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. 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. mother in israel says

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

  4. Thanks for sharing your American adventures with us.

  5. mother in israel 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. mother in israel 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. Thanks for the review of Brookside Gardens. I will check it out soon.