Highlights of My Washington Trip

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 . . .


  1. I love the butterfly photo. Beautiful.

  2. http://baila says

    Why would you feel bad about accepting a nickel from a stranger? She wanted to do it, otherwise she would not have offered. You probably made her day–she felt good about helping out a total stranger.

  3. http://mother%20in%20israel says

    Baila, you’re probably right. It’s hard to accept help sometimes.

  4. Thanks for sharing your American adventures with us.

  5. http://mother%20in%20israel says

    That’s one reason I don’t rent a car. But my 14-year-old is a huge help, and, as you’ll see soon, we would have missed the plane to NY if it weren’t for her.

  6. http://mother%20in%20israel says

    Thanks, I-D. Haloscan has been really buggy. I didn’t get email notification for your comment, and on this blog and others my comments don’t always go through.

  7. I find traveling with children and no other adults difficult. I once got lost in Central NJ with a carload full of kids. We just missed the turn-off and kept going…and going…and going. Next time I took another adult.
    Sounds like you had fun!

  8. http://Frayda says

    Thanks for the review of Brookside Gardens. I will check it out soon.

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