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Washington DC

Yes, we drove. My kids had five days off school for Thanksgiving break. It takes about 20 hours each way, so yes, we spent lots of time in the car. (At gas stations Amber did jumping jacks just for fun.) It's interesting to see places you've never been; this was our first time driving through Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia and Maryland. We stopped at Shenandoah National Park on the way, to enjoy the beauty of the mountains.

Three main purposes for this trip: learn about US History, deepen my kids' gratitude for this great nation, and spend time with my sister's family! We loved sharing a Thanksgiving feast with them, complete with homemade cheeseball, rolls, and pies from the Amish market. And my kids loved eating cookie salad as a side dish.

Here are a handful of highlights from places we visited. The Capitol building is huge.

Supreme Court below. Once again, the scale and beauty of these buildings is impressive.

It's humbling to think about justice, and to live in a land where honest judges work to serve the people. I am so grateful for the freedom, prosperity and liberty that we enjoy. My perspective deepened during my college years when I lived overseas. We are so lucky here! Yes, our country has its share of problems, and I'm not denying the current political turmoil and unrest. I can't control what goes on at the national level, but I am choosing to focus on what's good, and to teach my kids a fierce loyalty. We started listening to patriotic songs a month ago, as we were reading and preparing for this trip.

It was also meaningful to see the founding documents at one of the Smithsonian museums. You can't take pictures of the original Constitution or Bill of Rights or Declaration of Independence, but it was cool to see the faded handwriting on parchment.

The Library of Congress was one of my favorites. The detail in the architecture and in the stone itself is amazing. Most of the windows had a quote carved into the stone. One of the displays was about women and the right to vote. Marcie and I paused there with our daughters. We are beneficiaries of a great privilege, to be able to cast a ballot in every election. I hope my girls will someday understand.

Look closely on the following statue. It says, "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

This one says, "The Heritage of the past is the seed that brings forth the harvest of the future."

At the Lincoln Memorial, looking towards the Washington Monument.

Gorgeous fall color. Here's one more quote that means a lot to us. It's inscribed in huge letters in the dome of the Jefferson Memorial. "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

We loved the Naval Academy in Annapolis.

Military precision as we watched the Changing of the Guard at Arlington.

Foodie alert: on the day we went to the Capitol, we stopped for lunch at this delicious place called We the Pizza. I'd never seen a squash pizza before, so I had to try it. It was great. The only other person in my family willing to taste it was Amber, and she picked off the squash.

Big brother willing to piggyback little sister.

This was at one of our many rest stops on the way home.

We're glad to be back. As we anticipated this trip, I asked a handful of friends to "please pray for us so that we don't all kill each other in the car..." Mission accomplished, all six of us made it home intact. Thanks for your prayers! We're also grateful for good roads and safety in driving. Hopefully we are a little wiser, with perspective after seeing these historical sights. And we're definitely glad we spent the holiday with my sister's sweet family. Thanks for reading y'all. 


  1. WOW! This is a trip my family has been putting on hold for way too long. I finally just said I have to make it happen, so we're going for spring break in April. I've been to D.C. twice, but I really need to take my kids -- for the same reasons you expressed. I have been so excited planning out where all I want to go. I'll have to add squash pizza to my list, cause that sounds amazing!

    1. Yay for you to look forward to spring break! Yes, you need to make it happen. There's so much cool historical stuff, and so many things are free. (I'm guessing the squash pizza variety was seasonal, but maybe there will be some cool spring flavor.)


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