At 6 a.m. Saturday, April 16, I woke up so excited for this trip to Washington, D.C., even though I had to get up early. I knew we were going to such a famous place. I couldn’t wait.
We packed our luggage, boarded the bus and got ready for our great adventure. All my friends and I were ready and waiting for the bus to move.
When we left, I immediately fell asleep and so did some of my other friends. All the BCMS teachers were up and excited and apparently not sleepy at all. We had to travel on that bus for 10 hours. So yeah, sleeping was a shortcut.
We arrived at the hotel in Virginia at 4:30 p.m., unpacked our luggage in our rooms and got back on the bus at 6 p.m. for an evening tour into Washington, D.C.
The ride into the city was so beautiful, even though it had just stopped raining.
The Iwo Jima Memorial was cool because as the bus circled around it, it looked just like the soldiers actually were raising the flag.
Then we stopped by a souvenir shop, where my friends and I bought jackets and shirts that said “I Love D.C.”
We all were getting very hungry, so we headed to the Pentagon Mall to eat. This mall was so huge. It was four stories high and awesome. We ate our meal, walked around the mall and then made it back to the bus to head to our next destination.
Our next stop probably was the scariest. We were about to take a ride on the Washington D.C. City Metro Rail. This fast-moving train even travels under the Potomac River.
Everybody said it was safe, but it sure did not look it. My friend Allyssa and I were scared to death. We got through it alive, but if you ever ride a subway, don’t stand up.
Now if you think that was scary, you should hear what we had to do next. To get back up to ground level, we had to ride an escalator. This was no regular escalator. It was about 100 feet high and slanted almost straight up. If you tripped and fell, you’d be gone in a heartbeat.
Other than that scary part, it was a great night. We fell right to sleep when we got back to the hotel. I couldn’t wait for the next day to come.
At 7 a.m. April 17 we got up and started getting ready. We went to the Arlington Cemetery first. I found out that Robert E. Lee used to live there. This place was beautiful, and it had history written all over it.
It hurt my heart to see all the graves of the soldiers who gave their lives for this country. The markers went on as far as I could see. We even saw John F. Kennedy’s grave.
Arlington Cemetery also is where the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier lies and the Changing of the Guard happens. My cousin, Marion Collins, once was an Honor Guard for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Because of this honor, he can never drink, smoke or swear for the rest of his life. That’s pretty cool to have a person like that in your family.
We were heading to all the Smithsonian museums next. My favorite one was the American History Museum because it had the original “Star-Spangled Banner” and it was awesome.
We visited the Korean War Memorial, National Cathedral and the very famous Lincoln Memorial, which was huge. It also was a lot of steps to walk up. My friends counted them and there were 58 steps. Whew!
After a late supper, we went on a ghost tour, and that was scary. I held onto my friends the whole time, and the tour guide decided to put me in a ghost story. In the story, I had two husbands, and they both died tragically. Thanks, Miss Ghost Tour Guide.
We had to go back to the hotel after that, and I thought I wasn’t going to be able to sleep because I was so scared, but I crashed.
At 7 a.m. April 18 we got ready for another exciting day, and the first stop was the coolest of all – the White House. We stood outside behind a gate on the North Lawn.
It was so cool to see. We were thinking so many things. This is where history is made. This is where Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy and the most amazing presidents lived. It was amazing! We visited the Vietnam Memorial and the Wall of Names after that, and it was very emotional for my dad. It was just so cool, and we met the guy who actually started the wall. Next was the U.S. Capitol. Once we got inside, it took me back through time. We got to tour the whole place, and the dome itself weighs 9 million pounds. I didn’t want that dropping on my head.
We knew the day was about to end, but we knew we still had fun stuff left. We left to go on a dinner cruise. It was so much fun. There was dancing, music, singing and food.
Next was the wax museum. Now that was the highlight of the trip for me. There were presidents, star athletes, talk-show hosts and celebrities. There were the Jonas Brothers, standing right in front of me. I was wishing there was a Justin Bieber figure, but I still had the Jonas Brothers. I kissed Nick Jonas three times. It was so fun. I even got my hand molded into a wax hand with my other friend Alissa.
The last thing on the trip was the World War II Memorial. It is so beautiful at night. I got to see so many veterans, and it made me so thankful. It’s just amazing. It reminded me of my grandpa, who fought in Germany in World War II. He was a real hero.
At 7 a.m. April 19 it was time to pack up and head home. Thanks to our principal, Ms. Debbie Hamm, and all the teachers and parents who helped make this trip possible. I will never forget this amazing journey. Washington, D.C., was so fun. You should visit sometime.
Ashley Kramer will be entering the seventh grade at Bryan County Middle School in August.