Lady Freida


For spring break, Carina and I took the twins to Washington, D.C. We thought it would be a good opportunity to help the kids learn a bit about the enormity of the U.S. government (they both sometimes still mistakenly think that “the government” is one person!). The drive to D.C. was easy, and was without a doubt one of the best road trips we’ve had with the twins to date: no fighting, no whining, no bickering. We made good time, and checked into our hotel around 7:30 PM. The first real problem of the trip greeted us when we got into our room: only a single king-sized bed. It turns out that the hotel was overbooked, and were unable to give us a room with two twin beds. We could either move to a different hotel, or roll in a collapsible bed. We opted for the latter.

Saturday morning we connected with my friend Chris, who has lived in D.C. for the last 13 years. The five of us set out to see the major sites, with Chris acting as tour guide. The weather fluctuated between “not too bad” and “downright cold”, but we made the best of it. We started with the White House, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and then the Vietnam Wall. Chris pointed out to me that The Onion was offering a printed newspaper in D.C.:

We had lunch at Zorba’s Cafe</>: and dinner at Taj Mahal, where Carina and I ordered extremely spicy vindaloo.

The kids handled the day fairly well. They each felt worn down and out of energy at least once, and started to whine and fuss. Thankfully, these moments passed pretty quickly. I must say that this is the best start to any trip we’ve ever had. We’ve all enjoyed seeing the buildings, and Chris’ explanations of the history of the city have been wonderful. We stopped for a photo in front of the building in which Chris works:

When I came to D.C. as a young boy with my family many years ago, we took one of the bus tours of the city. As we approached the Capitol Building, the announcer told us about the statue atop the dome of the building. The speaker was the usual poor quality for these types of tours, and dad and I could not understand much of what was said. We heard the statue introduced as “Lady Frieda”, and we both thought it was a little odd that the statue would have a proper name. The statue is actually “Lady Freedom”. We didn’t learn this until we asked someone – possibly the tour guide – for more information about Lady Freida. Everyone within earshot laughed pretty hard, and dad and I laugh to this day about the story.

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