Air and Space and Skate-,only not in that order

the day started with a hike
not the standard hike
but the almost standard hike
nothing dynamic... nothing extensive
just the Melvin Hazen 
but the Melvin Hazen is longer than the standard Rosemount Loop
and the Melvin Hazen gets Didg to water

Melvin Hazen

Grant had scheduled getting together with one of his friends from school
Harper... I had met Harper but I had never hung out with Harper
I suggested that Harper dress in active gear ready for the cold

a hike was my offering... a forced march with the promise of ice
ice in some capacity

so... Didg got a short hike with the thought he would get another hike later in the day

then there was this other thought
skates and skating
I had wanted to head up to Rockville to score some used skates for the boys
thought it was a shame that they did not get to skate on the canal last weekend
but that notion was rebuffed
the boys were hard to motivate
the boys are always hard to motivate

I gave into the resistence
not entirely
but enough to modify our trajectory
rather than head to rockville to try on some skates and then explore an indoor rink that I am unfamiiar with
instead we went to the national mall

the Ice Rink at the Sculpture Garden
I used my Smithsonian ID to park for free at Air and Space
then we cut through Air and Space then across the mall
there was a line... but our timing was good for the start of the next session

just enough time to line up and lace up for the Zamboni 

I brought skates

I had the boys all get their skates and lace up on their own
telling them that they can grab me and I can tighten their laces
sure enough.... after some time on the ice I was on the sideline tightening some skates
loose skates equal less control and increase chance of injury
even with our helmets... we were the only people on the ice with helmets
most people could not skate

we skated for an hour
then at the next Zamboni break we got a snack and the kids pulled off their skates
I hung back while the boys went to the Air and Space Museum
how cool is that?

yes... an example of Free Range Parenting

I pushed the skates for another 30 minutes or so and then called Grant

he had just called me
the boys were getting ready to go
I was ready to go

they were in in the museum shop
the same place where I got Dean his costume for his Ground Control TO Major Tom Halloween costume with Rory
the gift store is three stories tall
some of their socking stuffers were purchased at this store

then down to the garage under the Air and Space building and then off to get something to eat
Grant had been petitioning for Moby Dick for a good part of the day
Grant is very persuasive
I suggested Amsterdam Falafel 

but then I modified my suggestion

breakfast for dinner

a short drive across town
no issue getting a parking spot on Columbia Road rather than snailing on 18th
then a satisfying dinner at the diner
all parties enjoyed their meal
I managed my check by not getting drinks
but I was tempted to get a beer

the boys walked home from Adams Morgan
it was dark
but it was only 7PM
gotta give them some rope
gotta give them some lead

Harper is a really good kid
very bright
very confident

got some Striped Bass Pale Ale
making up for not getting that beer then now