Road Trip
November 2004

I had to be in Boston and DC anyway so I decided to take Alex with me and show him the sights. We flew to Boston and he got the complete treatment AA First, Amtrak to DC, Holiday Inn and other fine stuff. It is the first in what I hope will become a series of adventures, similar to those I have with Bruce. (BNEA link)

(as usual, click on the little picture to see the big picture)

The theme of this trip is Planes, Trains and, yes, automobiles, although there are no photos of automobiles. The first part is the trip from San Diego to Boston on American Airlines.
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We're leavin' on an airplane, don't know when we'll be back again...
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Looking out the window on the way to the East Coast.
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Grandma and PopPop's house from 2000 feet.
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Silvergate Elementary is Alex's school. From 2000 feet you cannot see his room too well but he wants to say,  "Hi Mrs. Murphy!"
We got to Boston late in the day and checked into our hotel. 
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My own bed and my own movie... cool!
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Just chillin' and watchin' Kim Possible.
We took Amtrak to Washington DC because we love trains. I thought that it would be an easy trip. Sure. Lock a five year old into a train seat for seven hours. Right.
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Boston South Station. Lots of trains and lots of people.
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Alex had a great time and rolled with the baggage.
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Watching a train maintenance crew at work.
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This is the maintenance crew that Alex was watching.
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Five year olds can find each other anywhere on the planet.
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While waiting to get on the train, the guys start comparing notes.
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This what part of an Amtrak train to DC looks like.
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We started every day by calling Dad in San Diego. We are three hours ahead so Dad gets called at 7 am.
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The Boston train yard. Our layout will look like this some day. Yeah, right.
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We were stuck in a tunnel for about fifteen minutes. I think we ran out of gas. Alex was looking out the window just before we stopped.
Our intention in DC was to hit some museums, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. We had a day to do this and, as we learned, it would have been a long day. We had a plan, though. First, we take the Metro to the Mall.

Alex learned that he likes to sit in the window and watch the world go by. It was Saturday so he could.
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Yep, I'm awake! I even think I'm happy.
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In DC we rode the Metro everywhere. It was a weekend of Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
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In the McPherson Metro Station.
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On the McPherson Metro train heading to the museums.
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We were walking to the Mall (Washington DC... not the shopping one) and naturally Alex had to stop and watch construction.
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Alex likes all kinds of construction activity. He likes it better when there are big machines. Give him a Bobcat and he's happy. Give him a crane and he's in bliss.
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This group was doing the, oh heck, I forgot what they were walking for. I just like the photo.
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Some kind of Walk-A-Thon.
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The museums open at 10 am. Alex doesn't like waiting unless there is water or dirt involved.

 Waiting to get into the Indian Museum, water was the Order of the Day since there is no dirt available. 

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Of course, he doesn't like being alone. Given the opportunity, he will try and corrupt a young girl into playing in the water. It won't work but God loves a guy who will try. God must love Alex a lot.
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No museum is worth a darn unless there is something to do. Alex is driving this tour boat on an Indian Reservation at the American Indian Museum.
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Chicago was named after Indians. Something I didn't know until we went to the Museum.
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The dome of the Indian Museum. 
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The Capitol from the Indian Museum.
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Seeing the Moon in the daylight is really cool. this is beside the Indian Museum. 
The National Air and Space Museum

This is the one that brought us to Washington. We didn't get to the new museum in Virginia. That will have to wait for when Alex can sit on a plane for five hours or when I can take better tranquilizers.

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This is at the main door of the museum.

See the moon in the sculpture? 

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On the way to the Air and Space Museum. One museum down and three to go.
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An authentic space ship.
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An authentic Moon Lander. One of 12 built in the history of the world. Several are still on the Moon.
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The Air and Space Museum main hall.


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Walking through Skylab. Alex has no idea what it is but he thought it was cool.
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Talking to Dad on Saturday morning.
The Museum of American History

This place was very interesting. We went there to look at trains. There were only two to see but it wasn't a waste. We did discover gelato in the basement. Alex never had gelato and now he's an Italian gelato aficionado.

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'Way down on the left you can see Alex collecting some of the two hundred sixty rocks he is bringing home.

I told you before that he is happiest when there is water or dirt involved.

He's happy as a pig in ... wait, this is a family website. Sorry.

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Alex liked the Sculpture Garden in front of the National Gallery of Art. We were climbing on the sculptures until I read the "Don't climb on the Sculpture's" sign.
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See Alex fixing the bus. See Alex disappear under the bus. 
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An exhibit of cheap motels at the American History Museum.
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Naturally, we took a train home. Well, "We took the Metro (say it LOUD and SCREECH) , PopPop." 
Alex likes riding anything that moves. This is on the way down into the Smithsonian station. Next road trip we're going to a shopping mall and ride escalators for a day.
The Natural History Museum

Alex calls this  "The Dinosaur Place" because that's what we went to see... dinosaurs.
We saw other stuff but the cool stuff was dinosaurs.

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In the basement of the Natural History Museum. 
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Sometimes you just get lucky with a shot. This is a lucky one.
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Zebras without skin and fur.
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Rex. He's a Big T. He is one of Alex's greatest finds.
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I just love this picture. Look carefully at it. There is a lot going on.
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Alex just takes charge wherever he goes. I tried to teach him that ignorance is bliss but he is determined to teach any child who will listen... and many who will not, as well.
USDA Headquarters

Alex meets the squirrel. He saw this squirrel minding its own business on the lawn of the USDA headquarters and decided that an unencumbered squirrel was just too much to ask. He took off after it. To the squirrel's credit, it waited until Alex nearly pounced upon it and then took off for the bushes. Alex followed.

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The squirrel chase began on flat ground.


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The squirrel taunted him. This squirrel has to be taught a lesson, dontchatink?
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Alex chased the squirrel into its lair. The squirrel came out after Alex three times and the chase resumed. 

The final score: Squirrel 3, Alex 0


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Believe it or not, he climbed the tree to chase a squirrel outside the USDA headquarters.


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Really... I'm not kidding.
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See? Told you so. Here is the squirrel.
The New England Aquarium

This is a pretty cool aquarium. It is not as cool as the Long Beach Aquarium which still ranks as the best of the bunch, but it is pretty cool.

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We took the subway, the "T" in Boston.
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Alex made quite an impression on the woman driving the train. The woman made quite an impression, too!
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This is the Boston subway.
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We had to take the Red Line to the Orange Line to the Blue Line. It only cost $1.25 for the entire trip. 
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We stopped at the New England Aquarium on the way to the Airport. This young woman is feeding the penguins. It looks like a fun job.
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This isn't Ashley but... ?
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This is where Gus, Luke and Alex met up. That's Mom on the right. Either I don't know her name or I forgot. 

She is nice and so are the kids.

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The boys. Luke and Gus live in Boston. They were killing time waiting for their Dad to come to lunch. Alex is a born ring leader.

It helps that their Mom was outnumbered 3 to 1. 

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I think this is Gus, or it might be Luke. Alex is hoping to teach him how to grow a jellyfish by eating little fish and fish eggs.
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Alex got a chance to get a kiss from a sea lion. He still smells like fish. I'm going to take him home in a plastic baggie.

Alex, not the sea lion.

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A collection of penguins just hangin' out waitin' for fish.
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Sam. He's a monitor.
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This turtle is about six feet long. It is the biggest turtle I've ever seen. 
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A road trip wouldn't be a road trip without a fish.
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We snuck on the Mass Transit Train.
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Alex took a bath by filling up the tub to within an inch from the top. Then he splashed all over the floor. The bathroom was very clean later that evening.
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At the Holiday Inn, I got upgraded to the best room in the house. Alex swam in the Jacuzzi tub. He cleaned that floor, too.

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For some reason, he loves sitting in windows in the morning. Thank goodness we had late appointments so he could. It takes a village to get this kid out of bed, into clothes and on the street.


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