Well, we're on day 6 of our trip-I'm in the van on my way to Nashville-aren't laptops great?!
It seems I've had a few serious posts the last few times I've posted, and this one is actually going to be the same. If I didn't put any serious posts on my blog, you all might think I'm I'm 100% ditz! So I have to show you otherwise! :)
This has been a good trip so far, but we've had some serious happenings, along with visiting some serious places in Washington DC. I won't bore you with all the details, just stuff that I think you might find interesting, and thoughts I want to share. :)
First of all, we stayed in Alexandria, VA at the Residence Inn-let me tell ya, if you ever go to DC, the Residence Inn is the place to stay! Top notch place to stay, and with Priceline.com, the price was great too! We were shuttled to the subway, and picked up as well, compliments of the hotel!
We rode the subway to DC. They don't allow food or drinks, which equals NO RATS!!! THANK YOU, LORD!!! They actually have posters up with a picture of a rat, that compares thier subway to another subway that apparently has rats the size of cats! The subway will take you to just about anywhere you want to go in DC, as far as the attractions. Our visit to the Arlington Cemetary was postponed until yesterday, due to a bomb threat at the Pentegon, which shut down the subway Saturday. We could only go so far, and everyone had to exit at that stop. It opened back up later.
The Spy Museum in Washington DC
The International Spy Museum was probably what our kiddos felt was the funnest part of our trip so far. It's definately worth a visit! We went on a one hour adventure of our own, trying to solve a mystery. The rooms are simulated to be outdoors, in the back of a delivery truck, in a room to interrogate someone, and other rooms. They also offer mysteries around DC, where you walk around and look for clues. Our poor little tootsies were too tired to consider the outdoor adventure. We also watched a short film on the life of spies, and you could literally spend several more hours reading all of the information on what spies have done over the years, weapons they've used, ways they've been disguised, and more. Very, very interesting!
The Art Museum
The Smithsonian Art Museum was huge and interesting, although I wish they didn't consider nakedness an art! Embarrassing enough for me, but goodness! I had to hide Dakota's eyes to some of the stuff!
Sad Life News
While on vacation, I learned that my expecting sis-in-law lost her baby(I hope she doesn't mind me mentioning it here). I was shocked and sad to hear this news.
And to protect the family that is suffering, I will not mention names here, but an old friend lost her son, who was only 22, on Saturday. This same friend lost her oldest son in February at the age of 29. Her middle son survives. We're in shock and there is great sadness to those who know this family. None of us can even imagine what it is like to lose 2 children in less than 2 months time, unless we've been there.
This is one thing I want to share my thoughts on. I guess I just want to repeat what I've said to my family many, many, many times. Life is fragile! Tell your kids you love them! Make amends with those around you. Treat everyone with respect and kindness. There are no regrets in these actions.
My dear friend, Brenda, lost her son 3 years ago in an accident. I am a bit of a backwards person, and I remember walking past Nicholas after church one night. My regret is that I didn't walk over and shake his hand and tell him that I thought he was a good young man. I can't change the past, but I've changed me. I try harder to reach out to others and let them know they are noticed, appreciated, cared for.
Dan and I work with our church youth group, and I want them to know that I am so proud to be a part of the same congregation as they. I want them to know we love them and care for them! This goes beyond just young people. And more than ever, people just need to know that they someone cares for them. I am trying to make sure I do my part to reach out to others.
The Changing of The Guard in Washington DC
The other thing I want to mention in this post is the greatest event we experienced in DC-the changing of the guard at Arlington Cemetary. There was an extra ceremony while we were there, I believe honoring other soldiers that had recently(?) passed away. Amber stood there and cried while we all watched the ceremony.
Shortly after the ceremony, the guard continued to march, and then came the changing of the guard. It is quite a ceremony. I would imagine that it can be seen on youtube or somewhere else online, if you'd like to see it-I may be able to post my daughter's video if it turned out good, but I'll have to see, and then post it later.
Anyway, what I noticed about this ceremony, and what has stayed with me the most, is the first guard that was on duty when we arrived. The young man was African American.
Why Did I Notice?
Obviously, this is nothing out of the normal in America, as it shouldn't be. But I thought back to the way this race of people was treated years ago in America, and believe it is one of the most shameful acts of American history. Can you imagine what President Lincoln was facing, to stop this monster practice? What an honorable man!
Back to the young man-he is a guard, protecting the tomb, and today, he can do it with pride and dignity in his country. His race is recognized as human beings, as they should have been all along. This young man now has a reason to honor and protect his country.
When President Obama was elected to office, did anyone notice the tears of many when he won? Whether you agree with his policies or you don't, this was a major moment in history for a race of people who were treated worse than animals many years ago, and now are able to look at a President with darker skin, along with his lovely wife and adorable little girls, living in the White House.
Racism is still alive today, but thankfully there isn't too many people I'm acquainted with that judge a man by his color. I looked at some of the footage of the Haiti earthquake on youtube, and some made comments about not caring about the victims because of their skin color. How sad that people are so callous. When did ANY of us choose which country to be born in? Or what color our skin was going to be? Or if we were born male or female? Or if we were born with a disability?
Travelling to history museums and learning history is very sobering. The Arlington Cemetary shows thousands of tombstones of men and women that dedicated their lives to this country-and we are so blessed to be free. The museums show us who the true heroes are-the hardships and chances that brave men and women took to help those who couldn't help themselves, and who deserves to be honored.
Well, these are my thoughts for the day! We've only got a few more hours to go before we are in Nashville! I will be in touch again! My posts aren't usually this long, so if you've read this entire post, thanks for reading!