The Tierneys Go to Washington, Part I: Bill the Goat, Baby Bumps, and Whatever This Stuff is Falling From the Sky

by | Jun 3, 2015 | Travel, Travel With Kids, Washington DC | 13 comments

We have had a crazy couple of weeks around here, what with trying to get the school year FINALLY finished, and an awesome visit from my sister-in-law and niece and nephew, and -whew- have I ever been feeling pregnant lately. But things have settled down a bit and I’m pretty sure I owe you guys some Washington D.C. photos. I’m going to break ’em up a bit so as to not overwhelm you with awesome all at once. So . . .  here’s part I.

The husband was already in D.C. for a work conference, and my parents were in Florida for an event. So the kids and I were on our own to make the trip from L.A. to D.C. Which, really, isn’t as bad as it sounds. Flying with one or two or three little guys is way harder. (Especially if you have to deal with a flight crew like this one. Boo!) I have plenty of big kids to help me. But, I gotta say, we were quite the spectacle.

 We had the whole plane to ourselves for a few minutes in Houston, before we took off again for D.C.

I had all my favorite stuff with me: iPad, pearls, Dr. Pepper, Lulu.

So did Frankie: Lotso . . . end of list.

I think we get counted by passersby more often in the airport than anywhere else. Anyway, we met up with the husband and the grandparents, got our rental car, and headed out to Annapolis for our first night, in the first of many Residence Inns.

The next morning, after waffles (obviously), we headed over to Grandad’s alma mater, the Naval Academy.

Bill the Goat . . .

Fun with torpedoes . . . 

And Heisman Trophies . . . 

And awesome mottoes . . . 

When Jack was three years old, he announced that he was going to go to the Naval Academy and become an astronaut. We’ll have to see how prescient he turns out to have been. But he said the beds seemed fine. So far, so good.

Just a boy and his gun shell . . . 

Gus and Frankie sat on this canon for quite a while, and whenever anyone walked past, they’d shout. “KABLAMMO!” at the top of their lungs. It was pretty great. I wish I’d gotten a video.

Next we met up with the very sweet Julie, of These Walls, who, when she heard we were going to be in Annapolis, offered to set us up on a private tour of the Charles Carroll House. He was the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence, so his story is an interesting look into the Catholic history of the colonies.

And Julie and her friend Betsy and all their kiddos and our very knowledgeable docent were all amazing and very fun. Thanks Julie!

That afternoon, we headed back to the city, to Residence Inn number two. (This trip was not sponsored by Residence Inn, but now I’m thinking I should have asked them. I’m a big fan.)

Babies and little kids and pregnant ladies and nanas hit the sack early, but Dad and Grandad and the big kids went to the Marine Barracks Washington for the Evening Parade.

The kids were REALLY impressed. I was almost sorry to have missed it. But it was nice to put my feet up.

The next day was the best part of the whole trip.

First: waffles. Then: down, down, down to the metro. 

We did the reservations only tour of the White House, which was cool, but they won’t let you bring cameras or strollers or even purses. So all I’ve got are a couple phone pictures. I’m glad we did it, but, honestly, the whole process of security to get to a very basic tour of a very limited part of the White House was time consuming, inconvenient, and, frankly, kind of embarrassing as an American. I think we should let Disney take over tours of the White House. They seem to have a better handle on the concepts involved.

Frankie: Word to your mother.

Next we did the Smithsonian American History and Air and Space Museums, which were also cool, but I still had a handful of diapers and wipes and no camera, because of the White House not being good at this. But the husband got this phone pic of Frankie, ready to take on Kid President.

It was hot. Then it POURED rain, which was pretty exciting for my super SoCal kids.

But that’s not even the REALLY good part. Fortunately, we had stopped back at the hotel so I’d have my camera.

Remember my very sweet brother- and sister-in-law, who asked for your prayers for a very special intention?

Well, here he is:

We got to meet our nephew/cousin Luke for the first time! He was adopted as a new newborn last August.

The kids loved all over him and he’s just the easiest-going little guy you ever could meet. He was totally unfazed by our crazy.

And. Because God is good/HILARIOUS, my sister-in-law and I also got to compare bumps.

We have almost the exact same due date in July. So, Luke is going to be a big brother AND an Irish twin, as if being a Tierney wasn’t Irish enough already. Thanks so much for your prayers everyone!

And that seems like a good place to break.

Stay tuned for the rest of the adventure, including “Bring It” Jesus, and a very Bloggy BBQ . . .


  1. Tacy

    It sounds like it was a fun trip. My husband and I lived in Annapolis for the first 5 1/2-6 years of our marriage (moved to D.C. for a year after that). Looks like it was a great trip- God bless you. And congratulations to your sister- and brother-in-law!!!

    • Kendra

      In big cities in Europe, we've always been able to find apartments to rent. But that doesn't seem to be a thing in US cities. And splitting eleven people across multiple hotel rooms is super lame for the grownups.

      There's no hang out space for the evening when little kids are asleep early, so I used to end up hiding behind the bed until they fell asleep. And many regular hotels have no where to cook or do laundry.

      But as Residence Inn, we can get two two room suites, so my parents can stay together with some kids and the husband and I can stay together with the rest, and have our own rooms. The one we stayed at in DC our suites were even connected with a private entry way, so it was really like having a four bedroom house! Plus free awesome breakfast in the morning, and a place to do laundry, and a kitchen and dining table if we want to cook dinner, or even just bring takeout home. That saves money and dining frustration.

      It's really the only setup that works for us, traveling with a group this big.

  2. Julie Walsh

    Looks like it was a great start to your trip! I'm glad it — tours, rain, visits (especially with your family) went so well. It was lovely to meet you and your brood!

  3. Schafergal

    So happy for your sister- and brother-in-law! And yes – God IS hilarious! As you know, same thing happened to us. 2 kids 9 months apart (now 19 and 10 months old) Wild! Chaotic! Wonderful! The looks we get at Costco, obviously trying to figure out the situation, are hilarious. Then people ask "twins?" And I say "No – just close!" And people look at me like I'm the craziest woman to walk the earth. So, so funny. I'm just so happy your family gets to experience such a blessing. God really is spectacular.

  4. Nanacamille

    As one who stated with the kids Residence Inn setup is I perfect for families. Enough bathrooms and even a dining area and kitchen to bring in takeout or cook your own food. There is an amazing buffet breakfast included with hot food and make your own waffles. Just ask Jack about them

  5. Amanda

    The Residence Inn setup sounds perfect! We are getting to the point where we struggle to stay at typical hotels, it's really cramped and no fun at all honestly with 4 kids (soon to be 5). I might have to check them out next time we travel.

    I love hearing about answered prayers and I love hearing about adoption and babies so to have all 3 in one blog post is awesome-sauce! 🙂

    BTW I love your baby bump pics! You all of a sudden went from "hmm, is she even pregnant?" to "hi baby bump!" 🙂 Let me guess, you'll be one of those women who looks super young and beautiful right up until you suddenly look all wise and beautiful. Like middle eastern women, they always seem to look awesome and young and then suddenly beautiful and wise with no awkward middle-aged transition.

  6. Eliese

    Amen about Residence Inn! We used to hide in the bathroom until the kids were asleep. But this summer we're headed to a wedding and it's Residence Inn all the way.

    So neat about the tour of Carroll's house. We used to live in Frederick, MD and went to a parish called St. Joseph-on-Carrollton-Manor that, as the name implies, is on land once owned by Carroll which he granted to the Jesuits. Pretty interesting history. I would have liked to see Carroll's house.

  7. Laura @ Mothering Spirit

    What wonderful news!! Loved praying for your sweet new nephew, and what a joyful blessing that he will soon be a big brother!

  8. Tia

    I like Residence Inn because it doesn't require too much leg work, but usually we go with an Air BnB or a Home Away, partly because I like the surprise element and partly because it usually winds up being more homey and having a real legitimate kitchen with all the utensils for hardcore cooking. Plus you can find some eclectic places to stay. In Hawaii we stayed at a place where the people had five kids, a huge jungle gym and yard and a horse in the nearby field. It was heaven. In San Luis Obispo we also stayed at a little farm. Kids loved the animals.

  9. Mary Lenaburg

    Oh my gosh…the baby bump picture is the BEST! God is so very, very good isn't He?? Love it.

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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