This past week my 19-year old daughter, Kara, headed off to Peru for a year and a half, for a mission for our church. It was a hard week, but also a busy week as we tried to get her ready in the one week she had at home before leaving for Peru.
Even though we were so busy, Kara kept saying she wanted to go into DC while she was here. Those are words I just love to hear—but I also knew that her plane would leave at a set time—whether she was all packed and ready or not. So finally we agreed that if she had a certain amount of her packing done by Saturday afternoon, we would go into DC for a couple of hours.
It was just the incentive she needed to work a little quicker, and by Saturday afternoon we were driving into the city. However, there was something very unique about this trip. For probably the first time ever, as we were driving in, we didn’t have a plan of what we were going to do.
Of course I had plenty of ideas—the Portrait Gallery, Union Station, an IMAX movie at the Natural History Museum, the Postal Museum, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to mention just a few. None of these ideas resonated with Kara, but she wasn’t really sure what she wanted to do instead.
As we got closer and closer, it finally came out that she just wanted to walk around the city. I get that—that’s probably my favorite thing to do in DC too. I love just walking around, and feeling the city. The only problem with walking around was that it was 27 degrees outside, and the wind was blowing too, and yeah, there was snow on the ground too.
But this was Kara’s last trip for a year and a half, so it was her choice. We raided the car for any hats, gloves and scarves that were stashed in the trunk. We parked along Constitution Ave, and started walking. We walked to the World War II Memorial, which was fairly deserted, and no water in the fountain.
Then we walked along the reflecting pool to the Lincoln Memorial.
The reflecting pool was mostly covered with ice.
The sun was getting low in the sky, and the reflection of the Monument in the water was really pretty.
We stayed at the Lincoln Memorial for a while, before deciding that we were all freezing cold, and had probably had enough. So we hurried back to our car, and were off—driving home after only spending about one and a half to two hours in the city.
Some might think this was kind of a useless trip into DC—we didn’t do much, and what we did we have done many times before, but I don’t see it that way at all. Kara wanted to say goodbye to a place she loves. And for the rest of us, it doesn’t matter what we’re doing or where we’re doing it—just being together as a family on an adventure of any sort is completely worth it!