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Monday, May 5

American Band (Grand Funk Railroad)

What better place to spend the Fourth of July than in the nation's capital?   Granted, about a million other people are there as well, but there's so much to do and see, and much of it is kid-friendly AND budget-friendly. 
 We had the great fortune to have family living in the area, and are extraordinarily grateful to the kids' aunt and uncle for letting us crash at their apartment for several weeks!!!  They made memories which will last a lifetime. 

Our first stop was The National Mall  (where nearly everything is free).  "National Treasure 2" had been recently released, and was a family favorite, so we tried to hit as many of the landmarks from the movie as possible.  We hit the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and Jefferson Memorial before heading inside to the museums.
  
  
  

The Smithsonian Museums (free admission) brought much-needed relief in the form of air conditioning.  We visited the Air & Space Museum, Museum of American History, and Museum of Natural History multiple times. 


    
One of the trip highlights for the boys was using their Metro Pass.  If you are going to be in the area for any length of time, look into purchasing one for the reduced fares.  While walking is still the easiest way to get around, the Metro is quicker.  Subways are not a part of their everyday world, and there were days that I was fairly certain they were more excited about taking the Metro than anything else! 
 
Outside of the metro area, we visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery (free admission) and saw the changing of the guard and John F. Kennedy's eternal flame.  Kudos to our men and women who stand guard 24/7, regardless of the weather.
  
Also on the periphery, is George Washington's home in Mount Vernon, Virginia.  This is an all-day affair, but air conditioning was sparse and it was 100+, so we hustled through the tour.
 
Back in the city, we finished our "National Treasure" tour with the Capitol Building and Library of Congress  (both free).
  
As our trip came to a close, we prepared to celebrate the birth of our nation in the capital....along with a million other Americans.  This included watching the preparations for "A Capitol Fourth", taking one last stroll around the mall, and then heading out to see fireworks!
 

........let's just take a moment to reflect on exactly HOW HOT it was...
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