Monday was, of course, Tom's birthday. I already wrote a bit about the day, so here are the photos, featuring a
Tuesday morning we had plans to head into the city to check out the model train display at Union Station. Soren has been begging, nearly every day, each time we pass he metro station, to go on a train ride. So I had every intention of letting him get his fix, until I learned about the special rate for validated parking at Union Station. With validation, you can park there for two hours for a grand total of $1. Which is rather a bit less than the $4.50 it costs to park at the metro station, plus the $4.30 or whatever of train fare. And let's not forget the added bonus of not having to live in fear of the words, "Mommy, I have to go potty," while on a 40-minute metro ride with sporadic (at best) access to restroom facilities. So, with apologies to the little dude, we drove.
A short car ride later, we arrived. Funny, I was expecting a big parking structure, but the GPS was directing us to a small open-air lot to our right. Wrong. I pulled in, shocked to find an open space in such a small lot, and almost immediately an attendant came over to ask if I needed help. And then informed me that this was a permit-only lot. I'll admit, I hadn't been paying as much attention as I should have to the signs when I entered, foolishly trusting the GPS as I did (ha ha ha). The attendant pointed me to the actual parking structure, the entrance to which was kind of hidden across the street between the station and another big building, and as I exited, I looked more carefully at the sign on the lot.
"Parking for the U.S. Senate. Permit required."
Heh heh. Oops.
So we parked and made our way into the station to try and find our playgroup. And mere moments after we got inside, Soren declared that he had to go potty. So we detoured, made a pit stop, then found our group. Union Station is very pretty anyway, but this time of year it's especially resplendent, decked out in lights and garlands and such for the holidays. I fully intended to take some pictures, even lugging my huge camera along, but alas, I did not shoot a one. We'll just have to go back.
Anyway! Train display. It was really neat, big and detailed and impressive. Unfortunately, it was also roped off from about two feet back, which seemed like overkill, given the entire display was on a platform three feet off the ground and fully encased in plexiglas. So in the end, Soren spent more time upset with me about having to stay behind the rope than he did looking at the display. Ah well. Maybe when he's a bit older.
We all went downstairs for lunch and managed to keep track of the time, which was good, because the paring validation is only good for the first two hours. If you stay for two hours and one minute, the fee jumps from $1 to a whopping twelve dollars. Yeah. But we made it out under the wire, paid our dollar, and headed home.
Wednesday morning, it was very windy and rainy. The forecast called for temperatures in the 60s, which was accurate early in the morning. It was, however, very very wet. So when we left to do our mall walking, I made sure we were all decked in our rain gear. Soren was super jazzed for an opportunity to finally wear his new rain boots. And since I don't have a rain coat for Eleri yet, I put one of Soren's on her, which (though a bit long in the sleeves) suited just fine.
When we stepped outside, it was not only wet, but very cold. Much colder than he anticipated 60 degrees. Apparently, between the last time I'd checked (an hour before) and the time we actually left home, the temperature had dropped by 10 or 15 degrees. Not that this really matters - we were all suitably bundled - but it was a surprise!
Anyway. Walked at the mall, then had a playdate after. Soren's rain boots were very popular at the playdate, and even though they were supposed to stay in the shoe pile by the front door, I saw them tried on by at least two other kids. (They are pretty sweet. They match his rain coat and have dinosaurs on them.)
The playdate pretty much rounded out our day. Eleri flirted with the six month-old little brother of one of Soren's buddies. Soren played and played and was very sad when it was time to leave. I'm hoping they both sleep well tonight!