💦💦💦 Pacific Ocean 💦💦💦 We couldn't leave Peru without me taking my first ever dip in the Pacific Ocean.

It was bloody cold and the waves were huge so I settled for just a paddle.  But it felt great!

After being a bit grumpy (I was worrying about our tsunami exit route) a dip in the sea proper cheered me up.

Miraflores has some great beaches for surfing and their are surf school right on the beach that will sign you up there and then.

I was tempted but didn't fancy trying to squeeze on a wetsuit with an audience. ❤️ #pacificocean #oceansoftheworld #ilovethesea #swimallday #familybloggers #travelblog #photooftheday #kidsthattravel #worldschool
🐮🐮🐮 Pucara Bulls 🐮🐮🐮 You'll find miniature versions of this bull all over Peru.  In a variety of colours too.

Some of the houses in the countryside will have two little bulls on the roof.

They arrived in Peru in the early years of the Spanish colony and were originally crafted as a cup.  They would be filled with chicha, a drink made from corn and mixed with blood.  This would be consumed by the priest in a cattle blessing ceremony.

Now, they are used as a blessing to Apus, the Inca mountain god, to bring health, wealth and unity to the owner. ❤️ #pucarabull #exploreperu ##travelwithkids #familytravelblogs #familytravelblogger #travelbloggerfamily #suitcasefamily #backpacker_pics
🍫🍫🍫 Hot Chocolate and Churros 🍫🍫🍫 The food in Peru is soooo good!  We didn't have one bad meal and the snacks are incredible.

Dan made it his personal mission to try everything and he did pretty well.  He did go back for seconds on some though, and that held him back.

Anyway, we had read about a place in Miraflores that did hot chocolate and churros and decided it was an absolute must.

Churros are a big thing in Lima.  People sell them everywhere and they are amazing.  But Manolo's is like the best.

You can get 6 churros and a mug of hot chocolate for S/16, which is less than £4.  Dan and the kids loved them.  Let's face it that drink looks more like melted chocolate. ❤️ #manolo #churros #miraflores #travelwithkids #familytravelblogs #familytravelblogger #travelbloggerfamily #suitcasefamily #backpacker_pics #Flytographer #kidstravelblog #travelblogger #familytravel #travelfamily #familytravelblog #viajefamiliar #travelphotography #beautifuldestinations #kidstravel #adventurehood
🏜️🏜️🏜️ The Desert 🏜️🏜️🏜️ I hadn't ever been to the desert before.  And if I'm being completely honest, I didn't know that Peru had any desert.  I'm learning, OK?

It is an amazing place!  We set out early in the morning to climb the sand dunes that surround Huacachina. 
Dan carried Alice but Emily walked to the top of a small peak all by herself.  We were super proud as it was hot and hard work.

We then took it in turns to look after the kids while the other climbed right to the top.

I thought I was going to die.  It was a hard climb.  It got steeper and hotter the closer you got to the top too.  But we both did it.  And boy, was it worth it?! ❤️ #explorethedesert #seizetheday #topoftheworld #travelfamily #suitcaselife #kidsthattravel #worldschoolers #worldschooling #Flytographer #kidstravelblog #travelblogger #familytravel
🌴🌴🌴 Huacachina 🌴🌴🌴 After a night's stop at Paracas, we boarded another bus (only an hour this time) to Ica.

From Ica, we hopped in a taxi that took us to Huacachina.  A desert oasis!

This is a completely incredible place with a funky little vibe going on.  Surrounded by restaurants and hostels, this is a great place to hang out for a couple of nights.

It was here that we got to stay in our first hostel and we loved it.  It had a gorgeous garden with hammocks and a swimming pool.  It actually felt kinda luxurious.

We also got to catch up with a friends and have a spot of dinner too.  So sophisticated. ❤️ #huacachina #exploreperu #desertoasis  #traveltheworld #familytravel #travelfamily #familytravelblog #viajefamiliar #travelphotography #beautifuldestinations #kidstravel #adventurehood
🐧🐧🐧 Paracas 🐧🐧🐧 As part of our stay in Peru, we wanted to get out of Lima and at least explore some of the many amazing things that the rest of the country has to offer.

One of the places we really wanted to go to was Paracas, as from here you can take a boat trip to the Ballastas Islands.

Now the Ballastas islands are excellent!  Home to a shed load of loads, some very rare but also a great place to see sea lions and PENGUINS.

The place was full of sea lions lounging about on rocks.  There were baby sea lions too with mummy sea lions that looked like they just wanted some peace and quiet.

Seeing penguins was a big one for us though, as this was on Emily's bucket list. 
We were all so happy to be able to seeing such beautiful animals living in their natural habitat. ❤️ #peru #penguins #ballastas #travelblog #travelwithkids #familytravelblogs #familytravelblogger #travelbloggerfamily #suitcasefamily #backpacker_pics #Flytographer #kidstravelblog #travelblogger #familytravel #travelfamily #familytravelblog #viajefamiliar #travelphotography #beautifuldestinations #kidstravel #adventurehood
📚📚📚 Travel stories 📚📚📚 I'm going to tell you a story now.  I'm writing this and scheduling it to go out later so I'm hoping by the time you read this the story will have an ending.

This is the story about why we bought the kids alpaca wool cardigans.

It starts in the USA, where we managed to gather a small collection of coins.  This included a one cent coin.

Fast forward to our last day in Colombia, where Alice finds this coin on the floor and decides to eat it.  I mean full on swallow it.

This led to major panicking from Mummy and Daddy.  Lots of Googling happened including
⛲⛲⛲ Parque de la Reserva ⛲⛲⛲ I had read about this park before heading to Lima and wanted to check it out.

This park contains 13 water fountains, all of them impressive and many of them interactive.  It holds the world record for the largest water fountain complex.

The kids loved this feature.  A 35m long tunnel that you could walk through and stay fairly dry.

Others include the Fuente Magica which has a jet of water that goes up 80m into the air and the Fuente de los Ninos which is a children's fountain that you can play in.

At night they all light up.  Then the Fantasia fountain comes to life with a light projection show, spanning its 120m length.

We had a magical evening walking around the fountains, drinking coffee and eating churros.  Another must-see in Lima! ❤️ #parquedelareserva #lightshow #lima #peru #seetheworld #familytravelin #familytravelers #travelblog #travelwithkids #exploretheworld
🏯🏯🏯 Huaca Pucllana 🏯🏯🏯 Turns out there's not an emoji for Incan pyramid ruins, so you ended up with that.

Anyway, that's what this is.  Actually, it pre-dates the Inca period (200AD ish) and was a sacred place or place of worship at the time.

We didn't get to do the full tour unfortunately.  Kids were going a bit loopy in the sun, but we did get a pretty good look anyway.

The entire structure is made from mud and is assembled in a bookshelf formation.  The slabs stand on end with small gaps that allow for movement whilst retaining its strength.

It was here that I learnt that Lima has an average annual rainfall of less than 30mm.  Which is lucky otherwise this would have washed away a long time ago.

A great find in the heart of Miraflores, Lima! ❤️ #huacapucllana #miraflores #incaruins #exploreperu #loveperu #familytravels #travelphoto #travelblogger #familytravelblog
👒🧣👜 Inka Market 👜🧣👒 Immediately on arrival in Peru, I had a huge urge to spend all my money on brightly coloured clothing and accessories made from alpaca wool.

Therefore, we had to head to Inka Market.  This colourful market is an absolute must see in Miraflores.

Emily loved it!  She borrowed Dan's phone and wandered around snapping pictures of everything she liked.

The bag in this picture was a particular favourite early on and she kept talking about it.

The shop owners kept enticing us in by shoving knitted hats on the kids, scarves around my neck and generally waving around toy llamas.

I loved it!  I nearly spent all of my money there and then bought a ticket home.  It was beautiful!

If you are heading there my advice would be to take cash and remember that the prices are VERY flexible.

SPOILER ALERT:  We went back and got Emily the bag the next day! ❤️ #inkamarket #perusouvenirs #alpacas #photooftheday #lima #kidsofinstagram #travelfamily #familiesaroundtheworld #worldschoolers
🎨🎨🎨 Painting in the park 🎨🎨🎨 After our initial walk down to the sea, we decided to explore the parks closer to our apartment.

Turns out the park is brilliant.  As well as being a place for local artists to sell their work, food stalls to dispense delicious treats and cats to wander freely, there is a play area for kids.

We all sort of lost our minds at finding this play area.  We hadn't visited a proper play area since Central Park in New York.

This park has swings and slides, climbing frames and seesaws and, of course, those wibbly wobbly horse things.

On top of that, it had some added bonuses.  Our favourite was that you could do painting in the park.

A couple of (rather entrepreneurial) women had set up some easels and had a selection of pictures that the children could paint.

For S./5 (a little more than £1), the kids sat and painted happily for the first time in a long time.

We had such a lovely evening watching our kids just be kids. ❤️ #kidsbeingkids #kidsaroundtheworld #familytravel #familytravelbog #advetnuretravel #slowtravel #letkidsbekids #lima #peru #miraflores

A Weekend in Washington DC

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

Yes, yes, yes!  I know I am majorly behind on my travel diary updates.  But the last month has whizzed by and routine has gone out of the window.

 

But here I am writing an update for you about our time in Washington DC.  Plus, you have Dan’s wonderful video to accompany it.

 

Day 5 – A Train Ride

If you have already read my post about catching the train from NYC to Washington DC then you’ll know all about this bit.  But if not, I will do a brief recap.

 

On Friday, we packed up our stuff and headed out of our New York hotel and towards Penn Station.  The plan was lunch then jump on the train.

 

It was a great plan and we executed it perfectly.  We found a great place for lunch, even if the kids did have a chocolate pancake.  The important thing is that I got a gluten-free salad thing which was delicious.

 

After that, we found our way into the station, grabbed some snacks, had 6-8 wees and then jumped on the train.

 

The trip was exceptional, and the staff were so helpful and lovely.  Train travel is fabulous and I totally recommend it for families.

 

Arriving in Washington, we had to jump on the Metro to get to our hotel.  Despite the slightly complicated ticket issuing system, I really rate the Metro system in Washington.  It’s clean, efficient and works so well.

 

Once we surfaced in Washington, the kids were hungry.  Therefore, we had to hunt down some food.  Lo and behold, the first place we found not only did gluten-free sandwiches but also pesto pizza.

 

Our hotel turned out to be fabulous too.  Our hotel in New York was basic and a bit run down, but this place was pristine and luxurious.  And to our surprise included breakfast.  We went to bed that night quite content and excited about free breakfast.

pesto pizza in washington dc

Day 6 – Exploring the National Mall

It turned out to be an absolute corker of a hotel.  The breakfast was modest but the kids got to have doughnuts and Fruit Loops so that kept them happy.

 

The best thing was that it was walking distance from the National Mall which has the majority of the good stuff in Washington.

 

Walking in a straight line from our hotel, we immediately arrived at The White House.  Cue posing for photos and trying to explain to the kids what it actually was.  But it was a great start to seeing Washington DC.

Washington Monument

From there we headed to towards the Washington Monument.  You can’t miss the thing as it looms over the entire site and it had us all intrigued.

 

The construction of this impressive obelisk started in 1848, but being the huge structure that it is (and a 23 year break due to lack of funds), it wasn’t completed until 1884.

 

This monument was commissioned to commemorate George Washington, the first president of the United States.  Being the world’s tallest obelisk, it is a true sight to behold.

The World War II Memorial

This is one of my favourite places in Washington.  I’ve gushed over it a lot already on Instagram, but it is stunning.

 

A water feature and a monument all in one, it is a calm and interactive experience.  We spent a fair while sat at the edge and dipping our feet in.

 

While we were sat there, we watched a group of black female photographers.  Suddenly, they became interested in Emily and Alice who were quacking at a duck.

 

I got chatting to some of the women who explained that they were out on a photography walk.  They were friendly and kind and offered to send us some of their pictures.

Reflecting Pool

The Reflecting Pool runs from the World War II memorial to the Lincoln memorial.  It does exactly what you expect and reflects the Washington Monument and the Lincoln memorial that stand at each end.

 

The walk alongside it was calm and peaceful, even if I did have resist the urge to shout “Jenny!” and wade in.  (That’s a Forrest Gump reference by the way!)

 

The kids had a good laugh at all the ducks floating on it with their little bums wiggling in the air.  We had to tell Emily to shut up in the end because she kept shouting “DUCK BUTT!” and it was ruining the walk a bit.

Lincoln Memorial

First thing I noticed about the Lincoln memorial was all the bloody stairs.  Washington had proven to be so accessibility friendly that the sight of stairs felt a bit odd.

 

But luckily, they’d thought about this.  Gold ol’ Washington!  Ramps and lifts tooked us all that way into the Sanctuary chamber which house Lincoln himself.

 

I was blown away by the Sanctuary chamber.  It is huge!  To the point that it makes Lincoln look small by comparison.

 

Again, like many of Washington’s great monuments and memorials, there is sense of stillness and reflection and it is not hard to figure out why.

 

Many great events have either transpired or been inspired on those steps.  It is almost overwhelming the extent of the significance of that venue.

 

The kids got bored quickly.  Probably due to the lack of snacks being offered or buttons to press, so there was no time for deep personal reflection.

Air and Space Museum

After lunch and a very messy ice cream that was melting faster than the kids could eat it, we headed to the Smithsonian Institutes Air and Space Museum.

 

Being completely honest, the Smithsonian was the main reason that I added Washington to the trip list.  Night at the Museum 2 might have had something to do with it.

 

Anyway, the Air and Space museum is bloody awesome!  It is full of all kinds of aircraft, spaceships and more.  We were hooked instantly.

 

There is a great section called “How Things Fly” that is full of experiments for kids and grown-ups.  There are buttons to press, levers to pull and knobs to turn.  A true scientific sensory feast.

 

Throughout the rest of the museum, there are many interactive parts with things to see and do.  I wanted to go back on my own without the kids and take time to read all the plagues.  There was just so much to look at.

Day 7 – Natural History and Pizza

By this point in our trip I felt that I was starting to learn more about life travelling in big cities.  Staying in hotels without a kitchen meant that food had to be bought on the go.

 

However, we learned that a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut would go a long way.  Therefore, the kids were easily sustained with this snack/meal.

 

Also, being a coeliac, research was key!  If I wanted to eat, I needed a plan and I was wising up to the level of detail that was needed.

 

The National Museum of Natural History

 

The first stop for the day was to visit another Smithsonian museum and this time it was the natural history museum.

 

Having visited The American Museum of Natural History in New York just a few days before, we were excited to see what we would find in here.

 

It did not disappoint!  Filled with dinosaurs, gems, early humans and a giant squid.  We were fascinated from start to finish.  There was loads to see and do and the kids loved it.

Pi Pizzeria

For lunch, we went to a place called Pi Pizzeria, which had shown up in my research as doing gluten-free pizza and being near the Natural History Museum.

 

It was short walk to get the pizza and my mathematical heart was filled with joy at the giant “pi” on the restaurant front as we arrived.

 

We ordered our pizza and carried it back to the National Mall where we sat and ate near a fountain.  There was another cheeky squirrel to watch (see this post for previous squirrel experience).

 

The rest of the afternoon was spent chilling out in the National Mall.  The kids enjoyed the downtime and it was great to relax after a busy week.

Day 8 – Flight to Florida

With our time in Washington at an end, it was time to hop on another plane.  This time we were taking a domestic flight to Orlando.

 

A quick trip on the Metro took us straight to the airport, where we were able to head to straight through security and grab some food.

 

We spent the morning chilling in the departure lounge, eating Five Guys and catching Pokémon.  Before we knew it, it was time to jump on the plane.

 

A couple of hours in the air and we were landing in Orlando.  Although Washington had been warm, the heat still hit us as we stepped out of the airport.

 

You’ll have to wait for my next update to see what we got up to in Florida.  But if you can’t wait you can watch our video.  Enjoy!

A weekend exploring the capital of the USA, Washington DC. Find out what we got up to.

Disclaimer:  Remember the information you read here does not represent advice.  Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you.  Read the full disclaimer here.

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Welcome to Our Adventurehood; we’re the Jessops!

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