A couple of weeks ago, I set foot in another state for the first time… my entire life.
I woke up on a Thursday morning and went to the airport with my parents. My stomach was in my throat and my heart was pounding so hard it brought tears to my eyes.
But I didn’t cry. I’m really proud of the fact that even though I was surrounded by hundreds of strangers (some who didn’t even speak the same language as me), had no idea where to go, and was terrified out of my ever loving mind – I did not cry.
The plane was supposed to leave at 12:30, but weather interfered and I spent two hours reading on my kindle. Plus the three hours actually spent on the plane.
I may have read two books. And started a third. But that’s irrelevant.
When I landed in D.C., my Aunt Heather was waiting for me. Our first order of business was food.
She took me to this cute little place, Ted’s Bulletin, where we got cheeseburgers and milkshakes and homemade pop tarts. The menu is designed like a, well, a bulletin.
When we were done with that, we went to a grocery store to get some staples (i.e. cheese, crackers, cherries, grapes, bread, lunch meat…) and then dumped it all at her apartment before almost immediately walking to the Jefferson Memorial.
Which is gorgeous.
It’s beautiful. And inspiring. I read the words on the wall and teared up because they’re so powerful.
American History is my favorite.
When we got done at the Jefferson Memorial, we walked around to the Washington Monument.
I have never felt so small.
It is massive.
I lost count of how many steps back I had to take to get a photo of the entire structure.
And apparently there’s an unspoken rule that no other building in D.C. can be as tall as the Washington Monument.
I think that’s amusing.
We were so close to the Lincoln and WWII memorials that we thought, “What the heck? Let’s go.”
The Lincoln Memorial was the most crowded. Even at night, the steps were crawling with tourists.
Says the tourist.
We got a taxi to take us home. That was a really long ways to walk.
The next day was the Library of Congress and the Capitol building.
The Library was amazing. The building itself is gorgeous. They have the Gutenberg Bible on display. There are quotes above almost every single door and window in the place (Best: “Too low they build, who build beneath the stars). And. They have Thomas Jefferson’s personal library. Some books were actually his and others are just ones he was known to have owned, but the exhibit is basically 7,000 books in a spirally glass case.
They didn’t allow photos. 😦
When we got done there, we went over to the Capitol.
That was extremely cool. Her friend, Nicole, took us into the room where the House of Representatives meet and onto the Speaker’s balcony. We went into the original Senate and House Galleries, and I got to stand in the exact(ish) middle of D.C. Also, the “whisper spot” that John Quincy Adams sat.
He was an ornery man. I think I would’ve liked him.
There were a lot of people there. They had a story time going on, with lots of little kids sitting around a lady reading a book in front of a famous piece of art.
I thought that was a really cool thing to do.
It was a huge building. Everything in D.C. is large – not just tall, but wide, too.
I think I could’ve stayed there for an entire week, or even two, and still manage to find new paintings and sculptures.
From there, we went to a baseball game. My first. Ever.
Cracker Jacks. Hot dogs. Peanuts.
There were 40,000 people there. That’s 20 times the number of people who live in my hometown.
We did the wave. It went around the stadium three times. And everyone stood up for “Take Me Out To the Ballgame”. It felt almost like a religious experience, but not.
At that point, we were both exhausted, so we went back to her apartment to hang out.
The next day was my last full day, and we went to the National Cathedral. That was a good choice.
I’ve never been in a place so imposing and so peaceful.
Seriously. It was beautiful. Next time I visit, I would like to go to a service there.
The rest of that day, I think we spent watched “National Treasure” and “Catch Me If You Can”, and eating. Of course.
Wait. No. We went to see the White House, which wasn’t nearly as exciting as I would have expected it to be, honestly. Also, we went to eat at The Old Ebbitt Grill.
My flight home was at 3, which gave us the opportunity to sleep in and eat breakfast and buy some pop tarts from Ted’s for me to take home before we had to go to the airport.
And… my plane home was delayed. By an hour and a half. But this time, my phone was halfway dead and my Kindle was heading in the same direction.
So, I became one of “those”, the ones huddled around an outlet, praying that nobody decides to up and steal an IPhone.
Anyways. I ended up journaling for about half an hour, and then I people watched.
Airports are great for people watching.
I ended up sitting by a couple of really nice guys on the plane. We chatted some, about college and life and D.C.
Then I fell asleep for about ten minutes. That was awkward.
I had a lot of fun in D.C., and I would love to go back.
But, man, was I glad to be home.