When the boys were about 8 they began participating in an identical twin study at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD (just outside of DC). NIH paid the travel/hotel expenses for our whole family to drive up there and stay while the boys did some phsychological and medical tests. We got plenty of sight-seeing in and had a great time!
A few months ago they contacted us, and asked if we would like to come again (expenses paid) so they could do some follow up tests on the boys. Of course we said yes! So we drove up on a Saturday and arrived at about midnight (after several potty stops for kids & mom, and a grocery shopping trip). Our itinerary for the next 3 days was as follows:
-church in the morning
-picnic lunch and brief visit to DC temple/visitor center
-arlington cemetary (tomb of the unknown soldier, Kennedy graves, Robert E. Lee house)
-Iwo Jima memorial
-Thomas Jefferson memorial
-all day tests for boys (MEG/MRI scans, psychological tests, IQ tests, blood tests)
-national zoo for Derek and girls
-tour of capitol building
-national archives (declaration of independence, constitution, bill of rights)
-lunch at hot dog stand (highlight for the kids–don’t know why?)
-american history museum (1812 star spangled banner flag, Abe Lincoln clothing/furniture/other possesions)
-tour of bureau of engraving and printing (where they print money–our favorite of the trip!)
-last stop: the smithsonian castle (pile of treasures from Night at the Museum 2, American Idol original 3-judge audition desk)
We couldn’t have asked for better weather, and even 6 1/2-month-pregnant Mom did fine with all the walking (chalk it up to a few days a week on the treadmill I guess). Having Jeffrey off his meds the whole time (for study purposes) was a bit rough at times, but it could have been worse. Though the kids complained about all the walking, they still said they had fun so I’m glad we had the chance to go.