The Last of Spring Break

(I know it. . . other people’s vacation pictures. Pretty thrilling around these parts today).

Yesterday was the last day of Bart’s two-week spring break. Today, it’s back to normal life.

After starting off Spring Break with a week-long cruise to the Bahamas, we laid low at home for most of last week, but we finished off with a bang in Washington DC over the weekend.

My parents were in DC for a couple of days while my dad did some speaking, so we took advantage of their nearness by driving up to spend two days with them.

Since they weren’t arriving until very late on Thursday night, we stayed with Preethi, Dan and children (who were very nice about the fact that we completely disrupted their bedtime routine by doubling the number of occupants in their home).

Not only did they serve us a fabulous dinner, we also finished off the evening with a chocolate tart with Thin Mint cookie crust.  Yes, it was amazing.

The next day, after Ani took a long nap, we said goodbye to Preethi and drove into the city, picked up my mom and headed over to the Natural History Museum (ever since I went to the one in NYC, Ella’s been begging to visit an “animal museum”).

Besides checking out the animals, we also spent some time looking for Bart’s wedding ring which disappeared during the trip, thanks to the cold shrinking his fingers down to bony toothpicks (spoiler! He found it in his backpack when we got home on Saturday – apparently it slipped off while he was grabbing snacks and keys for the museum visit).

When Ani started screaming and screaming and screaming, we decided maybe it was time for lunch, and we walked over to Rasika for some takeout (a recommendation from one of Bart’s classmates who lived in DC for a long time). We took our lunch over to a nearby park and ate in the sunshine while the girls ran themselves out. Also, the crispy spinach appetizer was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

The hotel my parents were staying in was 100% booked, so we used Priceline to snag a room at the Liaison Capitol Hill for $75 (how did I ever get hotel rooms before I learned about name-your-own-price?).

Ani’s first nap was definitely wearing off, so we checked into the (super nice!) room and I got everything situated while my mom read to Ella. We put Ani down for a snooze and my mom stayed behind with her while Bart, Ella and I went to take a little private tour of FBI headquarters. (You can tell from the photo below that Ella was super thrilled about this particular outing).

Two hours later, we headed back to the hotel and arrived just as Ani was waking up (the late nap was perfect, since it meant she’d last through dinner).

Ella hated the wind blowing in her eyes on our walk back, so she asked to borrow my sunglasses. Which, obviously, fit her super well.

My dad was done for the day, so we met him up on Capitol Hill for dinner.

The weather had gotten quite nice and it was a beautiful section of town, so we enjoyed being outside for a bit before dinner.

We’d planned on having dinner at Good Stuff, but after our Indian lunch, none of us were really feeling like burgers. Instead, we grabbed some very tasty salads at SweetGreen and THEN went to Good Stuff for milkshakes (we got three child-size ones: toasted marshmallow, salty caramel kiss, and banana cream pie with fudge swirl).

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel, put the girls down and read in bed for about. . .ten minutes before we were both so exhausted we fell asleep at 9:15. We are major party animals, obviously.

Ella woke up at 7:00 on the dot (we’d foolishly forgotten to reset the clock to be slow so she’d sleep in), but Ani was still snoozing, so Ella and I set up some pillows in the bathroom and read a couple of chapters of Betsy and Billy until Ani woke up a little before eight.

We dressed quickly and just as we were loading the girls in the car to head to breakfast, my mom texted to say my dad was feeling sick and he’d be staying at the hotel for the day.

So, we swung by their hotel and picked her up and the five of us headed to Eastern Market. We wandered around a bit (the weather was PERFECT and the neighborhood was absolutely charming), before buying some breakfast.

We got a couple of doughnuts from DC Donuts (the Oreo chocolate doughnut Bart got was one of the best doughnuts I’ve ever eaten), two crepes from Crepes at the Market, and a bag of ridiculous candied pecans.

I bought a quart of apple cider too (is this not the cutest mini jug you’ve ever seen? I’m kind of devastated Bart threw it away), to wash it all down.

Bart dropped Ani and me back at the hotel, and I put her down for a nap and packed up our stuff, while Bart and Ella took my mom back to her hotel and filled up the car with gas for our return drive.

Once Ani was up and we checked out (bless the nice man at the front desk who let us delay our checkout for an extra 40 minutes even though the hotel was completely booked so we didn’t have to wake Ani early), we headed out to the National Zoo.

It took us a bit to find a parking spot about five blocks away, but the sun was out and we all ditched our jackets and headed in to enjoy a few hours together before my parents flew back to Vegas and we drove back to Durham.

Ani has just started getting really into animals and she was just beside herself with joy at every new exhibit.

She was unbelievably hesitant about my mom for all of Friday and much of Saturday (I guess she remembered that the last time we saw them, I disappeared for three days), but by Saturday afternoon, she finally warmed up to her.

We said goodbye to my parents, tossed the babies in the back of the car and drove home. There was so much we didn’t see, and I’m dying to go back, but I suppose it’s time to sleep in our beds for a while.

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  • Reply Melanie March 17, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    I'm so glad you got to be here for our lovely weather on Saturday. We're now covered in snow 🙁

  • Reply Elaine March 17, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    I love the picture of Ella with your dad. I know your mom is Grancie, but what do the girls call your dad?
    I am so happy that Bart found his wedding ring! Shortly after we were married, I switched fingers for my rings because my fingers were swollen. While tucking in my pants, the two rings fell off. My engagement ring fell into my shoe, but my wedding ring apparently evaporated! It's a very disconcerting feeling.

  • Reply april March 17, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    It looks like such a lovely quick trip!

  • Reply Lindsey March 17, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    We moved to the DC area last May and we do get into the city a fair amount, but man, so many restaurants to try! I've been wanting to go to Rasika FOREVER!

  • Reply preethi March 17, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Can't believe I forgot to mention Rasika to you, but so glad you went. Also, finally got around to posting the recipe for the tart this morning (I feel like a few people on your insta asked or maybe I'm just flattering myself?). You know, 3 days post-Pi Day, but when is pie NOT a good idea?

  • Reply Amanda Mustafic March 17, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Love the picture of Ella and your dad. So beautiful.

    And I'm glad you made it to the DC zoo – when I was living in DC it was one of my favorite places to visit.

  • Reply Paige Flamm March 17, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    That apple cider looks delicious, but I'm assuming anything would be in that cute jug! We'll have to go to that market next time we're in DC!

  • Reply JoLee March 17, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    You came at the right time. Today's another snowstorm and another snow day. It looks like you had a great time. I, for one, enjoy vacation photos. Touring is one of my favorite things.

  • Reply Mimsie March 17, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Your parents look so young!

  • Reply Ashley March 17, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Bart got a two week spring break?! That is incredible! So glad you took full advantage and did so many fun things!

  • Reply Rachel March 18, 2014 at 3:03 am

    So fun! We may be heading up to the National Zoo (if it ever stops snowing!) so I'm glad to know you had a great time there.

  • Reply Katie March 18, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    Your dad reminds me of Stephen Colbert…no?

    Great pictures! (I totally love the recaps of other people's trips)

  • Reply Little Gray Pixel March 20, 2014 at 6:27 am

    You make me want to go back to D.C. The last time I was there was for a college journalism conference, and I was ridiculously ill the entire time.

    There's a local restaurant chain in my neck of the woods called Good Stuff, also. (Mostly Cali type foods, lots of avocados and vegetarian stuff. Pretty good if you're ever in the South Bay of L.A.)

  • Reply Monica March 22, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    I LOVE D.C.! Went on a internship there for the Smithsonian, but it was much too short and I was much too frugal. Wish I had explored even more. And how cute are your parents?

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