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Old 03-01-2016, 07:40 AM   #41
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Thanks guys.

DC
I think we'll bike around the mall - perhaps at sunset or sunrise. (My kids actually DO wake up early. It's 5:30 here and they're up. Even on weekends they're up before me.

They both expressed interest in the Spy museum - so that's now on the list as well. I'll try to get tickets to the White House and/or Capital tours.

NYC - I've been many times but this will be the first time for the boys. We're staying near Central park (Beacon Hotel - above the Beacon theater). The thing they're most excited about is climbing to the crown on lady liberty. Times Square is a must. We'll combine Liberty Island, Wall Street, Ground Zero since they're all at the bottom of the island. I think we'll make sure to hit all the pizza and ice cream places mentioned.
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Old 03-01-2016, 10:39 PM   #42
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Just sent my congressman my request for the various tours that can only be had through their office (White House, Capital tour, etc.) Fingers crossed.

Question about Capital Bikes ride share. It says you can have a bike for 30 minutes for free, then pay for additional time. Can you do multiple 30 minute rides in one day? We're thinking about exploring the mall from end to end - but would turn in the bikes before the 30 minute marks... to save money. Is this doable? Is this the way the system works - or is it 30 minutes per day free.
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Old 03-01-2016, 10:59 PM   #43
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+1 on the Spy Museum. I bought my favorite keychain ever there in their gift shop. Since at the time I was both married and a firewall admin I thought the "Deny Everything" motto was doubly appropriate.

If you do go to one of the Ethiopian restaurants in DC, just don't order any fish. I learned an important lesson at one many years ago. As one of my Ethiopian friends told me later, "never order seafood in a landlocked country." But other than that, the food was both delicious and fun.

I was going to mention one of my personal favorites of the Smithsonian, the Freer Gallery. I particularly love James Whistler's Peacock Room. But I just checked and it looks like the Freer is closed for the year. Too bad.

Other than that, the Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum are a lot of fun for kids. I'd recommend the Zoo, but y'all are from San Diego, so never mind.


Maybe the White House tour, if the kids would be into that. Some people are impressed.
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:22 AM   #44
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Question about Capital Bikes ride share. It says you can have a bike for 30 minutes for free, then pay for additional time. Can you do multiple 30 minute rides in one day? We're thinking about exploring the mall from end to end - but would turn in the bikes before the 30 minute marks... to save money. Is this doable? Is this the way the system works - or is it 30 minutes per day free.
Yes, you can do multiple 30 minute trips per day. However, for a 1 day membership, you still have to pay a $10 per person membership fee. According to their website, you have to be at least 16 years old to become a member.
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Old 03-02-2016, 02:43 PM   #45
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DC: We used a free app from the National Park Service that was a walking tour of the mall. It was a LONG walk, but efficient. I had my teenage son with me and I wanted him to see and understand the 3 branches of government. So Capital Building, Supreme Court and Whitehouse were key. With your limited time, tours through each will consume lots of time, so maybe a photo-op and fly by. My fav was the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. PALLETS of money!

We spent a week there and just scratched the surface. As a side note, there is a food court at Union Station, cheap and everyone can get what they want. There was a good food court at the Old Post Office but Trump bought it and is turning it into a hotel.
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Old 03-02-2016, 03:06 PM   #46
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rodi, the boys make like a ducks boat ride in the Potomac.


http://www.dcducks.com
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Old 03-02-2016, 03:14 PM   #47
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The Holocaust Museum I believe is important for all to see. The National Archives and the Air and Space Museum would be next on my list.


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Old 03-02-2016, 03:27 PM   #48
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NYC: Times Square, Statue of Liberty. My favs were the Fountain of Bethesda in Central Park and walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. The Empire State Building tour was good but LONG wait times in line.

We went to see Blue Man Group off Broadway and then rode the Subway at night. Felt a little uncomfortable but it was fine. Would take a taxi next time.


I always put my son in charge of GPS navigation. Kids these days are masters at technology. It gave him something to do and proved to him that he could not only survive but thrive ANYWHERE.

Best hardware. External battery to keep the cell phones charged. No phone=lost.
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Old 03-02-2016, 05:07 PM   #49
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Yes, you can do multiple 30 minute trips per day. However, for a 1 day membership, you still have to pay a $10 per person membership fee. According to their website, you have to be at least 16 years old to become a member.
I missed that about being 16 to be a member... One will be 13 and the other 15. Doh!

Spy museum is definitely on the list now - I got enthusiasm from them on that one.

I've only been to DC 3 times... Twice were day trips where I took the train from Philly - took a cab from Union Station to lawyers' office - spent the day being witness prepped for arbitration in an IP corporate case - then returned by train to Philly... no sight seeing. The other time was with friends to see the Holocaust museum right after opened...
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Old 03-04-2016, 03:29 PM   #50
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So the system of requesting official tours through your congressional rep's office is pretty neat. I have my tour slot for the Capital Tour. The staff will put in for tours of Bureau of Engraving and Whitehouse when those dates open up (too far out right now). One stop shopping with someone else managing the booking windows for me. Love it.
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Old 03-04-2016, 10:38 PM   #51
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I just got tickets to Book of Mormon, at my 15 yr old daughters urging.

We plan on touring Wall St area-World Trade, MOMA and the Met museums, Central Park and visiting a couple colleges.

Other than that, just walking around and taking it all in will be big on my list.
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Old 03-05-2016, 07:58 AM   #52
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The Beacon Hotel and Theater is less than 500 Feet from Levain Bakery!


This reminds me- Many great places in NYC are not just pricey, but they only take cash! I do not recall if Levain is cash only, but plan accordingly- cash is king in NYC.

Other thoughts- shopping in Chinatown is a kick- lots of knock offs, knick knacks etc. a wild scene. Soho is funky and lots of lovely young women walking around -there's a cool store called evolution there with skeletons, etc.
Blue Man Group is great for teen boys as is Book of Mormon (as a South Park guys' show it should be ideal for obnoxious teen boys)


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Old 03-05-2016, 08:42 AM   #53
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Not sexist, merely tautological! Really, all she had to say was "13 and 15," sans gender, and we could guess the attributes just from that. Most of us (male or female) are simply horrible during that age period. I can still remember hating myself for how I talked to my Mother when I was 15, but feeling unable to do otherwise. By age 16, I was nice again. She told me my brother and sister had gone through the Ugly Period just like me.

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I think noting your children's sex while describing their attributes is pretty sexist of you.
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Old 03-05-2016, 10:19 AM   #54
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While I enjoyed Book of Mormon very much, parts of it I think would be a little much for the under-19 set.
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:45 AM   #55
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So I've heard back about the bureau of engraving and printing tour - we got it. It's first thing in the morning of the same day we do the Capital tour in the afternoon. We'll do a quick spin (limited time) of the smithsonian castle on our way between the two places.

Still waiting to hear about the whitehouse tour.
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Old 04-16-2016, 01:39 PM   #56
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Still waiting to hear about the whitehouse tour.

We tried to see the White House last year but our request was denied. Had a great time overall. We saw the Capitol/Supreme Court and many museums. The historical exhibits were the best, such as seeing the Declaration of Independence. My only regret is that we didn't go up the Washington Monument. I wasn't sure about our schedule and when I finally figured it out, tickets were gone. Have a fun trip!
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Old 04-16-2016, 06:41 PM   #57
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My goodness! All the "good stuff" sounds so crowded, with tickets in advance and so on. So much for spontaneity.

I guess in modern times things have to be like that, but gee.
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:49 PM   #58
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My goodness! All the "good stuff" sounds so crowded, with tickets in advance and so on. So much for spontaneity.



I guess in modern times things have to be like that, but gee.

I'm finding that the list of things I'm willing to "queue up" for is short and getting shorter...
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Old 04-16-2016, 09:06 PM   #59
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I'm finding that the list of things I'm willing to "queue up" for is short and getting shorter...
I hear you on that. But that's one of the reasons for signing up ahead of time for these tours. We have time slots so theoretically no lines. And the DC stuff doesn't cost anything... just some paperwork and requests ahead of time.

You don't have to do this for the statue of liberty - unless you want to climb to the crown AND avoid the lines. You have to pay, regardless if you arrange ahead of time or not.
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:16 PM   #60
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I hear you on that. But that's one of the reasons for signing up ahead of time for these tours. We have time slots so theoretically no lines. And the DC stuff doesn't cost anything... just some paperwork and requests ahead of time.



You don't have to do this for the statue of liberty - unless you want to climb to the crown AND avoid the lines. You have to pay, regardless if you arrange ahead of time or not.

Luckily, I saw many of the touristy places in DC on my high school senior trip, many, many moons ago. And, my son is grown, so no more trips to Disney or Sea Worlds! 😎

I could wander the Smithsonian for days though...
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