Earlier this year (February-ish) Cassia kept talking about how she wanted to do something big for her 21st birthday.  Like skydiving.  She asked me, “If I do something, will you do it with me?”  My response? Of course! We do almost everything together!! I wasn’t to sure about skydiving, but if she did it, I wasn’t going to let her do it without me 🙂  Daddy and Mommy weren’t too thrilled about the idea of us skydiving, so she started looking up other options, like taking a hot air balloon ride.  But the cost was outrageous for such little time.  So we came up with the idea of taking a bus trip.  But where?  She Googled “bus trips” and  Diamond Bus Tours came up.   She asked me, “How about a trip to Washington D.C.?”

And so we went to Washington D.C.  for her 21st birthday (we actually left ON her birthday!) 🙂

Our family went to Arlington in 2010, and accidentally drove right into Washington DC (not in our plans to see D.C. that time!).  We didn’t stop to see anything, but we saw glimpses of a couple of major attractions.  I always wanted to go back to see everything more in-depth.  This certainly was more in-depth, but it could have been even MORE in-depth!!  I would love to go back and spend more time at the museums!!

We had SO MUCH FUN on this trip!!!  There were about 50 people.  All of them, except us and the bus driver, were African American. Which, I think, made it even MORE fun!!!  Black people tend to have a better sense of humor than white people 🙂


July 31st, 2014 Day 1:

Met at McDonalds.  Bus left at 8:15 a.m.



Right before boarding the bus!!!  (Do we look excited or something? 😀 )





Right before leaving.

I gave Cassia the window seat….the aisle seat has more leg room (aka…the aisle!)


We stopped at Beaver Falls, PA for the night at 7  p.m.



August 1st, Day 2:

Bus left hotel at 8:30 a.m.

After lunch they had games on the bus. That was a fun way to keep everybody from feeling “blah” after eating lunch and sitting down for a couple of hours 🙂



At 3:30 p.m. we arrived at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum!

That place is huge!!

They gave us until 5:30 to roam the museum as we pleased.  We had a couple things we knew we wanted to do. So we looked over the map, circled what we wanted to see and explored!!


First we went to the top of the observation tower (seven floors up) where you can see way far! We could also see the Washington Dulles airport where planes were constantly landing and taking off (that was cool!!!).





 Selfie!!!  (one of many….just to prove we really were there! 🙂 )





Cassia had recently read a book about the Flying Tigers….so of course she had to get her picture with one!! (Curtiss P-40E Kittyhawk)




The Bell Huey!!  This is one thing long before we came we knew we had to make sure we saw!  Lawrence D. Bell helped develop the helicopter for World War Two…and he was born in and grew up in Mentone, IN (our hometown)!  Mentone has a Bell Museum, and our library is the Bell Memorial Library.  So this was a bit of home for us 🙂  The couple that we asked to take our picture asked, “So, what is so special about this helicopter?”  And we gladly educated them 🙂 Later Cassia was talking to one of the  guys on our bus about the Huey, he said that he had been a paratrooper and jumped out of hueys!  Cool, another connection!  🙂




A small snippet of the many air planes.  There were three levels and they had walkways (like on the right of the picture) so you could see close up to most of the planes!  (And a lot of walking….whew!)




Some lots bigger than others…





Tiny me in comparison 🙂





Another Bell Helicopter (there were about 5 of them there).





We were laughing about this: chairs with a sign over them that says “KEEP OFF”.  Yes, we know, that sign is really for the pipes in the back.  It just looked funny 🙂





In the Space room of the Air and Space Museum, we saw the Discovery Space Shuttle. WAY bigger then you can imagine!!   We see pictures of these things, but it doesn’t register how big it really is until you are standing beside it!

The Discovery’s final mission was in 2011, which is kinda cool that is really wasn’t that long ago it was up in space!!





A view from the third level.




A Corsair.  I only knew this kind of plane as “Skipper” from the movie “Planes”.  When we got home,  we were showing everybody pictures and I said, “and we saw Skipper!”  Isaiah quickly corrected me (little mr. smarty pants) and said, “It’s a Corsair!” 😀




Outside watching planes take off and land (us farmgirls get excited about those things…).





Loading back up to go to supper.



We had dinner (complete with chocolate cake!!! 😀 ) at Holiday Inn at 6 p.m. and arrived at Crowne Plaza for the night at 8:30 p.m.





Cassia wanted to take pictures of hotel room before we messed it up (with our stuff).  Every time we walked in I would plop all my stuff down on my bed of choice and lay down and she would then *while digging out the camera* say, “Take that all away….we need a nice picture!”




We were spoiled here.  It is probably very normal for normal people, but we are not normal 🙂  We laughed at how this is the FIRST time EVER we got our OWN bed in a hotel!!  If the whole family is staying at the hotel (which doesn’t happen often), no one has their own bed (which we really don’t mind, this was just….different). Anywho, about being spoiled; each day when we were out exploring, the hotel room attendants would make our beds (something Cassia likes…), take our used towels and replace with clean ones, and take out the trash (something Susannah likes…). Strange to have someone else doing the work! 🙂

Another thing was when we arrived, they announced that we could take our luggage with us if we wanted to go right to bed, or, they would deliver it to us.  I was going to grab my suitcase because I was really tired and I wanted to go right to bed.  But Cassia said, “Noooo…..we are going to take in the whole experience!! We never have our luggage delivered to us, so we are going to do it!”

And so we had it delivered to us.  🙂

Another thing that was different was, in our little town you might hear a siren just a handful of times per week. Well, here in the big city we were hearing them constantly! There must have been a fire station close to the hotel.


The nice…(no people…no stuff)…picture 🙂



Don’t go far…part two will be coming!!!


{Click here for part two}






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Washington D.C. Part 1
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3 thoughts on “Washington D.C. Part 1

  • October 31, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    I really enjoyed your trip, looking forward to part 2

  • November 1, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    What a fun trip! I have never been on an actual tour, so now you have me thinking what fun that would be!

    Loved your comment about Black people having a great sense of humor! I read that aloud to my daughters and of course, they agree!!

    Can’t wait for Part 2!

  • November 1, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    I like that added picture that we didn’t get see when you showed them to us! 😀 I know what you mean about a hotel bed. Tho this last may when we went on our vacation at the main hotel I got to have my own because it was a pull out and the Sis’s didn’t think it was very good. Me, well I can sleep on almost anything. Ha! 😀 Glad you had a good time. Maybe I can talk Mom into letting me do something like that on my 21st, don’t think so but it is worth a try. 😀


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