As a homeschooling mom, anytime I can combine a good deal, a learning experience, and a chance to visit good friends, with vacation, I will have to jump on it. No little car ride is going to stand in the way of such an opportunity:) I miraculously was able to load our aging van with all the accouterments for our young brood without the use of a car top carrier. Dh came home early on Friday afternoon to find that I had the car and its passengers loaded and ready to go, despite the added workload of two sick kids and a sick husband. Granted, I was beyond overtired, but we were ready for our much needed vacation.
(Yes, Gabe and Joseph are sleeping in this picture. This stroller was such a blessing on this trip.)The first leg of our journey, was a stopover in Washington D.C. where we were blessed to stay and visit with a dear friend, do a little site-seeing, and a lot of walking. We were taken on a tour of the Dominican House of Studies, where we did our best to keep a couple rambunctious two-year-olds in check after a long car ride and late night. The girls had been told by a friend to keep an eye out for the cool chairs, I hope she likes this picture of the kids in the chairs. During meals, we were able to visit with many of the brothers who have visited our parish each year to help with VBS.
We are so fortunate to have such a good friend in Fr. P. He said Mass for us both days we were there in the small private chapel. It was so nice to be able to focus a little more on Mass and a little less on whether or not our little ones were disrupting those around us. We have had two wonderful visits with him in the last few months and both of them brought me such needed peace.
Peaceful would probably not be the word the others sharing our wing in the House of Studies would use. There was a young man discerning a vocation there with us over the weekend. We joked that it was a clever trick to put a family with all these little ones so close to him. After having to listen to little ones up at all hours, and then having Joseph barge in on him in the wee hours of the morning, I am sure he is one step closer to that priestly vocation :)
Speaking of vocations, the girls each had their own little room and enjoyed pretending they were nuns in their cells. At home they clamor to make a bed in our room, but there they were more than excited to stay on their own.
While I enjoyed seeing all the beautiful monuments D.C. has to offer, it was the company and hospitality that brought joy and peace to a vacation that required more work than any previous vacation. It certainly is very different to travel with six children (four of whom are under the age of 5), and I was thankful we had the help of friends to lend a hand.