Thursday, May 10, 2012

Protect Ya Neck: Fort Washington Park

We didn't actually count, but it seemed like there was no less than 8,000 things to do around town last weekend.  But having spent some time at the National Cathedral Flower Mart with Cami already, mom wasn't in the mood for crowds.  So we headed out of town just a bit to check out Fort Washington Park, which has been on our list for a while.  If you've ever been to Mount Vernon and had to drive back to D.C., you can spot Fort Washington on the other side of the Potomac and it took us some time to figure out what the heck it even was.  So we were excited to go finally see it (OK, mom was excited.  Then she showed me pictures of cannons and I was excited, too.  I said "it's a perfect place for pirates!")

We got a bit of a late start, but we decided to pick up some lunch and bring it with us for a picnic.  After a brief stop in to the visitor's center (which has bathrooms), we headed over to the fort and spent most of our time there.  Built up on top of a hill, it offers a super cool view of the Potomac and ARTILLERY.  Yes, you heard me.  Mom, dad, and Cami sat in the grass and had lunch while I climbed all over cannons shooting villains that were storming the fort.  I never even ate my lunch.

It started to rain shortly after everyone else finished eating (what weird weather this weekend!), so we took off without getting a chance to see some of the other structures and lighthouse.  But, get this.  On the first Sunday of the month during the spring and fall, they actually FIRE the cannons -- 3 times a day (at 1, 2 and 3 p.m.) -- and we are so going back for the next one (remaining firings are on June 3, July 1, August 5, September 2, October 7, and November 11).  There are lots of hills at the park, but if you're willing to push it, a stroller is totally doable (mom just refuses to use one anymore).

On a somewhat related note, while we were checking out the visitor's center we learned about two cool National Park programs (which aren't new, just new to us):

  (1) National Park Passport Stamps Program -- almost all of the 397 national parks have unique passport-like stamps with which you can stamp your own "passport" when you visit.  Would be kind of cool to start when you're young; and

  (2) The Junior Ranger Program -- many national parks offer these programs that allow juniors to complete activities at a particular park and earn badges.  Could be a fun way to learn more about the national park you are visiting.

Oxon Hill Farm is also in the area, if you are looking for a few spots to hit at once.  And National Harbor isn't too far away either.


Cam needs all her accessories and drinks.


i liked to yell commands into the canons because they echoed back at me.  here comes that rain! 

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