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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Terra FAIL

So the Tongginator was on spring break all last week through Easter Monday. And I'd like to say that our family did all manner of amazing things that would totally make you think, 'why can't MY life look like that?' and 'why can't WE be that amazing and cool?'

Only this is Tonggu House. And me.

So - ya know - I can't do that.

Well, maybe except for this one small thing. Because we DO live just outside of Washington, DC. Which has some of the most famous museums on the planet. And some pretty cool festivals. Like the Smithsonian Kite Festival that we didn't attend because it was totally pouring down rain that day at our house and who knew that it would only drizzle in downtown DC. Or the special exhibit at the National Geographic Museum which displayed the Terracotta Warriors from Xian, China and that just closed on March 31.

You're feeling pretty jealous now, aren't you? Go ahead... admit it. You are, aren't you? I mean, I would feel a tad jealous if I were you... looking at the Tongginator, who is looking at one of the wonders of the modern world AND a historic treasure in her country of birth. I mean, she is totally close enough to touch it, isn't she?

I know you feel jealous.

But you totally don't need to be. Because the Tongginator? Is standing in front of a replica of a Terra Cotta Warrior. In the gift shop of the National Geographic Museum. Which we never actually left. The gift shop, I mean. Yep. We trekked all the way into downtown DC... spent $16 on parking... and then realized that - while one did not need tickets to see all of the OTHER parts of the museum - one DID need tickets to actually see the Terra Cotta Warriors.

And the tickets? Were all sold-out, y'all.

Poor, poor Tongginator... stuck with the most moronic parents on the planet.

We decided to salvage the day by heading down to the Mall. And no, the Mall is not my least favorite place on the planet. Because THE Mall? Is not actually a shopping mall. Although I didn't actually learn THAT fact until I moved to the DC area at age 16. Which is why I bring up this fact now. I mean, just in case you, too, are a bit ignorant about the fact that The Mall is actually a large park with monuments and museums flanking it and not a shopping mall that sits right next to the Lincoln Memorial.

Although if there WAS a shopping mall next to the Lincoln Memorial, I totally think it should have a hat store in it. Kinda like Hats In The Belfry, although it should probably avoid the word belfry.

For obvious reasons.

Anyways, we decided to salvage the day by heading down to The Mall. Only we forgot that it was the weekend of the Cherry Blossom Festival. Which means there is absolutely! no! parking! anywhere! in the tourist section of downtown DC. Which - of course - means that our excursion to DC, while searching for parking, kinda resembled the whole "look kids! Big Ben! Parliament!" scene of National Lampoon's European Vacation. Only we said, "Look Tongginator! The Jefferson Memorial! Arlington Cemetery!"

Cue the locals all saying, "umm... exactly how many times DID y'all drive over Memorial Bridge???"

I don't know. A lot.

(One of the roads along the rugby/ soccer fields was closed and we kept getting turned around.)

We actually gave up after about an hour. We never did park. And the Tongginator? Told her daddy at the end of the day, "I told you we should have taken the train. Cuz that's the best part." And you know what?

She's right. Heh.


Aus said...

Hey - I've been to DC on business a number of times (and yeah - as a tourist too) - and the one thing I wouldn't do ever again - is DRIVE THERE! Please understand that I've had all kinds of 'training' in driving - all the cool stuff - and it still scares me to drive there! You had an adventure for sure!!! (And I'd never have thought you'd need special tickets to see the exhibit either - so we can be morons together!!)

hugs - aus and co.

Kim K. said...

I still say you get an "A" for effort and that's all that really matters. We were in DC this July. I was there for a business trip and dragged the family with me. What an amazing experience. We definitely didn't touch the surface on everything there is to do. I am just a teeny tiny bit jealous that you get to be there all the time.

Desiree' said...

Boy, you are brave!! We had tickets to the Easter roll and didn't even come down. DH works there and stayed home yesterday to avoid traffic... But you know it's part of the experience right??

bbmomof2boys said...

I actually knew the The Mall wasn't a mall at all! Yeah me!

And the hat store? That came from left field! I went back and read your post 3 different times because of that wondering what I missed... :)

Our spring break is this week. It consists of baseball, baseball, baseball with a road trip thrown in for good measure.


Laura L. said...

What a story. :) We've all had days that turned out to be a total bust. We've been there. You just have to laugh about it and go on.
On the bright side, the Tongginator isn't a teenager yet. At least there was no sarcasm from the back seat and no one to make you feel like a moron. LOL
I'm sure she probably enjoyed the day.
Oh my goodness, I've always thought seeing the Cherry Blossom time in D.C. would be awesome.

Johnny said...

I would leave a funny comment about being prepared, but....the tickets to leave funny comments are all sold out!


If/when you have to leave DC, then you'll do the massive-panic-attack-must-see-all-museums route, won't you?

Krista said...

I agree with the Togginator - the train is the best part! I can't imagine driving in DC right now. We went last week (while my mom was in town) and it was just so so busy. Cherry Blossom Festival - who knew? ;)

Andrea said...

Look at the bright side...you can always do this again next year! We always took the train even though my dad drove the beltway every day for work. We chalked up the train ride as an extra attraction for the visitors we were taking to the Air & Space Museum (which is like the only part of the Smithsonian we visited every time we went into town). I can assure you that the replica looks pretty much like the real thing. When we visited Xian in 2001, our guide told us how to take pictures without the guards catching us but suggested we not try and put our arms around a statue like a certain president did back in the 90s.

Sharie said...

We went to the National History Museum on our trip to NYC. Thankfully I purchased tickets to the butterfly exhibit on-line before we arrived - perhaps I'll get the blog caught up and post those one day.
We didn't need to park - but we did need to leave in order to get to our next destination on time. We followed the signs - right through the Asian history exhibit (which I had wanted to see, but not 3 times) however we could NOT find our way out.
We finally went back to the gift store to ask - the exit was on the other side of the store. You can bet that "getting stuck" in the museum is what Amelia remembers most from our trip;)

autumnesf said...

Oh wow. Hubs and I will be in the DC area in May for his graduation ceremony and now you've got me scared. But he is also there right now for his uncle's retirement ceremonies (3 no less - in different locations) so I'm hoping he gets a few things figured out ahead of time!

Chantelle said...

Okay, you are SO my favorite new blog find. :) Your writing is flat out HYSTERICAL!!!! LOVE IT!!! And the hat store... I literally laughed out loud!! (which I didn't think was possible today, given the morning I've had) God bless!! Your wit is a treasure!

Michal said...

HA! My husband and I had a day almost like this one- only we were in New York City and we didn't have a kiddo to disappoint. We used every form of public transportation- going the opposite way than we intended. Subways were flooded, buses were late... it was a mess. We eventually got to the point where every thing was hilarious.
That was the worst/best day we ever had in the city.
Glad we are not the only ones.
(We will also jump in the car and drive over an hour for a swim in a little private lake community only to find that neither one of us grabbed the little entry card thingy and thus can not gain admittance)

Gail said...

Oh TM, we've had a few days just like that too. And I agree riding the train is probably the best part... at least it is for G and W. When we go to Chicago and ride the train, it's their favorite part. :)

Aunt LoLo said...

Oh my goodness...if that was us, I'd be spitting mad!!! You're handling this very well. ;-)

Janet said...

My kids are exactly the same. It's all about how you get there. Train is best. According to them.

Kris said...

sometimes i wish i lived a life that allowed me to just read blogs. because damn it if you aren't one of the best reads out there. this was the best laugh.

i had no idea you guys were right next to my birth city! george washington university hospital, dec 12 a long time ago :O) our family lived in Odenton,MD for the first 8 years of my life.

Patty O. said...

Well, if it makes you feel any better, I still wish my life were like yours. You know, without the thwarted trek to the museum and D.C. area. Other than that, I am totally jealous. :)

Carla said...

I'm not local, but having visited there in May 2008...I was sitting there thinking, umm...WHY IN THE HECK did you not take the train?! ;)

Smart girl that Tongginator.

and really...a separate ticket for the Terracotta Warriors? I would not have thought to check on that, and even if so, I would NOT have thought they'd sell out.

At least you tried! :)

Buckeroomama said...

When I saw that photo of the Tongginator that close to a Terracotta Warrior, I was surprised that one could get that up close... until I read that it was a replica. :) I saw them ages ago when I was visiting China. Totally didn't appreciate the opportunity and grumbled about how boring it was. What? I was 11 and there were other things I'd rather be doing. :( I don't know when I'll get the chance to do that again.

La-La-Liene said...

Hubby and I got a good laugh out of this post. After I read it, I made him read it. As former DC-ites we totally get it - the Mall (totally knew you weren't talking about the type that has Macy*s attached to it), the Cherry Blossom festival (which we REALLY miss)...

And yes at the beginning of the blog post reading that you paid $16 for parking I thought to myself, "Why didn't she just take the Metro in." That's how we always went into town. No way was I going to deal with trying to find parking. Most of the time they've got so many signs on metered parking spots that you wonder why they allow parking on the streets to begin with!

Oh, and BTW, you are not the most moronic parents. We too had the Terracotta Warriors here in ATL last year and didn't go. Tickets were really hard to get and we were not dragging Eriks as he would've not enjoyed it. This was before Emi came home. BTW, are they done with construction on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge? Lane had to go over that every day after work leaving the Pentagon. It was a nightmare. Not so bad when you're crossing it at 5:30am to go to be at work at 6, but 12 hrs later when you're getting off work...

Hopefully the Tongginator had some fun over Spring Break!

CC said...

What a bummer :(

But I am sooooo jealous of the weather you've been having recently!

The Gypsy Mama said...

Oh my goodness, seriously rolling on the floor laughing. Who in their right mind goes into the city on Cherry blossom weekend? Bwahahahahahahahha - "parking" - bwahahahahahaha!

You just made my night!

Jean said...

Ha- I was so jealous! I was thinking- why didn't we go and see the Terra cotta warriors- in place of one of the Florida trips this year-I'm a bad person too- I like you much more since you didn't get in!! ;-)

Did you at least get to see the cherry blossoms?

Tongginator was right- you should have taken the train!!