I'm in the midst of planning our trip to Washington D.C. We leave here on the night of the 16th. I like to do a good bit of pre-planning when I go on trips. I find it saves the family a lot of bumbling about, and often quite a good deal of frustration and money.
Things that I'll either know off my head, or have written down on the master plan in my pocket are; the open hours and Metro stops of the places we plan to visit, What there is to do with a teenager on Friday and Saturday night, and what things we may have wished to visit will be closed or not worth the trouble. In Washington D.C. it is also handy to know what things are free, so if we end up on the National Mall with 45 minutes to spare I'll know what's available.
Doing this also helps me know what to pack. Especially since I'm going to try to get everything in a carry-on bag. It should be pretty easy since I know all the packing tricks - but knowing that there isn't anything playing at The Kennedy Center in the evening I want to see means I can leave the posh, dressy stuff at home.
This trip has been made less stressful to plan because we will have another chance to visit the city next summer, so packing it in won't be the major goal. I'm really looking forward to visiting the National Gallery again, along with the Phillips Collection (home of Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party), The National Portrait Gallery, and the National Cathedral - none of which we saw on our last visit in 2005. Harry has requested the Air and Space Museum, and returning to the Natural History Museum - both worthy of extended visits. We've also applied for VIP tour passes for the Capitol and White House, but I've been told not to expect much from either tour. It seems that White House tours are self-guided, and very limited in scope (plus the security is so tight almost nothing is allowed inside. The Capitol tours are mostly lead by unlucky jr. staffers that may know almost nothing about the edifice or it's contents.
Hannah and I have tickets to a comedy show called Capitol Steps on Friday evening. I'm still looking for one or two other smashing activities to break up the museum hopping. ~M.E.