Washington, DC was so much fun!! But a looooooooong, exhausting day! I woke up at 5:00am, left my house by 5:30, took the train at 5:40ish but it was 20 minutes late. Something was wrong with it, so it took us extra long to get to Grand Central... took the Subway to Chinatown, then walked 5 blocks to meet the bus. The bus left at 8:00. We had some misunderstandings along the way (about people being left behind at a rest stop), so we didn't get to DC until about 12:40. Martin met me at the bus stop, and we proceeded to take in most of the city. It was a LOT of walking in the 100-degree heat and humidity, so we got lots and lots of water.
We saw President Bush!!! (sort of) We were trying to go and see the White House, but it was blocked off at first. So we waited a few minutes, and then saw a helicopter take off from the South Lawn. I read once that the only people that ever leave the White House this way are the President and First Lady.
So then we saw the White House, walked up a little to the Washington Monument, on to the World War II Memorial (it was my first time seeing it -- when I was there in 2000, they hadn't even started working on it), then the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial (where I bought a panoramic puzzle -- I can't wait to make it!). Next stop was my favorite: the Korean War Memorial, then on to the FDR Memorial (I had never been here, either. It's a lot bigger than I imagined). We walked along the Potomac to the Jefferson Memorial, then back to the Mall to the Natural History Museum (sadly, the American History Museum is closed for renovation), then to the Air and Space Museum. The last stop on this tourist trek for us was the Capitol Building. Then we stopped for dinner and made our way back to my bus stop. (I didn't go into much detail because that's really how fast we saw everything. We didn't have much time to stop and relax -- we had too much to do in a very short time.) Martin only had a 40 minute drive back (LUCKY!). I left the city at about 8:15 and arrived home at 3:00am. :S
It shouldn't have been that long, but I missed a train at Grand Central by one minute. so then I had to wait close to an hour for the next one. If I had made the earlier one, I would've still gotten home really late -- 2:00, so either way it was a long day. I was gone for 21.5 hours!! I met some really unique people on the bus rides there and back. The person next to me commented that that's what happens when you use the cheapest mode of transportation.
So I FINALLY got to go back to Washington, DC. and it was such a spur-of-the-moment decision. Saturday afternoon I was sitting around thinking about what I wanted to do with my 2 days off, and I decided I didn't want to waste them since I have such a short time left. So I called Martin and we made the plans to meet in the city. Going there for the first time was what really influenced me to become a history teacher. There was just so much history in all of the things we saw, and I just had to know more. And then once I learned about everything, I really wanted to pass on the knowledge and excitement to others. This trip reminded me of all of those feelings. so I can't wait to get back to that learning and teaching again!!