Friday, July 4, 2008

July 4th in Washington, DC!

We had one of the best July 4ths ever today! We started the day with a trip to the Capitol to get tickets for a tour since we couldn't get in yesterday. Our tickets were for 10:45, so we decided to make a trip to Starbucks that was in a quaint little neighborhood near the Capitol.

There were also some great local breakfast places nearby. That's where Mark and Steve got a made-to-order sausage, egg, and cheese bagel. We just sat and people watched and read the paper until time to go on our tour.

Walking back to the Capitol my kids were having some really deep conversations about politics and world events.....NOT!! They were arguing about who had the biggest mouth! Haha...I think they ALL have big mouths!!

The tour of the Capitol was amazing. There was intense security before we could enter. But once we got inside, we really enjoyed it. Our tour guide was an older lady named Nellie who reminded us all of maybe a favorite high school history teacher. She was able to tell us so much about the history of the Capitol and made everything so interesting. All my kids loved it and said it was one of the favorite things we have done here!! She had us all close to tears at the end of the tour by describing what it was like here on 9/11 and how we should all be thankful the Capitol is still here as one of our most recognizable national symbols!

Here we are with our headphones on ready to take the tour!

This is just one of the beautiful paintings in the Rotunda of the Capitol.

After our Capitol tour, we headed down to Constitution Avenue for the parade! It was just a good old-fashioned All-American parade with high school marching bands, beauty pageant winners in cars, and a some floats.

But I can't even begin to describe the crowds that were down there! Oh my gosh it was sooooo crowded!! We were still able to get good seats, though, and really enjoyed watching.

This is just SOME of the crowd!

It was really late when we ate lunch and after that we headed back to the Capitol for the concert and fireworks. I am so thankful for the tight security that has been all over Washington, but at the same time, it was a little bit tiring. We stood in line for an hour and fifteen minutes just to walk through a metal detector and have our bags checked to get onto the Capitol lawn!

This is what it looked like looking up at one side of the Capitol steps.

The concert venue.

It started raining right as we got up to the gates. There were free water bottles available, and since we didn't have any umbrellas, we got the left over boxes and plastic wrap they were wrapped in to sit on and put on our heads to keep dry. Haha...that was pretty resourseful I thought! :)

The concert was really fun and had great music! It was on PBS so you might have seen it! It was the Capitol Concert. And the fireworks were spectacular. My camera doesn't really do them justice, but the National Symphony Orchestra was playing in the background and the fireworks were over the Washington Monument. I loved it! It was so patriotic! And my kids loved it too!

After the concert, we tried to get on the subway to go back to the hotel, but as we got closer, we could see that the line to go down into the subway was miles long. So...we decided to hit a local Mexican restaurant and wait till the lines died down. It was delicious and when we came out, the lines were much shorter!

It has been such a fun day. I'm thankful I got to spend this special holiday here in Washington!! We are leaving tomorrow to head back home!


  1. What an awesome 4th! I was in DC on the 4th once my senior year of High school on a school trip and I'll always remember that.
    So cute that ya'll were all in red, white and blue! :-)

  2. What a wonderful trip! I am so glad y'all are having such a good time - it looked like you spent the 4th in a great way... having fun, enjoying family, and honoring our great nation! Have a safe trip back!!

  3. These pictures are awesome! So glad you all are having such a great time!

  4. Looks like y'all had a blast! Your kids are so cute... and seem to get along so well together - how fun!

  5. What a fun place to spend the 4th of July...I bet that concert and the fireworks were awesome!

  6. WOW that looks like sooooooo much fun!! And the fireworks over the Capitol, beautiful!!

    So glad you've had such a GREAT time!!

  7. Hi, Betsy! I love reading your blog (I'm still trying to get caught up)! It sounds like you and your family are having a great time in D.C...what a cool trip to go on, especially on the 4th! Please be safe!

  8. I am glad you all had fun in DC! What a great way to experience the 4th of July holiday. You have a beautiful family!

    Enjoy your week!

  9. I can't think of a more perfect way to spend the 4th! Would love to have been there for the concert and the fireworks!
    So glad that ya'll had such a great time!

  10. Oh, how neat!!! Love all the pictures from your awesome trip. I would love to have been there too...but the people, all the people...that would have stressed me out!

  11. Sounds like a great trip.
    We did actually see the concert on PBS.
    When I saw your picture, I thought you looked familiar - nice dance moves to Great Balls of Fire. (hehe)

  12. What an amazing way to spend the 4th of July ;)! I really admire the way your family is always up for anything!!!

    I am going to have to say that Ashley appears to be the winner of the big mouth contest ;)!

  13. P.S.
    I made those delicious Andes Cookies for the 4th! They were a BIG HIT!!!

  14. what an awesome trip how fun!! What a busy summer too with the kids going every which way eh!! What fun things to be doing though what great kids you have! Looks like you are having so much fun can't wait to see the before and after of the bedroom! And so sorry about your vechile that is no fun!! well have a great day ttys
    Thanks for your comment on my blog too I wish we lived closer together too! That would be so fun!


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