Adventures in D.C. + Mother’s Day Recap

Last month we’ve had the wonderful honor to witness two of our dear friends in the D.C. area pledge their love to each other in marriage at not one but TWO ceremonies!

My husband’s best friend Jomil, who was a best man at our wedding–and incidentally Miguel’s godfather–married his lady love Stephanie, whom we just simply adored from Day One.

Miggz witnessed both the civil and formal ceremonies with us. Here are some photos from his Uncle Jomil and Auntie Stephanie’s Big Day (or should I say, Big Days)…

Rogers-Madrid, The Civil Wedding Ceremony on May 11th

Rogers-Madrid, The Formal Wedding Ceremony on May 12th

It was quite difficult for us to take some decent photos with Miggz on both days. As expected of a two-year-old, he showed no interest in taking pictures. He either made silly faces, or did not hesitate expressing his boredom.

Case in point:

Bored + Silly Miggz = These Pictures!! Still priceless.

On Mother’s Day, May 13th, Terrence, Miggz and I had a chance to really explore the D.C. area.

And EXPLORE we did!!

Thank God the museums and monuments were open on a Sunday. Well…the monuments ARE always open, LOL! But I did not think the museums would be. A little make-ahead research on my part before we left (just Google “top ten things to do in D.C.” or “best D.C. sights for kids”), and we had a little wish-list D.C. itinerary that included:

– The Whitehouse

– The Monuments/Memorials (Lincoln and Washington definitely, Jefferson and MLK time-permitting, WWII, Veterans, etc.)

– The National Air & Space Museum (I marked this a must-see for Miggz)

– The National Archives (a question mark…Terrence and I, or at least I, thoroughly enjoyed this on our first visit to D.C., but it might be a little too advanced/boring for Miggz at his age)

– The National Museum of Natural History (another must-see for Miggz, even if it’s just the Hall of Dinosaurs)

– Bureau of Engraving and Printing

– Smithsonian National Postal Museum

I added the last two to our D.C. tour wish list out of curiosity, but it was not a big deal if we couldn’t get to them (and we didn’t…they required advanced tickets to be picked up the morning of, and they were not open on a Sunday).

The awesome part about touring in D.C. is that most (if not all) sightseeing spots + the museums cost nothing. That’s right, these national treasures are free to be explored, though you can pay for guided and more detailed tours if you choose to.

With the exception of The Whitehouse (a tour for this–FYI–requires advanced registration and contacting your Member of Congress for tickets. Click here for details. I COULD have advanced registered us, but after careful thinking decided against it…imagine two-year-old Miggz running around The Whitehouse!!), The National Archives, and both the Bureau of Engraving and Printing + Smithsonian National Postal Museum, we were able to go to all the other ones on our tour list in ONE day!!

That required a lot of patience in finding parking in D.C. on a gorgeous day in May, a little bit of luck finding the perfect parking spot on Madison Ave. right in the middle of where we wanted to be, a whole lot of walking, and an attitude of really wanting to explore a little bit of everything, even if it means not seeing literally every thing.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from our D.C. trip

The three of us in front of The Smithsonian.

On the grounds of The National Mall, overlooking the Washington Monument.

Same spot, different direction. Turn around from this very spot every which way, and you’ll see The Capitol (as seen here), The Washington Monument, The Smithsonian, and The National Museum of Natural History.

Miggz in AWE at the Dinosaur Hall in The National Museum of Natural History. Again, priceless.

Missile Pit at the National Air and Space Museum. Five years ago, Terrence and I were in the same spot!

Walking the grounds of the World War II Memorial.

The long–but beautiful and tree-lined–walk to the Lincoln Memorial.

Atop the Lincoln Memorial, overlooking the Washington Monument.

Priceless Mother-Son Moment.

To sum it up, it was a fantastic first time in D.C. for Miggz, and an even more fantastic way to celebrate and spend Mother’s Day for me.


Waking Up (with a Toddler) in Vegas

I’ve been meaning to blog about our recent Vegas trip. It’s a milestone trip in many ways. My Mom–Miguel’s Gramma–turned 55; it must have been my fourth or fifth ever visit to Vegas (it never gets tiring); and it’s a significant trip for Miggz.

Our little man has been VERY busy traveling it up, with Nevada being his 10th visited state. Not bad for being only almost 15-months old. I’ve lost track of the places we’ve taken Miggz to. If it weren’t for our archived photos, I probably would not be able to figure this out. Let me see, there was New Jersey (the state where he was born, of course), Connecticut (visiting family at almost six months old), New York (Museum of Natural History, NYC – six months old, and the annual Auto Show at eight months old), New Hampshire (snowboarding trip in Vermont – seven months old), Illinois (Jacob family reunion in Chicago – nine months old), Florida (mini vacation in Sarasota and Orlando – 10 months old), Michigan (Mendinueto family reunion – 11 months old), Arizona (our family’s big cross-country move – right before he turned one), California (San Diego wedding anniversary trip – 14 months old), and Nevada (Las Vegas @ almost 15 months old). Whew. I don’t know of a baby who’s travelled more than him. He must be tired from all these travels (so are his parents), but not bad tired. More like happy tired.

So Las Vegas…being in it with a toddler is definitely a different story from my past visits sans baby. You see everything in a whole different light (literally). The drive, the rest stops, the casinos, the shops, the food, The Strip. All become an endless blur of eye candy intermingled with lots of bathroom stops and diaper changes. I say eye candy because all we were really able to enjoy doing while we were in Vegas was sightsee. As much as we’d have wanted to gamble a tad longer, or see some shows, or stay up and out much later, it was great seeing Miguel’s reaction to the lights on The Strip from his car seat, his excitement upon seeing the canals at The Venetian, his even greater joy at eyeing the magnificent fountain at the Palazzo (Miggz has a thing for fountains). If only Vegas were a child’s playground.

But alas, it isn’t a child’s playground. It’s where adults come to play. So as much as Miguel had his fun, I take back what I said about Vegas never being so tiring. It was this time around, and I’ll probably reconsider taking Miguel again here until his 21st birthday. By then he’ll really see what Vegas is all about. But then again, he probably won’t take us, his parents, to that 21st birthday trip, so this one was still a trip well spent 🙂

Miggz wants him some gelato (The Venetian, Las Vegas)

Awe-struck by the great waterfall fountain (The Palazzo, Las Vegas)

Trying on a track suit from the Ferrari Store (Wynn, Las Vegas)

Family picture in front of the Esplanade (Wynn, Las Vegas)

There are more photos, of course. They will hopefully be on Facebook by next week.

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