When we were here in 2009 for language training, Kathleen was two and a half and Sophia was a year old. The first warm day in March, we decided to go have some fun and take the girls to the National Zoo. After taking the Metro and walking up to the Zoo (never. again.), we walked around for perhaps forty-five minutes before the girls gave up and we hiked back.
We realized after the Zoo that small children have no appreciation for anything beyond swings, french fries, and swimming. And so we haven't bothered going anywhere more interesting than a felucca ride since.
Kathleen is now four and half, fully verbal, literate, and interested in things beyond her own special world. Sophia is happy to be interested in whatever her sister is interested in. And Edwin, well, he is the third child and so gets hauled around against his will. So when my Aunt Kathleen (whom Kathleen is named after) called so see if we would like to come with her and Uncle Bruce to the Baltimore Aquarium, Brandon and I looked at each other, took a deep breath, and agreed.
We started our morning at 6:30 and loaded the children up with french toast, whipped cream, and strawberries, then drove up to Maryland to pick up my aunt and uncle where we made use of seven of the eight seats in our Pilot to drive together to Baltimore.
We got there just in time for the 11:30 dolphin show, where the girls were enthralled and even Edwin got in the spirit and clapped with everyone else. Sophia was disappointed, however, to learn that no, she could not ride the dolphins. After that, the day continued on quite enjoyably. We even got to say hello to Nemo and his father, and finished our day with the aquarium's amazing, three-floor 360-degree tank.
The girls had their very tall great-uncle to pick them up whenever they liked, their Aunt to talk to them, and I have a few times when I got to hold Brandon's hand and nobody else's. Afterwards, we went back to my aunt and uncle's house for takeout Chinese for dinner. On the way home, everyone was asleep within five minutes.
Now that we've met and enjoyed our first all-day outing, I'm excited for more explorations with my children. Just maybe not for a few weeks.