Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spring Break to DC

Spring Break from grad school this year saw me flying across the country to visit Washington, DC. I'd never been to the east coast before and with several friends that I needed to see in a similar location and the ski season in Montana in sorry shape, it seemed like a great plan to me. Overall: amazing trip, incredible adventure, and more love from friends than I deserve.

Highlights of the trip: 
  • Baltimore: Ft. McHenry, Inner Harbor, Edgar Allen Poe's house and gravesite, Charm City Circulator!
  • Church and picnic lunch with my best friend Alex, seeing his cousin David and D's wife Kara
  • Meeting new friends: Liz, Laura, Mark, Grandpa Dick, and Gma Annie
  • Overview of DC: metro riding, Air and Space museum, old Post Office and Federal Triangle, Georgetown Cupcakes and University (priority in that order...)
  • Lazy summer day in Annapolis, sea food lunch (first time having oysters!)
  • Smash and grab tour of DC monuments: spent all day walking around covering a lot of ground and checking off a list of monuments and museums; Natural Hist. museum, Amer. Hist. Museum, Korea, WWI, WWII, Lincoln, Jefferson, Korea, Vietnam, Pentagon, Arlington Cemetery, and more!
  • Navigating the Metro to catch an early morning flight home and losing my driver's license, if you are nice enough TSA takes pity on you and you can get through security without it...wouldn't recommend the stress though!
  • Breakfast in Minneapolis with another high school bestie: Tim. Lorax pancakes at IHOP are highly recommended. 
Picture highlights are below. Hope you enjoy!

Goofing off at the Ft. McHenry National Monument.
Leaning against the supporting beam for the original American flag that flew over the Fort during the War of 1812 and inspiring Francis Scott Key's "Star Spangled Banner." That was especially cool since I'm taking a Foundation Engineering class this semester: perfect for Geeking Out!
Hanging out in Baltimore with some good food and good friends. Funny how often that combination seems to happen. I was so fortunate to be able to catch up with ACU friends like David, Abby, Bonni, and Marc.
At the cemetery where Edgar Allen Poe was originally buried. This is a slab of rock that was featured on Ripley's "Believe It or Not". 

Sunday afternoon picnic-guitar-frisbee-convo session with my High School bestie Alex and his girlfriend Susan. I feel very fortunate to not only be able to see old friends but be able to share their lives with them. I even got to go to work with Alex one day during the week.
Cliche photo waiting for the train into DC to come. 

Washington monument in the background, we are hanging out in the bell tower of the old DC post office. Alex is on the far right with his friends Mark, Liz, and Laura. Mark and Alex met Liz and Laura in Georgia while on a road trip promoting MANA. I lucked out and got to meet them while they were up visiting DC on their Spring Break. 

Washington Monument. Welcome to 'Merica, 'nuff said.

We tried to visit Barack, but he was regrettably out of town watching an NCAA basketball tournament in Ohio. Oh well, at least I got to see his white house. 

Arlington National Cemetery at the eternal flame. I hadn't realized it was burning at the grave site of JFK and his family. 

Tomb of the unknown soldier from WWII and beyond. We timed if perfectly (coincidence really) to see the changing of the guard on the hour. Impressive coordination and for me a really interesting site. I couldn't help but see parallels between this and the monument of the unknown god at Mars Hill in Athens back in the day. 
All of the states are represented like this at the WWII monument. Funny story: a guy walks up while we're taking this picture and asks me where I'm from. Me, being the naive honest person that I am, replied "Montana." That's apparently not what he wanted. Turns out he was from Libby and wanted to know where in Montana I was from. Well, he should have asked that from the beginning if he was going to get all huffy!

The new Martin Luther King, Jr. monument. It's huge, and you have to walk through a channel to get to the statue of him, it's supposed to be as if he is cut out from another section of rock and slid forward. The caption is something like, "Out of the mountain of despair, comes a rock of hope...". We were there right at sunset: it was beautiful! And to top it off we got to hear a touring college singing group sing a beautiful acapela song.

Hanging with my buddy Tommy. The ultimate Renaissance Man