My friend Carrie told me about an app called Glympse. When you're traveling, you can send someone a Glympse, which basically connects their phone to your phone and location for a set period of time. You can leave the connection open for 15 minutes or up to four hours. The other person can see where you are traveling (and at what speed). They don't get to know if you are listening to bad 80s music and eating chips while you drive, but they know just about everything else. Anyway, I sent a Glympse to my sister so she'd know where we were. As we rounded a curve about a block before her house, I spotted my daughter and nephew on the sidewalk, jumping and waving (since they knew exactly when they'd be able to see our car). My sister and niece were waiting for us, too. See, isn't technology great?
Instead of hugging us after we got out of the car, our daughter proceeded to throw pop-its at the ground, which was apparently the welcome she had planned for us. Keep in mind that it was July 3rd, so fireworks were on the brain, I guess. There were also welcome messages in chalk in the driveway and in neon window paint on the front door. It all felt very festive! P and I were very happy to be with our baby once again. She had a big scab on her chin from an incident at the pool, but I have decided not to pursue litigation against my sister.
We spent the next 2 1/2 days with my sister and her family. We did a lot of fun stuff - we went to the pool (and had a picnic there), we watched the kids have dance parties, and we watched my brother-in-law blow stuff up in the driveway on Independence Day. On Saturday, we visited my grandma in Arlington. We brought along our kid plus one of my sister's kids. Fortunately, my grandma doesn't mind some shenanigans. A and L ate all of her potato chips, all of her tortilla chips, and were eyeing up her pretzels when P and I decided we should probably head out.
On Sunday, my sister and I took three of the kids (plus my husband) downtown for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. We took the Metro. The National Mall (which, if you've never been to DC, is basically the area between Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol, lined by various Smithsonian museums and government buildings) is under construction - big time. So, the festival had to be scaled back this year since there was less room for it. Every year, they feature different countries (and sometimes different U.S. states, too, if my memory is correct). This year, they limited it to Peru. So, it was smaller but it was still a lot of fun. We saw lots of costumed dancers, ate some new and different foods, and trudged through a lot of mud.
It was great to spend time with my middle sister and her family. The only thing that would have made it better was if my wee baby sister was there, too. Almost nothing makes me happier than having both of my sisters in one room. With me, I mean. I need to be there, too. One other highlight of the visit to NOVA: I got to meet my niece's boyfriend and ask him lots of questions while my niece nervously listened. Don't worry - I saved a few goodies (politics and religion) for our next visit.
On Monday morning, P and I got up and headed to the beach, taking our daughter with us. It was a three hour drive and many complaints were dispatched from the back seat. Don't worry, there is at least one more post about our vacation - and this one involves a stomach virus!