Monday, May 22, 2017

5/19 - 5/22 Visiting DC with family

We docked at National Harbor for our DC visit.  National Harbor has grown.  It has all sorts of reasons to enjoy yourself there.  In addition to a ferris wheel and permanent art installations, they show family movies and ball games on a huge screen.  They also have scheduled bands and exercise sessions.  It is a fun place.

The laundry is free and it was good to get the sheets done on Friday.  We shopped and had the boat ready for our family visitors.  Friday night, Stephen and Catherine brought the kids over for dinner.  A visit to the Peep store was necessary after supper.

Our daughter, Alicia, came down from Baltimore and arrived first on Saturday morning.  She is a 100 ton captain.  John took full advantage of that and had her down in the engine room to check things out.  Catherine arrived with Madeline, Sarah, and John shortly after noon.  Sarah's team won the soccer game before they came.  Alicia and I packed the sandwiches so after boarding, it wasn't long until we cut the lines to tour up the Potomac.  It was a relaxing no wake trip.  We passed Alexandria and the Chart House where Catherine and Stephen had their first date.  The kids loved taking turns with Grandpa at the helm, sitting out on the bow, and checking out ospreys and the planes landing at Reagan Airport with the binoculars.

It was neat that we could get so close to the Washington Monument.

After the ride on the Hydrophilic, the kids played on the art piece, "The Awakening".  It was not designed as a playground but kids seem to love climbing all over it.  Our grandson, John, was like a ninja warrior and climbed to the top of the knee in no time.  They all had a grand time.

John had lowered the dinghy.  He took off with the three kids and chased the Pirate boat.  Each of them took a turn at driving the dinghy.  There were smiles everywhere.
After dinner, the grandkids were left with us to spend the night on board.  They swept the flybridge and did a few other chores.  With everyone in their pajamas, we told stories of their mom's and their aunts' childhood.  After many good laughs, John got out the whipped cream.  It is a tradition that they get a squirt in their mouth if they promise to go right to sleep.  All three of them looked beat.  They were asleep in no time.

Sunday morning came early.  Pancakes were made.  It was not so long before their cousins called from Houston for a Skype session.  It was fun to have all 5 grandkids on the line.   Catherine picked us up and we went to a church near the marina with the family.  It was a fun visit.  John and I had a quiet Sunday night.

The rain started overnight.  We headed to Colonial Beach in the morning.  We just get the worst weather on the Chesapeake.  Remember that nice picture of Mt. Vernon, the other day?  This is what it looked like in the rain today. 
As we passed the Dalhgren Surface Weapon Area, we were contacted by the Range Boat.  The Range Boat let us know there was live firing going on.  He told us to stay toward the Maryland side and which markers to aim for.  John told the Range Boat that he was happy to stay away from the firing and to let us know if for some reason we got too close.  Whew, we made it.

I had great fried oysters for dinner here at Colonial Beach tonight.  There was this family of swans floating in the marina. 
We plan to stay here another day.

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