We spent the weekend in the car. Literally. Which is unusual because, being Manhattanites this year, we don't own a car.
But as my husband accepted a job in Washington DC (did I mention that on here yet?) that will start this summer, we need to start looking at where to live and schools for Miss Lilly.
So we rented a car for the weekend, which is almost as expensive (in NYC) as flying to DC. But, it was so nice to be in a car. At first.
I was so overwhelmed with decisions last week that for hotels we hotwire.com-ed it. We needed to stay in Northern VA Friday night, Charlottesville VA Saturday night, and Montgomery County Sunday night, and had no real need to be anywhere particular within those areas. I have to say, hotwire picked nice hotels, for lower cost than we would have picked if we knew the names ahead of purchase, although it still makes me nervous generally not being able to obsessively compulsively chose what we're doing and how we're doing it. So hotwire did save me time that would otherwise have been spent mentally preparing for the trip.
We drove two hours after leaving our apartment in the Upper East Side on Friday afternoon before finally making it out of Manhattan. Traffic, even at 3 pm, was nuts. Plus the Garmin wasn't aware that a building had been put up near an entrance to a tunnel so we had to drive around it twice before figuring out an alternative.
Anyways, the drive down was easy, the Westin in Falls Church was nice (especially the hot apple cider waiting for us as we checked in), and Mamma Mia was on TBS right as we got in our room (how lucky is Lilly!). The next morning we drove around Virginia and Maryland for 3 hours with a real estate agent, looking at neighborhoods and trying to figure out what part of town we want to be in (and what we can reasonably afford, which is not much). Lilly was a good sport in the back seat with her dvd player.
We then drove 2 hours down to Charlottesville so Lilly could meet her old best friend from school for a playdate, and her boyfriend and his family for Mexican. It was nice to be back in town, and Lilly got so excited when we drove past her old school. That night as Jon and Lilly settled into the Holiday Inn (which was much nicer inside than we expected from the outside appearance) and discovered that Mamma Mia was on for the second night in a row on TBS (how lucky are we!), I went for a ride to my old stomping ground... Target... and rediscovered the joy of $10 items adding up to much more than I originally wanted to spend.
The next morning we drove back up to Virginia to look at a school we didn't like very much. Disappointed, we then went on a play date with Lilly's new friend Samantha, and they had a wonderful time together. They are just a few weeks apart in age, are both only children, and are so very similar. I really enjoyed watching the girls so appropriately play with each other and enjoy each other's company. Afterwards we drove to Jon's cousin's beautiful house for a very lovely dinner, while Lilly vegged and watched (anticipate this) Mamma Mia on her portable dvd player.
We got to the Hilton in Silver Springs Maryland around 10 pm and Lilly had a late bedtime of 11! Yesterday, Monday, we looked at 4 different Catholic schools that were all so wonderful it made me grateful that we were led in this direction. We think we've decided on one in particular but I don't think we could go wrong with any of the schools, and I'm happy that they are all so enthusiastic about Lilly being part of their community, and have the resources to support such positive inclusion programs that are proven successful by current kids with DS in the schools. As we left the DC area, my heart felt so much lighter and I began to really get excited about this next phase in our lives.
So it was a whirlwind weekend. In the car most of 3 1/2 days, dragged around from houses to schools to hotels. But it was a good weekend. And Lilly and I both cried when she got on the bus this morning. :(
It sounds like I might need to plan our next family trip somewhere...