With the New Jersey schools off for a 5 day weekend, we planned to go to Washington DC. Then we canceled it. Then, at just about the last minute, the trip was on again. And we found ourselves somewhat spontaneously in the nation's capital.
All New Jersey schools are off every year on my birthday weekend which is nice because we can plan a fun little weekend trip. This year, we piggybacked a few days in DC with one of Dr. Fabulous's conferences.
On Tuesday, we headed into DC, and on the way we stopped and visited a little place across the Potomac. About 4 years ago we took Pink and Tink here when we stayed at the Gaylord Resort on the Potomac. They still remember riding the glass elevators and walking through the indoor courtyards.
They remembered the waterfront and the statue of the sleeping man awakening in the sand.
Rella was too little to come with us the first time, so she was very excited to see where her sisters romped years ago. She had heard all about it!
They were especially excited to see that the Peeps store was still there. Some people love peeps, some people hate 'em. We are in the "love" camp.
After settling in our hotel downtown, we ended up dining at the hotel since Tink wasn't feeling well. Unfortunately, she has had a low grade fever since Sunday. Though she wasn't getting worse, she wasn't getting better either. By the time her Advil wore off around dinner time, she was down for the count and we were in for the rest of the night.
Rella was also starting to look a bit piqued as the day went on, though that kid REFUSES to ever admit she doesn't feel well. She can look like death warmed over with a raging fever and she's all like "I feel great!" with her glassy eyes and stuffy nose and hoarse voice. I don't know why she is such a liar about this stuff, but we know the drill.
The next morning they both woke up with low grade fevers, but I pumped them full of Advil and we hit the Zoo, which was a short walk from the hotel. They really hung in there - they are such troopers! Not a single whine or complaint, even with 6 hours of walking!
We had never been to the DC Zoo and it was wonderful. It was gorgeous with the fall leaves turning and the weather was not too warm, not too cool. Just perfect.
The lion cubs were frisky and playing with each other - so cute! Just like kittens. Kittens who could shred you into pieces.
The DC Zoo has the only giant panda in the country. It was really cool to see her (though she was sleeping) and her baby (who was chilling up in a tree).
The ape house was another incredible attraction.
As were the Big Cats.
After six hours at the Zoo, we reunited with Dr. Fabulous after his full day at the conference. We went out for dinner, but Rella spiked a fever of 103 and Tink was still coughing up a lung with a low grade fever, so we turned in early and were up at frequent intervals with night wakings and coughing fits. The joys of five people in one tiny hotel room!
Thursday morning was my birthday. I woke up to three sick kids and a husband who had to run off early for the last morning of his conference. Pink finally succumbed after 48 hours in close quarters with 2 sick sisters. She spiked a fever in the morning and spent the day in bed, in and out of a haze and feeling pretty terrible. With the rain and the ill children, we ended up spending my birthday morning sitting in a tiny hotel room watching a string of cartoons waiting for Dr. Fabulous to finish up.
It got so pathetic that I found myself waiting for birthday wishes just to pass the time. By 10:30, no one had called, texted or posted any happy birthday wishes on my Facebook Wall. I mean, the Facebook wall? That should have been rockin'. This is how much of a loser I was... I went into my profile to make sure my birthday was right and found I had my privacy settings too strict! Once I unlocked my birthday for "friends" to see, I filled the long, boring hours with bad hotel coffee and smiling at the emails that started coming in wishing me the happiest of birthdays.
Oh, and yes... I am a total loser.
We spent the rest of the day driving home in the rain. Pink vomited all over the back seat an hour into the drive which meant a detour to a sketchy McDonalds where I cleaned up 5 quarts of vomit with 100 flimpsy paper napkins and a bottle of water for 30 minutes. We hit traffic from an accident and when we finally made it home, Dr. Fabulous was changed into a suit and out the door to attend 2 evening work events before I even got all the suitcases in the house.
I spent the rest of my birthday answering a few nice phone calls from family, nursing three sick kids, drinking a Sam Adams and eating some left over Recess peanut butter cups for dinner. Oh, and writing this enthralling blog.
Okay, maybe it wasn't the best birthday DAY of all time. In fact, it might fall into the mildly pathetic category: An unexciting morning, a long drive home, cleaning up puke, unpacking, three sick kids. I didn't even get the homemade kid card or a random cupcake with a candle stuck in it (or a good cup of coffee... it was a bad coffee weekend... long, tragic story).
BUT, the truth is - we were just in DC at a great hotel AND I'm getting a new fridge of my dreams delivered tomorrow morning (yes, I dream of stainless steel, counter depth double door refrigerators to replace the awkward fridge we've had in our kitchen for 3 years). Plus, I've had my birthday gift since August (a road bike). Most importantly? I have a great family who love me.
And that makes my day. My year, actually.
But I could still go for that good cup of coffee and homemade card. Maybe tomorrow!