July 27, 2013

Day 8: Farewells

Our last morning with the cousins was bittersweet.

We persuaded the kids to pose nicely for some photos.

We recreated a group shot from 5 years ago, when William and Evie were still relatively new to the world.

And then we let everyone loose for a dance party.

If the photos appear blurred, well, that's a pretty accurate depiction of the morning's events.

The kids hugged goodbye, as William and Charlotte set off for a short trip while we ventured forth to explore a last bit of DC and Virginia. It's a good thing we leave tomorrow; our tourist karma is running out.

The Lincoln Memorial was closed due to vandalism, and the National Mall was nearly inaccessible due to a presidential appearance and related street closures. The area around Mt. Vernon turned out to be the Bermuda Triangle of iPhone navigation, leading us on a winding and repetitive tour of the great tangled freeways of northern Virginia. By the time we reached Washington's estate, all we had time for was an ice cream break and a few minutes of tree-sitting.

Thankfully, the day wasn't all travel snafus and melting ice cream.

As with each day of our trip, we saw some high-quality people.

We had lunch with our friend Darcy. She's part of the online community that came together when I was pregnant with Evie. We've shared the trials and tribulations of parenting from babyhood through kindergarten, and our second children are only two weeks apart. We've lost weight together, introduced one another to new music, and been in regular conversation for over six years, though this was only the second time we've met in person. It was easy to pick up just where we left off.

We spent the evening in the company of Wiants. Sam's uncle and cousins reinforced what I knew about Wiants: they are friendly (though not necessarily extroverted), clever people with a propensity for goofiness - especially in the presence of children.

Taking a break from the silliness of adults, the kids relaxed with cartoons.

Our voyage of reunions is concluding. No more "You look great!" hugs or "It's been too long" goodbyes.

Starting tomorrow, it will just be the four of us and 1100 miles of road back to Minnesota. Our next reunion will be with the cats, and I doubt they will be pleased with us.

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