Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Houghtaling Family Vacation 2016 (Day 3)

We slept in the next day with plans to go to the Air and Space Museum in the morning. But then I was hit with another idea and gave the option to the girls. And they went along with my new idea!! 
We were off to the zoo! I was so excited because it's the National Zoo and there were pandas!! 
But it was also 1,000 degrees and the zoo is all up hill. So, we got a little bit of a workout and had to do our best to stay hydrated. 

I will be honest though. The zoo is beautiful and there were many exhibits. However, we saw maybe 2-3 animals. It was very disappointing. But we did see the panda so Addy's day was made. We definitely enjoy our zoo better!

After the zoo, I had one stop I had to make. John thought I was an idiot, but I love cupcakes and I couldn't be that close to Georgetown Cupcakes and not stop. 

After I gladly purchased my 6 cupcakes, we headed to Arlington Cemetery. Whoa. This ended up being one of the most emotional times of my life. There were a few times throughout the day that John and I were choked up. What a humbling experience. We ended up taking a tour bus through the cemetery and it stopped and 7 different locations throughout. We only got off at a few though. First up was Kennedy's grave. I have always been so fascinated with the Kennedy's so I'm so glad I can check that off my bucket list. 

Can you tell how hot the girls are?
Next stops was The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We ended up there for about 45 minutes. I just didn't want to leave. It's so peaceful. 
We were there for the flower changing and the changing of the guards. Even my girls were mesmerized. 

Arlington Cemetery is something I won't ever forget. Ever. 

We left there and headed east for about 2 hours to stay with Aunt Mary, John's sister. She had invited us to stay the night on our way to the beach. We got there and had a super yummy dinner, the girls played outside, and we all took much needed showers. 

Next up! Outer Banks!!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Houghtaling Family Vacation 2016 (Day 1 and 2)

On June 9th after work, we loaded up the Yukon and headed east. Destination? Washington DC en route to Outer Banks, NC. 

We drove about 5 hours the first night and stopped about 2-3 hours outside of Washington DC. 

This trip made possible by doTerra oils (shameless plug). 
Our family has recently started using essential oils. For pretty much everything. Anyhow, Ava gets super car sick. Anything more than an hour and she is super sick. It's horrible. So I was nervous prior to this trip and did a little research. Peppermint and Ginger is where it's at. She never once complained and never really even talked about it. I was so happy!! But now every time we get in a car she says "do I need oils?"

Between the oils and their iPads, the girls did excellent in the car!

We got up the next morning and dressed in our red, white, and blue. Hey, we were going to the Nation's capital.

We made a couple of stops for the girls to get their wiggles out. 

We checked into our hotel and headed to the concierge desk to work on a tour. My most favorite Ava story happened at this time. 

Guy at the concierge desk: "Hello, where are you from?"
Ava: "China"
Ha! Man, I could eat her face. But that also scored them milk and cookies. The gentleman working the desk loved the girls and sent them up goodies!!

We ended up booking a night tour that would take us around to the monuments and The White House. So we decided to walk over to China Town and check it out. It was actually smaller than we anticipated but we got some yummy food!

It was pretty hot so we went in a few shops and took a taxi back to the hotel. But Ava was super excited about her Chinese cookies!
We had some time to kill before the night tour so headed down to the hotel pool for an hour.

At 7pm, we boarded our tour bus and the girls were pretty bored while the guy went over all the rules and explaining the tour. 

We drove around the city and were able to get off at a few spots to see things we wanted to. 
Washington Monument

The Treasury Building

And then Ava's highlight of the day. 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The White House. 

The World War II Memorial

Franklin D Roosevelt Memorial 

And we ended the day at the Lincoln Memorial that was beyond amazing! It's HUGE!!!

 We were pretty tired by this time. Both of the girls passed out on the bus on the way back. But we had a wonderful first day in DC!

Special Occasions on Vacation! {Addy's 2nd Gotcha Day and My 40th Birthday!}

Before I dive into the vacation posts, I wanted to share a couple of special occasions we celebrated while gone! 
First up, Addy's 2nd Gotcha Day!! 
She has been a part of our family for 2 years. It's so crazy to me. Time has flown and I can't remember life without her. 
We celebrated with cake and ice cream with all of our vacation family! 
And a special Anna and Elsa cake!

Look how excited she is! Bless her heart!

The next morning we woke up to rain which was perfect because it was also the day Finding Dory opened. Oh, and my 40th birthday. We went to the movie with some of our cousins and had a wonderful time. 

We went back to much needed naps and then went out for a yummy Mexican dinner. 
It was a perfect birthday spent with my girls and hubby!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Ava's Day Out!

Ava's summer babysitter was on vacation the week before we were. And it just so happened it was when John was on days. So I reached out to our family and friends. And what amazing friends we have! Mama Katie agreed to spend the day with Ava! 
Katie, Roz, and Ella came to pick up her up and they were so excited! 

And headed somewhere super special! Our friends were completing the re-adoption of their son, Seth! And Ava was able to go!

I was super happy she got to be a part of that. Our adoption family is awesome and I love to support them!
Afterwards they went to QQ for lunch and Mama Katie sent me this awesome picture. 

She got to go back to their house and play with Roz for the rest of the afternoon. 

She had such a wonderful time. Now every time she hears we have sitter issues, she says "Why can't I go to Katie's?" 

Ha! We love you guys!