If you joined us on our trip 2 years ago, you'll know that we have a really good time when we take a vacation together. This one was no different. We did do things a little different by not having one location and seeing sights near and around that location. Instead, we traveled from one place to the next and saw lots of sights in different parts of the country and didn't have a set plan of anything. It was fun, but a lot more work with so many in and outs of the van and loading and unloading of luggage. Amazingly, we all fit in the van with all of our stuff despite adding 2 more children to the mix. What an adventure!
We also wanted to make sure that we were finding ways to do random acts of kindness. We had some ideas prepared ahead of time and other things we did just as we were lead into the situation. I'll try to mention what we did when we did them, so you can get some ideas of ways to show kindness to others. Some of the moments proved to be very good teaching tools to the children....and to the adults as well.
So, our trip started out with a rainy morning, but with Phil along, gray clouds don't keep us down. We had a big breakfast, the men got the van loaded, we said our good byes to Aunt Mandy, we got the kitchen cleaned up, bathroom breaks, and all children loaded, then Phil gave the talk to start the trip. Obviously it was geared to the children. "We're not just going on a trip. We're going on a trip and getting along. We're not just going to the park. We're going to the park and getting along. We're not just watching a movie. We're watching a movie and getting along. We're not just going swimming. We're going swimming and getting along." Okay, you get the idea. The children got the idea too by the end of the trip. Doesn't mean that they always got along, but they did do a good job trying. With a van this full of children, you can't expect everything to go perfectly and everyone to get along at all times. It was nice when we traveled with sleeping children though. : )
The children with the Capital building in the background.
As we were heading to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, this lady stopped us. She was trying to get money for the soup kitchen that she helped with. So, we gave her a little money and she gave the children stickers that talked about smiling. They wore them around the rest of the day. It was nice to visit with her. I'm not sure how many people actually stopped to talk with her, let alone give her money to help her cause. Hopefully, we gave her a smile too by our kind act.
Inside the Mammal section at the Natural History Museum.
What amazing exhibits they have here!