The trip where I left my mark

School trips. We all go on them. I know I certainly did!

I could share about my many adventures through France and Italy. I did give a sneak peak here after all. Even though that trip may turn out to be a once in a lifetime adventure, there is one school trip that will forever stand out in my mind.

Washington D.C.

Midway through high school, my Computer Arts teacher put together a little trip for his 50 or so students. Looking back I have no idea how our trip to D.C. related to the class, but I won't complain. It was one of the first trips the husband (then boyfriend) and I took together.

We visited all of the popular tourist attraction.

Capitol building Capitol building rotunda
Outside and inside the Capitol Building

We rubbed our fingers over the names on the Vietnam Wall, desperately wishing someone had thought to bring paper.

We toured the Holocaust Museum. Tears fell from our eyes as we walked the bridge over hundreds of tiny shoes. All from children who were taken too soon. We read stories and letters of love that was not permitted to bloom. Our tears echoed as they hit the cold, grey floor.

We drove our tour bus through Arlington National Cemetery.

Arlington National Cemetery

A silent prayer was said for John F. Kennedy and we stood at attention before the Unknown soldier. The sky was filled with gray. Sadness was all around.

JFKUnknown Soldier

Not all of our time in our country's capitol was spent in mourning.

Every time I go through a metal detector, my memories of the White House come flooding back. My friend set them off numerous times. We assumed it was her earrings. After all, she had more metal than skin in her ears. Turns out it the under wire in her bra!

As we circled the Smithsonian, but never went in, we watched gray squirrels dart to and fro. If we bent down ever so slowly, one would run and eat crumbs from our hands.

Our very last day we stopped at the zoo. A zoo always makes me feel like a child, no matter what city I'm in. I vaguely remember there were Pandas, which we didn't have at our zoo back home. I also remember losing my lunch by those Pandas. And probably by a few other exhibits as well. I thought it was the rain from Arlington that made me sick. After all, didn't our mothers say you'll get sick if you go out in the rain?

Even though that trip was one I would never forget, I was as happy as a sick person could be to get back on the bus and go home. Most of the students slept in the big comfy seats on the ride back north. My friends and I sat in the back, rehashing our trip. Except for one who was hiding in the bathroom. I can only imagine what he was doing in there. I'm not sure I'll ever know because I made him get out. The last words I heard said to me from that trip were "Hey, you just puked on my shoe!".

My family and I have plans to return to D.C. in August. The husband and I are quite anxious to return. We know our kids will always remember it. Let's just hope no one gets their shoes puked on!

I would like to point out that our teacher rocked then and he rocks now. Have you ever heard of the country band, The Stickers? My former teacher is their drummer!


Oka said...

That is one city I still want to visit.

Kmama said...

I went on a band trip to DC. It was a great trip, and we did many of the things you did, except for the White House.

Galit Breen said...

Such an action-packed FULL trip! So many memories, learnings, experiences. Exactly the hope, right?

i loved this line: "Our tears echoed as they hit the cold, grey floor."- it's emotional, poignant.

I adore that you're going back with your children this summer- the full circle.

And, indeed, my fingers are crossed for no puked on shoes! :)

Anonymous said...

What a memorable trip! Packed with knowledge and new experiences. Love it! I hope to visit DC one day.

Erin said...

Ooooh, I love DC! Can't wait to hear about your trip there when you go with the kids!

Cheryl said...

HOw funny that you share so many memories with
your husband. I met mine when i was 30 so we don't have that much shared history!

Babes Mami said...

I have always wanted to go to DC to see all that history!

Anonymous said...

I went to DC once, a very long time ago and only for a day. I didnt get to see much.

Loved your story about it.