Grab a life preserver and hang on for dear life.
I tried to keep up with them, I really did. And at first I thought it might not be so bad. Our intentions were so pure on Friday morning as we headed to the National Portrait Gallery and the Building Museum. But after twenty minutes of letting Jack flop in the lobby of the Building Museum, Sarah's eye landed (quite by accident, I'm sure) on a giant sign that read URBAN OUTFITTERS. Urban Outfitters is Sarah's Mecca. She makes a pilgrimage there at least once a week. She was due for a fix. And besides, the National Portrait Gallery wasn't open yet, so we had some time to kill. It wasn't exactly difficult to convince my mom and Deborah (or myself, if I'm being honest) that this was the perfect place to bide our time. It was all downhill from there.
After we parted company with John (who I'm ashamed to say got caught up in the whole thing and actually purchased something himself), we managed to get back on the wagon and head to the Portrait Gallery. Of course, by then we were hungry from all our shopping, so we sat down at the cafe for a quick snack. An hour later, we finally forced ourselves to look around. There was a folk art exhibit that my mom thought sounded interesting, so off we went. Within five minutes Deborah had made a new friend, a security guard who had apparently been to heaven before and assured her that the gold there looked quite different from the gold tin foil covering a piece of art.
|An example of what it DOESN'T look like in heaven.|
"Could I have it in my house?" the man asked.
"I'm not sure you'd want to," my mom said.
"But could I, like, hug it?"
On that note, we hightailed it out of there and we went where we'd really wanted to go all along: the gift shop.
|A true work of art. And you can pet it.|
On Saturday we headed to the zoo. We saw the orangutans (and learned all about regurgitation and re-ingestion, a super fun subject), the sea otters, the elephants, and the small mammals. Jack enjoyed watching the otters make a nest in a hollow log. True, he thought the otter statues were mice, but if it makes the kid happy, who am I to correct him?
Later that afternoon, post-lunch at Lauriol Plaza, we did the only logical thing: we shopped. There are a handful of great boutiques and furniture stores on U Street. I think we saw them all. The biggest hits were Legendary Beast for vintage jewelry and the new vintage furniture store Foundry. By the time I drove home that night I didn't care if I ever saw another Pendleton jumper or rhinestone necklace again in my life.
It's amazing what a good night's sleep can do.
On Sunday we had brunch in Old Town and took Minky to the dog park near the river. Jack had a wonderful time chasing Minky around. However, when Minky dared approach another small child, Jack was less than thrilled.
Fortunately, even my mom was starting to show signs of wear and tear on Monday, and we agreed to go to Gadsby's Tavern for their toddler play time. I kind of love how in Old Town they have a play group in the same place where our founding fathers used to drink beer. It was seven dollars for a group of three, which worked out perfectly, since Deborah was determined to press ever onward in her quest for shopping glory. Jack had a good time reading with Grandma.
|Gee, you'd think it was a historic landmark or something.|
On our final day, Tuesday, I dropped Jack off at preschool (no tears!) and I took my mom and Deborah into D.C. so we could tour National Geographic and grab lunch with some friends. I left the ladies to fend for themselves for the afternoon, and they actually chose to do something cultural: the Holocaust Museum (which I'm ashamed to say I haven't seen yet). They said it was really amazing and I think even Deborah was happy for the brief respite. John made a fabulous farewell dinner, and we culminated the visit with a bottle of Cakebread Chardonnay and a pumpkin mascarpone pie that somehow only lasted two nights (a real shock in this house).
Seeing my mom was so wonderful. I'm thankful to Deborah for flying out here with her (the visit might never have happened otherwise) and for both of their generosity while they were here. I made out like a bandit, let me tell you. Of course, now that Mom and Deborah are back in their respective homes, I'm starting to feel a little down. It's hard not having family around, especially when you have a kid. Jack had the best time playing with his Grab-a and I loved catching up with my mom and Deborah. We always seem to have the most fun when we're all together. I love you both!
And you know, it's the darndest thing, but I suddenly have this strange hankering to go shopping...