Last week I got to visit Washington, DC and it was… interesting. The trip did not start out as planned, but we had some most definite adventures, and we got to see a lot of really cool stuff. What is most important is that we all had fun. With only seven of us attending the trip, it was easier to handle the rocky situations. I will definitely never forget this fabulous trip.
Our trip definitely had its ups and downs, but the most troubling moment was when our flight was forced to land no more than ten minutes after takeoff due to a problem with airflow about the cabin. When we landed we were taken, by bus, to another airport to be put on another flight. Upon arrival we learned that our flight had been delayed due to weather. We made the most of the break and grabbed a meal at the airport. While eating delicious subs, we discovered our flight had once again been cancelled after being delayed three times. The airline then put us up in a hotel, no more than thirty minutes from my house, and put us on a flight for the next morning. We made the most of the situation and went to an arcade.
Luckily, the next morning, we boarded our flight and had a successful takeoff. When we landed in DC, we could not believe we had actually made it. We called an Uber to pick us up from the airport and made our way to the Air BNB we had rented for the week. We unloaded our bags, got freshened up and hit the street. Our first stop was the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. This was among my favorites of the places we saw. I got to see T-Rex fossils, which, for me, was very cool due to my Jurassic Park/World nerdiness. We were also able to stop by the Holocaust Museum. It was very eye opening to the horrors of the well known moment in history. After leaving there, we went to back to the room. One of the teachers on the trip and I stayed in for the night, curled up with pizza and The Office. The others went to an Atlanta Braves vs Washington Nationals baseball game. We all slept extremely hard that night.
The next day, we went to the Milkbar where they serve cereal milk ice cream. Yes, you read correctly. Cereal milk ice cream. It was amazing! After that, we explored the Museum of Women in The Arts where I got to see tons of amazing artworks, including a portrait by Frida Kahlo. We then had some time to kill and went to The White House where we saw a few protestors, but it was, for the most part, quite peaceful. After leaving there, we traveled to the African American History Museum. This was another heavy visit. It was very eye opening as well. After a long day of walking, site seeing, and un-volunteered exercise, we retired to the room and had some amazing pasta that was cooked for us by our teacher.
For the third day, we started out at The Library of Congress where we each acquired a library card and got to explore the library itself. We were all pretty bummed to find out that we could not go into the reading room from National Treasure, but we still had fun. After we left there, we walked to the Shakespeare Library where we did not get to enter the actual library, but we did get to sit in on a rehearsal of Macbeth which was way cooler. We then went to Bantam King for some delicious ramen and a Honey Boo Boo ice cream. I think it is safe to say that my creative desserts were accomplished.
After devouring our meal, we split up. A few of us went to Ford’s Theater and the rest of us went to The Renwick for the “Burning Man” exhibit. I went to The Renwick and was so happy that I did. I got to see glowing, shrinking mushrooms, entire wooden sculptures, huge mesh statues, and sculptures that moved or created a motion with light. We then traveled back to the room and grabbed some sandwiches for supper before heading out to the Lincoln Memorial for a nighttime viewing. It was so beautiful and definitely worth the climb to the top!
The fourth day was most definitely my favorite day. I knocked so many things off of my bucket list within one day. The first thing we saw that day was Arlington Cemetery, where we bought tickets to the trolley tour and rode around the Cemetery. We only actually got off at one stop, which was the JFK grave sight. In doing that, we also got to see the Eternal Flame. After the tour finished, we headed back to the room. Our teachers went to see Hamilton that day, so we then had the day to ourselves. Our first stop on our very own self-tour of the city was to see The National Gallery of Art. This was where I had several dream-come-trues.
When I knew we were going to the gallery, the first thing I did was research to see if Georgia O’Keefe, my all-time favorite artist and definitely my painting idol, was being displayed anywhere in the huge structure. I did find pictures of her work on display online, but could not find out if she was still currently being displayed. Upon entering the building, I approached to information desk and asked the guide if he knew if she was being displayed. All I heard was, “Yes we do! She is in…” I blanked out after that and began to cry a little. I am glad I had people with me who heard his instructions because I definitely did not. While walking towards her display, I just kept thinking, “Oh my gosh. I am about to see an O’Keefe painting. A real one, right in front of me.” When we entered the exhibit of which she was displayed, I quickly scanned the room, and then I finally saw them. Four paintings on display. I began to cry a little more. I spent at least ten minutes studying her paintings; the brush strokes, the use of color, the shape of the objectives. It was a moment I shall never forget. The gallery also held Da Vinci, Picasso, Monet, Lichtenstein, Pollock, and Van Gogh paintings. These are huge artists, and the fact that I got to see them all in one day, at one place, was surreal. This day was special to say the least.
After reluctantly leaving the gallery, we traveled to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. It was pretty cool! There were so many planes, my eyes couldn’t focus on one thing. They were stacked on top of each other, suspended by wires from the ceiling. We didn’t stay for very long; at this point we were starting to feel the tiredness of that day and the previous days of the trip. Upon exit of the Air and Space Museum we stopped to get some food at some food trucks parked along the National Mall and had a picnic in the grass. After our tummies got filled, we went back to the room and called it a night.
Once the teachers returned from their play, we each ordered take-out, put in a season of The Office, and discussed life. Several cultures were experienced that night within our take-out choices. I ordered California Rolls, and there was Indian, Chinese, and fish and chips ordered as well. After we filled our tummies once more, we each repacked our suitcases and slept very very hard.
We woke the next morning at 4:00am to head to the airport. We got through security and placed our butts in seats to await or flight. With previous bad luck, we each crossed our fingers in hopes of a successful flight. Meanwhile, I took an hour nap on the airpot floor, using my suitcase as a pillow. When our flight came up on the board we boarded the trolley and eventually boarded the plane. We had a successful take-off and landing, despite our expecting of the opposite. I walked off of the plane, grabbed my suitcase, and exited the terminal. As we stepped past the security check-point, I saw my parents waiting on me, gave them a huge hug and realized that the trip was officially over. I parted from my fellow travelers/bad luck survivors and got in the car to head home.
This trip is one I will never forget and I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to go. I cried, I laughed, and I walked (a lot). There were so many memories made on this trip that will stay with me for a lifetime; some of them being memories that will go down as my bet day ever. Thanks DC! It was an adventure!
Thanks for reading!!!