The nevertheless entertaining Tisha B’Av edition of Haveil Haveilim can be found over at Simply Jews.
We finally arrived in Washington. Usually, by the time I arrive at my sister’s house with my small children, the last thing I want to do is get on another plane. But I decided to be brave, and flying the day after arrival was even braver. Below are some highlights.
- One day we visited museums with an old friend and her kids, and the next day we went to the zoo. Here is the 6.5-year-old elephant taking a bath; my four-year-old recently wondered whether it had turned seven yet.
- We had a mini-misadventure on the bus from the Metro. My brother rarely takes the bus so we agreed that I would call to find out where to disembark. After trying his cellphone six times I realized that I could call my sister in New York to get his home number. My sister-in-law, who unfortunately knows less about bus travel than my brother, advised me to get off immediately. We did, and had to be rescued by car shortly afterward.
- Our second mini-misadventure occurred the next afternoon, upon discovering that I didn’t have exact change for the bus. Purchases near the Metro involve vending machines and unless you have change to begin with, you are stuck. I asked a woman at the bus stop for change for $5, which she didn’t have. I mentioned being $0.05 short and she offered me a nickel. Even though I would have gladly done the same for someone else I felt terribly uncomfortable. Should I have spent an extra $2 to avoid accepting a nickel from a stranger? This time we got off at the right stop and managed to find my brother’s house (eventually).
- My brother and nephew were available for sightseeing on our last morning. But dragging luggage, carseats, and a stroller through downtown museums seemed vaguely impractical and we could not come up with a place to stow it. So my brother suggested Brookside Gardens. I thought my children would find a botanical garden dull after Washington’s other attractions, but I try to be accommodating. Especially when someone else is driving. I should have trusted my older, wiser brother who taught me serious backgammon strategy. There was a lake, turtles, catfish, bridges, and stepping stones along with plants of all types. We wanted time to stop for lunch before the flight, so we debated buying a ticket for the butterfly exhibit. And again my brother made the right move. After observing butterflies at different stages of development. Then we entered a large room filled with butterflies of all colors, patterns and sizes flitting about like, well, butterflies. Before you leave you check in a mirror to make sure none is catching a ride on your back.
- My sister-in-law and nephews are probably not used to hosting such a crowd, but you couldn’t have guessed. We had fun together.
- I tracked down a cousin and ended up going to a “lechayim” for her daughter’s engagement.
In case you were wondering, we did have a misadventure on our way back to New York. I hope you can handle the suspense . . .