Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Last Full Week in DC

Well, I hate that I am home now and that I procrastinated writing this while I was in the moment. Alas, here is the recap of my last full week in DC.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers--Arlington National Cemetery
Sunday afternoon, Colleen, Ryan, and I went to Arlington. It is hard to grasp how many individuals really have died for our nation. I saw the tombstones of hundreds of thousands of men and women who gave everything to protect our country and our freedom. I say that knowing that our country is in war today, yet I really don't see the impacts of it back home. We are so lucky to be so safe here in our country, where most wars we participate on are fought externally. I really have a ton of respect for those people who served so selflessly...Especially those who continue to serve today when it is not expected, not mandatory, and not popular.

Tomb of the Unknown
I found this on I don't know how legit it is, but it's pretty incredible if it is...

They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. They cannot swear in public FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES and cannot disgrace the uniform {fighting} or the tomb in any way.

After TWO YEARS, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.

The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt. There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.

The first SIX MONTHS of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone, nor watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.

An Amazing Site

We went to the National Cherry Blossom Festival for Family Home Evening with our ward. I think this is my favorite time and my favorite place in DC. Here is 7/8 of the roommates in front of the Jefferson Memorial. Wendy wanted to be in the picture but not of the picture...or something...she was hiding her nose tape. Remember, she had surgery?

Friday was a 1/2 day at school to allow time for teachers to compile grades. Well Ms. Chandler and I finished grades days in advance so Mari met up with me. We went to Georgetown Cupcake...the greatest place in the world. Notice the line out the door. What a blessed little place. Sigh. I will miss this place. Isn't it the cutest place you've ever seen. Someday, when I'm old, I'm just going to make cupcakes and hand them out on the side of the road for free. It just gives everyone such joy. Mark my words.
My parents requested me to take some type of graduation pictures. Well, I wasn't feeling very, this is what came of that whole experience.
This is Mari. We met three years ago as EFY counselors. EFY just brings people together. Try it :) You'll love it.
I remember sitting on these steps in 7th grade when I came out here with Challenge at school. I don't feel much bigger. (Then again, I was quite the chunker growing up. My first word was "more" to further illustrate that point)
The Natural History Museum
Contains the Hope Diamond, a Wholly Mammoth (is that how it's spelled? If they weren't extinct, maybe I would know), and a huge gross squid thing. Sick.
Here is the elephant, which I thought was the mammoth. Apparently we still have these walking around somewhere however, and it is not extinct. Take note.
National Portrait Gallery
Old Ben Franklin. Oh, how we love him.
And here is Joseph Smith! In the main lobby! He is making headlines still apparently. battery died and I don't have more to document.

Our dear friends at the Barlow. Susie (not of the Barlow), Sage, Andrew, and Drew (another EFY friend). We all spent much more time together at the beginning of the semester, then we got busy (and I might have accidentally stopped going to institute there...) . This was a little reunion at a Barlow original dance courtesy of Brad Meeham.

Kristen and I went to the Deanwood Historic Trail. We walked around Massachussettes Avenue (I think). We thought we had been around DC, but Ms. Chandler, my mentor teacher, explained to me that I had never been to actual residential places in DC. Well, Kristen and I began our adventure before General Conference that Saturday morning.
Kristen looking over a little brick bottomed stream.
A public library. It wasn't in service. In each ward, DC is required to provide one good grocery store, a school, and a library. This library was empty, but they had a portable one created while a new one was being renovated (I think).
In the first 3 minutes of being off of the Metro, a man pulled up next to us and asked if we were in the right part of town and what we were doing there. It was like in Remember the Titans. I didn't believe Ms. Chandler when she told me we needed to make sure we went during day light and with an escort. I was shocked. We had many men trail us as we walked and most people stared at us as we passed. The women were friendly and always spoke to us and said hello. Kristen and I could totally tell when there were women present in many of the homes. The ones we walked by with women just seemed much more inviting. It was really great for us to see Deanwood before we left DC.
I'm not going to lie, I was pretty scared to take pictures because so many people were standing in their front yards staring at us. That is why they are not the most focused pictures you'll ever see...
Apartment Complexes
Kristen was teaching the industrial revolution and wanted pictures of these trains because they had coal. Good thing she was able to use this picture in class...oh wait ;)

Sunday Morning:
Tyler, Lisa, and I met up while they were in town and went to my favorite museum, the American History Museum, which was barely reopened. I LOVE it.

Sunday Night:
Caution: The following pictures will make you want to move to DC. We walked to the Mall from our apartment. It's a three mile walk or so. It was the perfect sunday and felt like the longest weekend of our lives. It was great to get out of the house after watching Conference all weekend.
We always pass this overpass decor. They are little aeomeba things. We love them.
Look how close the airport is!!! Meggie kept running around recording it on double speed. Carolyn, of course, followed her. Walking eachother through life. They are so great to one another.

End result: The Jefferson Monument and the Blossoms around the Tidal Basin. I love these girls (and Marisha!!!!!!)
(look at the following can follow the sun as it sets...)
Kristen and Amber with George
With the Jefferson Monument

Our last Sunday together!
Still trying to find a good graduation picture for my mom--sorry I failed!! haha.
Cherry Blossoms!!

And the festival ended. I LOVED being in DC during that time. If you ever go...go during the Festival. The months before are extremely too cold. WAY to cold. I write this as I'm at BYU looking out the window with snow on the ground. Sigh.


Linze Kate said...

I am SOOOOOOOOO happy - You're HOME! AND, I get to see you today!!!

P.S. I am jealous of all these awesome pictures - so fun! I miss the East Coast SO much!

Meggie said...

love the pictures...I miss DC!