The trip began at 2am May 1, when I met the charter bus at school to check in students for our trip to the airport. 52 14-year-olds, five chaperones, three days of non-stop site-seeing. I think my exhaustion is pretty self-explanatory.
We got to DC around 9am and immediately began touring the city. This is the second time I've chaperoned this trip. It's a blast, but I'm not exaggerating when I say we're up and moving from 7am until after 10pm every day. Here are some of the things we saw in our three-day-two-night visit.
|Mt. Vernon - George Washington's house, complete with his original furnishings (including the bed he died in).|
|Museum of Natural History...This is a whale's baleen. Clearly this could kill you.|
|Natural History Museum...Great White Shark jaw anyone?|
|My favorite presidential memorial, FDR's, is chock-full of symbolism and meaningful quotations.|
|Arlington Cemetery - always my favorite place to visit.|
|The Library of Congress - seeing the Gutenberg Bible was so cool, and the architecture is fantastic!|
|The Capitol Building.|
|The US Holocaust Museum is built to be reminiscent of a concentration camp. Truly moving.|
|The Lincoln Memorial.|
|The Korean War Memorial.|
|The Vietnam War Memorial - seeing all these names never fails to choke me up.|
|The WWII Memorial|
|The Washington Memorial|
|The White House|
|Ford's Theatre, where President Lincoln was shot. We also saw Peterson House, where he died.|
|The MLK Memorial. Another favorite, full of poignant symbolism and moving quotations.|
|And the Sept. 11 Pentagon Memorial.|
We went from Day 3 directly to the airport, then took the charter bus back to school. We arrived at 2am Saturday, and after twelve hours of sleep, I drove up to visit Britt, who had finally given birth to little Kaya. Both mommy and baby are doing well.
|Such a snuggle-bear!|
May is steamrolling ahead whether I get my feet under me or not. I can't even feel bad about not running in DC, although I brought my clothes, because I was just too physically exhausted to get myself to the hotel's fitness center (as luxurious as it was).
On a final note about the trip, I have to say that it's incredibly rewarding to see the students' appreciation for history, government, and sacrifice grow. They come away from the trip changed, even those who aren't "model" students; it's a trip that I wish all the students could afford to take.
If you've never been...if you have kids and they've never been...go. No matter how many times I visit, something new strikes me, and I come away different than I was before.
And on that note...end of the year, bring it on...full steam ahead!