Another busy week! We left early Tuesday morning (4:00 a.m.) to drive to Alexandria, VA to visit Christian's brother Marc, his wife and Marcy, and Christian's sister Alexia. I think Hannah is convinced that when we move, her old home and friends disappear. She loved going back to see familiar things. It is also really fun to have Rachel and Nathan connect with their extended family, especially since they were too young to really appreciate having family around when we lived in Utah. Once we were in Virginia, we spent an afternoon at the park, then had a BBQ with Marc and Marcy and ended with a game night. The kids loved playing with their cats and behaved remarkably well, considering how little sleep they had. Marc and Marcy have a one bedroom apartment, so we had really tight quarters that week, but the kids cooperated nicely. On Thursday, we drove back to Baltimore to visit the Science Center (can't let our membership go to waste), where we learned that Nathan does not like life-size dinosaurs and that all the kids love to get wet playing in the water/fountain table. It was really nice to have Hannah recognize the Harbor and be familiar with where we were. Afterwards, we drove by our old apartment--which none of the kids recognized--then went to a park to play with some friends. We enjoyed a picnic dinner and the kids found lots of small frogs to play with, then got really dirty in mud puddles. There is a drastic shortage of young families here in Shelby, so we really enjoyed spending an evening with friends.
On Friday, Alexia took the kids to the zoo (Rachel kept talking about seeing horses...) while the big people went to the D.C. temple. I'm always impressed with the beautiful setting around the temple, and how peaceful it is to go to the temple, especially in all the craziness of the city. We got lost on our way to the zoo, and in a way it was nice because we got to see the Mall, the Capital, and several memorials (we didn't have time for sight seeing) and some of the embasies. Later, we went swimming with Alexia, cooked Chinese food with Marcy and had a game night all together.
While it was a busy few days, we really enjoyed our little vacation. It is also good to be back and finally catch up on sleep.