Thursday, October 18, 2018

7th DC Trip

Back in October i chaperoned the 7th grade field trip to Washington DC.  It was a jam packed, 3 day, whirlwind adventure.  When we returned home i spent the next day in bed.  i was just ridiculously exhausted, both physically and mentally.

Many of the places we stopped at did not allow photos, so this is just a few of the places we visited. The 7th grade teacher who put together the field trip, did an amazing job to give these kids what is probably a once in a lifetime trip. 

We spent 3 days in DC and saw an unbelievable amount of stuff in that time. Our itinerary was 
Day 1. depart Indian Valley at 6:45
11:30 Udvar-Hazy Space Center & lunch on site 
3pm Spy Museum and Operation Spy 
6pm Pentagon Mall for shopping and dinner 
8:30 leave for hotel. 
Day 2- breakfast at hotel 
8 am Arlington Cemetery 
10:30 Capital tour, lunch at the capital 
12:30 Natural History Museum 
2:30 Holocaust Museum 
4pm Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
 6pm dinner & shopping at Union Station 
7:30 walking night tour of monuments and memorials return to hotel around 10:30 pm. 
Day 3- breakfast at hotel 
8:30 Driving tour of National Cathedral and Embassy Row 
10am National Archives 
11:30 American History Museum & lunch 
2pm Museum of American Indian 
3pm depart for home, and stop for dinner 
home between 9pm-10pm.

Day 1. First stop was the Udvar-Hazy Space Center. There was a lot of interesting things to see, but the kids in my group were more interested in speeding through the museum as fast as they could, making it difficult to stop and read anything. 

There were a some neat things too look at and the building itself is two huge airplane hangers. 

 We were not allowed to take photos at the Spy Museum, but it wasn't my favorite stop anyhow. We  participated in Operation Spy, which is an immersive, interactive experience at the International Spy Museum where you're the spy. The place was in need of some major repairs, we couldn't complete some of our tasks because of faulty equipment and then ended up locked in area when the control pannel that unlocks the doors broke. Our 'spy' agent had to contact help to unlock the doors. lol. The best part of that museum was the gift shop, which did have a lot of fun items.  According to their page the spy museum has moved, so hopefully it will be a better experience for the next groups that go through it. i wasn't really a fan.

After the spy museum we went to the National Mall for dinner. The mall was ginormous. My group (3 tween girls) tried to spend all of their money at the first store we walked in. i've never been in a mall so large, and hope to never have to be in one again. 

 Day 2. Arlington Cemetery. We visited JFK's memorial and watched the changing of the guard ceremony at the tomb of the unknown soldier.

We toured the Capital building which was interesting. i most enjoyed the architecture and artwork in the building. Interesting little tidbit- the beautiful chandelier lighting in the Capital building was made here in Floyd, by Crenshaw Lighting. i of course, failed to take any pictures of the lights. :) 

Next stop was the National Museum of Natural History.   They have a butterfly exhibit at the very top of the museum that i wanted walk through, but it was an additional cost and the kids in my group were more interested in spending their money on souvenirs than on the butterfly exhibit. So they raced through the museum and we spent most of our time in the gift shops.

Pictures were not allowed at the Holocaust museum. We only visited the children's exhibit which is called  Remember the Children-Daniel's Story. It was very difficult to view and i can only imagine how devastating and horrific the full museum must be.

Another Air and Space Museum.  i had a different group with this museum and they were actually interested in the museum so we got to causally explore the museum instead of just racing through.  After this we stopped for dinner at Union Station and then did the night walking tour of the monuments.   

At this point i was so tired, my brain just about shut down. i took a ton of pictures, but none of them were really very exciting. It was really cold and we walked a ton, but it was a neat experience seeing the monuments all lit up.  i believe it was close to or even after 11pm by the time we returned to the hotel.

Day 3.  We did a driving tour of the National Cathedral and Embassy Row. i actually really enjoyed seeing embassy row, just wish the bus didn't drive so fast through it all. It made it very difficult to take pictures or really know what we were looking at. 

We also visited the American History Museum and Museum of the American Indian.  Both were interesting, though we didn't have enough time to really see it all. The Museum of the American Indian was favorite and the last thing we did. So we really were rushed for time there.  

It was really neat trip for the kids to be able to see as much as they did. i would like to go back some day and do it on my own time, where i'm not responsible for other peoples kids, following such tight itinerary and i can actually take my time and see the exhibits. 


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