Monday, November 1, 2010

I have the BEST kid EVER!

Saturday morning 10/30/10 we got up at 5:30 for our trip to DC and the Rally to Restore Sanity. We woke Ellie up at 5:45 by singing Happy Birthday. We stopped at Wawa for coffee and the obligatory Birthday doughnut, before heading to the Septa train station. The train was about 15 minutes late but we still made it to 30th Street in Philadelphia with plenty of time to spare for our 8:12 train. At the train station we started seeing people headed to the rally, and Ellie quickly realized that she could get a great reaction by showing people her shirt. She wanted to show EVERYONE! and would walk up - point to the front, give them a minute to read it, then jump/turn around to show them the back and smile!
This is her on the train, and the front of the shirt, which was modeled after the rally poster, but said 'rally for my 5th birthday'.

this is the back, which says - 'and it ain't no tea party'

when we arrived in DC we met up with some college friends and went to lunch at a cute French bistro where Ellie got a chocolate lava cake with a candle in it and happy birthday songs from our friends in Russian AND Spanish.

Next we headed to the rally. we made a couple poor judgment calls. First, we probably should not have stopped for lunch, but we had a good time with good friends, so whatever. Second, we headed directly to the mall from the Capitol building direction, which put us approaching the rally stage from the back. We then had to get all the way to the other side of the mass of people before we could actually get onto the mall. We thought we would be able to walk down the sidewalk, or on the street there in front of the museums. Boy were we wrong!

This was the scene there. Sorry for the blur, I was just holding the camera over my head. and still, see how close that guy's head was in front of me?! It was crazy! But I have to say, everyone was SUPER nice. Everyone was pushing a little bit in the various directions that they wished to go, but no one was shoving or getting upset about it. People were joking and laughing and the guys who had climbed the trees next to us were narrating letting us know that the wave was coming and we had to raise our hands in 3, 2, 1 ! LOL!

and here is a photo that Ellie instructed me to take, of the police on horses. They were keeping that street open between the crowds. (Ellie was on Seth's shoulders so she was doing a little narrating too)

After I have no idea how long, I heard someone say that general admission could get onto the mall at 7th street. We were at 3rd and not moving AT ALL! So I got a little frustrated and, ok, I was starting to hyperventilate from claustrophobia or something. So, I instructed (through hand gestures because we had gotten separated) Seth to make his way to the street, then out past the museums away from the mall. (before we had been trying to move down the street/sidewalk in the direction of the washington monument) after we got about halfway down the block in between the museums, things cleared out a little so we could at least breathe and move. We made it over to the street behind the museums and then went down to 8th street before coming back over. We were then able to get onto the mall, and there was even some space where people were sitting. There were a lot of people with kids there. We gave it one more try to get to a place where we could see and or hear, but ellie was getting tired of the whole crowd thing, so we went back to the more open space and sat near some other families. Ellie had a blast showing people her shirt and having her photo taken. Then there was a drum group and she went over there and danced for a while. After sitting and relaxing a little, Jon Stewart started to speak. I could hear him a little but it just seemed like too much effort. I figured we would read or watch it online later, so I suggested we leave before the thing ended (and everyone else left too) and go to a museum. To minimize walking, we went in the one we were near, the natural history museum. Ellie enjoyed looking at the Hope Diamond. She said "wow look how sparkly!". Then we looked at insects and she got to hold a caterpillar and a millipede. She also liked looking at the tarantulas (safely behind their glass) After that I was very much in need of caffeine so we went outside and sat on the steps and waited to meet up with Rachel and her friend Rachel. They had actually managed to see some of the rally.

We hung out for a while and had some snacks that we brought along. Then we went back to the drum group. (by this time the rally was breaking up) Ellie danced and had her photo taken more.

Then we walked down to the reflecting pool by the Capitol and sat there for a while. Ellie chased the seagulls (so they wouldn't poop on our heads - lol) then Rachel left for dinner and we did also. She was taking the metro and I hope she made it ok because the metro was VERY backed up. My other friend Grant, who was supposed to meet us, ended up going home because he couldn't get on a train because they were all full. Some other friends who were supposed to meet us, did managed to get on a train, but they were overwhelmed by the crowds and also left early. So yeah, the attendee estimates probably don't include the people who turned around at some point because it was just too hard to get there.

We walked, along a street filled with a jovial mix of characters, to our restaurant, La Tasca. I wanted to go to Jaleo, because it seems that every time I go to DC I eat there. But we waited too long for reservations. So I managed to find another Spanish restaurant that DID have reservations (we made them on Friday afternoon via opentable). This photo could be titled, thank goodness for reservations! We were very tired, and hungry, and people without reservations were being told the wait was about an hour. We were seated pretty much right away. Sangria and tapas! yum! Ellie ordered chicken nuggets but ate mostly our calamari. It was good.

after dinner we got on the metro. Ellie got her own ticket because she is now a BIG 5 year old girl! She was excited about that. I was happy that the metro crowds had died down. When we got to union station I bought ellie a book because she was such a good girl ALL DAY!! She started a little meltdown at dinner, and at the ticket machine at the metro, but we managed to calm both of them, She was such a trooper! We were early for our train and that was good because when we finally got on, there were not enough seats, but we managed to find 3 together. this was Ellie before we even pulled out of the station.

and thanks to Seth's dad for picking us up at 30th Street so we didnt have to wait for the Septa train again.


scrapwordsmom said...

These are GREAT PICS!! And Ellie's shirt is DARLING....what a wonderful way to spend her special day!!!!!

That is so cool you got to go. I had not heard this so I checked it out...seems like it was great!!!!

BTW, Ellie is soooo pretty {like her Mom!!}

Miri said...

meg, this is awesome! glad you had fun in DC. happy birthday ellie :)

princessfaissl said...

What a cool experience you provided to Ellie! Way to go mom. I bet she will remember this birthday for a long time. Love the shirt.

Been looking at YouTube for video, but not a lot out there. Also looked at the Daily Show site, but they only had signs posted...I bet they are saving it for their shows.

What a huge turn-out. It sounds like it was bigger than the 200K they estimated.

princessfaissl said...

What a cool experience you provided to Ellie! Way to go mom. I bet she will remember this birthday for a long time. Love the shirt.

Been looking at YouTube for video, but not a lot out there. Also looked at the Daily Show site, but they only had signs posted...I bet they are saving it for their shows.

What a huge turn-out. It sounds like it was bigger than the 200K they estimated.

ScrapGoo said...

Ahhh, Meg, so cool!! I would have loved to have been there. That T-shirt needs to be saved forever!

Sarah said...

I loved reading all about your day! How much fun was that?! And a big happy birthday to Ellie from Quinn and I! :)

Sandy said...

LOVE Ellie's shirt! I'm so glad you went to the rally. The estimate is over 200,000 people! I watched the whole thing on tv. Ellie is beautiful, Meg.

jazzy pantz cards said...

Very cool experience for your little one! I would have loved to have been there. We are out in California but I wish we could have taken our daughters. Love your blog, I'm definitely following you. :-)