Washington DC–My own nation’s capital. Finally I was able to visit the home of my own government. UT put on a Fall Break trip for a group of 40 of us to go see Washington DC. So, when I saw the advertisement, I knew that I should take the opportunity to go. Definitely, it was a great decision.
We started out the trip at night, on a chartered bus. We drove all night and arrived the next morning in DC. Needless to say, I was really tired, due to my incapability of sleeping on moving transportation (this is not a good thing for a traveler like myself to have). Anyhow, when we arrived, we had to start touring, because the hotel wouldn’t let us check in. So, we went around the capitol building on down to the Holocaust Museum. This was an awesome thing to see, and I am really more interested now to see the House of Anne Frank in Holland.
So, anyhow, after the museum, I received tickets to have a special tour of the Capitol Building. After meeting the Congressman representing Knoxville in his office, we were shown around the different areas in the Capitol Building. The most fascinating thing was all the art and architectural secrets within. Within almost every painting or wall, there seemed to be some type of secret about it. The tomb for Washington that was never filled (George died a little bit too early–before the tomb was finished!), the artists persistently putting their faces in the paintings they painted. How funny.
After the Capitol, we were all beat, so we went back to the hotel, and rested. The next day, we all went and looked at the different monuments because it was such nice weather. We went to the Washington Monument, which was closed for renovations. Then we walked over to the Jefferson Memorial for some pictures. There was so much security everywhere, it was like I was in a different country. I had never seen so many armed personnel in the states before. It was really eerie. We then walked over to the White House, and my first thought was how small it was. I really thought it would be much bigger, and it may be just because of where we were standing, but I thought it was small. After that we stopped by the Red Cross Building, then over to the Lincoln Memorial.
That night was a lot of fun at the hotel with a little party. The next day however was when we had to leave, and we still hadn’t seen the Pentagon, so we made an early trip out to see the damage. It was really sad to see such damage done to a building as important as the Pentagon, and to have been done in vain. After seeing the destruction, we all headed back to the hotel shocked. We then hopped on the bus for another long drive back home.
All in all, this trip was really educational, just for the fact of seeing the United States Capitol and government buildings. If you haven’t been there before, it is a must see for every American.