need to have a shuttle that takes you back to the beginning. I would gladly pay $5 for it. I looked at Google maps and we we walked at least 2 miles in the zoo. Not counting the half mile each way to and from the metro. Oh and half of all the walking was uphill. I recommend getting the zoo out of the way while you still feel confident you can walk the Earth like Caine from Kung Fu. If you save it for last it's likely you will just die on the trail...and be okay with that as long as it doesn't require more walking. Athena kept asking the security guys for a ride on their golf cart as they told us to get out. Athena loved the zoo though. She got to see the pandas at an all you can eat bamboo buffet. And lots of other animals. I let her take pictures all day with my phone. She was pretty excited by it all.
(all you can eat bamboo buffett at the zoo)
Since this post was written almost 4 months ago I don't remember the rest of what we did in a ton of detail or in order. Here's the cliff notes version since the top part was restored from draft when I typed it out back in April:
At the Natural History Museum they have an area where you can people extract fossils from rocks and stuff. Or whatever it is you do to fossils to get them out. :) Athena loved watching them and probably would have watched all day if I let her. I felt like the kids asking, "Can we go yet?"
At the Art Museum there was a piece was like a room with the door cracked that you could look into. Inside apparently the set up was some people in their underwear. I didn't look as Athena peeked in first and proceeded to laugh and start telling everybody loudly there were people in their underwear behind the door. Based on Athena's description I'm guessing it was not exactly PG inside but she didn't notice that part.
(left: one of our many Metro rides, right: giant Angry Bird at the FYE at Union Station)
We stayed in Largo Maryland this trip and took the Metro each day. It was fine except for one day we went to Union Station and did some other stuff and didn't get back to the hotel till late. So we were riding the Metro about 9pm and it goes through a part of town that has indigenous thug life. They were being loud, rowdy and cursing on the train and it was a 30 minute ride. Athena started to yell at them to pull up their pants. Then when they cursed she would yell, "Hey! There's a kid here!" They either didn't notice or pretended to not notice and I had to explain to Athena not to yell at strangers on the train.
At one point we were sitting in the subway tunnel before you actually go through the gates because we were finishing food we had before getting on the train. Earlier we had seen a person (presumably homeless) sitting in the subway telling people God Bless You as they passed. But we were sitting there and Athena started telling people that walked by God Bless You and Happy Easter. It was so cute.
There was a big hill at the zoo and at the end of our zoo day she rolled down the hill a bunch of times. I think the big hill was probably one of her favorite things about the zoo. The two things she mentions the most were the pandas and the hill. :)
The hotel we stayed in had an indoor pool which was another highlight of our trip in Athena's eyes.
The National Mall area has an old carousel that still runs and Athena rode that a bunch of times. It was pretty cheap too.
(left: the carousel at the National Mall, right: Athena after she borrowed the microphone from the BBC Brazil reporters in front of the White House)
Another thing we saw at the Natural History Museum was a show about water currents. It was on a giant globe that had pictures projected on it. It was a 30 minute show and she sat quiet and still through the entire thing.
Since their was not much on the TV for kids at the hotel we watched her favorite cooking show together, Chopped. We each had to pick a cook and then cheer them on and stuff. It was cool how much she got into it.
One of the Smithsonian Museums also had a butterfly room. You go in and there are a ton of butterflys flying around and some will even land on you. It was pretty cool.
(the cute little girl that encourages alligators to fight, loves tarantulas and yells at subway thugs)
But of course Athena is my kid so while the butterfly room was neat it was nothing compared to the live tarantula feeding she got to see. She was right up on the cage to see the spider doing its business. I was kind of surprised...this is the same kid that is deathly afraid of a house fly but is okay watching a tarantula from about 12 inches away.
Also at the zoo we saw a couple of alligators mating. Of course Athena didn't believe that and so she started pumping her fist in the air and yelling, "Fight! Fight! Fight!"
All in all it was a good trip and I loved having a good time bonding with my daughter. Which looking back was the start of the better relationship we have now. When her mom and I separated I was afraid it would somehow poison things and I would somehow get the blame since I asked her to leave. Once she's older I'll explain things but 7 years old isn't the right time to tell her that mommy cheated on daddy a bunch.