Thursday, 20 September 2012

Whinge-ington DC

 I wonder if Obama's kids moan about sightseeing?

Perhaps we didn't prepare the Littleboys for our trip to Washington DC in the best way. We had spent the previous two days in Virginia with a luxurious pool, tennis court, full size soccer pitch and enormous mansion at our disposal. (No, we have not suddenly become billionaires. But it turns out one of the Doctor's American cousins, who let us borrow his house for the weekend, started his own hedge fund. 'Nuff said).

The boys had revelled in swimming, football, luxuriating in the hot tub, playing with the farm cat and generally having a whale of a time. By Sunday night, they were exhausted. So when, on a rather grey Monday morning, we decamped from Hotel Hedge Fund to the confines of a Holiday Inn in Washington, they were not best impressed.

I had never been to Washington DC before, so was rather excited to see it all - the huge dome of the Capitol, the National Mall, the Washington Monument were all within spitting distance and, even though you've seen the White House a million times on TV, seeing it for real was something special. The boys, however, were having none of it.

"Where are we going? Why is it so far? I'm hungry! I'm tired. I want to go home."

And this was all in the first 10 minutes, on the way to get lunch. Bear in mind these are the boys who happily did a five mile hike in New Hampshire, so it's not as if they are not capable of walking.

So we ended up on one of those open-top bus tours that we'd always laughed at in London as being ridiculously touristy. It was full of the old, overweight and, of course, a few others with small kids. But it seemed like the only way to get around the various landmarks without too much walking or whinging.

Naturally our offpsring were not excited by us pointing out the places where US laws are decided and debated. But they were slightly more enthusiastic about seeing the White House, and the theatre where Lincoln was shot (having learned about it all at school). And, despite saying they didn't want to walk, they would have sudden bursts of energy such as running up towards the Washington Monument and climbing on every wall in sight. But by the evening they were spent. Littleboy 2 steadfastly refused to eat his favourite food, pizza, at the lovely restaurant we'd headed out to, asking why we couldn't just eat in the hotel cafe.

The next morning, they did enjoy the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Well, what little boy wouldn't want to see real NASA rockets, fighter jets and space suits from the Moon landings? But, honestly, they seemed equally happy to get home to their toys that evening. And when Littleboy 2 was asked by his teacher to describe his trip to America's capital city, what did he write? According to him, anyway. "I wrote that I went to one hotel. Then I went to someone's house for two nights and played with a cat. Then I went to another hotel. Then I came home."

Not sure we'll be heading on any more city breaks until they're quite a bit older....

8 comments:

Knackered Mother said...

Love this. Our interpretation of holiday + their interpretation on holiday = not the same thing!

Expat mum said...

Oh, very good - Whinge-ington. Like it.

I spend quite a bit of time in DC now that the Queenager is there at college. It's a fab city but, a bit like Paris and London, you always end up walking far more than you really should in one day!

About Last Weekend said...

I know what you mean, we've had a couple of doozers like that...its honestly quite hard to gauge what kids really love to do - by the way does the cousin need another cousin?

Circles in the Sand said...

Love it A!!! Especially Littleboy 2's description! The Hedge Fund Hotel sounds amazing! Emirates is flying into DC now-Michael really wants us to go...there's no way I'm taking the boys on a long-distance city break tho!!

Metropolitan Mum said...

I remember city breaks in Austria, one church after the other, boring lunches in boring cafes and itchy blankets in cheap hotels. As a kid, city breaks just didn't do it for me. And still, I am dragging my daughter from one city to the other...

geekymummy said...

The air and space museum is brilliant. But yes, though I loved the othe stuff it's probably not that kid interesting. The other museums are good too, so maybe in a couple of years. I have a friend working in bio defense at the pentagon so I want to take ours out there, but will heed your warning.

Michelloui said...

It drives me nuts when I get feedback like this after I've taken the kids to somewhere I think would be interesting and/or exciting (and/or important...fill in the blank) to them.

However, with the oldest turning 23 next week, they are now ll at an age where the memories have suddenly changed when we talk about family holidays as we sit round the dinner table. The most recent: "Do you remember that time we went to the headwaters of the Mississippi? Yeah! It was so cool! I want to canoe down the Mississippi!! I'm going to find sponsors!"

Even though my recollection of their response on the day we went: "s'okay."

There's hope for you ;)

Nota Bene said...

This is funny...a friend took his two young daughters to Washington for a two week holiday trooping round the museums and sites...methinks your lads got off easy!