08 Dec From Kentucky to Washington DC
At the end of October, we set out for our first big road trip as a family of three! It took us 12 hours to get from Kentucky to our AirBNB in Arlington, Virginia, but Gideon was such a trooper, spending the whole time watching Little Baby Bum and staring contentedly out the window.
Gideon enjoyed 3 full days in Washington DC with Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Dana, Uncle Jamie, and the Farmer cousins, exploring the White House (right up to the front door!), the White House museum, the Lincoln Memorial and Jefferson Memorial at night, Ford’s Theater, Smithsonian National Museum of American History, and Great Falls National Park. Brian also saw the Capitol Building and the Holocaust Museum, and we both saw Arlington Cemetery and went on a “Scandals of DC” walking tour with Mom and Dad (without Giddy). We had to explore around nap times, and Gideon had one full meltdown when the Secret Service wouldn’t let him swim in the fountain at the White House, but otherwise, he was an amazing traveler! He let me carry him around DC in the carrier, laughed so hard at the doors opening and closing on the metro, could not stop hugging and kissing his cousins (especially Aaron), started babbling so much more, began identifying shapes and colors on his puzzles (which we learned in DC he could do all by himself), let us take him on long walks around our AirBNB, and even fell asleep on me for the first time in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Brian and I also got a double-date with Dana and Jamie to a little Mediterranean place right down the street, and it was such a gift to just be able to spend so much time with family!
From DC, the three of us headed to Annapolis. Brian and I had seen Annapolis in the dark back in college, and it was even more beautiful than we expected in the daylight! We took a snack break in the visitor’s center, walked around downtown and all the way to the pier, and then grabbed a Moose Tracks milkshake from Chick N Ruth’s. We loved the beautiful cobblestone streets, and Gideon loved running next to the water.
Then the three of us headed north again, stopping in Delaware to explore First State National Park and the town of New Castle. We had a “date night” with Gideon over crab bisque, and then crashed hard after a long day of travel.
The next morning, we set out for Cape May, New Jersey. Though the lighthouse we drove 5-hours out of the way for was closed, we did get to experience Gideon’s first time at the beach. He was not a fan of the Atlantic Ocean, but he LOVED the sand! He also loved running up and down the long, inclined boardwalk to the beach.
Finally, we made it to New Holland, Pennsylvania, where Gideon met Grandpa and Grandma Sally for the first time! Gideon had a blast playing Chinese checkers with Grandma Sally, and then he fell asleep on me again. We spent the next two days exploring Kitchen Kettle, eating too many pretzels from Immurgut, buying sweet bologna at BB’s, and visiting with Aunt Connie, Uncle Art, Crystal and family, Andrea and family, Aunt Debbie, Grandma, and Grandpa. Gideon especially loved playing with Colton at Shady Maple and pushing the swinging doors at Crystal’s work!
On the way home from Pennsylvania, we stopped to see Tina and family (they went to court with us in Korea), as well as to meet Cory, Amanda, and Ben (another adoptive family I met on Instagram). Gideon was once again a champ on the 14-hour trip home. Over the 9 days we spent traveling – including 40 hours in the car – Gideon did amazing meeting new people and exploring new places, and he only had 3 total meltdowns, which is pretty darn good for a 2-year-old still learning English and his places in our family! We survived his limited food options, became pros at exploring around his nap, and for his part, Gideon was very laid back and seemed to make HUGE progress all around. Gid saw West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania for the first time, which – added to his 6 existing states (Texas, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, and North Carolina) – means he visited 12 states in his first 7 months home!