Friday, December 2, 2011

Washington D.C.

Our flight to Rome left the next day at 6pm, so we had almost a whole day to spend in Washington D.C., so we tried to take advantage of that. We had to take a shuttle to the airport and then catch one down to downtown D.C.

We started out in Arlington Cemetery. This statue is very well known, but I had no idea how HUGE it is. It was quite impressive. I'm told that as you drive past it it has the illusion of them the soldiers raising the flag. I don't walk that fast, so I can't tell you if that is accurate.

We walked through the cemetery and it is a truly hollowed ground, especially when you think of the many men and women who spent their lives defending our freedoms. Freedom is not Free.
This is a beautiful monument in honor of the women who served our country.
We walked up and observed the changing of the guard. This is the most prestigious honor for a soldier to be able to do. A soldier walks back and forth 24/7 in front of the tomb of the unknown soldier. Every step is perfectly executed. They spend 3 hours preparing their uniform for the one hour that they will be guarding the tomb. It was very impressive.
We then continued our walk across the Potomac River. (We did a lot of walking- with all of our luggage- just a taste for what was to come.)
Ron and the Lincoln Memorial.
Wendy inside the Lincoln Memorial- a very popular place to be.
Ron in front of the Washington Monument.
Wendy inside an atrium in the Smithsonian National Art Gallery. We didn't have much time to see inside this amazing building, but it did get us really excited to taste more amazing Art in Italy.
We booked it back to a bus stop and just barely made it on the bus heading back to the airport. We're talking Ron running at full sprint with his big backpack on to get to the bus stop and me pulling my luggage behind me at a run. (It was Columbus day, so they were running on different hours then usual. Luckily we were talking to another bus driver and found out and were able to catch the bus that had just left by cutting down a side street.) Just a little more excitement for our adventure.

We were able to make our flight and even sit together. It was a long flight and we tried to sleep, but sleeping on a plane was pretty hard for me. It is a kind of scary thought when you can see that you are flying over the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and know that even if you wanted out of the plane there was literally no where to get out. I guess my claustrophobia was trying to creep out on me. Luckily we made it safe and sound into Rome around 8 am.

The Journey Begins

I'll attempt to share some pics from our AMAZING trip to Italy. It's a little overwhelming for many reasons. First of all I took a TON of pictures. Second, it's hard for me to find the time to sit and publish them on my blog (with 5 kids, I know that's strange :) ) and mainly it's hard to really describe how incredible everything was, but I'll do my best.

A couple days before we left Mia fell off a chair in the kitchen and needed to get stitches. The problem was that they needed to be taken out while we were in California, so that's what we did right before we left for the airport, the day after we arrived. She was pretty squirmy, but I got them out eventually. Good job Dr. Mom I say.

One last family hug before we left for two weeks. I'm not going to lie, I was getting homesick for the kids, before we even left them, but I knew they would be fine. McKay would come up and grab us around the waste and hang on and tell us he was giving us a really long hug because we were going to be gone for a long time.
My brothers Sean and Chris drove us to the SF airport and dropped us off. Our journey had begun.
The flight was relatively uneventful. We arrived in Washington D.C. after midnight and had to catch a cab to our hotel. He was a really nice guy and very talkative. We told him we had been married for ten years and he insisted on seeing the ring, asking, "You're sure." He was really shocked when we told him we had five kids. He wanted to see a picture then and there- as he was driving. We assured him we'd show him one when we were stopped. He asked if we were Mormons and we had a nice chat about the gospel.

Halloween- better late then Never

We had a really fun Halloween and I thought I better share some of it with the world before Christmas. Ha ha. Ron and I had an AMAZING time in Italy and got back a couple days before Halloween. Last year the kids thought it would be fun to dress up together as a family so the trick was to find something that had enough characters that we could all dress up together. Our conclusion...... Alice and Wonderland!

So once we got back to the states I got to work while we were still at my parents home. I had fun making our many family costumes and enjoyed my mom's help as well.

We have Mr. McKay as a card guard. (He was the only one who didn't want to dress up with the family- but with the proper motivation (thanks Natalie) we were able to talk him out of Harry Potter.)
Miss Mia was our little white rabbit. I decided not to even attempt the glasses. She was darling anyway.
Siena was our Crazy Cheshire Cat. I must say she was the cutest one I saw.

Miss Lizziroo of course was our Lovely Alice- who started the whole thing.
William was our Mad Hatter. He was so popular he needed Batman to guard him throughout the festivities. (His cousin Jack).
Ron was the Ace of Hearts who's sole purpose was to ensure the needs of the Queen of Heart were met. He did a pretty sweet job.
Here we are all together. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun. Happy belated Halloween!!!

We had fun trunk or treating in California before we came home. Let's just say there was not a shortage of candy among the Francom Fam
We also enjoyed watching the kid's costume parade at school that day.