Some pockets of DC (the fish market, Malcolm X Park, the glass forest) and some events (the DC drag race, the running of the chihuahuas, the lotus festival, the candlelight vigil at the Titanic Memorial) seem far far away from the uptight, stiff, federal city.
That was definitely the case with the DC Funk Parade last weekend. The day started with Mme Marie and French song circle, and then we met up with another daycare family for the annual Truck Touch in Silver Spring.
Then MoBob took Z to a Moroccan association picnic and I went on (by myself!) to the Funk Parade. (more photos on dcist.com)
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For Mother's Day we returned to staid DC. After the lovely program at church for *all* women (MB joined the brethren in corraling the kidlets), we had a nice buffet brunch at Pinstripes in Georgetown and then strolled around the waterfront park.
Even though the weather didn't cooperate, we still had a lot of fun. We spent Saturday morning at THEARC, the very impressive community center in Anacostia, for the Spring Arts Fair and Birthday Bash. There were quite a few performances and activities, but Z seemed to mainly enjoy running laps around in the gym.
Song Circle with our friends from Imagination Stage.
We then returned to our neighborhood for the inaugural DC Duck Race. I was impressed that in addition to the usual kids' activities like a coloring table and face painting, the Rotarians hired a team to do physical activities with the kids. Tire them out! In the end, the gray skies and water made the duck race even more visually striking. (I forgot to take a photo of the fire fighter boat that created waves to propel the ducks.)
Dumping the ducks.
And they're off! (The round structure on the right is the baseball stadium.)
Our Sunday was spent at church and then a farewell Indian dinner for MoBob's colleague and her husband who are moving to Idaho. We ended the weekend sleepy and full from all the laughter and chicken tikka.
MoBob returned without any problems from China. He had a wonderful trip and managed to see the Great Wall, among other famous sites. With the time difference we were able to Skype every morning and every evening.
We spent the last Babba-free weekend around town. We hosted a couple of other solo moms and their boys for pizza and giggles. We had to clean up a bit after our guests left. A good time was had by all, obviously.
On Saturday, we watched a delightful little play called "Boxes, Boxes, Boxes."
We went for a spin on the streetcar.
We enjoyed an early dinner topped off with a vanilla milkshake.
On Sunday after church we took advantage of indoor and outdoor fun at our local library.
I'm a little shocked at how taken aback I am by the news of Prince's death. Much more so than Michael Jackson. Maybe because MJ's deterioration and comeback were such drawn-out and public spectacles, whereas Prince just...stayed the same. Also I have very specific memories and people associated with Prince. The first concert I ever attended was the Purple Rain tour with D; I sneaked into Purple Rain the movie with M; another M has been a long time serious fan; J gave me a mix tape of "Parade" and "Sign O' the Times" which was the soundtrack to my first visit to Washington DC. When I was a senior in high school my favorite Prince song was "Automatic" even though I understood none of the innuendo.
Our weekend was pretty mellow. We had brunch with R + P who were in town for the DC Lindy Exchange. I really enjoyed the eggs benedict with Old Bay Spice at Firefly. We spent the afternoon at L's birthday party at Watkins Regional Park. It was a great venue for a second birthday because of the proximity to the playground and a mini-farm, and one of the "rangers" brought in some special guests, like a chinchilla and a snake.
After church on Sunday we walked a loop from the library to the duck pond (sadly still empty of water and ducks) to the Washington Channel, where a kind Spaniard consoled Z after Z took a spill in front of the Titanic Memorial.
We had a pretty typical week. MoBob left for two weeks in China yesterday and this morning we Skyped, with Z hugging the iPhone. We went to a birthday party, we attended a Sunday brunch - we *didn't* go to the Cherry Blossom fireworks festival (due to inclement weather) or to see the Butterfly Pavilion (Z was not feeling well and ended up with a visit from Nurse Heidi, the house call nurse).
I guess the big thing is that somehow I've been pulled into Smithsonian politics. Last week I read on the Historic Washingon listserv that Haupt Garden, one of my favorite places in DC, was under threat in the new Smithsonian master plan. I sent several emails and, surprisingly, no one had set up a petition. So I did. I ended up "meeting" several people via email and then attended the public consultation at the Smithsonian on April 13, and gave the following statement.
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the WaPo coverage
Easter came early this year, and coincided with the cherry blossoms.
We joined our friends from church at the National Arboretum for an Easter egg hunt, and then visited with a little friend for his second birthday, and then dinner for 8 kids + Zacky with our capable Mary Poppins babysitter.
Somehow we managed to dress in our Easter best for church.
We walked all the way to the Tidal Basin for our annual cherry blossoms photo.
We took the Metro back and acted like tourists.
When the daycare center is in Washington DC, you get to play in some amazing places.
We went to the circus for the first time.
We had originally planned to go to the Blossom Kite Festival but it was too cold and rainy. We went to celebrate another little friend's birthday, and then we took family photos next to the National Building Museum. By then the sun had come out for a gorgeous spring afternoon.
We made the most of a dark and rainy weekend. Although our activities were inside, Z still had some quality running around time at a park near MoBob's office before a flaming Japanese lunch and a visit from his nursery teachers, and then we hosted MoFem FHE. Continuing on the religious note, the missionaries came over for the "official" family home evening. I was surprised, nay, shocked, that Z is displaying his knowledge of church stuff - apparently he prays with the right stance (arms folded, eyes closed), shouts out the right answers during nursery, and correctly identifying Christ on the pass along cards that the missionaries had left. All this to say that I don't actively teach any or all of this at home, but somehow he remembers from watching me and from attending church.
We started the weekend at the weekly jazz night at Westminster Church. Although this is a long established neighborhood tradition, this was the first time I'd gone. MB and Z were unable to find parking so I enjoyed the concert alone. I made an effort this time because it was the last evening of Washington Women in Jazz Festival, and I'd always wanted to see Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes, an all-female (with one gentleman) small-scale big band jazz ensemble. I was especially impressed with the two guest musicians, one young lady in high school, the other from Towson State.
We visited the Kreeger Museum for the first time on Saturday, for a kids' activity. I didn't think the event was as interesting as similar activities we'd gone to, but I am definitely motivated to return for a real visit - on my own!
Learning about Alexander Calder.
Since it began to rain, we ventured on to the new aquarium at Glen Echo Park. It was small and friendly, and we definitely want to return when the weather is nicer for the pirate ship and the outdoor play area.
The yellow submarine.