Christmas in the Capital

For the first time in many years, we went away for Christmas. In fact, I don't think the girls ever woke up in a house that wasn't their own on Christmas morning. Sure, we often road trip over the winter break (especially over New Year's), to see family in Missouri or Oklahoma, or to get away in Kansas City. But this was a special treat. We flew to Washington, D.C. and spent a week with Mr. B's brother and his husband.

Mr. B and Big Sis fell asleep as soon as we reached altitude. Little Sis was too excited by the plane ride.

We departed on the first day of winter, which was mild in Kansas and milder still in D.C. In fact, it was rainy and warm for most of our trip. (75 on Christmas Eve!)

We stayed in a guest apartment in my brothers-in-law's building. They decorated it with inflatable reindeer and a tabletop scene featuring characters from the Rankin/Bass Rudolph. We loved it. 

On our first full day there, we walked to Union Station, having lunch, checking out the big tree, window shopping. 

That evening, they spoiled us with a holiday tour of the White House.

We found the Kansas snowflake!

I want to hang snowflakes everywhere, too.

The State Dining Room was my favorite. 

On Wednesday, the six of us toured ICE! at the Gaylord - National Harbor. The theme was Rankin/Bass's Santa Claus is Coming to Town, all rendered in colorful ice. We wore heavy blue parkas and slid down ice slides.

It was nine degrees inside! It was warm and rainy outside.

There was a lot of family time back at the apartments, too. There's a screening room in one of the buildings, so we popped popcorn and watched It's a Wonderful LifeBig Sis found she still had a gingerbread cookie recipe from Old Cowtown in her pocket. The cookies we made were delicious, and I'm kicking myself that I can't find the recipe card now to share with you. Mr. B's brother helped the girls decorate a Minions gingerbread house.

I love a good gingerbread cookie! There's a couple of shots from Christmas dinner - I made the roasted veggies - and yes, the Minion gingerbread house.

Christmas Eve, we attended the late service at the Washington National Cathedral. It was grand and lovely.

Santa left chocolate, clementines, and nuts the next morning, along with a leg lamp ornament and a couple mug-and-hot cocoa sets. There was a note from an elf explaining how Mommy and Daddy had begged Santa to leave any larger gifts back home in Kansas. Big Sis is hip to it all, so I knew she'd be fine, but Little Sis surprised me by being very cool about it. We spent the rest of the morning upstairs with the uncles, then headed back to our place for naps (for them) and cooking (me). After dinner, we relaxed with movies and good company.

Clothes, records, and art supplies! And a dog wearing antlers.

On our last day, we had a delicious brunch down the street, then Mr. B and I took the girls back to Union Station to shop for a spell, then we walked to the National Gallery, admiring Renoirs and Rembrandts before catching a taxi back to the apartments, where we watched Minions and finished packing.

Just a few scenes around Washington, D.C.: the giant Nutcracker in front of Old Ebbett Grill, rainy streets, a seafood lunch at The Walrus (I had salad), the girls in front of Union Station, me in front of Politics & Prose, my loves with the scaffold-wrapped Capitol looming behind them.

My brothers-in-law spoiled us rotten, and I am so grateful to them for giving us such a fabulous Christmas. It was very hard to say goodbye.

(I'm just barely getting this post done on Twelfth Night. Ha!)

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  1. So glad you had such a great trip and such a good time at Christmas! I love your pictures. Everything looks like it's from a fairy tale!
    We didn't do anything special at Christmas but had a good time with family who came over to visit :) We also got sick, each and every one of us in turn. These days we're trying to recover and we're waiting for the baby. We watched Minions too but my eldest was terrified!
    Hope you have a wonderful start to the New Year! xoxo

    1. I'm so sorry you guys got sick! Mr. B and I came down with colds this week, just in time for the school and work weeks to start again. But it's better than being sick over Christmas - hugs! When is baby coming again? Do you know what you're having? I have something I want to send you, and it isn't gender-specific, so it really doesn't matter - I'm just curious. xoxo

  2. What an AMAZING trip. LOVED seeing all these bits and pieces! Comment - that pic of Big Sis, bottom collage, furthermost left pic. Oh my word, she looks 14! Seeing some serious future face there.....

    1. Oh, I know, she's looking so much older lately! She's still on the short side, but she's starting to... fill out, you know? No, sir, I don't like it! Not ready for it.

      It was a wonderful trip. My brothers-in-law spoil us, and we miss them a lot. xoxo

  3. Wow. It looks like you really had a wonderful Christmas trip! That holiday tour of the White House had to be thrilling. Oh, I wish I could go there, too! I spent Christmas in Brno with my boyfriend, and then I went to Ostrava to visit my parents, grandparents. My bro with his family came, too. It was pretty nice. But suddenly I'm glad Christmas is over. I don't know why, I'm looking forward to spring SO MUCH! :) Anyway, have a lovely days, Danzel.

    1. Just for fun, I just looked up pictures of Brno and Ostrava. I've wanted to go to the Czech Republic since high school. There was a National Geographic magazine in the '90s that had a big pull-out poster/map of Prague that I hung on my bedroom wall. (I hung a lot of stuff on my walls. I was a teenager with pink Holly Hobbie wallpaper. It was painful.) I hope you had a merry Christmas! I'm enjoying winter, especially since it seemed a long time coming this year. We ran the air conditioner on Christmas Eve in DC! It was so muggy in the apartment. It's only in the teens here in Kansas today.

      The White House tour was pretty awesome! It was very crowded. We got to avoid the lines - my BIL used to work there, and still knows some people, so we got to enter through the back way. ;) I follow the White House and First Lady on Instagram, so I'd seen a lot of pictures. It was pretty thrilling to see the stuff in person, after seeing it on my phone screen!

      Happy New Year!!!


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