Day Four-Washington D.C

I looked forward to today. More than any of the other days.  For several reasons….one being that I have never actually traveled to our nations capitol.  I want. to. so. bad. Like SO bad.  However, I am saving that trip for when Miss K (and any other children we may have) are older and can “appreciate” the 109 tours I am going to force encourage them to go on.

I get tears in my eyes almost every time I speak about America.  I don’t know what has intensified in my heart the last 5 years, or so.  I am filled with patriotism and pride for my country. A country that is so beautiful and regal.  That stands powerful and majestic.  A land that is like no other.  America. A truly wonderful place.  

And when I think about America…..

I think of amazing, pivotal, lighthearted and special moments that joined us all together in definition.  Moments that are unlike any other and will be spoken about for years and years.

I think of Presidents that defined generations.  I think of proclamations that changed the way people viewed their lives.  I think of tragedy that made people sit in front of their television (or radio) sets for 3 days straight.  I think of jubilation when our nation was represented by athletes that were victorious.  There are so many all-American moments that I think of.  Each leaving a lump in my throat.  Each that I could watch over and over again.

A reminder that one man can change things, standing on the shoulders of men like Lincoln and Washington:

A reminder that baseball truly is the the American game and what a beautiful landscape it has created:

A reminder of the victories, wearing red, white and blue:

And a reminder of the moments when America rose above the most horrific of circumstances:

Controversial moments, serene moments, unique and notorious.  So many moments and people make up the watercolor of America.  George Washington, the father of our country. Abraham Lincoln, the great emancipator. Ronald Reagan, Billy Graham, Neil Armstrong, FDR, Amelia Earhart, Helen Keller, Dian Fossey, Pearl Buck, Dwight Eisenhower, General George Patton, members of the United States Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard.  The list goes on and on and on. 

On and On.  

Defining moments and people.

How I love you, America.  My admiration for our nation is undivided and unwavering.  May our flag and the beliefs that this country was founded on, be upheld and respected.  May I always be grateful for my freedom, rights and privileges!!!


On to our Staycation, Day 4:

Today we visited Washington DC and celebrated our country.  What a great day!  

(Can we do this once a week, please?)

We started the morning with a pink box.  Nothing screams “American workplace”, quite like a box of fat, right?


We had our dining room set up with the red, white and blue. A beautifully vintage American flag, gracing our home.


I tried to have treats for Miss K each day, but that can get pricey, so I found some amazing stuff in the dollar bins at TARGET.  (Word to the homeschool families out there: There is some great stuff in the dollar bins Right now. American history books, flash-cards for math and workbooks for spelling/word association.  I almost bought the lot in case we go that route. Go and overspend-its the American way!!)

I found a book about the states and the COOLEST part of the day was the Presidential flash-cards!  WOOHOO!  These things are amazing.  They have stats and fun trivia.  We carried them with us everywhere today (we may, or may not have shared random bits of knowledge, about President Hoover, with a server) and learned quite a bit.



Some “all American” movies to select from.  We watched “The Sandlot” in the morning.  I forgot how much I loved that movie.  


Laced up our All-Star Converse and got some lunch at the local 50’s diner…



I love it that some resturuants still have juke-boxes and mini-flags on the tables.  My type of eatery.


A patty-melt and club sandwich for lunch.  With extra grease, please.  Duh.



Some “light” reading in the afternoon. (PS. Get this book. If you don’t already love Ronnie, you will, about 50 pages in. Aside from being one of the greatest Presidents we ever had (non-negotiable), he was compassionate, quick witted, a devoted husband and extremely morally conscience. The man was just amazing.)


For dinner we went back and forth between so many options.  Ruby’s, Johnny Rockets, In-N-Out etc….but we landed on Lucilles BBQ. I don’t even know how or why. We don’t eat there alot, but something about it was distinctively American to us. As we were pulling into the parking lot, I said to Sean, “are you sure?  It’s just soooo much food”, to which my wise husband replied, “what’s more American than eating until your stomach lining is going to explode?”

Sad, but true.


We also came home with some “souvenirs” today. I am generally pretty big on not buying books and getting them from your local library, but we made an exception. It’s “vacation”, right?  Go crazy!

Miss K got a book about Honest Abe, which had pretty cool illustrations. A Patriot’s History came highly recommended to me as well.  Looking forward to it.


When asked about her STAYCATION, this is what Miss K had to say:



talk to me Goose. As long as you are commenting, you might as well tell me who YOUR favorite President is and why.  Or your favorite American moment.  Or what you love about America.  Or all of the above.

And a BIG FAT gold star goes to whomever can answer these two Presidential trivia questions first (and by “gold star”, i mean that I’ll throw your name in the giveaway two extra times):

*Who was the ONLY President to earn his PhD?

*Under what President were the number of US State Parks doubled?


Forever may God bless America!!!!



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32 responses to “Day Four-Washington D.C

  1. I think you might very well win the prize for being the most creative person! I wish I could come up with this kind of stuff… and execute it (that would be the hard part for me!)!

  2. Kat

    Ok the second one is Teddy Roosevelt..I’m not sure on the first and I don’t want to cheat with Google.

    And tell Miss K…my sentiments EXACTLY.

    Someday she will laugh herself silly watching that video, and she will thank you for taking it =o)

  3. jenn

    i’m pretty sure that the first is Thomas Woodrow Wilson and i don’t know the 2nd one…but clearly diana does :).

    the mary lou vid makes me tear up every time…i’m a total sucker for olympic gymnastics!!

    some of my BEST childhood memories are from family vacations to DC. my mom had a work conference there every year and my brother, dad and i would go and meet her and embark on crazy adventures in our capital…good times! you will LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!


  4. So here’s the answers i think…
    Woodrow Wilson had his Phd and FDR doubled the state parks. Thought I’d take a shot.

    God Bless America, Land that I love!!

  5. okay maverick…i love singing/hearing the national anthem at dodger baseball games. miss k has her own language and it is hilarious! such a cute voice. and the sandlot is one of my favorites too, thought about that for an outdoor movie night on the 4th! my good friend dave would agree with you on everything you mentioned about america, especially about regan!

  6. OK, I actually knew the second one without using google, but as for the first…I plead the 5th.

    1) Woodrow Wilson

    2) Theodore Roosevelt

    Hmmm, I think my favorite thing about the US of A would be it’s “melting pot” qualities. There seems to be a lot of emphasis in the media about how different we are – red state vs. blue, urban vs. rural, “real” America vs. “fake” (?) America. But the fact remains that we can coexist – however fitfully at times – and live peacefully, side by side, despite our differences. No other country can boast of this, nor does any other country afford its citizens the scope or extent of our freedoms – the freedom to think, to speak, to believe, to worship, to go public, to keep private.

    It’s really quite amazing when you think about it.

  7. Sounds like a fun and DELICIOUS day! Love the doughnuts, love the Sandlot, love the Converse, love Miss K! =)

  8. Mary

    Favorite President=Lincoln, of course! I love that you learned fun facts about the presidents all day. We’ll get to D.C. some day… Love Miss K’s video!!!! And I love that she is matching the festivities.

  9. Jenny

    I feel the same way about an increase in my own patriotism over the past several years. So much in fact that my husband and I went to DC last year at my request and had a great time. You will love it when you go!

  10. You know, I was totally into what Miss K had to say. I dig her sentiments. Seriously.

  11. Your Brother

    I know this sounds lame but I LOVE the fact you added baseball into your AMERICA day. And who is a great American? Vin Scully… DUH!

    I love your patriotism Sis. And I love Monopoly and am dying to play again.

    And I love you.

    P.S.- If you love America…. go see TEAM AMERICA WORLD POLICE! HILARIOUS! 🙂

  12. you will LOVE D.C.!!! I went on a tour with my 5th grade class and it is still one of my fondest memories. We saw the tomb of the unknown soldier (I participated in the changing of the guards), all the monuments, the smithsonians – not super fun after the 6th one but hey as long as you have a deck cards ur fine! And saw fireworks on the mall in front of the Washington monument on 4th of July! It doesn’t get much more American than that!
    Sandlot-probably one of the cutest movies ever that I still watch, converse- ’nuff said, miss k- totes adorable! i love watching her make words….and then surprising herself with the sounds that come out! too cute!
    & i gotta agree w/ Melissa on the “melting pot” – I think thats what makes us unique.
    btw- still super impressed with you and your creativity!

  13. Kim

    God Bless the U.S.A. I love America too! :o) and red, white and blue. I think my favorite President is also Reagan. I want to read his book now after your suggestion! :o) Loving your blog and look forward to each new post!

  14. Julie

    Mike and I recently watched the John Adams miniseries on dvd . . . I highly recommend it. I totally need to read a biography on Abigail Adams after seeing that film.

    Love Miss K’s summery of the day. Too cute!

  15. can i please just tell you how much i love that you too refer to president reagan as ronnie? he is my favorite president also & though i’d like to say it’s because i am so well educated & knowledgable about his presidency, it’s really for sentimental reasons as he is the very first president i can recall. my parents still laugh at the fact that when his 8 years were up i asked “you mean ronny isn’t going to be president anymore?” i couldn’t fathom it!

  16. Linda Ternes

    The fact that so many people risk their lives to arrive on the shores of the USA says something about our nation. When I think of people who have concocted rafts of all sizes and buoyancy in order to offer their children the freedoms we enjoy….and then lost their lives…. I can’t help but be grateful for freedoms I have enjoyed but don’t necessarily deserve.

    And I realize that I will be walking up and down the streets of heaven, thanking those who gave their lives to protect th0se freedoms!

    Thanks, Rachel, for sharing!

  17. Well, my oldest is named “Reagan” and no, it is not a coincidence. 🙂

  18. Carrie

    Oh, Mary Lou…..thanks to her, I went out in my front yard, after she won gold, and decided to do some gymnastics myself. Well that ended up with me breaking my elbow in 6 places. No gold for me that day, just a cast that started to get smelly during a hot summer.

  19. Presidential flash cards? In the dollar bin at Target? Looks like I know where I’m headed today!


  20. Those planning a trip to DC with older kids have GOT to take a segway tour. It is expensive, I know, but one of the best ways to see the sights. I’m sure kids have to be 16 or something. We had a friend visit and went on the tour with him and it was awesome.I usually take the metro, so I had never actually been to some of the places we went. I think we have pictures on our family website: if anyone wants to see them (sorry I didn’t post that yesterday in case you wanted to use them – I forgot about them)

  21. noelle

    great post Rachel! America is a wonderful country – and we often forget with all of the debates and negativity that often surrounds the politics in DC – how special our country is and how blessed we are to even have the freedom to stand up for what we believe in!

    DC is amazing! We took the kids when we lived in MD and it was great. I do have to say – take Ms. K before she’s a teenager if you can….I was a snotty teenager and when my parents took my brother & I to DC – we both sat in the car majority of the time – with no interest in going into any of the museums. So sad – but true. Try to also go during Cherry Blossom season – super crazy & crowded – but so beautiful! enjoy your day!

  22. Erica

    Hip Hip Hooray for America! and a way hooray for the dollar bin at target!

  23. Michelle Eastman

    This is my #1 pick of the week (and will still be so after tomorrows post!)

    Not everyone still loves America or feels God is blessing it … thank you for being so bold and vocal about how great this country is – even when morally debased. We have done great things, produced tremendous people and modeled democracy for the world.

    We are raising our boys to fight for their country … and to fight to get it BACK.

    PS – Have you seen “The Guardian”? A fabulous insight into the Coast Guard and the men that risk their lives to save others every time they go out. Absolutely inspiring!!!

  24. oh, and another vote to recommend John Adams! It is a GREAT mini series.

  25. another wonderful vacation day…i can’t wait until we can take our crew to D.C. ~ the food from that diner looks soooo yummy ~ now i’m craving fries…

  26. Erica

    oh! those juke boxes are definitely, the raddest part of old school dinners!

  27. something makes me think Teddy Roosevelt was in charge when we got a bunch more state parks.
    As I sit here tonight, I think Jimmy Carter is my favorite ex-president. He’s so decent and caring and honest. He’s like in his 80’s and still swingin’ a hammer to build homes for poor people. Quite the example for all of us, really.

  28. heartfeltinkspiration

    OK, well here’s one for you: Who is the only U.S. President buried in Washington, D.C.?

    I am enjoying your travels!

  29. Beautiful post! You made me tear up! I went to DC a couple years ago as a college graduate and was definitely glad I wanted to be there and wasn’t drug there! I want to go back!

    Fav President…probably Thomas Jefferson. Amazing thinker, writer and leader.

    and to answer your questions–
    Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt?

  30. Oh, I loved what Miss K had to say! 🙂 I love it when they start babbling.
    I’ve become more patriotic in recent years, too. Today at lunch, I was talking about the Civil Rights Movement, and how it inspires me in a big way. Such power in humble way, you know?

  31. Wow how fun was this day! This is random but, I live around your area and the diner you went to Dales, if you like Thai Food there is this great spot down the diagonal street from Dales called Tiny Thai, it’s across the street from Jack in the Box. my family friend owns it and they have the best food. Maybe if you have a Thailand staycation it could make the agenda, anyways, thanks so much for sharing, I love this idea.

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