The Washington DC weekend

Yaay! My parents are here! They landed on Wednesday morning at JFK and the traffic was so bad that it took 2hrs just to get home from the airport. Gave them the one evening and night to sleep and rest. From Thursday, they have been taken to grocery shopping, swimming and karate.

We even finished a trip of Washington DC 🙂 We started on Saturday morning and the traffic was so bad that a 3hrs drive took us 5 – we started at 8 and reached only by 1pm. We immediately got into the hop-on hop-off and got to the White House. More than clicking pics there, we sat in the park opposite, in the shade and had the lunch that I had packed. That gave us some energy to walk back to the bus stop and get to the next stop – Jefferson memorial. By the time we finished this and waited for the bus it was 4pm and 5pm was the last trip time. Mom was so exhausted that she asked “Do these memorials have ACs? ” 😀 Lets go somewhere which has AC! So, we got back to the Air and Space Museum which was open until 7:30pm. While we walked around the museum, it began to pour outside – thunderstorm that lasted 2hrs. Which gave us time to even grab a quick bite at the food court. We managed to make my parents eat Cheese Burgers at McD too.

One of the best part of this trip was we met our Columbus friends – Anup and Lakshmi and their kids during the trip – they had booked the same hotel we had and so we got a chance to meet them once we checked into the hotel after 5+ yrs and the kids got to play together until 10pm by which time, the adults were exhausted.

Next morning, we met them again for breakfast, took a few pictures and then checked out. We parked the car again near L’Enfant Plaza and took the Hop-on hop-off to the remaining 3 memorials – FDR and MLK and finally Lincoln memorial. We looked for an Indian restaurant – Masala Art close by for a heavy Indian lunch and then drove straight back to reach home by 7:15pm.

Off to Niagara this weekend 😀 I guess the next few posts will be all about travels with the parents. Tata for now, with some pictures:





The 4th of July weekend

For a change, we decided not to travel anywhere during this long weekend. So far, there hasn’t been a single long weekend that we have stayed home in NJ 🙂 But what do we do 3 days? Like my mom says, looks like we DO have wheels in our feet…

We had to meet an uncle in Philly and return something that my FIL had borrowed while he was here. So, it gave us a reason to go to Philly. But driving all that distance just to visit someone didn’t seem too appealing. We decided to first visit the most talked about ‘Please Touch’ museum for kids.

We had a leisurely breakfast and started only by 10am. Reached the museum by 11:15. We expected crowds but there wasn’t any. As we entered, Sam saw the Roadside Attractions section filled with all types of vehicles. Needless to say, he just ran in and spent a considerable amount of time running around and trying to drive every vehicle on display. We then went down to the City Capers where he did his own shopping and then cooked ‘lunch’ for us. All the episodes of Food Network seems to have rubbed off 😀 He totally loves cooking now. We then ambled along to Centennial Exploration which has a huge train structure and lots of tracks and engines for kids to build their own trains. While he happily sat down to build his own tracks and play, hubby and I looked around. Then came the turn of the carousel which he happily went into for the first time without either of us accompanying him. I enjoyed the mirrors and the maze at the Alice in wonderland section. A quick pizza lunch at the cafe and we were ready to go, while he wanted to explore the water and the boats and ‘launch rockets’. After another 30mins, it was still 2:30 and we had to meet the uncle only by 6pm. So, what do we do?

We  decided to pay a visit to the Philly Zoo as well. While the crowds were huge with 2 parking lots full and having heard so much about how big it is, we thought it would be a waste of $$ for us to be entering the zoo at 3pm which would close by 5pm. So, with a map in hand we decided to do away with the camel and pony rides and the carousel section. Then we walked around looking at the Rhinoceros (I felt sad for that lonely animal which had imaginary boundaries and was walking around within a small patch of land 😦 ) Zebra, Giraffe, Bear, Leopard and 2 lions. It was then the Aviatory and the Reptiles section. We watched as the birds were fed and even took in a quick 15mins show on the migration of birds. By the time we were half way through the reptiles section looking at the snakes (eewww) the 5pm bell rang and Sam who was afraid of being locked up for the night with the reptiles dragged us and rushed out 🙂 What actually surprised us was that people generally told us that we need a day each for the museum and the zoo which we covered in 1 day. I am still wondering what we missed! After a quick stop at the uncle’s place to return his stuff, we were back home with biryani for dinner 😀

4th of July – I had been pestering hubby that we need to see the NYC-Macy’s fireworks which is said to be one of the top 10 4th of july fireworks in the country. With all the logistics of the crowd and the traffic, I had done the research and found that we could go to the Brooklyn Bridge Park pier 5 and park the car close by without having to drive through NYC. When I spoke about the plan to another friend, they decided to join us too. So, before traffic closed at 4pm, we had reached the parking garage that hubby had prebooked online, though we got lost a bit, and then walked to the Pier 5 soccer field. The 2 boys had a blast running around and playing soccer and we all ate the chappatis and Methi parathas with pickle for dinner at 7pm. Then, it began to rain! Pour! We ran to get some shelter at the only building we could see. We thankfully had a big picnic blanket we could spread and hold in front of us and it was thick enough to stop us and the kids from getting wet. At about 8:45 the rains stopped and as if on cue, the NJ fire works across the Hudson river began. For about 20mins and then we waited for 10 mins for the Macy’s Fire works to begin. It was totally worth it. Though it began to drizzle and got chilly, we enjoyed the complete fireworks. The only disappointment was that I could not get the pictures of  Manhattan during sunset that I was hoping to get a glimpse of. Luckily the traffic wasn’t bad either on the way back and though we had to wait for about 20mins for the traffic cops to clear the way, we were home by 11:30. A fireworks that went into the memories for rain.

After a weekend long post 😀 leaving you with some pictures: