From Arlington National Cemetery
And I've just completed a study away course for two weeks in Washington, D.C. I stayed in a large house in one of D.C.'s prominent neighborhoods with nine other college students and two professors, and between trips to the National Mall and as many of the Smithsonian museums as we could cram into our schedule, we researched assigned areas of D.C., figured out how to use the Metro, and made it to a surprising number of cupcake shops. (I almost feel as if I came to D.C. solely for the food, especially when I found a vegan bakery in our neighborhood [I'm lactose-intolerant] and went for a milkshake twice).
I got to hang out with some pretty stellar people. Not only were they hard-working and serious about their research, but they were hilariously fun to travel and explore with (and have movie and game nights with). They were also dependable in such a way that I would probably still be lost in some Metro station in the guts of D.C. if it weren't for them. We may have all gotten mildly tense when the food stores were reduced to Lucky Charms cereal, a pack of turkey, and a giant bottle of hot sauce in the last couple of days, but we worked together well and, most importantly, had a great time.
Honestly, it was the trip of a lifetime. Rather than seeing just the big stuff (National Mall, Smithsonians, etc.) we got to know D.C. as a whole culturally, historically, and demographically. My heart belongs to country air and visible stars, but I enjoyed all of D.C.'s murals, monuments, memorials, cafes, diversity, and even the bustle of the Metro system. It was a world full of new experiences for me, and a step toward future travels (if God so wills). I'm thankful for the big things, such as saying hello to the Lincoln Memorial, and for the small things, such as chowing down on pizza and milkshakes with my newfound friends in a city six-hundred miles from home.
I may write more about the trip eventually. I just got back from flying in today and I'm still processing the whole thing. For now, I'll share some pictures. I'm glad to be home, and glad to be blogging once again.
Eyes from one of the murals in downtown Columbia Heights
'We the People'
Inside the Capitol
Orangutan with his blanket at the Smithsonian National Zoo
And what did we do with one of our last days in D.C.? We rode the tallest escalator in the Western Hemisphere.
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Have you ever been to Washington, D.C.? If so, what was your favorite thing about it?