Airbus A321 (Legacy USAirways)
I've done it a lot, but this was the first time I've had to get one of the boys up at 0415. He jumped up when he heard the alarm, probably out of excitement. Out the door by 0450, at the airport 30 mins later, through security and on to the AC for a snack and some much needed coffee.
Weather was supposed to be raining in DC but nothing delay-worthy. We boarded into row 4 in first class. Another legacy US Airways plane--no in-flight entertainment, no power outlets, horrible seat pitch in the front cabin. Very underwhelming.
We pushed back and we racing down the runway without even a stop in between. Beautiful morning for flying out of DFW, and we hit cruise at FL360 with great views and a smooth climb. Our path would take us over the foul weather that plagued the Mississippi river in southern Missouri, St Louis, etc, so I didn't expect the smooth ride to stay that way. Breakfast was served and my son and I talked about all we were going to see that day. Coffee kept flowing .
Seatbelt sign went on/off a few times during the flight, but nothing worth noting and service kept going. We started our descent into DCA about when I expected based on an on-time arrival, but seemed to really drag it out...especially the final approach after the captain had the FA's prep for landing. Stayed in the multi-layer clouds forever, to the point where we were now about 20 mins behind schedule and I was starting to get annoyed and the lack of explanation; we had a lot to do in a short period of time, dammit!
Finally felt the plane tip down and the engines reduce power, then the gear came down and we could see the ground through the clouds. Landed to the north, and it was a quick taxi to the gate.
Deplaned and headed for the Admirals Club to consolidate suitcase and backpacks (brought stuff to change clothes and clean up in case we were soaked by the end of the day). Left the airport with just my backpack, water bottles, two much-needed umbrellas, and the critical pieces to get back through security, leaving everything else at the AC.
Without too much detail, in 6 hours we hit Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Wall, Einstein statue, both sides of the White House, National Archives (went in to see Declaration, Constitution, Bill of Rights, Magna Carta), both sides of the Capitol, Supreme Court, Library of Congress, Washington Monument, and spent the last couple hours inside Smithsonian Air & Space. Most of it on foot, but Uber'd two of the routes. Exciting & exhausting day, but LOTS of great pictures and one happy 7yr old.
Airbus A321 (Legacy USAirways)
While at Air & Space, the flight got delayed twice for a total of about 45 mins, so we slowed down and left for the airport about 30 mins after we normally would have. Light rain & wind never really let up, until we were in the Admirals Club...go figure. At the end, we departed about 1.5hrs late due to the DFW-DCA inbound flight being delated; I guess it was weather on the flight path.
We boarded into row 3 in first class, and settled in after a long day. Traffic pattern had us taking off to the north which meant my sons window seat would (hopefully) have a fantastic view of the National Mall on the climb. Sure enough, we banked left slightly, then back to center, and there was one of the most incredible views ever!! I loosened the seatbelt and got a few pics. Truly unbelievable: the best one had everything in it, from Jefferson to the White House to the Capitol, and with the scattered sunset clouds as a backdrop with the most incredible light effects! Will post it later.
Climb out was bumpy on and off as we passed through the multiple layers where the clouds were hovering, but somewhat smoothed out when we got to FL370 for the cruise home. At one point, the training FA had to sit down during a few bumps, but it was short lived. I managed to gorge myself on that crandberry/peanut trail mix at the club, so I skipped dinner, but my son loved the chicken and even ate the salad.
Few sporadic bits of turb as we headed home, but all-in-all, a peaceful trip. We were chasing the most beautiful sunset the entire flight until about 20 mins before wheels down. My son fell asleep after dinner and I couldn't even wake him up to eat the cookie they served later on...so I ate it .
We touched down around 2130 and were in the car headed home by 2145, and he was happily asleep in his own bed by 2225.
This one goes down as one of the most memorable mileage runs/day trips/bonding time thus far in his 7.5 years. Can't wait to do it again!!
Happy flying to all!